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looking really young and being a teacher..advice?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by scienceteacher11, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. scienceteacher11

    scienceteacher11 New commenter

    I'm a TA and i'm 21, sometimes I have to cover lessons and a lot of the time I'm not taken seriously.. it starts off by them genuinally thinking I'm a 6th former i explain im not then its goes into you look young bla, bla, how old are you? And the lessons just gets off on a bad note. I am starting my training this year and when I'm an nqt i will be 22 and still look young! its just really denting my confidence even some of the staff think I'm a 6th former how can I be taken seriously when students don't even realise I'm a member of staff?!
  2. I had this problem *years* ago (nostalgic sigh for past youth). My suggestion is to dress and behave very very professionally. Don't dress like a forty year old, but equally don't dress like a teenager. Don't get drawn into personal conversations about your age, it's not appropriate.
    I'm sure someone with more experience will be along shortly! Best of luck.
  3. Don't worry, it won't last long!

    Being a man in an infant classroom any new visitor automatically goes to speak to the classroom assistant and ignores me. Suits me fine if they have a problem!
  4. oldsizenines

    oldsizenines New commenter

    I'm an NQT, nearly 23 and I'm 4'11". Teachers can't find me when they walk into the room to talk to me about something if I'm sat with a group. I don't wear red otherwise I'd blend in with the kids.
    Granted, I teach Y4, but believe me, the quicker you get it out of your head the better. My kids are really good (as are most of their parents about being taught by someone so young), so I think you'll surprise yourself. As long as you build up a good relationship with them, their parents and your colleagues, you'll be amazed at how quickly the 'feeling young' vibe subsides. Trust me. I invested in a good pair of heels at the start of the year and I've never looked back.
  5. Hi there. I'm kind of in the same position and I'm nearly 29! I have been working at the school for nearly 5 years now so at least most of the staff know who I am at this point! I have been mistaken for a student countless times...canteen staff not letting me have my sandwich wrapped up to go, being told I shouldn't be using the staff toilets and in one particular French class the teacher (new to the school) would frequently ask me questions when he was going round the class...at first I thought he was just including me as some other teachers (who know I'm a TA) sometimes get my thoughts or opinions during discussions when appropriate, I realised he thought I was a student after I had been supporting this one student for a few weeks when I was scolded for not having my French book! I hadn't had one for the past few weeks either and before the first lesson I supported I even told him I would be there to support sutdentx but he obviously forgot/didnt listen!

    Keep the focus on the learning where possible...comments about me being a 6th forrmer from students are usually met with "I want to discuss ..... let's stick to talking about the work" but I really liked the suggestion about continuing the discussion about age after the lesson at break/after school...I can see that being used in future!

    Best of luck...it is annoying but I'm told again and again that I'll appreciate my babyface when I'm 50!

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