The Teacher Stance - Use on first day of school
The first day of school is always kind of strange. You don’t want your kids to be afraid to come to school, yet you want them to fear you just a little bit. You want them to love you, but know that you are in control. You want to show dominance, but you want them to feel comfortable in your room. Teaching is so much harder than rocket science, right??
You’ll hear older educators use the phrase, “Don’t smile ‘till Christmas!” But that makes for a long first half of the year, doesn’t it?
Here’s what you need to portray on the first day of school.
You will see many personalities of teachers in your school. Some teachers will use the my-way-or-the-highway approach. “You WILL do what I say WHEN I say it.” Some will use the too-sweet-to-maintain-seriousness approach. “I am SO HAPPY you are here, my angels! We are going to have FUN! This is going to be a sweet class!” Some will use the I’m-your-friend approach. “Dude, love those shoes, man. You are going to be rockin’ this year.” (fist bump)
These approaches don’t exactly spell out disaster, but as a novice teacher you need to consider how you approach the first day.
Think business-like. Think about how you would lead a business meeting if you were a CEO of a company. Never rude, not sarcastic. You are a bit formal, to the point, and confident. Yes, you can smile. But it’s a professional smile: confident and controlled.
Here are some tips for your stance:
Most importantly, do NOT act nervous--even if you are! They can smell fear. I really think they can.
Susan Dewees, Ed.D. is an administrator at a large middle school. She also served as a Turnaround Team Coordinator for a public school district in Louisiana. She has 20 years of experience in public school education, and special education is one of her specialties.
Erin Stokes, Ed.D. is a Title I Instructional Coordinator for a public school district in Louisiana. She has over 10 years of experience as a teacher and instructional coach. She is also an adjuct professor at Louisiana College. She loves students, teachers, and most of all--learning.
Becky Pippen, Ed.D. is currently serving as principal of a large middle school in Louisiana. She has over 20 years experience in educational leadership. She is passionate about improving the teacher workforce so that all students have the quality of instruction they deserve.