Personality Cafe banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Classroom management -- the eternal bane of even the most well-meaning, well-prepared teacher. For the INFP, maybe even our Achilles heel (and by this I don't mean the only area that could bring us down....maybe just the most likely area)?

Any teachers (or others who are/have been involved in a classroom setting) who can weigh in on this? I would like to try teaching after I graduate next year, but a lot of doubts have been holding me back. Wanting my students to like me while wanting them to maintain their independence and individuality would perhaps be my downfall....I have no idea how well I would do at keeping my class in check, or even if I would be able to do so. And without some sort of classroom management technique, good teaching can't truly occur. It really frightens me to contemplate the riots that could possibly occur while I stand by helplessly and watch.

I don't know how many INFP teachers are active here, so maybe I should broaden the audience -- others who are considering the education field, or who have ideas about it in general, or specific anecdotes from your own experience as a student about how to (or not to) manage a classroom? Anything would be helpful at this point. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
i'm only a student, so i can't give you the teacher perspective, but as a teacher, honestly, there are going to be kids who will never like you just because you're a teacher and they're a student. i know this sounds trite and like i'm just giving you a generic answer but you really just have to be yourself. to help kids foster their own autonomy, you have to be independent as well. if you're independent, again, you're going to be met with some resistance but it's only through that authenticity, that your natural experiences and feelings will shine through to give your students insight. this has ALWAYS been the case with not only my favorite teachers but teachers who have changed my life. it's great that you want to be liked and everything but these teachers who were my favorites got ranted about by other students.

as for controlling the classroom, you have to follow up with your rules. like if you really don't want there to be any rudeness or insensitivity to any student by another student, not only do you have to emphasize that early on but you've actually got to do something about it. i had a teacher who had this rule but mean things were said in earshot and she would ignore like 75 percent of it. it made me mad that she had promised a supportive environment and that failed to enforce that.

good teachers have high expectations of their students and give them the resources to fulfill those high expectations. seeing as you're an infp, i don't think i have to stress this too much, but that place of high expectations doesn't come from a student getting the highest letter grade but producing the best work possible and not only learning the material but applying it. if you come with this mentality, you'll be a great teacher!

and honestly, just the fact that you're concerned about this, makes me thrilled that you're considering being a teacher.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
I'm not even the intended audience, but:

First off, you're the teach! Regardless of what age group you're working with, those people are going to be forced to obey/respect/listen to you, because you're the boss in the classroom setting.

You shouldn't even be the nervous one. THEY'RE the ones who should (and will) be nervous their teacher might own their shit for the entire term.

Be confident; there are ways to deal with everyone, and you'll learn them quickly.

Your students can't actually do anything to you. They'll fail/get kicked out/face some kind of disciplinary action.

If they resent you, it wouldn't be your problem because you would've done your best to help them in the first place. You can't work miracles. You can only do your job (and do it well based on your caring attitude).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
634 Posts
Hey, I have the same fears (maybe its a 4w3 thing?)
Well I've taught overseas short-term to different-aged kids. I'll tell you it really can get out of hand sometimes, and it's overwhelming at first but if you keep in mind your goal as a teacher is to educate and not baby-sit, the vibe will get through to most of them. If you gain their respect by being respectful, firm, helpful, even loving, they're less likely to want to disappoint you. If the little bastards won't listen or respond to discipline, make an example out of them, kick them out--let the school counselor earn his paycheck, that's what he's there for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
If they resent you, it wouldn't be your problem because you would've done your best to help them in the first place. You can't work miracles. You can only do your job (and do it well based on your caring attitude).
Even if I've done my absolute best and fail, I don't feel that I'd be able to let it go. I'd want my students to like and respect me....maybe it wouldn't bother me if 1 or 2 don't, as long as the vast majority do. But say the vast majority doesn't....it would really, truly bother me. Not saying this is the right attitude to have, but I'm confident it would be my reaction, and I worry that having such a reaction would hinder my teaching (and I certainly don't want to half ass anything).

