Dear Incoming First-years,
Congratulations!! I’m glad you’re coming to Mississippi! It’s a beautiful state with beautiful paradoxes. Come ready to learn.
I think I only have two or three pieces of advice. First, have confidence in yourself. Your students will not run you out of town or kill you. They will probably really like and respect you after the first few months, even though they will constantly challenge your authority. Don’t waste time evaluating if you are up to the challenge (especially in the morning). You are. Now get moving.
The two years will pass. This means that (a) your hellish days that seem to go on forever won’t, and the endless weeks will pass; and (b) don’t put things off. Don’t put off going to school functions, talking casually with your students, parents and community members. Jump at the chance to talk with a neighbor or join in on Mississippi culture and events. There’s a lot more to do than there seems to be, and it’s tempting to schedule these experiences for “after my grading is done.”
Related to that is something I’ve learned only recently: organize your physical classroom, bedroom, car, closet, space, whatever. There is so much potential for chaos in the classroom—papers, behavior, missing assignments, etc—that it helps for your surroundings to be in order. Just last week I cleaned my desk off completely (first time I’ve ever had a completely empty desk top) and it feels great. It’s such a silly little thing, but I feel more peaceful because of it.
I guess that’s really all I have to say. Fun and beautiful things will happen, and I’m excited for you to come. Best of luck!
Give love to your 3rd years this summer!