“The teacher student relationship is very important for children. Children spend approximately 5 to 7 hours a day with a teacher for almost 10 months. We ask ourselves what is considered a good teacher? All of us have gone through schooling, and if fortunate had a favorite teacher. A positive relationship between the student and the teacher is difficult to establish, but can be found for both individuals at either end.” – https://www.csun.edu (no author)
Considering how much time we will be spending with our students, it will be extremely advantageous to develop positive teacher student relationships. Like Ben, I believe respect will have to come first, and as we all know respect is a two way street. I would never expect students to do something I wouldn’t or couldn’t do and I would listen to and respect their opinions and beliefs. Giving students a little lee-way for maturity would help as well. In my observations I have seen AP classes allowed to use phones and have food, with no issues whatsoever. However, the same teacher will not allow the same things for regular classes, and especially classes with a high number of freshmen and sophomores. So I will have to tailor rules and expectations to the class I am teaching.
A positive relationship with students should help them open up to you, and this may help if they are having family issues, or issues with friends or anything else. If a student feels comfortable around you, you should be able to help them with more than education if need be, and in return they will most likely be a better student because they are comfortable and respect you for your help. Keep it professional however, we are still educators, not friends (its OK to be friendly obviously to a point I think we all know the line.) Here is a link to a site with a quick blurb about relationships.