As I enter my eleventh year in education, I have spent a lot of time reflecting back to my first year. A decade into my career, I am making a transition from the classroom to an instructional coaching position. This has caused much thought about what I know now and what I knew way back in August of 2016. I thought about writing a letter to all first year teachers, but that seemed too presumptuous - who am I to give them advice when I don't really know them. Instead, I've composed a letter to the twenty-three year old version of myself containing the advice I would want to give him if I could go back in time. Here it goes:
It's me. Or you. Or both of us, I guess. Let me start by telling you that million dollar heated toilet seat idea you had was already invented. Sorry, man, I know how proud you were of that one. This letter isn't really about your failed inventions, though. It is about that career you've chosen - the journey on which you are so scared to embark in a few days. I'm about to start my eleventh year in education and I have some advice for you (Or is it me? Still not sure how to address you...) that might just make it better. The following list is a result of ten years of mistakes, triumphs, and experience. I hope you take it to heart.