Negative student view of myself

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Cheekyone, May 5, 2018.

  1. Cheekyone

    Cheekyone Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    3

    May 5, 2018

    Today , I was having friendly chat with a student and we got to the subject of teacher demeanor. I asked how she perceived me in the class, and the answer I got churned my stomach, nearly making me depress over it. She said I always look tired, at the verge of tears. Another student joined in and said I appeared to hate my job. I obviously wouldn't have asked if I knew that would throw me off balance. I can't help if I seem tired, but it bothered me that I seem on the verge of tears and hating my job. I don't hate my job. Of course I can get irritated with behaviors, but other than that I just feel horrible. As though I am not good enough because I can't fake being chirpy all the time.
    I am at a loss of how to not be perceived that way. I usually am stern and care a lot about student learning. Those students were just being honest, and I told them that was surprising. In general I am a low energy person, naturally.
    *Sigh*
     
  2.  
  3. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    514

    May 5, 2018

    I’m not surprised at all. So, what did you learn from this experience?
     
  4. Cheekyone

    Cheekyone Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    3

    May 5, 2018

    I'm a second year. I have yet to learn from this. Except just doing my best despite student views of myself. I am concerned that my demeanor can affect student desire to do and enjoy the work in my class. I try to be friendly and welcoming, but my attempt s are not working. Can you elaborate why it's unsurprising?
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,676
    Likes Received:
    1,575

    May 5, 2018

    Record yourself teaching. See if what you perceive you doing is really what you are doing. Then see if there is something you can try to change. Sometimes it might be phrases you are using or facial expressions you make and don't realize it. It could be colors of clothing you wear or you may be irritable more often than you think. You may need to learn to not take the student behavior to heart because it goes straight to your face.

    One other thing, if you wear make-up you might want to get a consultation because some applications of it can cause you to look tired or down and other colors and applications can make you look more glowing and perky.

    People are often very surprised when they record themselves to find that what they think they are saying and doing is not reality.
     
    Cheekyone and Obadiah like this.
  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    May 5, 2018

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    Cheekyone and Obadiah like this.
  7. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    81

    May 5, 2018

    Don't go fishing unless you're prepared for what you might catch. ;) Roll with it. They're just kids, and remember their brains are still developing until they're 25.

    Unsolicited comments are the best. I had a second grader look at my shoes once and tell me "Aren't you a little old to be wearing those shoes? I think they're for teenagers." I about died. :D
     
  8. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,306
    Likes Received:
    783

    May 5, 2018

    I would recommend not taking such comments too seriously. Kids don't always organize their immediate responses to include past-present-future. They often respond within the immediate present perimeter. For example, a parent who decides not to allow a teenager to attend a certain event might hear the response, "You never let me have any fun!" Or if I'd give my 3rd graders an extra recess, they'd say, "You rock!" It's possible the first student's response was influenced by the immediate environment or the student's immediate thoughts, and the second student's expressed opinion was influenced by the first student's comment; if the 2nd student had answered first, it is possible that the conversation could have taken a wholly different twist.

    Another aspect that tends to effect student conversation is their still developing prefrontal cortex. As Leaborb mentioned, they're blunt. This bluntness might not always reflect their true feelings. It might be exaggerated. It might also be combined with an awkward attempt to imitate adult conversations resulting in a verbalization or lack of verbalization that does not equal the complete thoughts of the student.

    On the other hand, I would recommend an honest response on the teacher's part in such conversations. Within parameters of what I comfortably feel appropriate in telling students, I might reassure them that I do love my job and I do appreciate all my students. I might even comment as you did above that yes, I do feel tired some days; after all, teaching is a physically demanding occupation. In saying this, I feel I do need to caution avoiding becoming defensive; I've seen teachers do this and I did so also, in my beginning years. I also agree with the above, that teachers should always be evaluating themselves and growing. A teacher who stops improving is the teacher who needs to retire and quickly; a teacher such as yourself who values improvement is the exceptional professional educator.
     
    Cheekyone and Leaborb192 like this.
  9. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    May 5, 2018

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    Zelda~* likes this.
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,010
    Likes Received:
    465

    May 5, 2018

    First, I wouldn't panic about this. Second, it is great that you care so much about your students. Third, I agree something can be learned from it, so I wouldn't ignore it.

