Hiding behind authority

My experience as a young teacher at a parent-teacher conference.

Photo of Thomas Gilliford
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As new service teacher I was aged only 22. The parents of most of my students were much older than me and I found that extremely intimidating, especially during parent-teacher conferences. Being just at the beginning of my own learning journey as a teacher I always felt like I was a bit of a fraud. My remedy for this was to retreat behind the authority of the role using lots of jargon and data to make myself feel more important. Unfortunalty this led to my spouting cliche saying to one child's parents, "He's a bright boy but needs to apply himself", rather than the more useful, human and honest response which would have been "He's really scared of disspointing you and so he doesn't try, because that way he lowers expactations". If i'd been able to set aside my own anexiety perhaps the whole meeting would have been richer.

[Optional] Synthesize a little! In one sentence, describe something you learned from your empathy exercises or analogous research.

Fear scan prevent genuine connection.


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Photo of Clint Heitz

Thomas - If you'd be willing, I would greatly appreciate your support for Guideposts to Success by heading to the post and leaving a positive evaluation, as well as suggestions to grow the idea even more! I'd love a new teacher's perspective. Thank you!

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