Memoirs of The First Year of Teaching

shelved under Education

Nothing compares to the first year of teaching: the highs, the lows, and the NoDoz. Few things require as much planning, creativity, energy, and determination as surviving the first year managing your own classroom. Here's a selection of books that capture the challenges facing novice teachers and provide insight into what gets them up and over that steep first year learning curve.


Letters to a Young Teacher

by Jonathan Kozol

Jonathan Kozol has been documenting the failures of public education for a long time, yet this book gives optimism to those who still choose to enter the teaching profession. As a series of letters which draw on years of experience among schoolchildren, it addresses the larger forces at play in American schools as well as the critical role of the individual teacher.


Ms. Moffett's First Year: Becoming a Teacher in America

by Abby Goodnough

Changing careers is hard, but what compares to entering a first grade classroom in New York City with no teaching experience? This book traces Ms. Moffett’s struggles with adapting to her new job as well as her successes in the often-harsh and isolating world of public education.


The Great Expectations School: A Rookie Year in the New Blackboard Jungle

by Dan Brown, foreword by Randi Weingarten

A novice teachers enters a 4th grade class in the Bronx, and faces probably the greatest challenge in his life. Yet he perseveres, and not only sheds light on the education system but his own growth as well.

This book also appears on Teacher Memoirs


My First Year as a Teacher

edited by Pearl Rock Kane

A diverse collection of teachers share their first experiences entering the classroom. While no two stories are alike, they all share the challenges of entering a new environment and learning to connect to students, fellow teachers and administrators.

This book also appears on Teacher Memoirs


The First Days Of School: How To Be An Effective Teacher

by Harry K. Wong; Rosemary T. Wong

This book has become a classic, taking teachers through the basic steps of preparing to welcome students into their classroom for the first time. It helps new teachers think deliberately about the issues they’ll face and proactively establish systems and routines to deal with them.


Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year

by Esmé Raji Codell

This hilarious diary of a first year teaching 5th grade illustrates the idealism of novice teachers, and manages to show it flourishing rather than hardening under the realities of classroom life. It’s an honest portrayal of all the feelings, good and bad, that teachers experience.

This book also appears on Teacher Memoirs