    I do think it is helpful for students to see some joy from you at their age. I would start by making it a point to smile at individual students when they come into class trying to make eye contact with them. Then try to do that to students as they come up to you during the day. You don't have to be overly chipper, just showing you are glad to see them. If you start with your best behaved students, you will see it is easy to do. You also may be amazed at how better you feel if you eat lunch once a week with them. It will give you a chance to relax, smile, laugh, and not worry about "putting out fires of misbehavior".

    This is nothing to beat yourself up on. A few small steps of adding joy might make you feel better as well as the students.
     
    Cheekyone likes this.
  11. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    157

    May 5, 2018

    I honestly believe that some days we have to be actors and actresses. No, we may not feel like being the positive, chirpy, upbeat teacher. But I often find that if I "fake it" I will actually feel my mood lifting, confidence rising, and before I know it, I've convinced myself that I'm in an upbeat, perky, go-get-em mood.

    I'm naturally a shy, introverted, non-confrontational hermit. When I tell my students this, they look at me like I'm crazy because that is NOT how I behave in class. What they don't know is that I go home to my quiet little place with nothing but my animals, and relish in the silence and solitude for the rest of the evening. I can go days without seeing or talking to another human being during the summer break and I LOVE it. I can only recharge if I'm left alone to do so. Socializing saps my energy like nothing else.

    But at school? I force myself to be the smiley, joking, happy, upbeat teacher. If I wallowed in my desire to be left alone, I'd be absolutely miserable and could not do this job.
     
  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    May 5, 2018

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    Cheekyone and GPC0321 like this.
  13. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    514

    May 5, 2018

    In today's permissive American culture, children are often not taught to be discrete in what they say - both at home and in public. It seems like almost nothing is off-limits. I learned that my physical appearance and demeanor were negative factors when working with secondary students and found it to be too taxing to remain at that level - friendly and welcoming alone are ineffective with some students. As you continue to learn the ropes, you'll hopefully discover where you fit best. Without exaggeration, educational technology was my lifesaver.
     
    Cheekyone likes this.
  14. Cheekyone

    Cheekyone Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    3

    May 5, 2018

    Thanks for this feedback, it gives me a bit of an idea on how to start being positive when I feel s*** tired. I have times where I laugh and enjoy myself, and the days feel better when I just laugh and let go of being so work-oriented . I'll try to be mindful at least to start smiling. Of course a complete 180 would take time and practice for me.
     
  15. Cheekyone

    Cheekyone Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    3

    May 5, 2018

    I understand now. I do agree on today's society . I also have been leaning towards educational technology to differentiate. I create videos and instruction to help save my energy in the class.
     
  16. Cheekyone

    Cheekyone Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    3

    May 5, 2018

    I really need to practice my acting skills. How long does this skill take to master?
     
    Master Pre-K likes this.
  17. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,020

    May 5, 2018

    NO. Don't do this. I got that horrible advice from someone once, and it was the worst advice I've ever tried to follow. The student can see right through you. Just be yourself.
     
    Been There and Cheekyone like this.
  18. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    38

    May 5, 2018

    I forgot my coffee one morning. I had a student tell his classmates that they needed to behave as I forgot my coffee and therefore I was tired.

    I also had another student tell me that I needed a new wig. Um, I don't wear a wig, it was time to get my roots colored.

    Oh and the "S" word could be stupid, shut-up or shit. The younger they are the more likely the "S" word is one of the first 2.
    Kids will tell you like it is. Bad breath? They'll let you know.
     
    Cheekyone likes this.
  19. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,291
    Likes Received:
    278

    May 5, 2018

    Everyone knows "What the heck ?" and "What the ??" are borderline for "What the Hell??" I don't let my 5 year-olds get away with saying either one.

    I digress...

    Sometimes, if I feel bad, I look bad, and my kids will tell me also. I tell them Ms. MPK is having a bad day, and some of them give me a hug, while others get louder and act up. Most of them will whip into shape immediately, and help make my day easier.

    I found a good under eye concealer works wonders. But Carson's (Carson Pirie Scott) is closing, so now I have to order my Clinque makeup online!! Too much makeup with powder will look fake. But covering some wrinkles with liquid makeup makes my smile much nicer. And Preparation-H will reduce under eye bags. I put some on as soon as I wash my face, and clean it off just before I am ready to leave out, and add the makeup.

