I am just editing a posting by a new author on this blog, Tiffany Eaton (@votefortiff), and her words really reminded me of this very short piece Chad and I wrote a few years ago:
Believe in students
It is disturbing to hear teachers say things like “oh… my students won’t be able to do that” or “my students won’t understand that”. It is just not OK to think that way. Instead, believe that your students are capable of almost anything if you give them the chance and set them up for success. Adapt the way you teach in order to help them be successful. Break things down for them because you believe they will get there. Change your perception of what it is you want them to achieve, but don’t write off their chances of achieving it. If you do believe in your students, and make sure they know you believe in them, they will repay you a thousand times.