Maggie is a 2019 grad now teaching at Bancroft Elementary in Kennett Square, PA. She teaches 1-5 grade Life Skills (special education). Maggie has some advice for future teachers: "My first year I had five students and four paraprofessionals in my classroom, so I quickly learned I was managing many different counterparts each day. In college, I had aspirations of the teacher I was going to be, as I’m sure you do, too! Don’t lose sight of them in your first year, but also realize it may take you time to build up to them. More than half of my students’ families spoke Spanish, making parent communication an overwhelming and laborious endeavor. It was heart breaking not being able to pick up the phone and call home to share a proud moment with a parent. Especially when I knew my non-verbal students wouldn’t be able to independently share it with them either. I was overwhelmed and working 12 hour days and still taking work home. By October, I had settled into a routine of choosing one thing to improve from the week before. Just one. Sometimes it was adding in new task bins, fine tuning paraprofessional schedules, and sometimes it was as simple as taking my lunch break. Choose one thing at a time, and do it well. By December, I had found a solution to my communication barrier with the help of a colleague and the TalkingPoints app. You won’t have your perfect classroom or be your vision of the “perfect teacher” on day one, and that’s ok. Appreciate every smile and laugh you get from your students. You already know that’s why we do what we do. When you get overwhelmed, and you will (it’s normal!), take a breath and choose one thing. Love your students, and find unwavering grace for yourself."