How do I obtain student respect?
I’m sure this question is asked numerous times, especially at the start of a new-year when an enthusiastic bunch of students lob on the doorstep of your classroom. I think we would all like to see students exhibited enthusiasm to learn remain throughout the entire year and even improve... but does it?
If you can maintain your students’ eagerness to learn, half the battle of gaining respect is already won. The other benefits of an eagerness to learn are, a higher retention of things learnt, improved self-esteem, a more relaxed atmosphere and a reduction in wasted time, providing more time for students to learn and so many other benefits are forthcoming.
One receives respect when respect is given. In other words, you as the teacher cannot demand respect if you don’t set the example by first giving respect.
Disagreeable situations in the classroom occur on a regular basis, so how can they be easily overcome? By being organized... yes! Good teachers are always well prepared. By making available, relevant material for those disruptive moments, you can give those disruptive students something special to do and when ever possible make it relevant to task, this can only be done with good planning and being well prepared. Students that have a feeling of importance usually improve their overall performance.
We all know how some students have that special gift of talking. Giving these students tasks that keep them occupied can be of much help in this situation. Another method used to deal with student’s desire to talk is to have a show and tell session. I only recommend this once a week for at least one to two hours, make sure you don't choose the same students all the time just because they're the noisy ones. Opportunity should be given to all students to show their work and tell about what they have learned at least a few times a year. Relevant topics that have been worked on or learnt is a good start and you can include topics on outings, personal experiences or other extra curricular activities your students may have embarked upon making sure you allow some comments from the more talkative students after each student has completed their allocated time.
There are some sites on the web that display student work or you may be able to make a website yourself. Encourage each student to put a web page of their own together and display their work for the world to see. Above all keep their minds occupied it is the most important part of keeping a students learning enthusiasm, this is just one way you can encourage your students and so many outcomes can be covered.
There are so many other activities available, for example, make a topic board and allow your students to pick a topic of their own choice to do a project assignment on. Make your topic board's subjects as far reaching as possible. Get your students to help you to put the board together, that in it self can be a good learning experience for your students.
Good rules are very important! Lay your rules down clearly at the beginning of each year and stick to them, you will find students generally abide by the rules you set if you make them fair. Make sure your rules are simple to understand. Keep the rules to a minimum, It is recommend no more than 10 rules. Incorporate in your rules common courtesy. Most important of all... stick to them and always be fair when you discipline.
Don’t make threats you can never carry out, that will earn instant disrespect from your students. If you make a threat, carry it out immediately, giving the message to your students that you mean what you say. Be fair and consistent, in other words… don’t have favorites!
I could ramble on this subject a lot longer but you may not have the time to read it all and it leaves me more to write about in the future. So until next time, may the job of teaching reveal new treasures for you!
© 2002 Griggs I. M. - Teaching Treasures Publications Other Articles by Ingrid Griggs