Bio: Second Year Teach First English Trainee. Sharing personal musings and absorbing knowledge from anyone and everyone. All views my own.

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  1. Hi Miss Trainee!

    I’m a 3rd year student at University and currently have a place on a PGCE course. I stumbled across your wordpress whilst looking up tips on handling difficult behaviour in the classroom!

    I’m a very friendly person and, when I did teaching practice, found that I was difficult to draw the line between being a ‘nice’ teacher and being too friendly (therefore not taken seriously as a figure of authority). I was wondering how do you balance this? How can you avoid being a complete orge but also not walked all over?

    Also how do you make sure that you make the right impression when you first enter the classroom? I’ve heard that the first lesson is the most important in terms of setting the boundaries and letting the students know exactly where you stand in terms of discipline etc…

    I would be grateful for any advice that you have!
    Keep up the excellent teaching and awesome blog!


    1. Hi Toni,

      Great to hear you’re enjoying the blog!

      You are spot on with what you’ve said about the importance of the first lesson; however, it’s not the be all and end all.

      As I mentioned in one of the blogs, there are those cool and laid back teachers that every newbie wants to be like. However, they often have a solid reputation of “don’t mess” underneath it all.

      The biggest thing for you is to be solid on your expectations. I am naturally a friendly and -dare I say it- “funny” teacher (students tend to shake their head in shame at me…!). However, the moment they push too far, I straighten up and say that they’re pushing it/give sanctions. I follow through every single time.

      You can be the friendly teacher AND function as a figure of authority. However, you need to make sure that the kids know what the negative side of you is like so that it is always lurking in the corner. If they just see you as friendly, there is no reason for them to respect you because they will think that “oh come on miss!” will make you back down.

      I’d go for being scary when going through your expectations and don’t “make an example” of your first misbehavers but don’t let them off just because they’re new rules. Your kids will test the boundaries so they have to be solid. When they’re behaving and working, you can relax and be friendly. If not, you go into “ogre mode”. The moment they stop, you’re back to friendly. Etc

      I hope that helps. Do feel free to keep getting in touch with any other questions. The balance between friend and foe is tricky and I have battled it myself…any help I can be to help you skip a few steps is no trouble!



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