What should teachers never do

Natural authority in the classroom: this is how it works!

Daily struggle for authority

Teachers grapple with the problem of authority on a daily basis. Her clientele are children or adolescents in puberty who are currently in the middle of their personality development and their maturation process. Young people in particular question conventional authorities such as parents or teachers in order to be able to find themselves. Often times it helps as a teacher to remember those teachers with a natural authority that you had in your own school days and to realize what the secret of their natural authority and charisma was. Also, if you want to be perceived as an authority, you should follow the following tips in class

6 tips for natural authority in the classroom

  • No cuddle education. This is the wrong approach, especially in younger generations, when clear announcements and tough demarcations are expected. The students assume that these limits are also set by the teacher.
  • Don't let yourself be fooled around. It is understandable, but often the wrong attitude, so as not to make yourself unpopular as a teacher with the students. Most of the time, the opposite is the case: the students lose respect for their teacher.
  • Don't make friends. It should not be the educator's goal to be loved or fraternized with students. The students usually don't want a buddy as a teacher. Rather, they want to be able to respect him as a grown-up counterpart, whom they can use for orientation and rub, who takes them seriously, also by punishing violations or drawing conclusions when things go wrong.
  • Stay the boss in the ring. As a teacher, you are responsible for the lessons and for the students entrusted to you. That is why it is your duty to always remain “boss in the ring” - in your inner authority and also literally in the classroom.
  • Be consistent. The teacher's sense of responsibility towards his or her students can also mean being consistent, setting clear boundaries and insisting on adherence to them. This, too, is part of a real pedagogy of the heart.
  • Even when working together, do not let the management go. It is good to have many other teaching methods available and to be able to master them in addition to teacher-centered teaching: partner work, group work, project work, etc. However, as a teacher, I must never give up the actual management of these other types of teaching.

Students need clarity and orientation

It is part of a human and lively pedagogy to be clear and consistent as a teacher, even if the students should perceive this superficially as nasty and repellent. It is probably the pedagogical art par excellence, as a teacher, to find a clear path between natural authority (charisma) and authoritarian behavior. Pupils have sensitive sensors for this and can definitely distinguish whether the teacher's charisma is convincing or just played.

They rightly want a teacher with natural authority who respects them, loves them, takes them seriously, encourages, supports them, and whom they can respect at the same time. In addition to technical knowledge, he should also have a natural ability to empathize. At the same time, the students expect that a teacher can assert himself and set convincing boundaries if these are questioned by the class or by individual students. By testing the authority of the teacher, adolescents are also exploring how far they can go. This is part of puberty in general and the "game" of teaching between students and teachers in particular.

A teacher must be able to set limits

The basis for good (subject) teaching is a clear relationship between the individual students, the whole class and the teacher. Both goals of the educational canon - imparting knowledge and at the same time accompanying the students in their personal development - can only be achieved if the principle of "education through relationship" becomes a concrete reality. It is up to the teacher to open up a pedagogical space within the school structure, in which specialist lessons can take place, individual pupils can be encouraged and the working atmosphere as good as possible can prevail.

A basic requirement for this, however, is that the educator has grown up in the depths of his personality. Only then can he fulfill the “king's task” associated with his profession: to give his students orientation, to be a role model for them in developing their own personalities and to accompany them competently. This role also includes the ability to set clear boundaries for individual students or entire classes.

Some students literally cry out to experience such limits through the teacher because they miss them at home - be it because their parents are overwhelmed or are not quite grown up themselves; because their parents make too many concessions out of misunderstood love or they simply failed to teach them respectful behavior.

Growing up requires guidance and guidance

But why is the clarity and a real authority of the teacher so important, especially for pupils in puberty? While these naturally develop from child to adolescent with the onset of puberty due to their biological maturation, the next transition from adolescent to adult is usually not that easy. Experienced mentors are required here. We teachers are actually predestined for this. But for this we also have to be aware of this if we want to adequately accompany the students entrusted to us in their maturation and transition process of growing up.