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Congratulations on your first year down!
Teachers are the most underpaid, under appreciated people who we put in charge of our children for several hours a day.
A teacher.. a GOOD teacher who actually makes a difference in someone's life is a most wonderful thing.. I still remember the one teacher in my life who made that difference..
I found a plaque once that I gave to her..
perhaps one day someone will give you the same inscription.
"You have touched me...I have grown"


this post brought tears to my eyes. You are such a good teacher and so full of good ideas and good intentions, you thoroughly deserve those two rewarding end-of-year experiences. Remember that for every kid like your gift-giver, there are others with less self-awareness or confidence who were equally touched by you but you may never hear from them, or you might hear from them in 20 years. Have a great summer!


Congrats on being done with your year one! (Unfortunatly, mine still has 5 more weeks to go).
your post reminded me of my favorite teaching quote, "A good teacher makes himself increasingly unnecessary." Congrats on being there!


Those two events are reminders of why we do what we do. Now print out that post, stick it on your wall, and read it next year when things get hairy again! Good for you . . .


You're right, it is a hard job. Being a parent is probably harder, but being a teacher is often the same as being a parent. Your last days have been amazing ... how cool is it that these are just your FIRST last days? You will have many more such moments. Keep learning. A teacher who makes a difference, is one who never stops learning how to do it better! Refresh over vacation!


Congrats on your first year down, may it be the first of many more...and enjoy your break - you deserve it!


Congrats on your first year down, may it be the first of many more...and enjoy your break - you deserve it!

When Pigs Sing

Wow! Awesome post! Congratulations on your first year...the second is the best, because you KNOW what you're doing. You can improve on everything you did the year before. Good luck! You sound like a fabulous teacher.


Amazing post. You said what was in my heart. As frustrating as teaching can be, it truly is the best job in the world. Those little moments, when you KNOW you've affected someone's life, make all the bad times worth it. Like someone else said, print out this post and read it over and over again next year on the days that are most difficult. Enjoy the summer!


I'm proud of you.


congrats on the end to the first year. It doesn't get easier, but only because you try new things and continue to push your teaching limits. But your words offer insight for a lot of teachers, new and veteran.


one more year we made it through. now you can come over and play!


Dear sis,

Your post had me in tears. I am so happy for you! Your passion has paid off. I'm so glad that you've gotten a little taste of what a difference you can make and how important what you do is!


Long-time lurker, here --

I have a photo of the last day of my first year -- I'm sweaty (no air con., of course), my hair is messy, I look utterly exhausted, and I'm completely thrilled because I'm standing with two of my best students who'd asked me to pose for a picture with them. In fact, many of them had asked for photos, and none of them wrote anything nasty in my yearbook. It was a wonderful day.

I had the same warm-fuzzies going on at the end of my fourth year. In fact, I loved those kids so much that I had tears in my eyes as I stood outside with my colleagues waving the buses out of the parking lot. "No kids could ever be as great as these kids," I said tearfully to my teaching pal. "Yeah," she said, "it's hard to leave them."

Just then, T, one of our beloved, leaned out of his bus window and yelled, "Hey, Teachers! Show us your BOOBS!" We looked at each other, laughed, and had an easier time letting go.

Anyway -- Congrats! I love your blog.


I read your blog sometimes at school when I get down (or when I'm too mentally exhausted to actually think after the last bell rings). I'm so glad you're coming away from your first year energized and optimistic...you are such a wonderful teacher and thinker!

P.S. Another way to feel great about your job is to ask students to sign your yearbook. I was convinced I'd get foul language and scrawled words of hate, but the kids were REALLY nice. A particularly difficult student wrote, "I'm sorry I've had such a bad semester. You're still a great teacher."

Enjoy your summer!

Expat Nomad

WOW! You did a much better job with your first year than I did. I managed to set a student on fire, almost get a formal letter of reprimand, got accused of sleeping with another teacher, and starting getting gray hair.

And believe it or not, it was the worst year I've ever had and its been such a fun job ever since. I was in the process of thinking about changing my profession after next school year but decided that I just can't leave the classroom. But its those little things that keep you coming back and the smile upon your face that make this rollercoaster ride worth it all.

See ya next year, ya non-rookie! ;)

Chris Lehmann

Congratulations... it does get easier to manage the highs and lows of the job as you go, and it stays just as rewarding. (Maybe moreso!)


Hipteacher: I've followed your blog for almost the entire school year. Your authenticity, concern for students, and commitment to excellence is inspiring. From 10,000 miles away from that southern state of yours, I say, "Kudos." We need more teachers like you.


Your actual day is the stuff of my dreams! I'm preparing to begin teaching writing in the fall, and I am very inspired by teachers like you!


Welcome to the amazing world of teaching! You are destined to have more positive experiences. I can tell by the "voice" in your writing that you were born to teach. You get it already. One thing I recommend that you do so you never forget how important you are is to make a file folder right now, label it "I'm Good!" or "Fan Mail" or whatever. This will be the file where you store all the commentary, compliments, cards, letters, awards, etc. that you will earn thrughout your remarkable teaching career. After 25 years, my folder is so big it takes up half the file drawer. Every other year or so, when I take the time to clean out my files, I stop long enough to read over some of the hundreds of affirming notes of gratitude that my students and their parents have written to me over the years. It reminds me of why I love teaching. It's all about the satisfaction that comes from making a difference, no matter how small, in the life of a child. You go, girl! The best is yet to come.


i saw you walking through town, next to the bank, with another girl. it was good to see you. you probably wouldn't recognize me - longer hair, put on some weight, driving an suv. still, it was good to see you.


You don't know me - I came across your blog thanks to my badass advisor at UW. All I can say is, wow. As a future teacher, I'm thrilled to read about (and hopefully learn from) your experiences.


Nicely done.

Just wait until the second year. I did quite a bit of work improving my lesson plans; it was amazing how much easier and smoother year two was.


Susan Taylor Brown

Wow. Just surfing for information about blogs and teachers and writing and stuff. Fabulous post and I predict you have a great teaching future ahead of you.

I credit a teacher like you with the fact that I am a professional writer for children today.

Write on, right now.
Susan Taylor Brown


I'm in a similar position and have really enjoyed reading bits of your blog recently. Well done!

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