New High School Teacher

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Drama Teach, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Drama Teach

    Drama Teach Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2010

    Today was my first day in the classroom to set up. While there the band was practicing. I was walking past them practicing and it made me worry that I am going to blend in with the students. I am in my mid twenties. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make sure the students recognize me as a teacher? I am planning on wearing professional clothes, but would love some suggestions on other ideas.
     
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  3. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Aug 4, 2010

    Professional clothes and wearing your id if your school issues one are probably the best ways of identifying yourself as a teacher. And I know what you mean BTW, many of the students at my school could pass for being in their mid twenties (I however cannot but I'm fine with that since I'm 38!).
     
  4. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jackets and suit coats easily distinguish you from students.
     
  5. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    Aug 4, 2010

    Same exact thing happened to me today. The band sounded great!

    Fact is, I'm only 23 -- so I'm probably younger than you.

    Wearing professional clothes in combination with acting professional will alleviate all your problems.

    Just know you are their teacher and not their friend, and you should be good to go.

    From one young person to another :)
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 4, 2010

    -Work on your teacher voice.

    It's the thing that allows you to make a demand sound like a totally polite request. As in "Sue, get rid of the gum please?" or "Joe, could you open your notebook please?"

    It allows you to LOWER your voice when you want their attention.

    Picture Norman Schwartzkopf (or Dwight Eisenhower, or any other 4 or 5 star General) making a polite request of a private.

    Unbeknownst brings up a great point: there's a world of difference between being friendly to kids and being their friends. I smile and joke around with my kids all the time. But there's a line, and it's huge, and they know better to cross it. So if I'm walking down the hall and a kid I don't know says a word he shouldn't, all it takes is an "EXCUSE ME?" and he apologizes. (Of course, it would be nice if he was apoligizing for the word, and not for getting caught, but you take what you can get.)

    -Something I worked on 2 years ago with a new teacher I was mentoring was this: I suggested she stand at the door of her classroom during the change of periods, and correct small things as the kids passed. "Excuse me, get rid of the gum." "Tuck in the shirt, please! (Catholic School.) That sort of stuff. Our kids KNOW the rules, and normally respond very well to any teacher correcting them. But I though it would help her see herself more as a teacher, and the kids who normally passed her room to see her as one as well.

    -Also, think of what you'll use to carry your paperwork. A leather briefcase will set you apart immedietely in the sea of backpacks and Vera Bradley bags.
     
  7. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    I still use my backpack that I used in high school. I went to a professional development at a middle school and one kid said "hey, look we have a new student". I laughed, but if I taught middle school or high school I would have to retire the backpack.
     
  8. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Aug 4, 2010

    I started teaching in a high school when I was 22 and everyone told me that I looked about 16 years old at the time. To make matters worse it was a highschool that had primarily older male teachers. There was one other female teacher and she was about 60!

    It was many months in to the year before PARENTS stopped asking me if I went to school. Ironically I had less issue with the students as they seemed to recognize me as a teacher pretty quickly. The way you dress will help but the most important part of it is going to be the way you carry and present yourself - professional, mature, confident!

    Good luck :).

    P.S. I'm now 41 and somewhere along the line I started looking older than my age rather than younger so it did come back to bite me in the behind ;). LOL
     
  9. Drama Teach

    Drama Teach Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2010

    Thank you for all the great advice! I was planning on using a backpack to carry my school things, but a breifcase does make sense!
     
  10. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    I'm a little worried about this too (I'm 24) but I'm starting to realize that self-perception has a lot to do with it. I have to remind MYSELF that I'm an adult now (I've always acted like one, but have trouble seeing myself as an authority figure I guess). I've been working in my classroom all this week and the kids I've talked to already see me as a teacher, and don't question it... so I'm trying to feed off of that and use it to come into my own.

    And of course, all the other tips were great. :)
     
  11. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    What a great problem to have. Congrats on the new job.
     
  12. oppa637

    oppa637 Rookie

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    I look like i'm 15...so yea...kinda in the same situation ,lol
     
  13. JoshCHT

    JoshCHT Rookie

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    I keep getting mistaken for a student.....by other faculty! :lol:
     
  14. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    I actually got mistaken for an Elementary student when I starting subbing in 2005. I looked like a baby back then. Now I always wear a black blazer. And I walk with extreme confidence and a serious look on my face that means business. I don't get mistaken for an Elem. kid anymore.
     
  15. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Aug 6, 2010

    You have been given some great advise - dress the part, believe it yourself, act the part and don't try to be "friends." I would add don't share to much about your personal life or past experiences to try to connect with them at first - they don't need to know about antics you did in the past. Also, especially since you are young, never be in a situation when you are alone with a student with the door closed - protect yourself. And don't socialize with the kids - if you end up going to some type of celebration go with another teacher and never drive a student in your car.
     
  16. ekk5968

    ekk5968 Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2010

    It happend to me all the time. But I do not take the dress professional route. I work at a high school. So most often I wear the school color daily. I wear branded shirts and sweatshirts. You can dress the part but at the end of the day its just dress. You have to act the part. I myself get mistaken for a student all the time by staff but never by the students. I am friendly with my students but at the same time they know to play with me. Its all a balance and what you are confortable with. What's good for the goose may ne always be good for the gander. I started teaching when I was 22 years old. This is my fifth year teaching. I find that I have less problems wit the students then lets say the older teachers. I would start with a tough first three weeks. You know letting know whose boss.
     

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