Young-looking teachers, do you get grief?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by renard, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. renard

    renard Companion

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    Jul 2, 2015

    From other staff, based on looking not much older than students? Despite being in your 30's and wearing business clothes?
     
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  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Jul 2, 2015

    The best teacher we use to have at our school looked about 18 for the half dozen years she was there. She was kind and professional to all staff, and everyone loved her. I still miss teaching with her. I doubt people care much about how young you look.

    However, I know some veteran teachers who feel that they know so much more because they are 20 years older than a rookie teacher. When I was in my 20s, I worked next to a teacher who was about 50 who treated me like a little kid. I hated it, and to this day, I make sure I treat teachers in their 20s with the utmost respect. I know not all do, but that is due to the age difference and arrogance of some people, not about how young you look.
     
  4. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Jul 2, 2015

    I don't get what you mean my "grief." To me, giving someone grief means making consistent comments that hurt that someone's feelings. I have never had a coworker consistently comment on my youth to the point where I am hurt or upset. Now have other teachers commented on my youth in a not-so-positive way? Absolutely. But I joke about my youth too, like how I don't walk in the halls with students because I can't see over their heads. My height and youthfulness isn't something I can change, so I have as much fun with it as I can.
     
  5. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    Jul 2, 2015

    Hate it.
    I'm in my late 20s, but look 10 years younger.
    On my 27th birthday, I had a lady actually ask, "How old are you, seventeen?"
    My co-workers always think I'm much younger than I am. I've been asked if I'm still in high school!!!!!
    One guy was trying to sell me insurance at my first job after college and assumed I hadn't gone to college yet.
    This is one of the reasons why I can't teach high school; I still look like one of them, no matter what I wear!
    I like the preschoolers because they all think I'm really old :)
    I'm sick of constantly reminding coworkers how old I am
    This baby face is a curse! :)
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 2, 2015

    LOL! Yes! My staff has gotten used to me, and I don't get as many jokes anymore. It's not that I just look young, I am younger by 10 years from the next nearest in age staff member. I'm the baby on campus.

    The staff sometimes joke that I'm younger than their grandchildren (and I am!-and yes, almost all of our staff are old enough to have grandchildren).

    It's not so bad, and it's definitely lessened the longer I've been here. One thing that has been constant though is the grief I get from parents. WITHOUT FAIL, any time I meet a parent, they WILL say "Oh, you look so young, I thought you were one of the students!"

    I'm getting tired of trying to find a way to respond to it. I used to say "I get that all the time," but I don't think they responded well to that so I'm trying out, "Well, thank you!"
     
  7. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Jul 2, 2015

    I look young, but I don't hear too much about it at school. We have several teachers who look young.
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jul 2, 2015

    If you think that you don't like being considered "young", just wait until you are considered "old" before you feel that way. We have a teacher who has been called old and dried up just because she hasn't aged well. Ageism in any form is unpleasant.
     
  9. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    I got stopped in the hall on the way to a classroom one morning at a middle school this year. I'm a sub in my 20s and I look about 16 (or 12, apparently, since it was a middle school)... I was walking to the class and the teacher standing duty said, "Where are you going?"
    I've also gotten lost in 5th grade classes before (teachers poke their heads in looking for the adult in the room) and I don't sub high school for this exact reason...
    So yeah. Just dress professionally and laugh it off when it happens. As long as you act like an adult most kids get over the fact that you look young.
     
  10. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jul 2, 2015

    Yes.

    I've been at the school 12 years, longer than most other staff and am in my mid-30s but I look really young. I hear about it all the time. It doesn't bother me - if anything, it buys me some extra support from my students.
     
  11. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jul 3, 2015

    I get it all the time. I teach middle school and could pass for a middle schooler if I am not careful in how I present myself. I am very baby faced yet I have been teaching TEN years. Other teachers assume I am inexperienced and treat me as such at times. I usually respond with some anecdote about how ten years ago it was like yada yada yada and they realize the error of their ways.

    Yes, I get asked for a hall pass once in awhile. lol.
     
  12. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Jul 5, 2015

    haha! Yes, I used to and still get comments because I am a very small woman and I look younger than my years, according to others (I, on the other hand, don't think I look that different from anyone else my age). I am 38 and have been at the school I work at for 10 years, so over the years I have heard it less, but I notice that some colleagues assume I have been around for fewer than I have.
     
  13. LiterallyLisa

    LiterallyLisa Companion

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    Jul 8, 2015

    I get it everywhere! I am 26, but people say I look 16.

    My students always think that I am 18 at the beginning of the year.

    I've had teachers try to motion me to the right side of the hall--based off corner of their eye visuals, but still. I get lost in the room when a teacher pokes their head in to talk to me. And good luck finding me in the gym at assemblies, they say!

