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Secondary: strategies for tackling "being too young"?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Craigjamieson88, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Hi,

    I'm currently on a secondary course and I really think, despite my best efforts, that any behaviour management I try to implement (especially with higher years, such as year 11) are really undermined by the fact I still look as if I'm in year 11. I'm not sure of a way around it - and personally I find it harder to be that authoritative figure when really, I'm not too dissimilar to them - mentally and physically.

    Anybody else experienced this? If so, what do you do about it?
  2. To some extent teaching is an act. Perhaps you'll have to act more authoritative and confident and strict and adult and in control than you actually are or feel. I do and I find it tiring! But you're in a position of authority and will be paid to behave professionally. You can't use your age or immaturity as an excuse not to.
  3. Hey, I posted a similar question on behaviour thread 'Looking too young'. Although a different scenario to yours. My sister who works with primary school children and people thinking she looks about 13!
  4. You're lucky! :D Just year 11?! While I was on placement I was frequently mistaken for a year 8 pupils, and once got a thorough bashing for going into the staff room. I was 4'11, with a baby face and sweet voice.

    It really is all about an act. For me, I developed a cold face, began to steadily develop my voice, and most importantly, I was consistent. I couldn't afford to just throw rules at them. They had to know the rules and what would happen, and I had to stick to it. The threat of sanction had to be more than the threat of my baby voice squeaking at them. That's easier said than done though, and to be honest, it works much better now that I have my own classes than it did when I was training.

    Don't get into a shouting match. That makes you sound younger .Keep your voice steady and even. If you have to raise your voice, do it very rarely and only for a few words. Don't be fooled into thinking that high heels and makeup help. They don't. Actually, my total lack of makeup was the only thing that made me look slightly less young. I didn't look like I was trying to cover something up.

    Now I've actually got an alright shouting voice for the rare occasion that I need it. It makes me smile when I shout and a student jumps or falls off a chair next to me. Lets me know I'm finally doing something right.

    Most importantly, though, don't view them as friends! Is there anything specifically that you find a problem?

  5. I found that randomly getting them to line up against the wall and change the seating plan worked fairly well for showing them who's boss. I could do it quietly, it didn't require confrontation, but it showed them that I was telling them what to do, and I was deciding how much they get to enjoy this lesson with friends... or not.

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