Just A Little Bit: 29 Tweaks That Help Me Gain The Respect of My Students Classroom Management by Joel Wagner - May 30, 2016July 31, 20163 Why don’t my students respect me? We’ve all been there at one time or another.Â For me, it was nearly every day during myÂ first two yearsÂ . Since then, I have grown as a teacher,Â but even as I look back on what I wrote in this blog eight years ago, I am struck by how differently I have come to view things. Those early years of struggle were good, and Lord knows I still continue to find my share of struggles, but as far as student respect, I generally find that I have a much easier time than I did once upon a time. Here isÂ a quick list of things that work to helpÂ me gain respect from my students. They may not work for you, but they will likely lead you down the path of getting a handle on the situation if it’s an issue you struggle with. With that being said, here we go: How IÂ get more respect from students (or parents or administrators) Learn the names of students as quickly as IÂ can, and use them frequently Preparation is key;Â nothing shows the students that IÂ respect themÂ than showing up with a clear plan Begin with the end in mind, and stick to myÂ plan Make adjustments to the plan from time to time, but do so outside of class time so that IÂ can formulate a thorough Plan B Always have a Plan B As much as possible, keep the students actively engagedÂ for the entire class period;Â there are always plenty of students who are eager to passively disengage When IÂ lose control of myÂ emotions, I know IÂ run the risk of quickly losing control of the classroom Every minute of the school year is precious, don’t waste time onÂ mindless busy work If IÂ must have a “free day” or “off day”, be sure that the assignments engage the students andÂ help the classÂ achieve curricular goals MyÂ students will not work harder or care more about theÂ subject matter than IÂ do Show respect forÂ myÂ students by treatingÂ them with dignity Word choiceÂ matters Tone of voice matters Body language matters Remember at all times that IÂ are the adult in the situation Share credit for myÂ successes Take ownership of myÂ failures; Sometimes we make the right decisions, other times we make our decisions right Share myÂ life and struggles with myÂ students,Â but don’t overshare Set students up for success, and recognize benchmarks along the way Relate theÂ known to the unknown I have found that IÂ cannot motivate anyone. but IÂ can encourage them; encouraged studentsÂ usually have more motivation Remember that studentsÂ may like myÂ class yet not have respect forÂ me Remember that studentsÂ may fear meÂ yet not have respect forÂ me Be more patient than is natural; some misbehaviors are self-regulated when IÂ fail toÂ overreact Speak in terms of “us” and “we” rather than “I” and “me” Seek outÂ mentors who have walked this road before Move deliberately rather than frenetically (slow down myÂ motions) Give directives rather than restrictives (e.g. “Walk, please” instead of “Don’t run”);Â this drastically reduces instances ofÂ “but I wasn’t doing _____” types of arguments Greet studentsÂ when IÂ see them, and say goodbye when we part company “Well, I would respect my students if they would just respect me. I’m the teacher after all!” Perhaps you have a point. If you can honestly say thatÂ you have been implementing these kinds ofÂ actions for at least a month, and yet your students still all disrespect you, let us know in the comments. I’m sure plenty of readers have other suggestions as well! These have been useful for me, what are some things you find helpful? Let us know in the comments below. Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.