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Old 04-06-2015, 10:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
You need to quit focusing so much on the person you wish you could be and the life you wish you could have, and just learn to make the life you have work well for you. Otherwise, one day you're going to look back and realize that you spent so much time thinking about who you wished you were that you forgot to have an actual, real life.

The kids you teach are not going to respect you just because you look sophisticated. They're going to respect you when you don't care at all what they think of your looks or clothing. When they laugh at your appearance and then you change it to try to be something they will approve of, you're giving them power over you.
I think I've shaken it off enough in the classroom for them to understand that I only change for me, but I also feel like maybe they are being sent mixed messages that reinforce their attitudes. I'm pretty sure their parents and other teachers have shared with them the importance of "looking the part" and "dressing for success." Then, they look at me and think that perhaps they don't need to take me seriously because I don't always look the part.
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Middle America
35,827 posts, read 39,500,156 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
Well,

Having Asperger's, I'm not naturally skilled in the personality department. Becoming a slight caricature of a refined and stylish lady might help take away quite a bit of my social awkwardness and uncertainty when presenting lessons and interacting with the kids. Yes, I do need to also work on my lesson plans, and I find that good lesson plans can take away from some of the awkwardness, but I want to be special, admired and treasured and on that fabled list of "favorite" teachers. I want to be one of the teachers who would have blown my mind when I was a teen, and I know there's a way to do it. Plus, I find that having a mental script helps me a bit when interacting with the kids, and if a script helps me, why can't I craft a character for the classroom stage?
Dressing the part NEVER hurts, as far as making you feel a particular way.

But that's not going to give you a personality transplant, and it's not going to change others' perception of you beyond the temporary and superficial. If you want to come off as more confident and in control in the classroom, the answer is to BE more confident. Be better prepared, practice makes perfect. Time and just gaining experience helps more than anything. There's certainly nothing harmful in visualzing the way you want to be, but if you put somuch time, attention, and focus on the persona you've crafted, you're going to have very little attention left for doing the actual job, and none of it will matter, anyway.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollytree View Post
I congratulate you for having the good sense to realize that you haven't had good role models and that you need to work on this area of your personality development. That hasn't dawned on a lot of twenty somethings.

Watching teen age movies is a horrible way to learn how to act. The portrayals are far from how a mature women should comport herself. And don't confuse a sense of humor with a "mean girl" for heaven's sake. A mature person is diplomatic and makes others feel comfortable in their presence. Have you ever read an etiquette book? Emily Post? A book on how to make conversation?

If you develop an assertive mature demeanor, kids won't dare to take cheap shots at you. Go for it.
Traits I admire about the "mean girl" characters portrayed on television:

They are mature, wise, and assertive. They know how to navigate, interact, and put people in their place.

For instance, if a student made some snide remark to the "mean girl" teacher to get a laugh out of his buddies, she would know how to artfully turn it around to reveal it's foolishness or creatively dismiss it without formally disciplining the student, thereby gaining the respect of her students and admiration of the disrupter.

They know how to emotionally engineer.

The "mean girl" teacher would control her class by manipulating them to think that her rules and assignments were what they wanted to do. She would know how to correctly apply social pressure to get everyone to comply and make the kids think disruption is a bad idea. She would portray herself as someone who knows where her students are coming from and how they are thinking without coming off as odd or immature.

Compare that with me currently.

If a kid makes a snide remark to me, I either pretend I didn't hear it or answer it flatly. Both of these result in more remarks, although answering is more effective than completely ignoring. Sharp and witty remarks, though, those sometimes get the attention of the class and in a minimally intrusive manner help remind the student to not say mean things within earshot.

I'm blind to the kids and their concerns.

I usually get the class to comply with my rules through threat of punishment, and it's not very effective. I appear out of touch with their concerns, even though I feel like I've experienced a lot of what they're going through, but they don't see that unless I try to talk to them. Sometimes when I talk I'm too friendly, which can be off-putting and make me seem like I have even less authority or understanding. It's a no-win. I come off looking like the frumpy boring authoritarian lady or the bundling moron new girl trying-too-hard-to-impress instructor that the kids can take advantage of.

