Guest Blogger: Sofieh Hopovac Shares about Prepping for the First Day of School

Second year teacher and UTA graduate Sofieh Hopovac shares words of encouragement for new teachers and what resources helped her to get started in a new classroom.

Sofieh Hopovac shares below about getting her classroom ready-to-go to feel ready-to-teach! Many new (and experienced) teaachers can relate to the excitement of getting your room ready for a new group of students! ~Dr. Semingson

“Just remember, as soon as that door shuts, there’s no turning back and you just give it all you have.” I’ll never forget these words a professional development trainer told me during new teacher orientation for Harmony Science Academy.  I asked him how many years he had taught and he told me he had taught for over 10 years and not to ask how old he was! He also said that every year it gets better and better. I laughed and thought to myself that he must be crazy.

After training, I went to the teacher store. It was odd to me how the school gave me a $100 gift card to buy supplies for my room/teaching, but I didn’t know where to begin! So naturally, I looked at Pinterest and got plenty of ideas! I just started buying things and went to my school and began fixing up my classroom. I started to make a list of things I would need to organize like turn-in baskets, bins for notebooks, folders, supply holders for each table,  and etc. Then after a few days, I finally felt like I was ready.

Then the first day of school came and my heart raced.

I did exactly what the professional development trainer told me to do. Those words helped me out so much.

A year of tears and reconsidering my career has passed. I made it to, now, my second year of teaching third grade. I am also the department head of the English Language Arts Reading/Social studies department. I owe it to my education background at UTA and the support of my dear family, especially my mother, and faculty I worked with at my campus.


What part of Sofieh’s narrative resonates with you? Leave your comment below! -Dr. Semingson


  1. admin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thanks for your comment, Pennie! I found that when I taught elementary school, the second and third years were so much easier than the first! It does get easier. Having support systems in place really makes a difference! -Dr. Peggy Semingson

  2. Pennie Grayson says:

    I had the pleasure of Working with Mrs. Hopovac her first year of teaching. I saw her struggle, second guess herself, and question the decision to become a teacher. There were many times I reassured her that she was doing a good job. If anything I can say to encourage a new teacher, every day brings something new. You never know what is going to happen, be flexible and use it as a learning experience. Ms. Hopovac has shown that endurance makes a big difference and has learned from those experiences to make her the teacher she is today.

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