Succeeding as a Respected Authority Figure in the 21st Century Classroom: One Style Does Not Fit All
This paper explores the question of how order can best be established and maintained by the teacher, without the teacher risking being labeled as an authoritative disciplinarian, devoid of understanding. I intend to show that the teacher must create a positive atmosphere in which understanding is not confused by the students with a lack of authority on the part of the teacher. The paper looks specifically at my own personal experiences, as well as the notes and observations of my teaching by my mentor teacher and my college supervisor. From these three vantage points I attempt to pinpoint the problems many beginning teachers face when trying to establish authority as new teachers in the classroom. Relevant literature is sought out to gain a perspective of other teachers’ experiences, what students consider to be the attributes of a good teacher, and the effects of rules, personality traits of the teacher, and the socioeconomic background of the students and the school.