Sometimes students don’t seem to understand that their instructor is a human being with feelings, thoughts, and concerns beyond the program. Middle school students are so wrapped up in the lives of their friends and social media that teachers do not seem to exist unless faced by one. Teachers are to be ignored or tolerated at best. In the mindset of many teens, teachers are barely human and do not deserve their respect. How do teachers acquire more respect? Pick and choose some of the suggestions to prove that you deserve the utmost respect. Drumroll please:
- On the first day of school stand by the door and shake the hands of every homeroom student. Greet students by their first name and a handshake as they zip in the room. Squeeze in a grin. How are you going to know student names? Look at their file folder pictures and memorize their names and faces. They’ll be shocked that you took energy and time to learn who they were before they walked into the classroom. They may even consider you a Good Witch or Wizard that you will be shown as the school year rolls along.
- Will it be a good year or a bad year? Can they make any new friends? On that day of first impressions, I like to introduce them into a poem called”On the First Day of School.” It’s a chance to unwind, laugh a little, and get rid of student angst.
- Class rules, obviously, but with an additional twist. Create this one rule of your own that is golden: No mocking in the classroom. It just is not allowed, as in never. When it happens, this also puts you on notice to follow up immediately. Walk briskly over to the pupil and whisper something in their ear such as”Would you need three days of detention?” Or something else they don’t want to do.
- Encourage your students to laugh. Students love to laugh. Laughter has been described as an “instant vacation.” Nevertheless, it’s even stronger than that. Laughter in the classroom creates immediate rapport. Since pupils love teachers who make them 16, it transforms the classroom into a Learning Center. Sometimes I would say to my class”Listen up, don’t go to La-La Land. This concept is very important. You probably will see it on your next test.” I would say something silly. The students who listened would laugh, and the students who had been out to lunch would be wondering what was so amusing.
- Let your passions show through in hobbies and your lessons. It’s a personal challenge to remain excited about what you teach if you’ve already been teaching for quite a long time. Constantly update the curriculum and you need to take courses. In a world filled with You-Tube, videos, cell phones, and, pupils want to be entertained. You may say”That’s not my job. I am a teacher.” However, the teachers always have a trick or two up their sleeves to grab the interests of the students. They sprinkle surprises and excitement with the wave of a pointer or a wand into their course. They prepare lessons that are dynamic, and they share their interests now and then.
- You clarify what’s not and what’s important to learn. For years brain researchers have known that we learn best if we associate new information with old information. The word might remind one, if you can’t think of one. In the classroom, I used the term”connection” to encourage my students to make connections. By way of example, I’d say,”In order to remember the correct spelling and usage of stationary and stationery it is important to not forget that we use stationERy to write lettERs. Mention the events and teams you support.
- Always remember: Teachers do not die. They simply lose their class. In conditions of cherished memories, teachers live on and on in retirement. They no longer roam the classroom, but they have saved end-of-the-school-year letters that are glowing. They have stored memories of students enjoying the magic of Shel Silverstein or Harry Potter and poetry. They’ve come back to their classroom on Open School Night to thank for being there, a teacher to support them in their early schooling. Such educators know without a doubt that they made a difference in the lives of their students… Click the page to discover the best memory Joe has of teaching in his thirty-three-year career.
Valerie, A grades student of mine, lost her father in a boating accident the year she was taught by me.