Blog Archives

Letters to a First Year Teacher: The Compilation

Dear First Year Teacher,

We have all been in the same place as you as your are about to start your first year teaching and we wanted to give you some thoughts and advice from our individual perspectives. Below are 19 different letters from teachers of various subjects (mostly math and physics). The letters are also compiled as a Google Doc or pdf for those who would prefer the advice in that form as opposed to clicking through various teaching blogs. If you are looking for great teachers to follow on twitter and great blogs to read, this is a wonderful (though of course not complete) list that would be a great place to start.

*Note 1: If you would still like to submit a letter, go for it! I will update, and Drawing on Math will still compile them here.
*Note 2: The quotes I picked for each post are not the titles of the original posts as written by the writers – they are somewhat random quotes from somewhere in their letter that I thought were poignant, unique, or interesting.

Sam Shah, @samjshah, on Continuous Everywhere But Differentiable Nowhere

Daniel Schneider, @MathyMcMatherso, on Mathy McMatherson

Jason Buell, @jybeull, Always Formative

Grace Chen, @graceachen, on Educating Grace

Kelly O’Shea, @kellyoshea, on Physics! Blog

Breedeen Murray, @btwnthenumbers, on The Space Between the Numbers

Mimi Yang, @untilnextstop, on I Hope This Old Train Breaks Down

John Burk, @occam98, on Quantum Progress

Sophie Germain, @sophgermain, on A Brand New Line

Bowman Dickson, @bowmanimal, on Bowman in Arabia

Michael Pershan, @mpershan, on Rational Expressions

Fawn Nguyen, @fawnpnguyen, on her Untitled Blog

Tina C, @crstn85, on Drawing on Math

Joe Kremer, @josephlkremer, on Observations First

Renee, @approx_normal, on Approximately Normal

on Room 289 Math

Stephen Lazar, @SLazarOtC, on Outside the Cave

Emily H, posted here on Bowman in Arabia

Tom H, posted here on Bowman in Arabia

[Updated 7/2]

 Kate Nowak, @k8nowak, on f(t)

Laura Kinnel, @LauraKinnel, on Continuous Reflection

Jackie Ballarini, @jackieb, on Continuities

Lance Bledsoe, @bledsoe, on his Untitled Blog

Call for Advice for New Teachers

[Edit: Here is my final compilation of the letters, also available at Drawing on Math]

I have a few friends that are starting to teach this upcoming school year and they emailed me asking for advice. It feels a bit strange being asked for this advice, as I still feel so new myself, but I realize that there is so much that I would want to say to someone starting teaching to help them along what is inevitably a difficult experience. From a quick poll on twitter, I realize that everyone else has so much to say too… and it’s not always the same things! So, with some encouragement from twitter colleagues, I am collecting advice for new teachers.

Please help the first year teachers in the world by writing a letter to a new teacher.

Include advice, anecdotes, resources – whatever you want! It could be as long or as short as you want. I’ll give everyone a little more than a week for submissions, and then I’ll compile the advice in a blog post with links to your blog (which could be a really cool jumping off point for someone trying to join the blogosphere) and also in a document if you have new teachers that you want to just send something.

Just make sure to mention me on twitter with any submissions (@bowmanimal). I’ll compile everything between blog posts and tweets (and @crstn85 will compile blog posts at Drawing on Math’s #matheme page too, so it would be good to add that hashtag too). If you don’t have a blog or twitter, feel free to email me submissions to me – bowman.g.dickson at gmail dot com.