The teacher should inspire kids. They should naturally exude qualities that gain them respect. Someone who has self-respect. Someone with a sense of humour, passionate but with a healthy sprinkle of cynicism. Respected by other teachers. Someone still exploring and learning. Appreciating their occupation and current life situation for all that is has to offer rather than complaining and wanting what they haven’t got. Patient and kind.
Not just friendly with students but friends with them. Every pair of people have a unique relationship. There shouldn’t be artificial barriers. Professionalism is a way of thinking and behaving, not a set of rules. Let a friendship go where it goes. Chances are you won’t be that close with students. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be open and honest and have a profound effect on your students (and them on you). Make no assumptions.
The teachers with the best classroom behaviour are the ones who are themselves the healthiest, most at ease, confident in their craft. Fears can often be self-fulfilling. Understand students, they’re simple. Find their interest and encourage it. Respect their passion and see if you can expand their interest to your subject area. Did you attend every lecture at university? Then why do you expect your students to pay attention all the time?
I am personally far more stressed and confused about the curriculum, school rules, other teachers, the current obsessive fear of potential pedophiles and inappropriate relationships, etc than I am worried about teaching or dealing with teenage students. Kids are the ones most interested in living and learning while the rest seem primarily concerned with bureaucracy.
I’ll finish soon. More important than reading up on research about education and learning is following your personal dreams. Being the great person you always wanted to be but were never quite there yet. Generous and imaginative. All those qualities you admire in others. You already have them, just believe in yourself! Facing your own flaws. Confronting your weaknesses. Forgiving people who let you down. Realising the mistakes you made and making up for them.
Anyway, I’m teaching my first lesson tomorrow! =D