Back to School! A Note of Encouragement from One Teacher to Another.

A guest post by Traci Azbell

The following was written by my niece Traci Jean who is a second year teacher to one of her friends who will be a first year teacher this year. I don't think I need to add anything. Her note of encouragement says it all. 

"Teaching is the most stressful, time-consuming and difficult thing I have ever done. It demands patience, causes worry, and prevents sleep.

Teaching is also the most rewarding, most exciting, and most meaningful thing I have ever done. It brings joy, laughter, and strengthened relationships every single day.

I wouldn't change what I do for anything. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

To my old friend, Brian Thomas, as he welcomes a class of 3rd graders into his life, here are a few things I learned last year:

1. Leave your work at school. It will get done, I promise, but you need to make time to be a "normal person" every day to remain sane. I learned this the hard way.

2. Understand that some parents are like bears protecting their cubs. They may come on strong, but you have the same goal: to help your student be successful. (Some parents have also had a terrible history with school systems. Read Ruby Payne's "Understanding Poverty." It is eye opening and so, so important.)

3. Love those students. Especially the ones who drive you nuts. Yours might be the only smile they see all day, and you will be a role model to every last one of them. Every day is a new day, so that kid you had to yell at yesterday--the one who teared up or became angry or closed himself off to you--you have another chance to make that kid smile or laugh. You have another chance to change his life for the better.

Get excited! You are in for a roller coaster of a year, but I know you will have a blast and those students will remember you forever.

Now I can't wait until school starts!" 

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