Dear Robyn: A Letter to a Beginning Teacher
August 9, 2014
I am writing you this letter to officially welcome you to the teaching career and to remind you that YOU matter! Yes, YOU! Everyone talks about how important the children are, and they are!!! but YOU are important as well, in fact, YOU are probably the most important person.
YOU are the one who determines the climate of trust and caring that must be present for learning to occur. Spend time building relationships with your students, parents and the other teachers you work with. Yes, the curriculum is important but there will be many days when the academics will have to take a backseat to other, more pressing, issues. Strong relationships will carry you through difficult days. It takes a village to raise a child.
YOU are the person who must decide to make a personal investment in the lives of others. Education is more than just teaching Math or Language. Say “yes” to new opportunities to improve school and student life by becoming involved in extracurricular activities and committee work. Remember, too, that it is important to also say “no” when you feel overburdened. Because YOU matter, it is important to stay healthy and know when you have reached your limit.
YOU are the person who chooses to engage your students in thought-provoking, stimulating lessons that foster curiosity, motivation and engagement. This can only come from your own continued learning. When opportunities arise to further develop your professional knowledge, jump at the chance to become involved. This will help you to stay current, fresh and passionate about your life’s work. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” or to ask for help.
YOU are the one who decides what kind of attitude to bring to the classroom and the staffroom. A pleasant, flexible and professional mindset will foster the same thinking in the people you interact with. Yes, there will be some naysayers and people who will try to engage you in negative thinking. They will invite you to be part of their clique but be true to yourself! Stay positive, exude enthusiasm, and you will continue to see all the positive things in your own world. This attitude will sustain you through difficult times.
Teaching is a wonderful career! We are so glad that you are a part of this noble profession. Safe travels as you leave your home today in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland to assume your first teaching position in Alberta! As Dr. Seuss said, “Kid, you’ll move mountains!” Just remember, YOU matter!
All the best!
Mrs. Collins, your colleague