As many may know, I am a substitute teacher. I’m 22 years old, and can easily pass as a high school student. What I’ve learned so far in my teaching experience, my age is a big problem amongst high school girls. Today, for example, I substituted for a biology class. As I was telling the class to lower their voices, one girl rolled her eyes and whispered “She looks my age. Think I’m gonna listen to her?” to her friend. I looked at her and said, “When I was your age, I was working on my second degree.” She got silent.
While I wasn't being arrogant or cocky, I had to make sure that she knew the dynamics of our relationship. I'm not your competition because I look young. Despite my age, I'm still your teacher for today. Today was an example of the remarks I get ONLY from girls when I substitute at a high school. I already know that when there’s a sub, no one really does their work. But when it comes to girls, it’s a whole other level. It’s like they try to portray that image of a girl who doesn’t get along with other girls, which, by the way, is ridiculous. Plus, I’m not just some girl; I’m the teacher. Stop being an asshole.
I place some of the blame on the parents, though. When I was younger, my parents always made sure I knew that I was beautiful and smart in my own way. I didn’t need to compare myself to other girls because I was not like other girls. Not all parents are like mine, but that is no reason not to instill confidence (not cockiness) and self-esteem in your children. This will not completely eliminate the problem of competition amongst their peers, but I believe that it will lessen their feelings of inadequacy. I didn’t have the latest outfits, nor was I the prettiest, but my parents always made sure that I knew that I was not the same as all of the other girls.
That, my friends, goes a long way.