• Beth Ott

Dear New Teacher (in October)

Updated: Oct 13, 2019

Dear New Teacher,

I see you, sitting in your car before you walk into the building, wiping away those tears, trying to calm your anxiety. I see you hold your breath as you walk into your office and look for that flashing red light that indicates a possible phone message from an angry parent. You sit in meetings, trying to figure out what you’re teaching next block. Your mind is overwhelmed with your most difficult student. Your nerves are raw, your emotions spent.


Just breathe.

This feeling won’t last forever. But right now, it feels like it will.

Your students need you at your best self, not the you that is on the verge of tears. So here’s what you do:

  • Talk to your principal, and your department head, and your favorite co-worker. Suffering in silence is a recipe for anxiety.

  • Make an appt with your Dr. and therapist right now. Go see them. Follow their advice.

  • Talk to your students. Talk about feelings. Talk.

  • Plan something to look forward to next week. Maybe it’s dinner out with a friend, maybe it’s checking out a new retail store.

  • When you get home, go for a walk instead of zoning out on your phone/TV. Process the day, and find one thing you were happy about. And then find another. And another.

  • Identify your biggest time suck. And find someone who manages it beautifully. Bring them coffee and ask for advice.

  • Blast your favorite feel good music during your prep.

  • Repeat after me: I am doing the best I can.

It may feel dark and difficult right now. But there will be a time when you find yourself focusing on relationships instead of behaviors. Working with colleagues instead of against. Caring about growth over grades.


Just Breathe. This feeling won’t last forever.

You got this. Because we’ve got you.

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