    Cafeteria ladies want to feed me.

    I have had parents ask me if I was sure I was old enough to teach. A few have given me real grief-but I could never tell if that was because I looked 16 or because I was a 1st year teacher at the time.

    I am used to it, usually the co worker and I laugh it off and move on.
     
  14. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    Jul 9, 2015

    I'm 27. You'd think I would be used to it by now, but I hear a comment about my youthful appearance every time I'm introduced to someone new. Buying a pellet stove? You look like you could be in high school! Meeting a parent? I thought you were my daughter's age! It almost never goes beyond that though.

    Personally, I've never had a student even mention it. I'm sure they do. After they get to know me, they'll talk about going home and telling their parents about me, but I've never had them say some of the things other adults say to me. I had a coworker say: you like a child, we need to change that. She wasn't polite about it either. I also overheard that another staff member had commented after I was hired that she would have preferred the other young woman who interviewed because she looked more mature.

    I literally cannot do anything about it. I cut my hair after graduating college because my advisor recommended it. She said I would look older. I don't. I'm always overdressed and, even then, I'm bound to wear something my students own. I get more grief outside of school from strangers who don't know they're being rude than I have working in a school. I've never had anyone question my professionalism or content knowledge due to my looks. In fact, my principal automatically assumed that I would have good classroom management because of my 5'0 frame. He's always saying: don't mess with her, she's tiny but she's mighty. For the record, I'm not all that fierce but I let him keeping thinking that I am.

    But at the grocery store, some lady is bound to tell me I look like her 14 year old, not her 28 year old. Awkward silence when she starts thinking about her son dating someone who looks like me. Followed by gushing about how lucky I am and that I'll like it when I'm older.
     
  15. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jul 9, 2015

    When I was 40 and had 19 years of teaching experience, my new coworkers thought I was much, much younger and were shocked to find out my age.

    When I was 21, that was annoying.

    It's not so annoying at 40! :lol:
     
  16. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 9, 2015

    I've been with my district for a decade now, so people know who I am by now (I don't intend for that to sound pretentious; I just mean people have seen my mug around before).

    I vividly remember overhearing a comment about me when I became AP. My office is across from the teachers' lounge and someone said (in a very rude & sarcastic tone), "Seriously? That kid is our new AP???" Another teacher chimed in, "Yeah, they're getting younger and younger."

    Fast forward to last month. On the last day of school, the district office announced a mass movement of Ps and APs across the district (they like to shuffle us around every few years). The teacher who made the insulting comment about me (when I first started my role as AP) came to my office and exclaimed, "Oh my goodness--I'm SO glad you're not getting moved. I don't know what we're going to do when they transfer you to another school one day!!!" It was a very sincere statement because I have assisted her quite a bit over the last two years.

    I definitely showed the staff that I'm competent, but because of my age, I constantly feel as though I have to prove myself to others. When I look around the room during our AP meetings, it's obvious that I'm the youngest one there. I'd say the average age is at least 50 years old. Seems like at least half of our AP group is within a few years of retirement.

    That was quite a rant! :blush:
     
  17. leeshis0019

    leeshis0019 Companion

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    Jul 9, 2015

    I'm 25 and turning 26 soon. Started 3 years ago (co-teaching mostly) and full-time certified teacher with my own classroom last year. I got some "grief" at the beginning, but I guess I wouldn't call it grief. More like playful banter--"You're too young..." blah blah blah.

    Sometimes I have people ask what I teach and I tell them Chemistry/Physics and they seem to think I'm far too young for that. I've actually started talking about lesson's that I've done involving various concepts and it usually goes over their heads and they don't mention it again.


    The students barely notice as well. I've looked the same for the past 8 years, but it's obvious that I'm not a student just because I don't behave like one. I'm always professional. I dress mostly casual unless I know I have a meeting with a parent or I'm going to be going to some kind of meeting with administration. So it's nice pants and a polo shirt for me. Why? Because I mess with concentrated and dilute acid almost every day and I'd rather not come home with a hole in my $150 pants or a hydrolyzed (burn-looking) stain on my $300 shoes. And the cheap stuff just doesn't look professional to me at all.



    Also, since I'm usually[but not always] one of the smartest people in the room it's almost never an issue. I think they just enjoy the new blood roaming the hallways.
     
  18. renard

    renard Companion

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    Jul 13, 2015

    Thanks, glad to hear I'm not alone :D

    I've been working as a sub at this particular school, which is a big reason for the grief. By grief, I mean several instances of the secretary lecturing me to get out of the office and staff room :eek:hmy: Or students thinking I'm a "peer tutor" instead. :haha:
     

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