    When I lost my dear family members, I found getting some cold air on my face worked wonders for teary eyes. And the same remedy works for cutting onions, which is sticking your head in the freezer to instantly stop tears.
     
    Cheekyone likes this.
  20. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,849
    Likes Received:
    714

    May 6, 2018

    I have a student this year who made similar comments this fall. She's asked if I'm tired, if I like the students/my job, why I'm never happy...and also said things like, "Wow, you're in a good mood today," or "You finally laughed!" Don't get me wrong, I think her comments are rude and have told her not to say things like that to people, but generally she's super well behaved and wants to do well. I know she's not just trying to "get me."

    Even though the comments hurt my feelings, I figure there must be some truth to what she's saying. I am not someone who can be chipper all day long either, but I have made it a point to smile more at students and say things like, "I'm glad you're here today." I'm definitely not able to manage that super chipper/excited tone all day long, but it's not hard to say, "Good morning!" in that tone. We have tons of behavior issues at my school. I do feel like I need to be somewhat stern and honestly many kids do behave better for me than other teachers. That said, I don't want them to think I don't like them or my job either.

    I think kids can see right through someone who is being fake with them, and you're not going to be able to keep up with doing a fake/alternate personality all day long either. I would just look for small things you can incorporate that will show your students that you enjoy working with them.
     
    Cheekyone likes this.
  21. Cheekyone

    Cheekyone Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    3

    May 6, 2018

    My true self is very introverted, but I greet students by the door with a hand shake and ahello. When it comes to my class and routines, I get serious about it. Being a second year, I'm learning to implement classroom routines and consequences. I find it so difficult to also relax in that moment, so I can see where students might see me as how they described. I definitely do feel comfortable when I can be myself.
     
  22. Cheekyone

    Cheekyone Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    3

    May 6, 2018

    That takes so much strength , and I hope to be that poker-faced. I'm guessing my emotions are easily seen on my face. To combat sadness, I usually bawl my eyes out until nothing is left.
     
  23. Cheekyone

    Cheekyone Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    3

    May 6, 2018

    I am currently learning to be myself in the classroom, and my true form is "tough love" but the love part is not perceived
     
  24. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    May 6, 2018

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    GPC0321 likes this.
  25. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    May 6, 2018

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    Been There and Zelda~* like this.
  26. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    157

    May 6, 2018

    To be clear, I'm not advocating being fake. I'm saying that even on days we don't feel like being upbeat and positive, we need to make that effort anyway. It's part of the job. We're supposed to inspire and motivate students. If our behavior isn't inspiring and motivating, we're not doing our jobs. If being inspiring and motivating is so far out of one's natural realm and comfort zone that he/she must fake it, then teaching probably isn't the best career choice.
     
  27. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,291
    Likes Received:
    278

    May 6, 2018

    The last time I did that, I was 20 something. I had broke up with my bf. I cried for so long my face became a snot-filled mess. I began coughing and started choking. And that’s when I stopped. I had to stop because I couldn’t breathe.

    There’s always something left...try not to let it get to that point. Count your blessings in the daytime. You will soon feel a smile in your heart and on your face.
     
  28. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,430
    Likes Received:
    946

    May 6, 2018

    I work with middle school kids. They have no filter.

    It doesn't bother me when they say tactless things to me because, well, I'm old and just don't care what a 13/14 year old thinks of me. I barely cared about 13/14 year old opinions when I was that age. I sure don't care at almost 50.

    Now, I've got a couple of coworkers who are really bothered by things that the kids will say to them. One in particular will really stress over it when kids say negative things about her.

    Kids don't have good reasoning skills. They won't until they are probably around 25, so they are going to lack tact sometimes. You just need to be yourself. Whether they like it or not doesn't matter. I know that not all of the kids are going to like me . . . or my clothes . . . or my corny jokes . . . or my classroom rules & procedures . . . or a million other things. They will, however, still be okay.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
    futuremathsprof and Leaborb192 like this.
  29. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    514

    May 6, 2018

    I used to blush so easily talking to just about anyone at work - don't know how I ever got past the interviews. Now that I'm retired my red face seems to be a thing of the past.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. bob1111
Total: 448 (members: 2, guests: 425, robots: 21)
test