This morning, I got to observe two other, young, female teachers. They co-taught and one was an inclusion teacher. Both were first-year teachers and both were "figuring this whole teaching thing out". This was much different than my 62-year-old male teacher who has pretty much got it all figured out by now.
After observing for about an hour, I picked up some things I definitely want to do for classroom management when I get my own classroom. Sure, there are things I would change, but it's all personal style.
One of the teachers shared a piece of advice she got before she started:
"DON'T BE NICE UNTIL HALLOWEEN."
Don't be nice until Halloween? What? That's like two months of being mean. The more I watched these young teachers, it started to make a little more sense. Kids (and people, for that matter) are creatures that challenge the rules. Kids want to see what they can get away with. Drivers want to see how fast they can go over the speed limit. People want to push the limits. It's what we do. And a first-year teacher is bait to these little ones. It's up to us to remember to be a little more harsh or strict or stern to set boundaries and actually stick to them. Don't let them walk all over us.
So, even though I think a smile is the best make-up a girl can wear, I'm going to have to make an exception for the classroom when I start. There ain't no way these little people are gon' get the best of me.