Too Young to Teach?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by GatsbyFlowers, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. GatsbyFlowers

    GatsbyFlowers New Member

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    Aug 18, 2014

    I'm a recent graduate and decided to spend a year subbing to gain more in-classroom experience before going after a full-year position. I received a call from my district's sub-caller, asking me if I'd be interested in a Long Term Position for High School English (which is basically my dream job for the moment). I had the interview today, but after asking to see my resume and CEAS and telling me that there was a senior class in addition to the sophomore ones, she had me asking all the questions and said that while I seemed well-prepared (I had a huge portfolio of stuff I did student teaching as well as a list of questions prepared), she's concerned about me teaching a senior class because of my age. I know to take certain precautions-- like always leaving the door open, never being alone with a student, etc-- and she did say that everyone had to go through it eventually.

    Do you think being a young teacher (I'm 21, but I look even younger) will negatively impact my chances of getting the job? Or have any advice for young teachers/subs that could help me have a more successful interview in the future?
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aug 18, 2014

    I just turned 22 and taught seniors when I first started. I didn't have any issues at all, a dn I could have easily passed for a student. Behave professionally. That's my only advice.

    My current BF loves to tell people that I was his teacher. He was a freshman (maybe sophomore) my first year of teaching. We didn't have any contact them, other than me covering a class he was in one time. We didn't officially meet and date until this past May. We are 36 and 44.
     
  4. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Aug 18, 2014

    One of my colleagues graduated from high school/college early, so she was 20 and teaching seniors. However, that was almost 20 years ago.

    I look very young for my age, and I am sometimes mistaken for a student (I teach 8th graders). I would think that if the candidate was highly qualified for the job and gave the impression that they were professional and confident, age wouldn't matter. But I'm sure some teachers have been overlooked because they give off a "young" vibe.

    As for advice, I would just say to dress professionally (no bright colors or trendy prints), wear muted makeup (but don't confuse "muted" with "zero" makeup), and be the best candidate you can be. That's all that you really can do, and it will be up to the hiring committee to judge you.
     
  5. texashistory

    texashistory Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2014

    You can dress professionally and all but it will probably be more of the vibe they get from you on whether you appear mature.

    I'm short, small boned and I'm 24. Most of the children I've worked with have been exactly my size or bigger but I'm pretty strong for my size. You wouldn't think so just looking at me but years of gymnastics it's small muscle but strong.

    My I have a surprisingly deep voice for how I appear and I've always been told I don't come off early 20s so that works to my advantage.

    Just present yourself confident and the rest will come if it's meant.
     
  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 18, 2014

    I was 21 when I first taught seniors. I dressed professionally though I didn't and still don't wear makeup. Many of our teachers don't.

    You just need to establish yourself as the authority.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aug 18, 2014

    You can still dress professionally without being frumpy, though. I like clothes, and I like dressing age-appropriately and in style. I'm also a fan of make-up.
     
  8. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 18, 2014

    Most of our younger teachers shop at Loft, NY & Co, Gap, Banana Republic, and J. Crew. We hit the outlets a few times a year that are close to us. There are many great, professional pieces of clothing out there!
     
  9. jteach89

    jteach89 Companion

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    Aug 18, 2014

    I am a young teacher too, and I too just look young. Im 24, was 23 when I started but I look 18 lol. I teach early childhood but theres been days I definitely had to "put my foot down". Even so I try to dress professionally and carry myself professionally as well. @dgpiaffecteach I LOVE the LOFT. They have really great professional clothing but still trendy and age appropriate
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2014

    OP, I worked with a young teacher who could have written your letter. Her belief was that she would be more in tune with the students, being closer in age. In reality, she did have issues with the older students, and had several incidents with the senior boys hitting on her, and one who became a stalker. The principle has probably seen the same thing, so it is an experience she would like to save you from. If possible to teach a couple of years in middle school, where you will hone your classroom management skills, it could be ideal. I am not saying you can't do HS at this age, but I have seen things where the teacher became afraid to walk to her car alone, stay after dark, and have to convince administration that she was still effective given the circumstances. I certainly agree with professional and modest clothes, but my friend went that route to no avail. Just my observations.
     
  11. MissPapa

    MissPapa Comrade

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    Aug 18, 2014

    You're never too young to teach. But yes I agree, your students will perceive how you are based on appearance. As long as you dress at least business casual to professional, you should be fine with that age group.

    I know, it's hard teaching the older students when you look younger. Had last-minute sub assignments for 8th grade classes…not fun. Got hit on and asked if I had a boyfriend.

    Definitely stand your ground. You're the authority to them, not just some "girl" teaching them.
     
  12. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Aug 18, 2014

    I started teaching at 21 and was mistaken for a junior high student. Dress professionally, act with confidence, and have your act together.
     
  13. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 19, 2014

    I agree with everyone that has said to dress and act professionally, stand your ground, and make sure your classroom management skills are on point. I was older when I started teaching HS, but had a coworker that was younger. She did have some problems with some students, but for the most part she was a good teacher. Just know that there will be some students who will do and say anything to try to steer you away from teaching.
     

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