So, how do I get teacher cred?
Treat every student with respect. Meaning, I don't talk down to them, make fun of them, talk about them, make them look stupid in front of their friends, belittle them, feel they can't learn, or treat them as if they know nothing. I focus nearly every interaction on being positive with every student even if that student is aggravating. A must with me is treat students as humans - they have feelings, can think, can learn, but can also destroy me with their peers. In other words, I am aware they genuine and want to be respected for who they are and that they can learn.
Every student can learn. Over the years I've had many special education students come through my 4th grade classroom and my middle school technology classes. I firmly believe every student can learn. I don't accept that every student has to learn the same way. In fact, I differentiate what I want students based on formative assessments. Some students do completely different projects than the rest of the class. Others do a bit less but still complete the majority of the learning. Most students need no change to the activity. I also differentiate the learning targets to meet the needs of students. Every student can learn.
Make learning about learning and not about grade game. I hate grades because grades do not accurately reflect what students know. An "C" says little about student understanding. Instead, I prefer to describe learning to my students. What it looks like, how it sounds, and what it can be. I don't give grades on work to students but I do give a ton of descriptive feedback to students. This helps them know where they stand and what they have to do to succeed. When a particular skill is mastered, I give students a badge. It takes students some time to understand what this is all about as they are very used to getting a grade. When they finally understand learning is about learning and not about the grade game, their entire attitude changes and they work really hard to learn. I don't give up and I dont' get annoyed when they give me pushback at me. What they don't understand is that learning is about learning.
I'm myself. Over and over I read about how to make your blog successful and that is to be yourself. If you try and be someone you are not, then your readers see you as a sham. It's not different with kids. If you act like someone you aren't, they see right through you. I like to have while I work by playing music, laughing, joking, dancing, and such. I do all of this in my classroom. Kids know that's me.
Be upfront. Try to hedge around a tough question with a middle school student and you'll respect quick. They know when you're trying to BS them. Tell students the truth about what you know and don't know. I give my opinion on all kinds of stuff which usually leads to good discussions. I get blown away by their knowledge of stuff and what it means to them. The only way I get to know them like this is when I'm upfront and honest about what I know and have opinions about.