Teacher Personalities??

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SportsJunkie25, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. SportsJunkie25

    SportsJunkie25 Rookie

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    I subbed at a middle school and one of the teachers said, "Middle school teachers are a brand of their own. Middle school teachers are just...different. Stay around a while; you'll see." :confused:

    So, after hearing that, I started wondering what you guys thought (<--maybe it's just my inner psychologist :cool:). Do you guys think certain teachers (i.e. those who teach Preschool, Kinder, Elem, etc.) have different personalities? Kind of like people who work with computers are normally introverts and like working by themselves, people who work in the arts are normally free-spirits and creative...what do you think the different teacher personalities are?

    I know these are just generalizations but I think it's interesting...

    What type of people teach...
    1. Elementary school
    2. Middle school
    3. High school
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think there is a world of difference between an elementary teacher and a high school teacher. Huge difference. Massive. Enormous.

    :)
     
  4. SportsJunkie25

    SportsJunkie25 Rookie

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    Such as?
     
  5. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I discovered after two years that I am just not a kindergarten person. I am a high school person. I "get" that age group, and relate to them the best. You have to be a bit goofy to do that.

    Also, each school is different. My principal does a really good job of hiring teachers who will "fit in" on the faculty, so our lounge is always a lively place full of people who come to work to have fun. That has not been the case everywhere I have worked.
     
  6. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    Now this is a generalization and not true for everyone! But I have heard that elementary teachers love children and high school teachers love the subject they teach. I will have to say that is somewhat true for me. I enjoy my students, but I teach high school so that I can teach Spanish. There are not many Spanish positions at an elementary level.
     
  7. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I would agree with that, Budaka. I love everything that comes with a 'classroom'-the organization, the celebrations, the community building, the parent involvement, the planning, the content, etc. When I taught middle school science, I lost much of that-no holiday parties, no all-day community building, etc. A classroom is what you make it, but it is difficult to do much of that when you have 150 kids every day! I also didn't love science enough to teach it alllll day, every day. I like mixing it up, and integrating subject areas. I might be able to teach history all day, but I think that's it.
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I think of course there are probably differences in academic interest and tolerance for the various ages of students - but I think you would find examples of the different personalities on all levels. I'm sure there are high or middle school teachers who are silly and creative and elementary teachers who are very serious.
     
  9. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    I teach Middle School - I'm crazy like a loon. At least that's what people tell me.
     
  10. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    I would agree that elementary teachers are different from high school teachers. I teach high school and I can't even begin to conceptualize teaching a 5-7 year old. (I don't have my own kids, either). I literally do not even know how to talk to them (in terms of tone of voice, etc). I think the type of person that enjoys that deveopmental age is different from the type of person who enjoys the developmental age of a teenager. Similarly, I think my pediatrician that I had as a kid is very different from the "grown up" doctor I see now. Both excellent physicians, but very different personalities.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    But then how do you explain those of us who teach high school, but deal well with our elementary school aged kids and ALL their friends?

    Or those who teach elementary school, but deal well with their teenagers and their billions of buddies?

    I think we're oversimplifying.
     
  12. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I teach high school. I also think that there is a huge difference between those that teach elementary and those that teach secondary. El. Ed. just is not for me.
     
  13. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Oh, I forgot to add, that a colleague of mine once said that she wanted to teach elementary school because she wanted to be a mom.
     
  14. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    My personality just doesn't fit with elementary aged students. I found that out when I taught kinder and 2nd. I'm now in a middle school and love that I can be sarcastic with them and know that they will get me.
     
  15. Ranchwife

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    I teach middle school and can't even begin to fathom how to even go about teaching elementary school in regards to dealing with the kids. Personally, I can't stand the "clinginess" and the tatteling in elementary school. I want to be seen as a person in my career, not a parent. I also like being able to have more adult conversations with kids in the upper grades. I would like teaching high school probably more than middle school because of the level of maturity of the students. I have found as a parent, I enjoy my kids more the older they get. I "get" older kids, but struggle with the antics of the younger ones (even though I get many laughs and enjoy my babies).

    I don't know that middle school teachers are a different breed, I do see that, at least for us, half of our staff can relate great to younger kids, and the other half to older hids. Maybe that is what makes us different as a whole.
     
  16. blindteacher

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    I think there are a good deal of teachers that feel they connect best with a certain age group, but I don't think there are enormous trends among elementary vs. middle vs. high school teachers.

    I think a lot of the difference between the lower and higher grades is also the pace of teaching you work with best.
     
  17. blindteacher

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    :agreed: This is what I like about teaching HS too.
     
  18. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Of course we are. Because when talking about personalities of any profession, the discussion is about trends, not absolutes. The supposed introversion of the computer programmer is a lot less prevalent and pronounced than one might suppose, but it's still not wrong to say those tendencies are associated with that profession.

    And then there's the issue of choice. Simply because one leans towards one activity doesn't mean they're incapable of another.
     
  19. Jem

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    I think teaching kids and hanging out with/being around kids are two very different things. I think toddlers are awesome... when I'm visiting my friends or babysitting. If I had to be in a room full of them, teaching them pre-school lessons, I'd go crazy. I don't want to be held accountable for that age group. Same with middle school/high school-awesome kids and I really enjoy chatting with them/hanging out in a casual setting, but I do not want to teach the same content area to them all day.
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Alice, another point is that teaching is different from parenting. I may have a middle school kid and can deal with his friends but that doesn't mean I want to teach a room full of them. I think 3sons said it best though.

