Behaviour relates to how teachers and students interact with each other in an acceptable fashion. Respect relates to how the same two groups accept each other, without being rude or judgmental.

It is by no means easy to maintain appropriate behaviour and respect at all times. Teachers may be challenged by the age group, environment and subject among other variables.


Getting through a lesson without any disruptions can be unusual especially when teaching younger groups or those who are disengaged with a program. This is by no means stereotyping but rather an honest reflection of the day to day life of a teacher. Of course it's perfectly feasible that younger learners could behave better than a group of adults and for a good teacher to re engage a group of disillusioned students.

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Behavior can diminish when students fail to adhere to the set ground rules. Classic examples include mobile phones ringing, being answered and students chatting among themselves. Boredom can also play a role and teachers may need to find ways to prevent boredom from occurring in the first place. Learners will have different attention spans and certain individuals may need an alternative activity.


Teachers are responsible for their own behaviour and respect within the classroom. Double standards can occur if a teacher is distracted by their own mobile phone or lets their own mood disrupt the quality of the lesson. Teachers can create a positive environment through being polite, maintaining respect and not forgetting to say please and thank you.

Here are some common examples of how to maintain respect:

  • Be a good listener
  • Don't be overly judgmental
  • Treat each learner as an individual
  • Form your own opinions and give everyone a fair chance
  • Value opinions and others points of view

Teachers may need to remember that some students may not be interested in the taught subject area. They could be there voluntarily or through a jobcentre / employment scheme. Teachers ultimately have the power to inspire these individuals and could help put them on a new career path.