Male Teachers: Here's the Worst Thing You Can Say to a Male Trainee Early Childhood Teacher by Bill James
The very worst observation made by a mentor teacher during my teacher training was uttered by one of the best I had, and was intended as a compliment: "It's so nice to meet a male primary teacher that doesn't have an ego."
When my inspirational mentor saw my puzzled expression, she sought to clarify. "Many male primary teachers I've worked with have been a little, you know .... full of themselves"
At the time I appreciated the praise, but the few years I have spent as a classroom teacher have led me to refute the remark entirely. From the moment you set foot in a classroom, no matter how highly trained you are or how much related experience you bring to the role, there will be some who question your approach. When you do things a little differently due to your training, your gender or even your cultural background, this tendency is sometimes magnified.
While a graduate teacher should be both humble and curious when working with more experienced teachers, the very worst thing they can have is a lack of belief in what they know, and of pride in what they bring to the table. This is of particular importance when they are in a minority in the workplace.