Today was the first day of school.
This is my 9th year of teaching but I don’t feel like a pro by any means. I am always learning, always growing, and forever changing something. For this reason, I still get super nervous on the day before the first day.
The night before the first day of school I always have a hard time sleeping. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. I am full of so many different emotions that I find it almost impossible to sleep. I feel excitement for the new memories I will make, nervousness for the possibility of problems, and even a little fear. Being a teacher is hard. We are expected to be so much for our students and perform so many different jobs. It can be both mentally and physically exhausting. There have been many times that I considered giving up but I persevered. I focused on the fact that I felt like I had been given a gift to teach. I focused on the fact that my smiling face and warm hugs may the only ones that they would receive all year. I focused on the fact that my words of encouragement could help them through the most impossible of situations. Now here I am, about to begin my 9th year of teaching and I am just as nervous as I was during year one. I know, however, that I am not alone in feeling these nerves. I know that there are 25+ Kindergarten babies getting ready to come to school and see me on their very first day, that are feeling those exact same nerves. So since I found it hard to sleep, I decided to write a letter to my new students.
To My Kindergarten Babies,
Let me start by saying that I am honored to be your teacher. God put us in each other’s lives for a reason I am so excited to see His perfect plan unfold. I know that with His help and guidance, this is going to be a great year.
I can imagine that you are unbelievably scared and nervous. It must be hard to enter such a big school, leaving your Mom, Dad, and younger sibling behind to learn all about your letters and numbers. So many of you have never attended PreK so I can imagine that this is very overwhelming. I want you to know that is perfectly normal to feel scared and nervous. I feel those same emotions every time I step foot into this classroom. I try so hard to be the best teacher possible for you and that can be a very exhausting job. I am constantly making plans, finding resources, and changing around my classroom to make sure that you are getting the best from me. It is very scary to think that if I make a mistake, I am held directly responsible for potentially messing up your education. I would NEVER want anything like that to happen so I am always trying to be my best for you.
When I say that I am going to be my best, I mean that I am going to be the best in all that I do. First and foremost, I am going to be the best teacher possible, but I will not stop at just teaching. I am going to be friend to you when someone says something that may not be so nice. I am going to be your nurse and bandage your knee when you fall down. I am going to be your coach and encourage you to do your best. I am going to be like a Mother and hug you when you are sad.
I promise to be all that you need me to be in the few hours that you are with me each day. Life is hard but I will try so hard to make it that much better for you. Please know that if I do have to fuss, I am coming from a place of love and compassion. I only want what is best from you and sometimes that means that we have to stop playing and listen. I hope you never feel like I don’t care because in truth, I love each of you as if you were my own children. I promise to do everything I possibly can to keep you safe and healthy while you are in my care. In our classroom we are a family.
If you get upset, I ask that you please tell me. I want to know if I have hurt your feelings so that I can make necessary changes to be better for you. I am not perfect and will make mistakes so I hope that you will teach me and help me to be better during those times. Just as you will need me, I will also need you.
Even though we will only be together for a short time, our lives will forever be touched by one another and for that, I thank you. The chance to be your teacher is already making me into a better person. You are impacting my life more than you will ever know and I will remember each and every one of you for many years.
I leave you with one final thought. Today, you are beginning your educational journey. You are about to spend the next thirteen years learning and discovering who you want to make of your life. I want to encourage you to dream big. I want you to become more than you ever could have imagined. Today is the first day of the rest of your life and you have a chance to make it into anything. Never give up, work hard, and always persevere. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that are not enough. You don’t need that negativity in your life. I want you to remember that I think you are enough. You are smart, loving, and kind and are going to grow up to be an amazing person. Don’t ever forget that! And if for some reason you do forget, come back and see me and I will try to help you remember.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life and I believe that you are going to become a truly phenomenal person.
And one more time so you don’t forget, you are enough.
To all of my teacher friends, and all of the other teachers in the world, I wish you all an amazing school year. I hope that you and your students grow in more ways than you ever thought possible. With the right encouragement, we really can mold these little minds to change the world and that is truly amazing!