A teacher’s take on earning respect from students…
Be warm. Care. Laugh. Be human.
Loosen the reigns, but don’t lose control.
I’m not interested in whether my students want to be my besties. I don’t care if they think I’m cool (which is lucky because I just ooze daggy!). I don’t care if they ‘like’ me, but I do care whether or not they respect me.
Great relationship + High expectations = Respect
At least, that’s what I believe… Relationships need to be positive and productive, built on trust and mutual goals. ‘Expectations’ refers to a demand for excellence. All students can learn and it’s a teacher’s role to help kids achieve their potential.
Great relationship + Lack of expectations = Friend, not a teacher.
Lack of relationship + High Expectations = 1950’s teacher (good luck in the 21st century!)
Lack of relationship + Lack of expectations = Indifference (why bother being a teacher)
To me, teachers need to actively build positive and productive relationships with their students, whilst also having the highest expectations for learning. I believe that it’s possible, for you to have excellent working relationships with your students, but that does not mean a teacher needs to compromise on their expectations for learning. In fact, surely the higher the quality of the student-teacher relationships, the higher the quality of the learning environment, the higher the quality of the learning.
If you’re a teacher, do you think your students respect you? Do you think it matters? Have you earned it?
If you’re a parent, do your children respect their teacher? Does it matter? Do you respect their teacher?
As a starting point, this post lists 10 key ways to build a respectful relationship with students [http://whatedsaid.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/10-ways-to-get-your-students-respect/]. I’ve come across a few other pieces recently that talk about student respect for teachers, such as this article comparing respect levels for teachers in countries around the world [http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/oct/03/teachers-rated-worldwide-global-survey], or this article which speaks the truth about teachers nowadays needing to ‘earn’ respect, unlike years gone by [http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/columnists/martin/martin011.shtml], or this blog entry which begins, “Dear students, Your teachers are not out to get you, I promise…” [http://itsssnix.tumblr.com/post/62952676811/dear-students].
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