Teacher styles and personalities

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by a teacher, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Oct 3, 2016

    I look at teachers who are extremely friendly or who joke around a lot in the class and make it a very warm environment and I feel like that is what I would want as a student. However, my personality is such that I can't possibly be that way. I am not unfriendly, but I am not bubbly either. I like working with my students, but I don't talk to them on their level like some teachers, and in general I have a more serious demeanor.

    We all have different styles and personalities in the classroom but I can't help but feel it's not simply a matter of differences, a relative matter, but better and worse. That is to say, if you are friendly or super pleasant you will simply be a better teacher. I know this can't be true because as long as you are effective you are doing well. And it doesn't seem right that some people would automatically be better teachers because they have a certain personality. I consider myself a great teacher because I am always working on improvement and I am always challenging myself. How do you all look at this issue in relation to yourselves? Do you tend to compare yourself to other teachers you think are great?
     
  2.  
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,724
    Likes Received:
    1,141

    Oct 3, 2016

    Again, and still? Ah.

    Not being "extremely friendly and bubbly" isn't your problem, a teacher. Your problem is that you're cripplingly insecure in ways that move you to tear down others: to sneer at teachers whose students seem to love them better than your students do you and at students who are failures in your eyes because they don't or can't perform at a level that moves you to treat them like fellow human beings.

    Your posts about this are exasperating or occasionally heartbreaking, the more so given your subject matter. Art is a discipline whose students HAVE to know that they can dare and try and learn without the teacher regarding them personally as failures. And until you deal with your insecurity, you're not going to be the teacher you could be, no matter how well you've mastered your craft technically.

    If I were your mentor, I'd tell you to identify the art medium or technique or style that most terrifies you, to find the most exacting and least "extremely friendly and bubbly" teacher of it who has a reputation for student success, and to study that which terrifies you with that teacher. If there's nothing in art that terrifies you, then a class in theatre performance, or music performance, or public speaking, or comedy improv, or creative writing - something in which you have to perform with your heart right out there for all the world to see, and be judged for it. It is imperative that you experience the struggle to keep up and the corresponding need to be supported while you struggle. Journal daily about how it feels and what the teacher does to keep you and the other students from crashing when your reaches inevitably exceed your grasps. In future, you'll have that journal to look back on, and with luck it will inform your teaching practice going forward.
     
    MsAbeja, ms.irene, mathmagic and 9 others like this.
  4. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Oct 3, 2016

    .
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,662
    Likes Received:
    1,585

    Oct 4, 2016

    TG made some excellent points.

    To answer your question...I don't spend any time comparing myself to other teachers...just as I continually caution my students not to compare themselves to another student...just look within themselves to strive to be the best they can.
     
    Upsadaisy, Peregrin5, czacza and 3 others like this.
  6. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    5,009
    Likes Received:
    390

    Oct 4, 2016

    You get over it and do your job. It is a job. Not a popularity contest.
     
    Peregrin5, czacza and Leaborb192 like this.
  7. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Oct 4, 2016

    But you never think, "I wish I had that kind of engaging personality"?
     
  8. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    5,009
    Likes Received:
    390

    Oct 4, 2016

    Hun, if you have to think that then you need to work on that.
     
  9. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    5,009
    Likes Received:
    390

    Oct 4, 2016

    If you don't want to work on that then go on with life.
     
    Upsadaisy and Peregrin5 like this.
  10. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,174

    Oct 4, 2016

    I struggle with confidence in myself, probably to a far greater extent than you do.

    Even so, even though I might not always 100% follow it, my goal is not to compare myself to teachers per-say, but to identify elements that I feel other teachers are doing well that I find that I would like to improve in my classroom. Just like we ask kids to look at mentor texts for writing, and model the thinking process of good readers and mathematicians for students, we should be looking at similar great models of teaching. We don't compare the students' writing to J.K. Rowling's novels, though.

    For a more personalized example for you, art: I'd imagine that you have the kids look at a variety of artists to gleam ideas and to help model concepts, but I bet you don't ask kids to compare their final product to that artist.

    Change can't happen unless you are willing, though. It's extremely difficult sometimes, but not impossible. Those who are open to it will grow the most. As the quote hanging above our classroom door says: "Without struggle, there is no progress."
     
