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How to Know if You’re Ready for the School Year

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Show Notes:

Did you grow up knowing that you wanted to be a teacher? I remember being as young as seven years old, and rushing home from school to each my five-year-old brother how to read using my adorable “Mr. Mugs” readers from my second grade classroom. My dad even built us a little playhouse out back, which he turned into a miniature schoolhouse.

I was so enamored with the idea of school and so empowered by everything I was learning. I was just hooked. It was the best feeling in the world to be able to help somebody else to learn.

This is what really sealed the deal for me - I remember very distinctly overhearing my mom tell a friend of hers that I had literally taught my little brother how to read before he went into kindergarten. I'll never forget how wonderful that felt. 

For many of us, teaching isn’t just a job. It’s what we’ve built our whole life around, and what we’re meant to do. There’s no other job where you can help as many people as you can in this profession.

Once you know that you want to be a teacher, your next step is to go to college and do the mandatory four years of education required to make that a reality. Then we enter our student teaching experience. During this time, we usually have a pretty idealistic view of what teaching is going to be like.

After some time student teaching, we quickly realize that much of the theory that we learned in college is much more difficult to apply. We start to see the gaps in what we learned in our university classes and how things actually play out inside the classroom. Still, we have a vision in our heads of how we're going to be an amazing teacher just like the amazing teachers we've had before us. But we underestimate, or are entirely unaware, of the careful strategic planning and years of experience that it really took for that to happen. 

I want to help prepare you for the reality of this learning curve that you’re about to experience as a brand new teacher. I want you to walk into your first year knowing that there is a lot of learning ahead of you. The question of “am I truly ready for the school year?” goes much deeper than “do I know how I’m going to set up my classroom?”. 

I'm not saying any of this to try to scare you. I'm saying all of this to give you a realistic understanding of the expectations that are going to be placed on you during the school year, and to let you know that you do not need to do any of this alone.

You might not have a mentor or teacher at your school right now who has the time to help you navigate all of this - but you definitely have me. I'm here to help you and to support you if you would like some guidance. 

I am going to be holding my very last three masterclasses of the summer over the next couple of weeks and I really encourage you to join me. You're going to walk away from the masterclass with a step by step plan for how to prepare for the school year, beyond setting up and organizing your first classroom. Plus, you’ll receive a one hour PD certificate just for showing up live and staying until the end. You can sign up for this free masterclass by clicking the image below.

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

  • How to know if you’re truly ready for the school year
  • Why the realities of the classroom is not the same as our original idealistic view of teaching 
  • A flashback of the moment that I got the keys to my first classroom, and the overwhelm that immediately hit me
  • A gentle reminder that preparing for your first year of teaching is so much more than setting up your classroom space
  • The truth about the steep learning curve that comes with your first year of teaching
  • An encouragement for you to have the same compassion and patience for yourself as a learner that you're going to have 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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