6 Teacher Personality Traits That Make Classroom Management More Difficult

A repost from an article by by MICHAEL LINSIN on JULY 2, 2011

imageIf you’re struggling with classroom management and wondering why, one of the first areas to examine is the personality you bring with you to the classroom.

Many teachers become different people the minute their students walk through the door. Sometimes this is a good thing—if being around students makes you brighten like a Broadway singer or become as preternaturally calm as a mountain lake.

But for the vast number of teachers, the presence of a large and active group of students can, at least to some degree, bring about personality traits that are detrimental to classroom management success.

The good news is that with a simple two-minute routine you can condition yourself to eliminate those traits that work against you, and replace them with those that work in your favor.

The following six teacher personality traits make classroom management more difficult. You’ll do well to leave them outside your classroom door.

1. Impatience

Impatient teachers talk fast, move fast, and tend to either look the other way in the face of misbehavior, or react emotionally to it. They rush through lessons, gloss over instructions, and out of necessity have lower expectations for students. This produces a restless, excitable classroom that is primed to cause trouble.

2. Quick To Anger

A single flash of anger can undo weeks of rapport building with your students. When you yell, scold, use sarcasm, or otherwise lose your cool, you distance yourself from your students and undermine their trust and respect of you. You become less approachable, less likeable, and less influential—all critical keys to creating a well-behaved classroom.

3. Pessimism

Teachers who are pessimistic in nature are unable to create the well-behaved classroom they desire. Negative thoughts, feelings, and attitudes about students—particularly difficult students—are impossible to hide. They reveal themselves through your words, body language, and tone of voice and make building relationships with them an impossibility.

4. Irritability

Irritability (grouchiness, moodiness) communicates to students that they can’t trust you or depend on you. It creates resentment, confusion, and instability. It also causes you to be inconsistent—both with your classroom management plan and in your interactions with students—leading to more frequent and more severe misbehavior.

5. Overly Sensitive

Teachers with thin skin—those who take misbehavior personally—inevitably, and often subconsciously, seek revenge against their students. They can’t help themselves. Out of their resentment and spite they make the kind of classroom management mistakes like yelling, scolding, and holding grudges that result in a spiraling of student behavior.

6. Easily Frustrated

Frequent sighs, rolling eyes, red-faced lectures. Outward signs of frustration can cause enveloping, knife-cutting tension in your classroom. When you allow students to get under your skin, it not only makes your classroom unnerving and unpleasant, but it causes students to challenge your authority and test you whenever they get the chance.

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4 Responses to “6 Teacher Personality Traits That Make Classroom Management More Difficult”

  1. Alisha August 15, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    ok. I have suffered from each of these at times in the classroom. I want to be the very best teacher God has called me to be – so what steps can I take to improve?

    • Ms. Ginger December 3, 2011 at 10:36 am #

      I see that no one has responded to you. By no means do I present myself as an authority on the subject, but this is what God has put on my heart in response.

      First, pray about your demeanor. Ask God to show you when you are behaving in these ways and to help you change your behavior. Next, pray for the kids, each one, individually. If there are things about the kids personalities that are triggers you should ask God to soften your heart and your attitude about those things. Love each child. Learn to appreciate who they are and what they bring to the classroom. Develop acceptable expectations and ways to deal with disobedience or disruptive behaviors. Make your expectations known and stick to the consequences. Try not to take things personally or internalize them. I have come to recognize the parent’s voice in my students. Sometimes the child’s behavior or words will reflect conversations of dissatisfaction of the parents about the school, the staff or the classroom. Take that with a grain of salt. Simply ignore Mommy or Daddy’s attitude and get to the meat of the matter. You just can’t talk to the child as if they were the parent. And you certainly shouldn’t continue the cycle by having them reflect you… that’s just makes a bad situation volatile.

      Good luck to you and I pray that God will continue to bless you in your ministry.

  2. Aunt GEEGEE December 30, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    I thought that this article as well as Ms.Ginger’s answer were both thought provoking. I’m not a teacher yet, but on my way. As a student-teacher I sometimes get very upset at the children’s lack of respect for authority. I tend to want revenge at times. As a Christian, I should really be more careful about the way that I respond. Thanks for the tips!

  3. Andy December 22, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    I teach in a public high school, but I found this article helpful as well. I am about midway through my second year of teaching and I really want to get better at classroom management. I want to manage my classroom the way Jesus would.

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