Your First Year Teaching Means Grieving Your Former Self


When you step into the world of teaching, you embark on a new journey filled with challenges, opportunities, and growth. As you embark on your first year teaching, you will also begin the process of letting go of your former self and embracing your new identity as an educator. This transformation can be both exciting and daunting, but ultimately it is an essential part of your personal and professional development.

Facing the Challenge:

The first year of teaching is a whirlwind of new experiences, high expectations, and endless tasks to juggle. As a fledgling educator, there may be moments where you feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities that now rest on your shoulders. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings rather than suppress them. Give yourself permission to grieve the loss of your former life—a time that was perhaps filled with more freedom and fewer obligations.

Parting Ways With the Past:

In order to fully embrace your new role as a teacher, it’s vital to relinquish control over some aspects of your former self. For example, there might be hobbies or social activities that need to take a back seat in order to allocate more time for lesson-planning or marking homework. While this can be difficult at first, eventually you will adapt and find new ways to enjoy those activities—or maybe even discover some new passions along the way.

Embracing the New You:

As your first-year teaching progresses, you will begin to build strong connections with your students and experience the joy of making a positive impact on their lives. This is what makes the transition worth every sacrifice. Allow yourself time to grieve for what has been lost but also start appreciating the rewards that come with your newfound role.

Nurturing Growth:

In addition to redefining who you are as an individual, this transformative period also offers opportunities for personal growth and development. Use this first year as a chance to embrace change and learn from both your successes and failures. Seek support from colleagues, mentors, or join professional networks that can provide guidance and encouragement throughout your journey.

Looking Forward:

After the initial upheaval of your transition,closing of the first year’s mark as a teacher reveals a new you—one that is more resilient, adaptable, and purpose-driven. By fully embracing the profound impact you can make in the lives of your students and learning to adapt in your ever-evolving role, you will pave the way toward a successful and fulfilling career in education.


Your first year of teaching involves a grieving process as you say goodbye to your former self and welcome your new identity as an educator. Embrace this journey by acknowledging the difficulties, celebrating your achievements and nurturing personal growth along the way. In doing so, you will find yourself stronger, more self-assured, and better equipped to fulfill your mission as an educator in the years to come.

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