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First Year Teacher Program


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Diary of a First Year Teacher

Joseph Herr
Barbara Zielinski

Diary of a First Year Teacher

About the Diaries

What is it really like to be a first year teacher? Reading Rockets asked new teachers to write their thoughts and to share an honest look at the difficulties and rewards of having their own class for the first time. Their diaries are inspiring, informative, and at times humorous. You'll see the diarists' growth as teachers even as they observe the growth of their students. Click on the names below to read about their experiences and see what the future may hold for you!


Meet the Teachers

Joseph HerrJoseph Herr
Arlington, VA
Kindergarten Teacher
2003-04 School Year

Barbara ZielinskiBarbara Zielinski
Middletown, NJ
First Grade Teacher
2002-03 School Year



First Year Teacher was a pilot project of Reading Rockets, which is service of WETA, Washington D.C.'s flagship public television station. Funding for First Year Teacher was provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs; The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; and The Overbrook Foundation.

© 2004 WETA