As a new teacher in the teaching profession, you are probably closer in age to undergraduates than the majority of faculty members, and this condition can work for or against you and your teaching. You are more likely to share some of the undergraduate’s values, interest, and taste, giving you an edge in communicating with them. On the other hand, it may be more difficult to distance yourself from them and avoid becoming a “buddy”. Eventually, you will have to evaluate their work and assign grades, activities which are difficult enough without the ethical burdens impose by this kind of relationship. Teachers should strive for an arm’s length distance from students close enough to be helpful and friendly, but far enough away that you do not feel any inappropriate obligation to them.
As a rookie teacher, there is possibility that your insecurities about teaching could affect your relationship with students, but you will soon discover that most of your fears and baseless. For example, some new teachers are afraid that students will ask questions about the material that they cannot answer, but in fact, this rarely occurs. If you do not know the answer to a question, admit it and promise to provide the answer in the next class; they will respect your intellectual honesty (but be sure to follow through on your promise your credibility). Similarity, students are not generally unruly in class and they are rarely rude or challenging to their instructors. Indeed, the problem is not how to handle unruly students but rather how to arouse their intellectual curiosity and encourage discussion and debate. Remember, you begin each school year with the good will and respect to your students. They will forgive many mistakes if you show them that you care about their success in the lessons and try to be just and fair in your evaluation of them.
By: ANDY B. TANAEL