Although I will be starting a new position at an R2 now, my previous teaching experience has all been at SLACs, one of which I would consider barely above a CC. I loved teaching, but I think I was also prepared for it through mentoring from my advisor at my grad program (he was an amazing teacher) and college teaching certification at my school (with lots of developmental workshops, etc.).
My philosophy is that I teach for the 20% who are interested and want to be there no matter what and the 60% who are ambivalent and I can sway with engaging activities. I don't waste my emotional energy worrying about the apathetic, entitled, or MIA. I have a very thorough and strict syllabus (I accept absolutely no late work), which I spend most of the 1st day outlining and providing rationales/expectations. I tell them why I don't accept late work (neither will their employers; and I work my butt off to give them feedback within a week), why I don't share powerpoints until a few days before the test (because attendance drops), and how they should plan ahead and be respectful of my time because I am respectful of theirs (although I'm usually quick, assume 24-36hrs for an email response; 'your lack of planning is not my emergency'). As a young-looking woman with an easy-going demeanor, I find the more hard line I am about the rules of the class, the higher my teaching evals get (and they are always very high). Of course, I balance it by being goofy in my teaching style and genuinely warm/sympathetic to their concerns, but I always lean on the 'fairness to your classmates' and 'mutual respect' defenses when issues arise. And of course, I document EVERYTHING. Missed assignments, missed classes, obviously half-ass/last minute/careless work, and even rude in-class behavior (e.g., texting, leaving early/coming late; this stops quickly if I talk to them after class or say something during class). This documentation quickly shuts down any grade-grubbing at the end (e.g., the class was too HARD and they put in so much EFFORT). More importantly, it gives you great data to defend yourself if, in fact, poor teaching evals are based on sour grapes rather that true issues. If administration is not willing defend you given the hard data showing student apathy and artifacts of the course that show you are truly a good teacher (e.g., syllabus, assignments, rubrics, etc.), then you don't want to work there.
I just think the knee-jerk reaction to improving evaluations is being nice and accommodating, which only opens the door for more boundary stretching (and that never goes well). To tell you the truth, I think I learned most of my effective teaching tricks from parenting (e.g., authoritative parenting style; high standards, high warmth) more than the developmental workshops!