    As for me, I like the clinginess. I like trying to find the simplist and most creative way to break things down. I love reading and writing but I like being able to change it up and apply it across the subjects. I love being self-contained with the same group of kids all day. I love getting to know them and what their strengths and weaknesses are across all subjects. I love being able to mix up my day a little if it suits what my kids need that day rather than being a slave to the bell. I like getting up and moving around as much as possible. I think morning meetings/circle time is my absolute favorite part of the day. I like that I'm the center of their universe (at least at school). I like that they accept that they have to do things simply because I told them so (doesn't mean they behave 100% but rather they don't question why I want them to do things). I like their innocense and the funny things they come up with as they try to develop their schema of the world. I like classroom pets, crafts, cooking, making books, taking pictures, going on fieldtrips, etc. I like the challenge of figuring out how to do that while teaching the curriculum in a productive and meaningful way. I enjoy trying to figure out different ways to keep them engaged while getting the biggest bang for my buck. I love the drawings they bring from home and all the other homemade presents they proudly and lovingly make. I like their enthusiasm for learning and their endless energy. I do have to watch my humor because kids this age are very literal but I am not a sarcastic person or someone that tends to have a witty comeback for everything.

    (Some of these apply to other grades too but these are the reasons I love the younger grades).
     
  21. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    I love the smell of crayolas in the morning. :D

    Everything is still so new for the younger kids---the world is an open and exciting place! I love talking with the ickles and finding out their views on the world. The way we can all get distracted by a large bee in the classroom. The joys of losing a tooth. The open honesty, the innocence. Laughing over the hamster eating a seed.

    I cannot imagine teacher the older kiddos. Preschool - 2nd is my baliwick. :cool:
     
  22. greengables

    greengables Rookie

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    Oh, I don't know-I always said MS was alot like preK-the me, me, me attitude, having to learn who's boss, dealing with the drama of shifting friends and learning new social rules. MS'ers are just bigger!
    ;)
     
  23. Enigma_X

    Enigma_X Rookie

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    Out of curiosity, as I've only ever really taught HS, what's the difference in pacing?
     
  24. Enigma_X

    Enigma_X Rookie

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    In a lot of ways, that sounds wonderful. My HS students are so often defiant and eager to rebel against the simplest expectations. Having some freedom in the scheduling of the day and not being *constantly* challenged... I like my kids, but I can see the appeal in that.
     
  25. blindteacher

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    I think high school pacing is faster, especially for more advanced courses like honors courses.
     
  26. ahsila

    ahsila Companion

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    I think at the middle school level we have students who are just beginning to become their own people. For most of these kids, it's their first taste of independence. Some days we are more on the elementary side of our school, other days we are more on the high school side. I don't know exactly how to explain it, but I really do think that someone who is meant to work in middle school does have something that sets them apart from other teachers... whether it's a good something or a bad something, I'm not sure, but I know I've got it.
     
  27. Enigma_X

    Enigma_X Rookie

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    Gotcha. I thought that must be the case, simply because I couldn't imagine it being much more fast-paced than it is for me!
     
  28. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I teach elementary ed, but also student taught in middle school and high school music. I always love whatever I'm doing-I guess I like all age levels!
     
  29. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Have to say this struck me when I read it. I think I am a person in my career - I am teaching kids all the quintessential basics for their academic future. I think teachers of all ages have to be a bit of a parent. Maybe I tie more shoelaces, but the caring part is true of all ages.

    As to pacing - you should see how fast we have to go in Kindergarten nowadays! We'll be required to teach Shakespeare soon :p. My sister teaches college and runs into the same issues I do with my 5-year olds and the same excuses (how sad is that). And as for adult conversations - my kids talked all about marriage this morning (funny when a Kinder kid even realizes you're an Old Maid). Now they don't get sarcasm-but they will by the end of the year.

    I think sometimes without actually having taught at a certain level we may not have a valid view of what it's like. I think interests and personality are 2 different questions. I've known very warm MS teachers and very assertive elem. teachers - I don't think we can typecast anyone at any level in a certain category.
     
  30. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Before I got my teaching job I worked as a sub for grades K-12. I'm certified in secondary English. I worked TWO DAYS in kindergarten and almost lost my mind. I am not cut out for kindergarten. After that, I worked in a 5th grade boys class for one day. I would be in jail if I taught 5th grade boys.

    After that I went to ONLY middle and high school.

    I've mostly taught 7th grade. I dont' like anything lower, but I like older.

    The teachers are all different.

    And, yes, I'm one of those crazy middle school teachers. The middle school teachers are the ones who snicker at anything that sounds remotely sexual, and we're likely squirrelly at in-services, and we might even throw a koosh ball or two. :)
     
  31. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I can tell a difference in grade levels whenever I'm at professional development events.

    In general, from what I've seen, the elementary teachers sit towards the front at these events, middle school teachers in the middle, and high school teachers at the back.

    Elementary teachers tend to be super eager and participatory and over-the-top excited, whereas high school teachers tend to be apathetic and bored and grumpy. :lol:

    I have almost always been right when I've tried to assess the grade levels of the various teachers in the room at these events. My colleagues and I usually make little bets--That one is definitely elementary, probably 1st grade or 2nd grade, etc. I rarely make the wrong call.

    It's just what I see. :)
     
  32. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Cassie,
    You're right. I have witnessed this too!
     

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