Honest Advice for Teachers


This is an open letter to those teachers who, like myself, have been teaching for a while and can see the end of their career coming.



Dear Teachers, 

I am here to share with you my insight after teaching for 22 years.  Perhaps you feel the same way as I do or perhaps you have a ways to go in your career.  Either way, I hope you gain something from this letter and leave a little more inspired and comfortable in your own teaching. 

teacher quotes

You have been teaching long enough to see trends come and go and then come back again. What is new to some you recognize as a re-packaging of something that was "new" earlier in your career. This is your opportunity to step up and share your knowledge and let people learn from your experiences. Resist the temptation to point out that this trend, whatever it may be, is old news.  Take the lead.

teacher quotes

You have been teaching long enough to also know that you don't need to jump on the bandwagon of every new thing that comes down the line.  You have experience on your side and "know" what works for kids.  If there is a choice, pick and choose what you know will work best for kids and quietly leave it at that.

teacher quotes

You have been teaching long enough to know there will also be others in your building ready to give you advice.   Perhaps it is the new teacher who is fresh from Teacher's College and wants to bring you up to speed on the "newest trends".  It might be the teacher down the hall who feels like they are an expert and feels the strong urge to let everyone know that.  Don't let this phase you.  You have been around for a while and know what you are doing.  Don't second guess yourself.  You are successful, you have made it this far in your career.   Don't let others make you believe otherwise.

teacher quotes

You have been teaching long enough to know that you can't do it all and hopefully have reached the stage in your career to accept that as the reality of teaching and LET IT GO!  You will see many teachers in your building totally overwhelmed by the need to be all things and do all things.  Reach out to them and speak from experience.  My advice is to focus on what you can do and do it really well while working on growing in other curriculum areas.  I for one feel like I am a very strong literacy teacher but know that I still have room for growth in science and social studies.  We continue to grow as educators throughout our entire career.  Embrace your strengths.

You have been teaching long enough that you can see that retirement date in the not so distant future. For me it is under 10 years now.  I have 22 years of teaching under my belt.  I believe that is quite an accomplishment.  As each new year dawns I hope you feel the same excitement of setting up your room and preparing for a new group of students.  I hope you continue to love coming to work each day and teaching and learning with your students.  You are at a point in your career when you can see the end but you are enjoying the ride until you get there.  Embrace the journey!


Click on any of the links below to visit the blog post about each of these other teachers. Chances are you'll be in one of these shoes sooner than you realize!
~An Open Letter to a New Teacher
~An Open Letter to the Teacher in the Prime of her Career
~An Open Letter to a Teacher in a Rut
~Open Letter to the Retired Teacher

12 comments

  1. Love this! Even after just eight years in education, I feel like I can already see some trends come and go. If you switch schools you'll see new things. This is sound advice for those at ANY part of their career! <3
    ~Heather aka HoJo~

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    1. Thanks Heather. Change seems to be the catch phrase for education...we are constantly making changes. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my post.

      Christina

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  2. I LOVE this post!! I'm hoping to retire in about 10 years as well. This is great advice for all teachers!

    -karen

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    1. Thanks Karen! 10 years isn't that far away is it? Thanks for stopping by.

      Christina

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  3. I just finished year 28 today with 12 to go (Goin' for 40!). Everything you have said is absolutely true.

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    1. Wow, that is quite an accomplishment Theresa! I don't think I could make 40 years but kudos to you for aiming for it. Thanks so much for stopping by an checking out the post.

      Christina

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  4. Awesome post! These are exciting times!! :)

    ~Erin
    Mrs. Beattie’s Classroom

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    1. Thanks Erin. They certainly are...always lots of changes to look forward to.

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  5. Just finished year 30 in the same district ( 31 total) and can relate to everything you said in your letter. It made me smile & say "yep", "yep", "yep"! Though the methods & demands have seen changes, it's still about kids & helping them to become productive young men & women who reach their goals! That will never change. Teach them well... They are our future. Ready to start year 32 in the fall & still going strong!
    Nancy

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  6. Wow! That is an amazing accomplishment to reach that many years in the profession It is wonderful to hear that you are still feeling great about teaching.

    Christina

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  7. I hear ya! 27 years in grade 1 and 7 more to go! I like the "stay quiet and wear a big smile"..helps at staff meetings! HAHA Wendy 1stgradefireworks

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  8. Love this post! I have been teaching for 29 years! - and it feels like it has happened in the blink of an eye in some ways! Lots of good advice here! I can say that I enjoy teaching as much today as I did when I started! Is it without struggle? No, but I still find the passion for what I'm doing.

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