Advice for First Year Teachers

Last year my sister Kate was a first year teacher. I wanted to do something really special for her, but I couldn't think of what exactly might work. I'm in Texas and she's in Ohio, so shipping things works, but isn't always convenient. Plus, what does a first year teacher need? Everything.

In thinking about what to do for her, I started to realize that I have a lot of friends who are, or were, teachers. We also have quite a few teachers in our family. I had a ready-made pool of advice for Kate.

I emailed and messaged every teacher I could think of, both friend and family, to get their advice for first year teachers. I got a great response and some really fabulous advice.

But, what to do with it all? That's where the fun really started. I created a template for 3x5 cards and started filling them in with the advice. I broke it all down into simple, useful pieces that I could sent to Kate one at a time, every week during her first year.

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After creating the cards on white card stock, I cut them out and backed them on pretty scrapbook paper. I added embellishments, stickers, and other bits of fun. Then I mailed them off, one or two at a time throughout her first year. (Okay, first half of the year was pretty consistent... second half of the year was a disaster.) With each bit of mail, she got a fun card or note, or some little extra like post-it notes, a magnetic notepad, small things for her classroom, etc.

What a fun project! I thoroughly enjoyed putting it together for her and she really loved the cards. I'm ordering a cute little box for her to put them in so that she can keep them handy and just pull one out whenever she needs a little encouragement or inspiration.

You can print these note cards, too! Share them with your teacher friends and family when they need a little boost. Or pull them out for yourself if you're a teacher and need a little cheering on.

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Kate had a crazy first year, as is often the case. But, she loved it all and she loves her job. She's back at it again this year, doing even more, and I couldn't be more proud of her!

Teachers, what advice would you give a first year teacher? I have more quotes to put into a second set of cards and if you have something wonderful to add, I'd love to include it!

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