This year, my (now 5-year-old) daughter is starting kindergarten. And that puts a Whole New Spin on what I think is important in classrooms, including my own.
The fact that I will be entrusting her education to the same system I work in serves to remind me that the kids about to sit in front of me in a couple weeks are someone's children, too. It emphasizes the importance of the first fundamental educational principle I hold:
Students are people first, students second.
I feel a shift because of that. The Golden Rule changes from Treat your students like you'd want to be treated to Treat your students the way you want your daughter's teacher to treat her.
So that's the advice I'd give all of you as you start new school years: treat your students with dignity and respect, no matter how angry you are, or how frustrated you get. Apologize when you screw up, even if they'd never apologize to you.
Treat your students like people, not just with respect, but like they are valuable contributors, and like their ideas have merit, regardless of how silly you think they are. Listen to them. Talk to them.
Because my child, and children just like her, are coming to your rooms soon (if they haven't already). Be kind. Be generous. Be human.