Hey, I have the same fears (maybe its a 4w3 thing?)
Well I've taught overseas short-term to different-aged kids. I'll tell you it really can get out of hand sometimes, and it's overwhelming at first but if you keep in mind your goal as a teacher is to educate and not baby-sit, the vibe will get through to most of them. If you gain their respect by being respectful, firm, helpful, even loving, they're less likely to want to disappoint you. If the little bastards won't listen or respond to discipline, make an example out of them, kick them out--let the school counselor earn his paycheck, that's what he's there for.
Haha this has been exactly my experience teaching overseas too....I've brushed off most of the chaos and disorder as being due to the language barrier and my short-term stay (hindering my ability to develop any significant rapport with the students, which must make a huge difference). I'm actually about to give it my second go this summer and hope it goes slightly better. :)

and honestly, just the fact that you're concerned about this, makes me thrilled that you're considering being a teacher.
thank you -- for everything you said, but especially that encouragement! Looking back on the teachers who were the most transformative in my experience, I think I'd partially agree with you. Not all were liked, but all were respected for being fair, genuine, and allowing their experiences to shine through.
 

·
MOTM Dec 2011
Joined
·
8,651 Posts
I do better with this (as a sub) than I anticipated. I was most worried about this too... Many of the tips you get in training (or what you learn in school) DO work, so use them. I'm off to bed in a few, but if you have any questions, then go ahead & ask.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Geoffrey

