2c. Teachers treat students as individuals.

Standard 2:   Teachers establish a respectful environment for a diverse population of students

Teachers maintain high expectations, including graduation from high school, for students of all backgrounds. Teachers appreciate the differences and value the contributions of each student in the learning environment by building positive, appropriate relationships.

Critical Elements: Personal Relationship Building, Expectations, Classroom Climate, Attention, Momentum, Time, Discipline

Related Critical Elements


Focusing student attention on learning experiences is perhaps the most fundamental management challenge for teachers. Attention is the litmus test of performance among the group of management areas: Attention, Momentum, Discipline, Space, Time and Routines. Unless students are paying attention to the instruction, it does not matter how great the lesson is. Engaging and involving… [read more]

Classroom Climate

The Skillful Teacher operational definition of classroom climate: “The feelings and beliefs students have and the cumulative patterns of behavior that result from those feelings and beliefs regarding community and mutual support, risk taking and confidence, and influence and control.” When students feel empowered, accepted, and safe enough to take risks, they like school better… [read more]


Many teachers use a disproportionate amount of time and energy towards classroom management or discipline. Sadly, a significant percentage of teachers leave teaching because they found they rarely dealt with anything other than discipline. If you find yourself struggling in the area of classroom discipline you are not alone!


Nothing influences behavior so strongly as the clear expectations of a significant other. —Jim Steffen, Management Consultant Classrooms are dynamic and complex societies that are filled with expectations: expectations that teachers have for students and that students have for teachers and each other. Expectations explain a good deal of what we see in classrooms—the good… [read more]


For teaching purposes, the concept of momentum refers to the smooth, ongoing flow of events in the classroom. With sometimes large numbers of students in classrooms, spanning diverse backgrounds and functioning at differentiated instructional levels, anything and everything can present as a pitfall to momentum. Learning downtime can be a good thing as it relates… [read more]

Personal Relationship Building

The long reach and powerful grasp of caring relationships in schools is well documented in almost seventy years of education research. There is a strong association between student-adult relationships and student retention, achievement, and aspirations.


Time is the currency of life. Teachers have enormous power in how the currency of time is spent in the classroom. When students do what, in what order, and for how long is largely under the teacher’s control. A recommendation from The Skillful Teacher is that teachers be as deliberate as possible in managing student… [read more]

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