“Uggghhhh…” is how I started my day. Have you had the nightmare that you showed up at the wrong school to teach and then were late for the school you were really scheduled at? Well, today it was not a dream for me; it was my reality. I thought I was working at a school in a different district that starts an hour later than the school I was scheduled in. Yep, I was an hour and a half late. Needless to say I felt horrible.
This got me thinking about first impressions. The first impression a school receives of you as a substitute teacher can just be what prevents them from calling you to return. So do everything in your power to make that first impression positive. If you are an unfortunate fool like me, then you might be asking, how to recover from a bad first impression. Here are my suggestions:
#1-Don’t Assume the Worse–I am a dweller and I tend to over-dramatize events in my mind. It probably was not as bad as you have made it out to be in your mind.
#2 Apologize Immediately–Take responsiblity for your actions and apologize for your actions. Who cares if there was an accident on the road. The fact of the matter is you were still late and that was your fault for not getting up early enough to allow for accident time.
#3 Be Yourself–Don’t try to be someone else. You are likely to be overcome with emotions. So keep them under control and attempt to mend any wrongs you have made.
#4 Add a Little Humor–It often helps if you both can laugh about what made the bad first impression.. You might want to jokingly poke fun at the inappropriateness of your behavior at an appropriate time in conversation. Humor lightens the mood.
Lastly, #5 Control Future Behavior–Make sure that whatever error you made never happens again. Monitor your own behavior. Take steps not to make the same mistake twice. I am setting my alarm earlier for tomorrow!!!! 🙂