10 Lessons From My First 6 Years of Teaching


It's no secret that as a teacher you learn a lot of lessons along the way. That's why today I am going to be sharing with you 10 new teacher lessons I learned during my first 6 years of teaching.

It’s no secret that as a teacher you learn a lot of lessons along the way. That’s why today I am going to be sharing with you 10 new teacher lessons I learned during my first 6 years of teaching.

Listen to the Podcast Episode:

Lesson 1: Trust Yourself

When I began my journey as a kindergarten teacher, I was bombarded with advice about being stricter, more serious, and less friendly. I tried various classroom management strategies that just didn’t feel right. It was only when I stopped listening to external voices and trusted my instincts that I found what worked best for me and my students.

Key takeaway: Trust your intuition and what feels right for your classroom.

Lesson 2: You Are Enough

Feeling like I wasn’t doing enough haunted me during my early years of teaching. I was staying late, feeling inadequate compared to others, and striving for perfection. It took time to realize that showing up every day and doing my best was more than enough.

Key takeaway: You are worthy and capable, just as you are.

Lesson 3: The Better It Gets, The Better It Gets

Teaching doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. As I refined my approach and focused on essential tasks, I found that teaching became more manageable and enjoyable. Embracing simplicity and efficiency allowed me to thrive both inside and outside the classroom.

Key takeaway: Streamline your workload to focus on what truly matters—student learning and well-being.

Lesson 4: Embrace Flexibility

Flexibility became my ally during unexpected challenges, like sudden changes in curriculum or unforeseen classroom disruptions. Embracing flexibility not only reduced stress but also allowed me to adapt lessons to better meet my students’ needs in real-time.

Key takeaway: Stay adaptable and open to change for the benefit of your students.

Lesson 5: Cultivate Connection

Building meaningful connections with my students proved to be as crucial as lesson planning. Taking time to understand their interests, challenges, and aspirations created a supportive environment where they felt valued and motivated to learn.

Key takeaway: Prioritize building relationships to foster a positive classroom community.

Lesson 6: Learning Never Stops

My journey as an educator has been a continuous learning process. Whether through professional development opportunities or insights gained from colleagues, I’ve embraced the idea that there’s always something new to learn and improve upon.

Key takeaway: Commit to lifelong learning and professional growth.

Lesson 7: Self-Care Is Non-Negotiable

Balancing the demands of teaching with personal well-being required intentional self-care practices. From setting boundaries to prioritizing time for relaxation and hobbies, taking care of myself enabled me to be more present and effective in the classroom.

Key takeaway: Make self-care a priority to sustain your passion and energy.

Lesson 8: Celebrate Progress, Big and Small

Acknowledging and celebrating student progress, no matter how small, became a cornerstone of my teaching philosophy. These celebrations not only boosted students’ confidence but also reinforced the value of perseverance and effort.

Key takeaway: Recognize and celebrate achievements to foster a positive learning environment.

Lesson 9: Seek Support and Collaboration

Connecting with fellow educators provided invaluable support and inspiration. Whether through professional networks, mentorship programs, or online communities, seeking collaboration helped me navigate challenges and discover innovative teaching strategies.

Key takeaway: Lean on your colleagues for guidance and camaraderie.

Lesson 10: Find Joy in the Journey

Amidst the daily challenges and responsibilities, finding joy in teaching became my guiding principle. Whether through creative lesson plans, laughter-filled moments with students, or witnessing their ‘aha’ moments, embracing the joy of teaching renewed my passion and purpose.

Key takeaway: Embrace joy as a driving force in your teaching journey.


Reflecting on my first six years of teaching has reinforced the importance of authenticity, resilience, and continuous growth. These lessons have shaped not only my approach to education but also my journey as “The Present Teacher.” As you navigate your own teaching path, I encourage you to embrace these lessons, trust in your abilities, and find fulfillment in making a positive impact on your students’ lives.

Thank you for joining me on this milestone episode of the Present Teacher Podcast. Here’s to many more years of learning and teaching together!


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Here we break down 10 questions to ask the hiring committee at the end of your teacher interview. PLUS possible red and green flag answers to keep an eye out for.

These teacher interview questions will help you confidently prepare for your upcoming teacher interview, discover the perfect district for you to work for, and know with confidence how to stand out during your next interview from other candidates.

See you in the next one, teacher bestie!