"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."--Lao Tzu. But is the teacher ready? That's the question that haunts every teacher that fateful first day in the classroom. Making it through that day and the 179 school days that follow is how every career in education--and lifelong learning--truly begins. In this collection, fifty teachers share the trials, tribulations, and triumphs they've experienced during their first year on the job. Organized along the lines of the school calendar, these touching tales illustrate the learning curve experienced by new teachers: Facing Day One; Meeting the Students; Surprising the Students; Bonding with Faculty and Staff; Being Surprised by the Students; Watching the Students Bloom; Saying Farewell. From the hilariously obsessive-compulsive preparation of a rookie English professor to the poignant lesson a bold third grader imparts upon his novice teacher about love and acceptance, this moving collection is sure to motivate new and veteran teachers alike.