Nervous about teaching high school students when I still look like one...=/

Discussion in 'General Education' started by cutieturtle07, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. cutieturtle07

    cutieturtle07 Rookie

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    I'll be graduating in about a year and a half and I'll be certified to teach 8th-12th grade English. I will be 21 years old when I graduate and I have always looked younger than my age, (about 3-4 years younger) for some reason. A lot of people have told me that I will appreciate it when I get older, but I am more worried about looking like a high school student rather than a teacher. I know wardrobe can help with the appearance of my age. Though, I am still worried that students will not take me seriously or respect me, because I will look like one of their peers. Did anyone have this problem after graduating from college? If so, what did you do to handle this situation? All responses are very much appreciated!
     
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  3. ACardAttack

    ACardAttack Companion

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    I am 22 going on 23 teaching HS and I could pass for 20 or 19 if I shave...I was asked when I student taught if I was a teacher or a really dressed up student.

    I have no issue with it...maybe at first, but if you show them you mean business, they will see you as the adult. I use my youth to relate with them some, but more so its my personality that gets their attention and laughing once in a while. I teach all upper classmen and I wasnt nervous about it at all. It may have caused more testing than normal, but overall I dont feel my age changes anything.

    Good luck
     
  4. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    cutieturtle, you have a one and a half years to a develop a strong "presence."

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/presence

    6. the ability to project a sense of ease, poise, or self-assurance, esp. the quality or manner of a person's bearing before an audience: The speaker had a good deal of stage presence.

    7. personal appearance or bearing, esp. of a dignified or imposing kind: a man of fine presence.

    8. a person, esp. of noteworthy appearance or compelling personality: He is a real presence, even at a private party.


    When I graduated in my early twenties I definitely had a "presence." You can too. It will help you accomplish anything you want to in life. So work on it!!

    Hope this helps.......
    Major.......:):)
     
  5. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    It's all about attitude. I was 21 when I started teaching too.

    Don't tell the kids how old you are. "Old" or "Old enough" is a great answer when they ask (and believe me, they will).
     
  6. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Dress, hair, and makeup - be as professional as possible.

    When my kids asked me my age, I would say 15 or something ridiculous. I would tell them I was a child prodigy. (Now I always tell them I am 21 when I am really 30.lol)

    It can be hard - I remember thinking my freshman were like my little brothers and sisters when I first started. My sister actually was the same age as them. But there are advantages and disadvantages to students having both older and younger teachers.
     
  7. ACardAttack

    ACardAttack Companion

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    I have no issue with telling them my age, they think its my second year of teaching...well it is...I student taught last year, but I make it sound like this is my second year as full teacher....I think its all up to you....now I would NEVER tell them its my first year, just first year at that school....I can only imagine how much more they would have tested me if they knew it was my first full year....I also teach upper classmen and they are somewhat mature...at times....just chatty and we bond very well, and I think after two weeks they are finally getting the idea that I am the boss and some of my routines as they have been excellent the last two days...but now Im sure I just jinxed myself

    I think it ultimately comes down to your preference and if you play off of it. I play off of my age and talk about how old they make me feel when they dont know who the Beatles are or havent seen Farris Bueller (the joke is that I wasnt born when they were around, but it goes over their head half the time). Keep your head up, stand and walk strait, dont talk over them, let them know you wont talk over them...also depending on your school clientele, set time limits for assignments, I am starting to see the effectiveness of saying you have 5 minutes to get your warm up done, which is a change for me because where I student taught, I tell them to start working, I might have to harp on a couple of them, but the classes as a whole would get their work done quickly....here they need more "motivation"
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I was teaching seniors at 22. My oldest student that year was 20. I have the children of some of those students now. It seems really odd for me to be that close to their age, although it didn't seem that way at the time. I didn't look any older than they did, but I acted a lot older than they did. That's the difference.

    The assistant principal did once fuss at me for being roaming the hallways during class time. He asked why I was out in the halls during class time. I told him that it was my planning time and I was on my way to check my mailbox in the lounge. He paused for a minute and then said, "Oh." He disappeared into his office and shut the door. :lol:
     
  9. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    It's all about the attitude. Be firm and carry yourself in a mature matter and you'll have no problem
     
  10. SingBlueSilver

    SingBlueSilver Companion

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    I'm almost 30 and still look half my age. :(

    I like the idea of telling the students that you're "old enough". I think that's something I would have said if I started teaching when I was 21/22...I started at 26, so by then I was comfortable telling the students my age.

    Don't worry so much about looking young. The problems you think you'll have with your students will fade...For me, it's Open House that freaks me out because Open House is usually the first time parents see me and I know that the parents must think I'm just way to young to handle their 13/14 year old son/daughter. To handle it, again, be confident and its YOUR classroom, just make sure they know it. I've had a few parents who've tried to bully me, but I come off firm and confident and don't hear from them again. Also, its the frequent remarks by colleagues who say almost every week "Gosh! You look just like a student!" that bug. I nod, smile, and walk away as if I'm busy doing something.
     
  11. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

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    I was a young 21 year old when I graduated, and I was so uncomfortable with my experience student teaching that I decided to do something else for a little while. Then I went to grad school. So I really started teaching when I was 24, and then I was fine. I still looked very young, and some of my students were 19/20 as well....but now that I look older (but not very old :rolleyes:), I teach elementary!
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    One bit of advice: watch your facebook! If you want to be taken seriously make sure you do not accept any of your students (or former students for several years) as friends. Watch your profile picture. I see young teachers that have profile pictures that look like something teens would put up. Photos where the girls are pursing their lips, doing the wide-eyed-hand-to-the-mouth pose, or squeezing their boobs with their arms thing. Remember, your photo comes up when people search for you even if you have private settings.
     
  13. cutieturtle07

    cutieturtle07 Rookie

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    Wow everyone. Thank you so much! This really helped boost my confidence. :)
     
  14. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    You might also consider a swagger stick........:D:D
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Don't feel so bad. I had a middle school student today think I was a student...in middle school!!! I'm 29!!
     
  16. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    You should feel flattered stg........ Texas women just look young........:)
     
  17. NCALIFTeacher

    NCALIFTeacher Rookie

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    Oh no! :lol: It'll work to your advantage down the road though ;)
     
  18. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I was 21 when I graduated also. It's all in your presentation.
     
  19. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Thanks, Major!! And I know I'll appreciate it when I'm in my 50s,
     
  20. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    At 50 stg.....you've just begun to hit your "prime"........:D:D:D
     

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