Research into pupils' opinions of teachers over the last 70 years has produced amazingly consistent results. Children prefer teachers who are slightly strict, scrupulously fair, treat them as individuals and have a sense of humour, but not one based on sarcasm.
Relationships are crucial. Teachers with good relationships seize every opportunity to sustain and improve them, whether by crossing the school yard with pupils, starting friendly conversations when they enter the room or having one-to-one talks while checking pupils' work.
The message for class management is clear: interesting activities are vital and apply the two Rs: rules and relationships.