How can you be stern and not be disrespectful to the kids? I've been having trouble with this concept this year as it's my first year teaching h.s. students. A social worker advised me to be respectful but stern????? Isn't there a fine line of between being stern and being mean? Or is it just me? I cannot be lenient and have kids walk all over me. Yet, how do I gain rapport with a group of kids who is apathetic about learning and they don't even seem to care to be in class. Yet, when i enforce rules. they accuse of me of being disrespectful and wanting me to add "please" when ever I want them to stop a disruptive behavior. I probably got this all wrong. So please help me out to this newbie h.s teacher!!! thank you!