Last edited by krmb; 04-06-2015 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:17 AM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,136 posts, read 21,170,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
I want to be a full-fledged lady who looks and acts like she just stepped out of a conservative fashion magazine for women over thirty. I want to look and act the part perfectly, and I really am sort of obsessed with fashion and beauty. I work with teenagers who regard it heavily, and my coworkers always observe a "professional appearance," but to me seem like they went to charm school as girls. They automatically know how others are going to perceive them. I lack this ability; it may be because I'm mildly autistic, or it may be simply because I never learned.

My desires were reignited recently by watching another teen movie where the awkward girl transforms herself into someone else to reach her goal. It's amazing what people can do with makeup and how a person can apparently become someone else if he or she has good communication skills. Besides, I like to dress up. My mother used to encourage it, so it helps me remember her. I just don't have the skills or the time and money to experiment. I do need to start looking and acting like a professional lady, though, not like a kid. I feel like I'm stuck in kid mode. I'm obsessed with some of the things they're obsessed with (but really I'm obsessed with a need for success.) I feel like if I look and act the correct way, I'll be offered a job, because people will see what I can do.

Right now, I'm just not working toward my goals. Maybe this is better suited for the psychology forum. I have a lot of goals that I have not met, and I blame it on not being "woman enough." I like dressing up as a hobby, really, but lately I've been searching for a way to fit into society and using it as an imaginary unattainable solution.

Here are some questions that were on my mind:

Are there any services like charm schools, etiquette schools, or professionalism trainings available at an affordable price? I know of some things in my area, but I don't know of anything that will cater to my needs, really. Since there probably aren't any services like this in my area, how would I go about convincing someone to start something?

I feel like I need to copy female friends who dress and act professional, but I don't know where to find such people. Currently, I have no friends who are teachers or educated professionals. I wish I could find an affordable coach somewhere.
I am not sure what you are asking exists anymore in this sweat pants society but if you want to go to the library and gets some books on interlibrary loan I have some titles that have helped me through the years. I would send you to Dewey decimal number 646.7 in the library but many of these books are just personal opinion by the books author.

John T. Molloy did scientific experiments to see what different clothes made what impression about a person in different parts of the country. He wrote Dress for Success books for men and women.

http://www.amazon.com/Womens-Dress-S.../dp/0446672238

The Science of Sexy by Bradley Bayou is not about sex but is about what clothes look the best on different body types. There are details and you can find your body type in this book. A lady does not usually follow trends but develops her own style. She probably spends less on clothes than many women who do not look as good.

http://www.amazon.com/Science-Sexy-U...cience+of+sexy

Color coding was in for a while. There was a book written called Color Me a Season that has 40 questions for you to answer that will give you your color code and choices of colors to use to look your best. That is much easier and cheaper than paying a professional to color code you. Yes this book is old but it is the only one I know that color codes with questions only. People can pay huge amounts of money to get color coded.

http://www.amazon.com/Color-Me-Seaso...or+me+a+season

I accidently happened onto these books but since reading them I get many compliments on the way I dress and I am not the perfect size with the perfect body. I just look like I am. And don't be afraid to not look like everybody else in the room. They will all end up wanting to look like you.

Most of the flowery and sloppy clothes I see in the stores now are loser clothes. I go shopping but buy little right now. When the designers start doing a better job I will spend more money. I recently viewed a program on a shopping channel that looked like someone's bad yard sale and the prices were off the top. I sat there thinking, "Do people actually buy this stuff?" I don't. I wouldn't be caught dead in most of the clothes I saw that day. I don't buy clothes just to be buying something. Clothes have to flatter me before I take them home. There is nothing about wearing several shirts of different lengths and pants too big that flatters anyone.

Last edited by NCN; 04-06-2015 at 12:11 PM..
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:36 PM
 
3,153 posts, read 2,862,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
Traits I admire about the "mean girl" characters portrayed on television:

They are mature, wise, and assertive. They know how to navigate, interact, and put people in their place.

For instance, if a student made some snide remark to the "mean girl" teacher to get a laugh out of his buddies, she would know how to artfully turn it around to reveal it's foolishness or creatively dismiss it without formally disciplining the student, thereby gaining the respect of her students and admiration of the disrupter.

They know how to emotionally engineer.

The "mean girl" teacher would control her class by manipulating them to think that her rules and assignments were what they wanted to do. She would know how to correctly apply social pressure to get everyone to comply and make the kids think disruption is a bad idea. She would portray herself as someone who knows where her students are coming from and how they are thinking without coming off as odd or immature.

