I was at the district office to sign some paperwork last week, and was told by the Human Resources director that I looked every bit of twelve in my drivers license picture. I'll be honest and say that in an indirect way she hit on one of my biggest insecurities as a first year teacher. I am so paranoid that when my students' parents walk into my classroom on that first day they will ask, "Hello little girl, it's so nice that you dressed up for the first day of school. Now, I don't think your teacher would appreciate you being back there behind her desk. By the way, have you seen the teacher?"
I recognize that I look young, and hope that my students' parents will see my youth as a good thing. However, I recall a time when I asked a parent of one of my students during student teaching if she would mind if her child was in a classroom with a first year teacher. Her response was harsh, abrupt and what I hear in the back of my mind every time I get told I look too young to be a teacher. She said, " Are you kidding? Of course I would mind. How would you like to be in surgery with a first year brain surgeon?!"
All I can really do is prove myself to them over time. I mean, I may be new, but I am on the cutting edge as it pertains to the latest educational research and technology. I have a ton of energy (most days-today is an exception...and yesterday...and tomorrow) and am ready to use all I have spent the past 5 years learning to do!
I am also aware that I'm certainly doing well If one of my biggest complaints is how young I look. I'll probably kick myself for ever viewing it as a bad thing.
I'll leave you with a quote from one of my heroes:
"The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age."