At the beginning of the semester when my students and I are co-constructing our classroom agreements, I tell my students the way I see it is that teachers are people first and teachers second. I’m a person who happens to teach. Then we discuss how we can demonstrate respect for me as a person and for me as a teacher. Students don’t find it too difficult to explain what it means to respect me as a person, but they find it more difficult to explain what it means to respect my role as a teacher.
When I say that I want my students to respect my role as their teacher, what I mean is I want my students
- to respect the subject I teach even if it might not be one of the compulsory subjects;
- to appreciate the value of education and the fact that the right to attend school is universal and free in Canada (paid by taxes) for all students to the end of grade 12; and
- to be grateful for my professional and personal efforts as a teacher on my students behalf.
Friedman, I. (2006). Classroom management and teacher stress and burnout. In C. M. Everston & C. S. Weinstein (Eds.), Handbook of classroom management (pp. 925-944) New York: Routledge