With spring break rapidly approaching, many teachers in the building decided that they were unable to get anything done with the students, and end up babysitting them with a movie or pointless lesson. I've never prescribed to that idea, and have always thought it absurd.
On Friday the students asked why we were working, and that they were mentally checking out. I asked what they were doing in their other classes. They told me ridiculous lessons, and Disney movies. They whined and asked why we were working. I responded, "It is my job to provide you with the very best education, and that is what I am going to do. To lay back would be a great disservice to you. I have more respect for you than to waste your time, and to subject you to that."
The students looked at me, smiled, and accepted my rationale. They worked hard for the rest of the period. That is how you keep the student's respect. They so badly don't want to be patronized and treated as elementary students. So much of what we do in school is about respect. It's not that hard, but a lot of people don't get it. Respect the student, respect the job, and for fuck's sake, have some self respect. Be a teacher.