I subscribe to the philosophy of Supervision by Walking Around. You learn a lot about the program in which you work by simply getting out of your classroom, wandering the halls, and listening in on classes. Since I am not an administrator, I never actually go into the classes, but just eavesdrop. Since I am in several committees in the school, and eat in the teacher lunchroom, I also hear a lot of teachers talking about their students.
No matter what, I take the attitude of they are just kids. Kids do dumb stuff sometimes. Kids don't always make the best choices. Kids don't always give 100% of their free time to do school work. Sometimes there are more important things in a kid's life than my class. But, in the end, they're still kids. Show them respect, and they will respect you. Talk to them like they are adults and, most of the time, they will act like adults. If you are in a meeting about them and they are in the room, talk to them directly; don't talk about them like they are not there.
And, most importantly, talk about them the way you would want others to talk about you.
Just my thoughts.