    MsAbeja and SpecialPreskoo like this.
  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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

    Oct 4, 2016

    I joke when it's appropriate and I'm serious when I need to. When kids try to push the and test the boundaries to see how far they can go, I'll get them back in line. But I want to ENJOY my job & connect with my kids so I will. And sometimes you just REALLY NEED to laugh! Don't be afraid to show the kids that you're human and you're in there with them. It depends on how you see yourself, the kids and what "teaching" means. I compare myself to the teachers who are WAY MORE organized, have their pacing / timing down , and kick ass at the instructional model. I've got the rapport and connection with my kids, I just need to work on the instructional delivery. I always feel like I'm talking to much and sometimes -- sadly-- am not sure what the teaching is supposed to LOOK LIKE.
    :(
     
  12. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Oct 4, 2016

    I hear you!
     
  13. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Oct 4, 2016

    So how can we say somebody who is freindly and engaging is NOT a better teacher because of that? Assuming their instruction is not a mess of course.
     
  14. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Oct 4, 2016

    I also follow that approach. It is far easier than trying to be more friendly. I just struggle with the idea that I have a natural shortcoming because I am not super friendly and therefore not awesome. I don't think that could be true but I am looking for the reason why.
     
  15. MsAbeja

    MsAbeja Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    109

    Oct 4, 2016

    This is brilliant. I'm going to read this over and over again.
     
    mathmagic likes this.
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,392
    Likes Received:
    1,544

    Oct 5, 2016

    If you are truly interested in how teachers utilize personal (but still professional) relationships with students to improve behavior management, I suggest you read Teaching with Love and Logic. It may sound ridiculous to some, but it is a sound system.
     
  17. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,174

    Oct 5, 2016

    Sorry, but this response doesn't seem to show that you've really gleaned much from the responses to this thread, or other threads. It rehashes similar statements that others (and I) have talked about time and time again.

    I always tell my students: I can teach and help those who are willing to learn, change, and grow. It's a bummer when one chooses not to be willing.
     
  18. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,002

    Oct 5, 2016

    If you want to be friendly and engaging, then learn how to be friendly and engaging. This seems more like a job for a hired coach or psychologist. Not this forum.

    If you don't want to be more friendly and engaging then don't.

    I've compared myself to other teachers, and I've noticed that female teachers with motherly demeanors often make great connections with students. That obviously is not going to work for me: a young male teacher, for obvious reasons, so I don't fret it and I do me. All humans try to take on personality characteristics of those they admire. If you admire another teachers friendliness, try to become more friendly even if you aren't right now.

    I started teaching with a very different personality to what I have now. I used to be very meek, quiet, and shy. I'm now much more outgoing, empathetic, and try to make connections with others. Personalities can change, but only if you want it to change. From what it sounds like you don't really respect teachers who are friendly with students because you tend to assume that they're poor instructors.
     
    HSEnglishteach likes this.
  19. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Oct 5, 2016

    That's good advice. But I never said those who are friendly are bad teachers. That's a confusion that several on this thread keep bandying about.
     
  20. HSEnglishteach

    HSEnglishteach Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    34

    Oct 6, 2016

    I feel the same way, Peregrin. When I started teaching, I was much more stiff and robotic than I am now. Even more than that, I was less dynamic, less an assured leader in the classroom. I don't think there's anything wrong with calling it as you see it and stealing from excellent teachers.

    If other teachers in your building are doing things that make them better at their craft, work on improving your own skills in that area. I'm currently co-teaching with a teacher who is incredible at challenging students from the front -- his questioning skills are unparalleled. I'm no where near on his level in that regard, but I'm trying to learn and steal from him.

    That's the great thing about teaching -- you can always improve.
     
    bella84, a teacher, Upsadaisy and 2 others like this.
  21. kurtfa

    kurtfa New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 17, 2016

    Maybe try doing things like having video Fridays or playing music students like in class. Those are some things one of my colleagues does and he's the favorite in the school. You could also just think of jokes to incorporate into the lesson instead of just coming up with them on the spot.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. miss-m,
  2. vickilyn,
  3. YoungTeacherGuy
Total: 557 (members: 3, guests: 540, robots: 14)
test