In my opinion, one of the most important parts of being a teacher–or a role model for your students, for that matter–is being consistent. You need to be consistent with your expectations, with your grading, and with your attitude in class. It simply isn’t fair to be nice one day and mean the next with no apparent reason. Young students just can’t handle that. I just can’t handle that, for crying out loud!
My best advice to win the war of consistency is to never set a precedent for certain aspects of teaching. You never want to “over promise” on grading, for example. Don’t promise your kiddos that you will have their tests graded the next day, because let’s face it: You may just get home and realize that Netflix is just too tempting. Or, you may take out your red pen and use it as a bottle opener. My point is, you lose credibility and consistency if you promise something that you can’t deliver.
Now, I’m not saying lie to your students. Quite the opposite, in fact. Tell them the truth! “Are we going to get our tests back tomorrow?” “Maybe. It depends on if I have time tonight to grade them.”
Simple. Consistent. Realistic.