Best Way to Gain Respect and Control from Your Students

The old adage tells us that in order to earn respect, you must show respect. However, sometimes it may seem that someone forgot to inform today’s students of this fact.

Even if you have been in the profession for over 20 years, the people who will be impressed by this achievement are not the ones you will be standing in front of and teaching. Never assume that just because you had Class 3B eating out of your hand, that Class4Awill react in the same way. Mutual respect and control of the class are two tricky things.

Teacher Respect Best Way to Gain Respect and Control from Your Students

An assertive teacher should be able to create a positive and produc­tive atmosphere in a classroom environment without resorting to potentially hostile behaviour. This means ensuring you are in control from the very moment you enter the room. Establish ground rules, set clearly defined seating plans and walk into the classroom as if you alone are the ruler of the class.

This is usually far easier to do with classes of younger students: in fact, the older the student range, the scarier the initial meeting can be. There is no shame in admitting that many Year 11 classes frighten you witless!

Gaining respect and control are two things you must do before you try to do anything else. If students suspect you are meek and mild, it is a sad fact that it’s very likely that they will walk all over you. However, gain a reputation as being a bit of a dragon, and you are more likely to find that you are merely disliked and distrusted.

Top tips for gaining respect and control

  •  Walk tall always enter the classroom looking like you mean business.
  •  Be firm but fair – make it known early on what you will not tol­erate, but don’t put yourself across as a monster!
  •  Deal with problems quickly and quietly – stamp out any unwanted behaviour as soon as it arises, but don’t make a big deal out of it.
  •  Get on their level – establish that you have control of the class, but don’t talk down to your students: treat them as equals as much as possible.
  •  Call by name – learn and remember your students’ names and use them regularly.
  •  Be seen outside your classroom – become an integral part of the school. Take time to talk to students at break, lunch and outside of school. Be seen as a person as well as a teacher.

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