·
Registered
Joined
·
616 Posts

-----So summoned. ; ) Thanks, eye! (@eyenexepee)
Classroom management [. . .] Any teachers (or others who are/have been involved in a classroom setting) who can weigh in on this? [. . .] Wanting my students to like me while wanting them to maintain their independence and individuality would perhaps be my downfall....I have no idea how well I would do at keeping my class in check, or even if I would be able to do so.
-----I am pretty sleepy, but I am going to try to reply coherently.
-----First and foremost, remember this: YOU are there for THEM, never vice versa. Whether they like you or even respect you is irrelevant (though it is important that they act respectfully toward you and others). Instead, rely on your INFP strengths--they're what make you a good teacher. Trying to act like an ST is a sure way to royally screw up. A good teacher is neither "buddy" nor "authoritarian"--but is instead a facilitator. Don't ask, "How do I be a good teacher?" That question shifts focus away from the students onto you. Instead, ask, "How do I best help my students learn?" In the classroom, it is always, always about the students and never about you (or me).
-----Creating a positive learning environment actually came naturally to me (and I suspect it will to you, too). I have an easier job than you, though, in this regard, since I teach college students--who want to be there--versus lower grades where the students tend to wish they were anywhere else. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Research--there's lots of practical advice out there. Use what works and abandon what doesn't. If you are worried about conflict situations, I encourage you to write down a list of possible scenarios--especially the ones that worry you--and then seek advice, research, and reflect. Also, learn the school rules and best practices (ask about them if they are not provided). After doing those things, write down your ideal response after each scenario. If you think about and find an answer ahead of time, you will know what to do and do it confidently should the situation arise. Remember that it is easier to start a little on the strict side and to grade hard--and then later loosen up--than doing it the other way around.
-----Ask permission to view classes being taught--especially the first day of class (if they'll let you). Join the organizations relevant to your field--and attend the meetings. Network with other teachers and learn from them--listen to what they have to say.
-----Use your knowledge of MBTI, multiple intelligences, and learning styles to your advantage--try to incorporate strategies that will reach all types (yes, I am aware of the recent claim that there's no such thing as multiple intelligences--ugh!). Learn about how the different types learn. See: NF - Cognitive Profile. That page is just a starting point--there's plenty more there. Identify each student's strengths and nurture them.
-----If you work best one-on-one, make sure there is some time to give personal feedback with extra time for questions from the individual students. My students get a lot out of student conferences.
-----Finally, make plenty of time to prepare.
-----In my opinion, all NF types have an inherent teaching ability. INFPs can make excellent teachers. As always, find your own path--what works for you. Trust your Feeling judgment and Intuitive perception. These are your strengths. I have faith that you will make an excellent teacher. Just remember, it is your job to accept and nurture them, but they owe you nothing. As teachers, it is our task to shoulder a bit of their burden, but the children should never be asked to shoulder even a little bit of ours. It is wrong (IMHO--sorry, I guess I am getting a little preachy) to ask children to like us or to accept us. That is not their job--it is not the job of children. They are not your friends; they are your students. You are the teacher--and it is rewarding to be there for THEM, without asking anything in return. I wish you all the best as you journey toward becoming the excellent teacher I know you are capable of becoming!
~~~~----~~~~----~~~~
-----It occurs to me I should briefly mention some of my credentials. I've taught around 40 classes over a roughly ten-year period. I've taught at the university, community college, and private school levels. My primary areas of expertise are composition and legal writing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,356 Posts
I have been teaching for 12 years , at private and public high schools, and also the university level. Everything Geoffrey said is spot-on so I won't repeat. But I will add a couple of things, in particular in regards to mistakes first-year teachers frequently make (me too, so don't worry).

First, probably the quickest place in your lesson for your class to disintegrate is in transitions. Beginning of class, end of class, and in between activities. Most new teachers out a lot of effort into planning the activities themselves but not in how they're going to go from one activity to the next. For example: say you're doing a group activity and you're going to put them in groups of four. You count them off or however you divide the groups, have them get into the groups, then give the instructions. This turns into a Huge Mess, because the kids take forever to get into the groups, the you have to settle them down, and they're not facing you so they're not paying attention... So, you always give instructions first (and always more than once, and maybe have a student repeat them back to you if they're complicated), THEN divide the groups (because they'll be worried about what groups their friends are in), THEN have the kids move AFTER all the groups have been divided. That way they'll be thinking about the task the entire time they're moving, and no time is wasted. This is just one example. Another is to get really good at talking and giving content-rich information while passing out papers. Kids think this is down time if they're not actively engaged. Bell-ringer activities at the beginning of class are extremely useful, because the kids will get used to having something on the board for them to do as soon as they walk in every day and it gives you time to take attendance and do whatever administrative thing you have to do in the first minute of class. And at the end of class, they will want to start packing up their stuff a couple of minutes before the bell. If you let them do that, they will do it earlier and earlier and earlier, so I used to hold them all after the bell until every student had their book back out on their desk and backpack on the ground. They learned not to pack up their stuff early real quick.

