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Welcome

to the profession, My wish for you is that you start your journey as an educator committed to learning, fostering your curiosity through deep, satisfying relationships with your colleagues, students, the content you teach as well as yourself. At the center of the educational experience is a complex relationship among teacher, student, and content (Liston, 2004, p. 459). I am sure you have had a teacher who deeply loved the content they he/she taught, loved working with students each and every day, and you felt that enthusiasm...that passion for teaching. It may be why you chose to teach. Enthusiasm is contagious. Passionately committed teachers are those who absolutely love what they do. They are constantly searching for more effective ways to reach their children, to master the content and methods of their craft. They feel a personal missionto learning as much as they can about the world, about others, about themselves and helping others to do the same (Zehm and Kottler, 1993, p.118). As a teacher new to the profession, it will be important that you surround yourself with other teachers who have the same zeal for learning and teaching. Passionate, engaged teachers are not hard to find, you just have to look in the right place. Committed, enthusiastic and emotionally energetic teachers are generally found huddled in a group of students, serving on committees for the building or supervising extra curricular activities. They are often the first teacher to welcome you to the building. That same person may become someone you might consider a mentor. Do your best to build strong, lasting relationships with colleagues who are passionate about teaching and learning. Thayer-Bacon (2004) discusses how knowledge develops when people have shared experiences with each other and the world around them as an opportunity to improve on ideas that they have had individually or collectively. Often these shared models of classroom management, pedagogy or content knowledge were passed down to them from someone else. As your collegial relationships grow, I hope that you

will be able to use what works for you to create an even better experience for you and your students, yet have the understanding that you have to be yourself. What works for someone else, might not work for you. Relationships matter. While relationships with colleagues will be key to your success in your first year, relationships with you students are even more critical. Relationships with students are likely the most important factor that impacts student achievement (Marzano, 2011). Positive relationships with students will decrease classroom management issues and foster a love of the content you teach in your students as well as motivate them to achieve at higher levels. It is not difficult to build a positive classroom culture when your students know you are interested in their lives, that you are available for them outside of class time and will advocate for them if they need support outside of your classroom, and if they know you will never give up on them. Your students will carefully examine the relationship you have with your content area; this relationship will be embraced by and celebrated through a display of love of learning as an invitation to your students to be part of a special club. For some students, members of that club may be learning to speak a new language, some may be ecstatic about solving quadratic equations or sharing their poetry with anyone who will listen. Teaching, at its heart, is the creation of connections among teacher, student, and content so that educational experiences can be had. A love of learning, or inquiry, of coming to know is an essential ingredient in creating this web of interconnections (Liston, 2004, p. 460). Share your love for your content and learning with your students. You will be amazed at the results. Growing along with your students will be an extremely satisfying feeling. You may experience moments of extreme energy followed by an exhaustion you have not ever known. Staying healthy by balancing your work and personal lives (Day, 2004) is essential, yet challenging. Take care of yourself by establishing good routines: eat well, exercise often, get plenty of

sleep and do not forget to pay attention to your relationships outside of the workplace. You will need them to get through this exciting time. grow. Welcome to the profession. Teaching is the most demanding, yet rewarding lifestyle you will ever know. I look forward to working with you and watching you