Dear Me on the First Day of School

Dear Me on the First Day of School | read more at

Dear Me on the First Day of School,

You’re excited and ready to take on this new challenge. You’ve just spent the last four years of your life preparing for this day. The moment that was only a far off dream a few years ago is finally here. You have your own classroom. You decorated it perfectly. You have made your first real set of lesson plans. And you are about to meet all of your students for the first time. You feel prepared, nervous and a little anxious for what’s coming up. Don’t worry! When the kids walk in, the nerves will go away and you will know that this is what you are supposed to do.

When things finally settle down after the first few weeks of school, don’t let work get in the way of life. Don’t stop doing the things you love to do. Keep running and cooking dinners for you and Isaac. Don’t stop taking Lillie to the dog park, and open up to the new friends that will come in to your life. Things at school and home will be much more rewarding when you remember to take care of you, and not just the 38 students you’ll have this year.

Don’t forget your passion for teaching when times get tough. This year will be challenging. There will be days when you go home and cry. You will face times when you feel like you’re talking to an empty class, and others when you are so overwhelmed with life that you feel like you’re drowning. Don’t forget why you are teaching when your students come up and say they hate your class. Don’t let it get to you when your encouragement and feedback fall on deaf ears. And most of all, don’t forget that you are here for them. Because when you come to the end of the school year, those students who you thought you weren’t reaching will come up to you, tears falling down their cheeks, and tell you they will miss you and thank you for all you did this year.

When you look back on your first weeks and months of teaching, instead of focusing on everything that could have (and did) go wrong, choose to think about the good things that happened and look forward to the things yet to come. Look for the big grin your student will have when you read their poem to the class. Listen for those cheers of excitement when they hear you read books to them. Enjoy their sweet hugs, high fives and fist bumps when they show you how much they love you. Engrave the image of their smiling faces when they come in from recess and are ready to learn. And guard the memories of their looks of surprise when they realize how much they’ve grown over the year and how proud you are of them.

You are about to start a new chapter in life. This chapter will feel long and short at the same time. It will be full of laughter, tears, stress and joy. It will hold the memories of new friendships, time with family, quiet moments with God, and more love than you could ever imagine. Push through the tough times! You can do it, and you will finish this year stronger, wiser and much more humble than you started.

And most importantly, Me on the First Day of School, don’t forget to smile.

With love,
You After Your First Year of Teaching


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  1. Rica Lewis

    June 6th, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Awesome journey! I applaud you for taking the leap into the classroom! Good work, teacher. :)

  2. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    June 9th, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Thank you Rica! It was a very rewarding year, for sure!

  3. Shann Eva

    June 6th, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    This is awesome! I love hearing a teacher’s perspective on school, as my son just started this year. Sounds like you had some challenges, but learned a lot. I’m sure you’re going to rock your second year!

  4. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    June 9th, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Thanks Shann!! It was an awesome year and I learned so much. I can’t wait for next year!

  5. Jessica Bradshaw

    June 6th, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Congrats, gorgeous!! Way to go! The first year is always SO SO hard. I am proud of you and all you have done this year. <3

  6. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    June 9th, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Aw thanks Jessica! It was such a rewarding year full of growth and learning. I can’t wait for next year!

  7. linda spiker

    June 6th, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Fabulous! You survived!

  8. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    June 9th, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    I did!! Thanks Linda :)

  9. Lisa Koivu

    June 6th, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    This is such a great idea. Congratulations on completing your first year of teaching and best wishes for many more!

  10. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    June 9th, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Thank you Lisa! I’m glad it’s summer, but ready for next year :)

  11. Chrissa - Physical Kitchness

    June 6th, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Love this! My sister is going to school for teaching, so I am sending her this post. :)

  12. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    June 9th, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Thanks Chrissa!! I hope she enjoys it :)

  13. Jenny

    June 6th, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Love this! My mom was a teacher so I am sure she went through all of these emotions. Congrats on finishing your first year :)

    xoxo, Jenny

  14. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    June 9th, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Oh being a teacher is definitely a roller coaster ride! Thank you Jenny!

  15. Denay DeGuzman

    June 6th, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Woo-hoo! You made it through your first wonderful year of teaching. When my girls were school-aged I was the PTA president at both the elementary- and middle-school levels. I greatly admire teachers for all the love, sweat and tears they give to the children in their classrooms. I salute you and all educators. You’re absolutely fabulous!

  16. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    June 9th, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    I did!! Thank you for your sweet words, Denay!

  17. Janella Panchamsingh

    June 7th, 2016 at 7:33 am

    congrats on completing the first year! you did it now time to kick a few more off the list

  18. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    June 9th, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Thank you so much Janella!

I'm becca, and I'm so glad you're here.

I'm a sinner saved by grace who loves staying active and eating healthy. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Isaac, and I'm mama to James and an adorable puppy named Lillie.

meet becca

healthy living blogger


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