Compare that with me currently.

If a kid makes a snide remark to me, I either pretend I didn't hear it or answer it flatly. Both of these result in more remarks, although answering is more effective than completely ignoring. Sharp and witty remarks, though, those sometimes get the attention of the class and in a minimally intrusive manner help remind the student to not say mean things within earshot.

I'm blind to the kids and their concerns.

I usually get the class to comply with my rules through threat of punishment, and it's not very effective. I appear out of touch with their concerns, even though I feel like I've experienced a lot of what they're going through, but they don't see that unless I try to talk to them. Sometimes when I talk I'm too friendly, which can be off-putting and make me seem like I have even less authority or understanding. It's a no-win. I come off looking like the frumpy boring authoritarian lady or the bundling moron new girl trying-too-hard-to-impress instructor that the kids can take advantage of.
I don't even know how to get through to you - not only would a "mean girl" reply from a teacher be inappropriate and unprofessional, but it would make you a mean teacher. It is NEVER OK to make a student feel foolish or to make sarcastic remarks in the classroom, no matter what the student says or does. You are a teacher in high school, you are not IN high school. And you are not in a tv show. Once again, I strongly suggest you go to elementary school, where the kids are more "pure" and honest and less sarcastic and mean.
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Old 04-06-2015, 03:22 PM
 
231 posts, read 154,503 times
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As I read through this thread I keep getting the image of the character Dr.Lilith Sternin in my head! LOL!!
Love Bebe Neuwirth.
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Old 04-06-2015, 03:22 PM
 
4,279 posts, read 3,304,770 times
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Originally Posted by Mnseca View Post
I don't even know how to get through to you - not only would a "mean girl" reply from a teacher be inappropriate and unprofessional, but it would make you a mean teacher. It is NEVER OK to make a student feel foolish or to make sarcastic remarks in the classroom, no matter what the student says or does. You are a teacher in high school, you are not IN high school. And you are not in a tv show. Once again, I strongly suggest you go to elementary school, where the kids are more "pure" and honest and less sarcastic and mean.
The book may say not to engage disruptive students, but I know from watching other teachers that ecologically correct responses work better and seem more natural. The dismissive comment wouldn't have to be mean, although I've seen some resort to meanness. It would just need to be something that illustrated the teacher's ability to relate. I can't really think of a good example now, though. I do understand that jokes can backfire, however.

Elementary school children are, from what I've seen, much more disruptive and difficult to understand than the teenagers.
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,827 posts, read 39,500,156 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
The book may say not to engage disruptive students, but I know from watching other teachers that ecologically correct responses work better and seem more natural. The dismissive comment wouldn't have to be mean, although I've seen some resort to meanness. It would just need to be something that illustrated the teacher's ability to relate. I can't really think of a good example now, though. I do understand that jokes can backfire, however.

Elementary school children are, from what I've seen, much more disruptive and difficult to understand than the teenagers.
If you are perpetuating a combative, adverserial relationship with your students, you are doing it wrong (as well as pursuing the wrong field).
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Old 04-06-2015, 05:12 PM
 
4,279 posts, read 3,304,770 times
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Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
If you are perpetuating a combative, adverserial relationship with your students, you are doing it wrong (as well as pursuing the wrong field).
Obviously, that's not what I'm suggesting. I just want to know how to use certain social mechanisms to leverage more power in my personal and professional interactions.

This is a mild illustration:

Kid: I've seen transvestites who look more feminine than that lady over there (pointing to me and laughing).

Teacher: I could say a lot of things about you, but I'll stick with this. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Have you had your eyesight checked recently? (This dismisses the comment but acknowledges that I heard it. I would then try to move the conversation to something related to the lesson.) These one-liners aren't really original, though. I wish I could say something that would leave those kids speechless, in a good way.

Another approach:

Find a teacher who will role play various classroom scenarios and proper student and teacher responses. Take careful notes, watch her in action, and follow up with any questions. I think this may be a better approach, but I do sometimes like making the kids laugh, especially since they complain that I'm dull and boring.

Last edited by krmb; 04-06-2015 at 05:36 PM..
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:12 PM
 
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This is another example of what I had in mind.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/17/op...tion.html?_r=0

In some cultures, being witty is a requirement.
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