Do you have a "teacher persona"?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mis343, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. mis343

    mis343 New Member

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    Dec 28, 2013

    Do you act (significantly) differently in the classroom than you do in everyday life?

    I ask because I'm halfway through my first year right now and my students are SO badly behaved, and I feel like they don't respect me. I think the problem is that I have a very quiet, self-effacing personality.

    But oddly, despite my shyness, I was huge into acting in high school. Although I have a very shy and "closed" demeanor normally, through theatre I learned to put on personas that were very different -- loud, commanding, outgoing, even glamorous if the part called for it.

    I've been content with my quiet "little old me" personality so I've never desired to use my theatre skills in real life. But I'm wondering whether channeling some of these qualities might help me in my teaching (I'd have to start next year with a fresh batch of kids, haha.)

    I am torn because on one hand I want better classroom management, but on the other hand I don't want to feel like a fraud. Do you guys act differently in the classroom than in real life?
     
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  3. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    You don't have to wait for a new group. Start right after winter break.
    I also have a quiet personality, but in the classroom I find it easy to be "on stage". I took theater classes in college as well, and it does help to use some of the the acting techniques that I learned in the classroom.
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    To a small extent. Only in that I am in a position of authority at school that I am not in elsewhere.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Since switching grade levels, YES! I have a split personality. :)
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I don't necessarily have a teacher persona, but my kids definitely are aware that I'm the authority figure in the room. I think it's more that I'm genuinely warm and friendly with the kids... until my "teacher stare" comes out.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I'm very different in the classroom than in real life.

    In my everyday life, I'm an introvert. I'm quiet & reserved.

    In my classroom I'm much more assertive and outgoing.
     
  8. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I've found the key to classroom management is to have an clear understanding of what is acceptable vs. unacceptable behavior. It's not really a matter of changing your persona ... It's defining a management plan and adhering to it, so the students can also clearly define what is expected of them.
     
  9. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Yes. I'm very relaxed, easy going, and calm outside of work. I also love to laugh and joke when I'm not at work.

    At work, I feel very tense and on-edge at all times. Surprisingly, according to my students, I come off as having no personality, like a robot, very monotone with little (real) emotion.
     
  10. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    I do find I'm different as a teacher - in a better way! I've been thinking I need to bring more of that spirit into my personal life (rah rah! Laundry is fun!) though sometimes it's hard to do so without people starting to think you're acting too teachery on them! I have to remind myself not to play teacher on my own kids, they need something different from a mom.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm not sure that I really do. I'm pretty much the same as "Mrs Aliceacc" as I am as "Mom." The jokes, or at least their tone, are the same, as is the general approach.

    Of course, I taught for 18 years before becoming "Mom" so it may be that my "Mom" persona is merely a reflection of my teacher persona.

    But to address the OP, yes, try some of those acting skills. Not enough that you feel like a fraud, but because the job demands it, just as an acting job demands it. It's the same skill that every parent uses when their toddler does something adorably bad-- they hold in the smile and correct the child, because smiling would send the wrong message. A good teacher needs a certain amount of that split personality. You need the ability to draw your kids into something they would rather not do, and the ability to coach them through the rough spots. You need the ability to administer tough love when the situation calls for it, and the equal ability to ditch the plans and go with the flow when that situation calls from it. You get those resources from your acting background; I pull them from teaching and parenting.

    And don't feel as though you need to wait until next year. You're getting to know your kids and they're getting to know you. It's natural that you would unwind a bit as that happens, and let the kids see a little bit of a different side to you.
     
  12. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    You have NAILED exactly how I am/feel! In my personal life I am reserved, quiet, and kind of a wall flower (and I'm pretty ok with that). In the classroom I use a commanding voice and have a stronger personality because I am trying to manage some very unruly kids. I always say that teaching is acting.

    I'm not sure if I want to change this...but sometimes I do wonder if acting like a big cheese (not sure how else to put it) gets in the way of connecting with the kids. It seems like a catch-22!
     
  13. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I don't think I do, but I know I have a "teacher look" that shapes my DS up. I also have a "teacher voice" that comes out sometimes at home. I don't think it's the voice I use all the time at work, just with certain kids when their behavior is being challenging. Or sometimes, it's certain phrases that I will use.
     
  14. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Yes, I do effect (that's correct) a British accent. Someone said I sound like Margaret Thatcher. I've no idea where this came from. Maybe it's all those episodes of "Downton" ! I use words/phrases that I would never use at home such as peruse, assiduously, without further ado.
     
  15. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    :lol:
     

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