High school students often find it difficult to view their teachers as anything but "the enemy." However, after the first few months of the school year, students learn to appreciate their teachers as individuals with different approaches. Some teachers are "cool," while others are "tough." Some can be both "cool" and "tough" at the same time. Although Sally Thompson & Robert Crawford are both respected teachers at our school, their teaching styles and expectations for students differ significantly. While Ms. Thompson maintains a highly structured classroom atmosphere to keep her pupils disciplined and motivated, Mr. Crawford downplays structure in order to allow his students to push themselves. What becomes apparent, though, is that two teachers can be drastically different yet still be effective in their own ways. Using her intimidating presence to good effect, Sally Thompson runs an orderly efficient classroom. To begin with, Ms. Thompson’s no-nonsense demeanor sets a serious tone for the class. When students enter her room, she immediately silences their chattering with a curt greeting and stares at them while they proceed quietly to their seats. During class discussion, she asks very focused questions and makes sure every comment relates to the material, jokes and personal anecdotes are cut off. And if anyone lets out even a whisper or a giggle, that poor student is quickly punished with a detention. In addition to eliminating disruptions and distractions, Ms. Thompson demands that students treat her class with the utmost respect. She does not allow students to wear hats in class or put their feet up on the table. She does not let anyone leave to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water, because doing so implies that the discussion or lecture is not important or interesting enough. Every student must raise his or her hand to talk, or else risk losing participation points. Finally, Ms. Thompson enforces high standards for her students'...
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