These kinds of transitional activities become part of a routine, so kids know what is expected of them at any given time. Holding high and consistent expectations, both academically and behaviorally, is crucial to the efficient functioning of the classroom. And while you WANT them to like you, remember that this is the same as a student who focuses on getting an A instead of focusing in learning the material. You will tell this student that if they learn the material, the A will follow. If you, as the teacher, teach well and hold high expectations and don't pander to them, they will generally like you. Or at least respect you.

My final tip is, dn't work too hard. Remember that your goal there is for them to acquire knowledge, so if you're doing all the talking they don't have to do any work at all. Let them participate in their learning process. And reflect on your teaching every day. I believe that teaching is a constant process of reflection and refinement. Every day after a lesson, I take five minutes and think about what went well, what I will do differently next time. As an INFP teacher, my biggest weakness tends to be being able to let my failures go. If a lesson blows up in my face (and they have, spectacularly), I will kick myself for days over it (perfectionist much?). It's something I constantly work on, letting it go and doing better tomorrow. And I get better all the time, because I strive for excellence. And my students appreciate it.

Does all this mean you will never have a class implode? No. Sometimes you have a kid that had something horrible happen and his attitude derails the whole class. Or something you say innocently strikes a nerve and a girl blows up. I've had some literally dangerous situations crop up before. And you handle it with professionalism, calm and strength. Then you go to the bathroom and cry your eyes out in your planning period and come back for your next class fresh and ready to try again.

As an undergrad, I reached out to my mom, who had been a teacher, with these same fears and concerns, plus I was worried about the impact I could have on the kids, like I could screw a kid up for life! She told me that having these fears was normal, but that being aware of these things was precisely what WOULD make me a good teacher. So I pass that on to you. You'll be great. Keep your chin up and remember you're learning too, so cut yourself some slack...a least for the first year :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,356 Posts
Oh yeah, and make SURE you keep a respectful distance between you and the kids. Easiest thing in the world is for a very young teacher to be seen as a peer and you do not want that at all. If this means dressing like your dead grandmother, constantly reminding the kids how geeky you are, or whatever, do it.

I had my first job teaching high school seniors when I was 20 years old. I was virtually the same age they were. And they never knew it until like 10 years later when they found out we're all in our early 30s with young kids. Very important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,356 Posts
I think teacher preparation programs in the us do not adequately prepare teachers for the realities of the classroom. It tends to be very theoretical. Students should be in classrooms much more frequently and consistently. The "practica" of once a week observations are hardly adequate to gather the experience necessary to lower the culture shock of student teaching, not to mention your first year flying solo. I feel strongly about mentoring new and pre-teachers for that reason. Your first week on the real job is hella eye-opening, and it shouldn't be, or at least, not as strongly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Geoffrey

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
@Marimeli
@Geoffrey
:
I can't even express how helpful your posts were! that's exactly what I was hoping to glean from this thread, and ya'll more than surpassed my expectations. :)

my parents are both teachers but have such different personalities and approaches that many of my concerns/doubts didn't resonate with them. I appreciate your perspectives and experience so much! This will definitely be a conversation I return to periodically.
 

·
Premium Member
INTP
Joined
·
11,905 Posts
I can't offer you any teaching perspectives but I can offer a ex-problem (ish) student perspective if that helps.

I wasn't the worst kid to teach but, I was disruptive and no doubt a pain in the ass most of the time.

I think the worst mistakes teachers make are being too authoritative and refusing to show any signs of relating to their students on the students level.
I remember a new young teacher that went OTT on the whole respect thing until she was always giving out punishments and when we had her class, we knew before we arrived that we would be staying behind for extra time. She was just targeted until she decided to leave. I believe it's important to show you are human a little bit, with soh etc. But not by reacting emotionally, first sign of a teacher becoming upset became 'what's it going to take to make this teacher cry? 'game.

Showing dislike for a student, I would pick up that stuff and make their life as difficult as possible.
Which I believe a teacher shouldn't show any significant preferences over students anyway, some are really obvious and it's awful to see, imo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,356 Posts
@Marimeli
@Geoffrey
:
I can't even express how helpful your posts were! that's exactly what I was hoping to glean from this thread, and ya'll more than surpassed my expectations. :)

my parents are both teachers but have such different personalities and approaches that many of my concerns/doubts didn't resonate with them. I appreciate your perspectives and experience so much! This will definitely be a conversation I return to periodically.
Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions, either here or in a PM. I'm happy to help in any way or recommend resources.

*crawls back into the cave where she was hiding before being summoned in eyenexepee's magic ritual involving the @*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,390 Posts
Being a teach according to B. Russell:

1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.
He was probably a T, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,356 Posts
Haha yeah. That was then, this is now :3
I meant in the sense of someone asking someone for teaching advice and he gives you his life philosophy, and you have to go, "ok...so....how many copies of this worksheet should I make? What do I do if a kid holds me at knifepoint? How do I manage all this paperwork?"

10 bucks says he'd tell them they're over thinking it :p it was a lovely quote though:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,390 Posts
In the case of having a knife put on your throat, don't accept authority? That was then... xD
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top