I spent some time observing my son's school class and it made me wonder about our expectations of children - and the effect we have on children as teachers (and parents).
I observed two lessons with two different teachers and it was like watching two different sets of children.
With one teacher the children were loud, shouting out, doing what they wanted to and so much time was wasted just trying to get the children's attention. It was a shame because the lesson was fun - you could see that the children enjoyed it once they got going - but transitions from one thing to another were slow and noisy every time.
With the next teacher there was quiet - not oppressive quiet, but a respectful quiet. The children took it in turns to talk and they listened to each other AND the teacher. The time was more effective.
The second teacher was consequent. She EXPECTED the children to be quiet. She EXPECTED the children to show respect to each other and listen to each other. She EXPECTED the children to be able to focus for more than a few minutes. She LISTENED to the children and told them she was INTERESTED in them. AND THEY LISTENED TO HER IN RETURN. Sure some of them needed the odd reminder. One of them hid for a while in a corner - but when that child came out again the child received positive focus and was SEEN and was LISTENED too.
Believing in the competence of children is important. Believing them capable is important - but we also need to have EXPECTATION that the children will strive to be competent and capable; to show respect to others as well as themselves.