Vision and Leadership

I have applied to multiple teaching programs for my time after college, but I’m worried that I look too young to be taken seriously as a teacher. How do you gain the respect of students who may not be much younger than you? —D., California

If you are thinking of teaching at the elementary or middle levels, don’t worry—you will look old to them!

I have seen young-looking, diminutive teachers manage classes with no problems. I say it comes down to leadership ability and presence in the classroom. How do you become the leader? Envision what your “perfect” class would look like: What are the students doing? How are they interacting? What are you doing? With that vision firmly in mind, you now have a basis to make all your decisions. You will know what big things to worry about and what little things to let slide and don’t let students try to make those decisions for you! In no time at all, students will see you as their educational leader.

I strongly discourage teachers from trying to get all students to like you or to become friends with them. That is counter-productive in my opinion and a big mistake. NSTA Learning Center online advisor, Pamela Dupree, adds: Don’t text or connect on social media with students…or parents!

Maintain your classroom with consistency and develop a caring attitude toward the students and you will not have any problems. Well.., maybe a few, but we all do!

Hope this helps!


Photo credit: Michelle Collins via Wikimedia

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