Tales from a First Year Teacher

Today, I'm excited to have another one of my good friends and co-teachers here to guest blog.  Susannah was a new teacher on our grade level this year and we just fell in love with her from the start....I'm sure you will, too.  Read on to hear about her first year....and don't miss the big surprise!

I am so excited to be a guest on Amanda’s blog! As a first year teacher I am usually searching for blogs just like this one for ideas, not usually writing for them! Amanda’s blog is full of great ideas that work so well with the students. My first year of teaching would not have gone nearly as well without her guidance.

As I look back on my first year of teaching there is only one way to describe it…. a rollercoaster! The summer months were much like waiting in line for the ride. At the end of the line I was confident with all of my ideas and strategies but, the closer I neared the front of the line the more nervous and doubtful I became. However, I climbed on in the ride (alright, probably with a friendly shove from Amanda and Kristen). At first I went through the year holding on so tight I had white knuckles. Most of the time with my eyes closed just hoping to survive! But as the year continued on I started to loosen my grip. I even threw my hands in the air and screamed on the loops with the rest of them. Through all of the nervousness and uneasiness at the end of the ride I was the first to jump out and shout, “Who wants to ride it again?”

This has been a year I will never forget. My first 22 children’s names are forever etched into my brain. My moments of “I won’t ever try that again!” and “Wow, that actually worked” have been filed away to use with future classes.  I try to imagine running into them fifteen years down the road at the grocery store or the mall. I wonder if they will recognize me? I do know they will never fully know the impact they made on me and the special place they hold. They were so much more than a kid in a teacher’s second grade class.  I know when I do have this opportunity no matter how old they get, they will always be 7 years old and my first “Dodson's Diver.”

This year has been full of so many memories for me! From my first field trip, field day, and fire drill to my first parent teacher conference; I have found that experience was my greatest resource. I was fortunate to have such a supportive team to offer advice and tips along the way. This past year my class and I made one particularly special memory together. On May 4th my class played a very important role in changing my life forever. On Friday afternoons my class goes to the portable for art. This particular Friday as I walked to the portable to pick up my class, the art teacher let me know they were behind the portable still working. As I rounded the corner to gather them up, I was met by my sweet class holding up letters that spelled out “Will you marry me?”
I could not think of a more perfect way to be engaged! Everyone who had been such a huge part of my life that year was there!

I will admit that my first year of teaching will be hard to beat, but I am ready for the challenge. I feel with my one year under my belt, I am ready to try many new things with my next class of second graders. I am excited for the surprises and memories we will make together! As I enter my second year of teaching I keep the famous words of my favorite teacher, Ms. Frizzle, in my mind, “Take chances! Get messy! Make mistakes!”


Isn't that the best proposal ever?!  It was like a real life fairytale ending to a first year of teaching....what could be better than that?!  I know I will always remember my first class of 2nd graders because I got married that summer and several of them came to my wedding....such sweet pictures and memories.  What special memories do you have about your very first class of students?  What advice do you have for new teachers?


  1. Awww...that is the best proposal ever! How sweet!

  2. How romantic! Loved your story ~ thanks for sharing.

  3. What a great proposal story! My first class was a great class, but sometimes I look back and worry that I didn't do enough for them because it was my first year. It's hard to believe they are out of high school now!
    Stories by Storie

  4. That is such an amazing proposal story. What a great way to end your first year of teaching. How memorable :)

    My (Not So) Elementary Life

  5. so sweet! One of my teacher bud's husband proposed in front of her kids! I'd have died! Great stuff! Congrats on the first year. They will remember you!

  6. What a wonderful proposal story! SO SWEET!

  7. My husband proposed to me my first year of teaching in my classroom-it was after school and empty. It is so good to meet you!

  8. Oh my goodness, how romantic!! That is such a sweet story. I love hearing stories like that! :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  9. So glad I found your blog!!! I just started blogging, thanks for the inspiration :)


  10. What a SWEET proposal! :) Loved it! The year I got married, I had my students write down their thoughts on love and marriage for me, and then put a quote from one of my students at each persons seat. Our guests loved it and it allowed each one of them to play a part in our day since I wasn't able to invite them to our wedding.
    Fourth and Ten
    Like Fourth and Ten on Facebook!
    Formerly Stories From Second

  11. I LOVE the proposal. Thtat is so sweet.

  12. We make a big difference in the lives of our students. I am giving you the One Lovely Blog Award. Go check it out!


  13. That proposal is the sweetest ever! I have nominated you for some blog awards. Come by to check it out.
    First Class Teacher

  14. I became engaged my first year teaching too! There is one boy I had my first year that I saw every so often over the years (grocery store, movies, shopping) and his mom and him would tell me I was the best teacher he ever had and they still had a picture of him from my class on their refrigerator...12 years later! haha! Made me feel very special!!

    WILD About First Grade!

  15. Thanks for sharing your story! It sounds like you had a very memorable first year teaching. I'm about to graduate this Friday with my Masters and I am so looking forward to my rollercoaster ride! :)


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