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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

My daughter got "The New Teacher"

August 15, 2007

We got our letters yesterday that let us know which teachers our kids will have this year. Anna, our rising kindergartener, got the same teacher Molly had, and we're thrilled. She's a fabulous teacher — she's nurturing, smart, and runs her classroom so smoothly that it's tough to believe there are actually 14–16 five- and six-year-olds in it.

I don't recognize the name of Molly's teacher, our rising first grader. Could it be she got THE NEW TEACHER?

Thinking about that immediately brings me back to my first year of teaching in 1988, and the absolutely horrifying back-to-school night I experienced.

First, I forgot to invite the parents to sit down, so we all stood around in an awkward group for 45 minutes as I explained our daily schedule and upcoming year. I remember shifting from foot to foot, and feeling like the whole group was standing WAY too close!

Second, I tried to assure the parents that despite it being my first year of teaching, they were so fortunate to have me because I was so FULL of enthusiasm, insight, and newly-graduated-from-college information. I'm pretty sure I heard some snickering from the back of the group.

But, I survived that year (barely!), and so did the class. And I'm sure Molly will too, if she indeed does end up with THE NEW TEACHER. We have Open House this week, so I'll let you know!

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"I feel the need of reading. It is a loss to a man not to have grown up among books." —

Abraham Lincoln