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What to Do When You Get Your Curriculum (and Start Freaking Out)

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Show Notes:

There’s always so much to do at the beginning of a new school year. The busyness comes with stress, overwhelm, and way too little sleep! Then there’s the panic that sets in when you get your curriculum for the year…especially as a new teacher.

Getting your curriculum is scary. It feels heavy, and you may be frantically wondering how in the world you’re going to get to everything that you’re supposed to teach (especially when you may not even know it all yourself). 

Where are you going to get all the resources to teach the curriculum? Will you have to create them all yourself? Sure, you’ll have the other teachers on your team to help you, but you haven’t even met them yet! 

You feel behind before the year even begins. You’re probably thinking to yourself…I just received a master’s degree in education. Why do I feel so unprepared?

Before you freak out, just know that you are not alone. There are so many other teachers who are feeling the exact same way. To address this stress you’re experiencing, I’m sharing some advice and suggestions that will help you when you get your curriculum this year. 

First of all, remember that although this curriculum is new to you, it isn’t new to other teachers. You have to be bold and resourceful and ask for the help that you need from others. Do not - I repeat, do not - reinvent the wheel for every single resource that you need.

Being a new teacher, you’ve got enough on your plate already, and curriculum shouldn’t be one of those things to worry about. We want to focus on the path of least resistance when it comes to understanding your curriculum, and the best ways to teach it.

So, figure out the easiest and quickest way to get your hands on lesson plans for your curriculum. This might be people on your team, or teachers in Facebook groups that are focused on your curriculum, or even resources from TPT. The important thing is that you’re getting help somewhere to take some off the pressure off. If you try to do everything yourself, it will be the fastest way to burnout. 

Another piece of advice for you is to remember that you don’t need to understand the entire curriculum right now. Go one week at a time. A more thorough understanding of the curriculum will unfold as you go. 

Sometimes we get caught up in being too worried about the weeks to come that you aren’t present in the moment you’re in. This will be one of your biggest challenges, and it will only add to your overwhelm. You have the entire year to figure things out!

It will be so much enjoyable, instead of imagining all the stressors of the future, to focus on implementing the curriculum in a way that is incredible for you and your students. Besides, wouldn’t it require a similar amount of time and energy to imagine all the cool and fun things you could do with the curriculum rather than all the things that could go wrong?

You’ve got this, my friends. If you’re feeling alone right now, be sure to join our private Beginning Teacher Talk Facebook group where you can be part of a community of teachers who are all going through similar experiences that you are!

Inside this week's show, you'll learn:

  • Specific places that you can go to ask for help regarding curriculum, from people outside of your school.
  • Why you need to hold off on creating a whole bunch of things from scratch.
  • How you can focus on doing less, better.
  • About the acronym F.E.A.R. (false evidence appearing real), and what you can do to stop fixating on the worst possible outcomes.
  • Why letting go of perfectionism, and allowing yourself to be a learner, can actually be a great model for your students.

Links & resources mentioned inside this episode:

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.

πŸ’› Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at and at

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