Respecting Your Teacher

Why are some teachers respected and others laughed at or ignored?

Becoming a teacher has to be one of the bravest jobs to undertake. Not only do you get scowled at from everybody else in society for having long holidays (they conveniently forget all the marking, and that just because school starts at nine and finishes at half-three doesn’t mean you do) and good pensions, you have to deal with bored children who don’t appreciate their education.

I only left school a year ago so I can still remember the teachers I liked, and why I liked them. Sometimes you stare absent-mindedly at the board wondering why the monotone lecturer ever became a teacher. Sure they know their stuff, and there’s no disputing that they’re experts in their respective fields but they can’t teach for toffee!

Then there are those who just shout. You ask a friend for a pen, you get shouted at. For some students this is embarrassing and hence when they are in need of help they won’t ask. For others, perhaps the less well-behaved, they view this as a challenge. The shouting teacher is unfair, highly strung and easy to wind up. Children love seeing how far they can go until you really snap. You know when you say to children if you continue to get annoyed your friends will continue to test you? Well, take your own advice and stop responding to such a high degree. Of course, there are those children who truly need a good talking to but it’s not always a good idea to shout and humiliate them in front of the whole class, they’ll only lash out in embarrassment or goad you to show off to their peers. Then again, maybe a bit of embarrassment is needed to make them stop; also it shows others in the class that they won’t get away with acting up. All students are different. No one ever said this job was easy 😀

Children are mean, there’s no doubt about it. Just like adults they will judge you on your appearance (at least the older ones will) and so looking professional is important. Dress like a scruff, you’ll get sneered at. Dress too much like a bank manager, you’ll get sneered at. Dress like them, you’ll get sneered at. Admittedly, there isn’t much children won’t sneer at so perhaps this is a moot point?

How to be a good teacher:

  • Friendly (but don’t BE their friend)
  • Can be informal
  • Helpful
  • Easy to approach
  • Supportive
  • Respectful of the students
  • Varied teaching style – you can’t help it if your students don’t learn the way you prefer to teach, you may be a brilliant teacher to some but to others you’re not. So don’t stick to one method, allow everyone an equal chance to reach their potential.

Being firm and authoritative is one thing, but becoming a dictator will not win you any fans and will only make the job harder. If the students are going to listen and learn, scaring or threatening them into silence will only get the minimum work done. Respecting and listening to your students will allow them to open up and reach their potential.

Of course, you could argue, why should I, as the teacher, do all the work? I am not saying that you should be the only making the effort, but you have a lot more experience of the ‘real’ world than your students and your age should enable you to take the high road and hope you shall be followed.

How to be a good student:

  • Punctuality
  • Participation
  • Complete homework
  • Stay alert and awake (even last thing on a Friday and first thing on a Monday)
  • Treat and respect your teacher as a fellow human, they’re not all aliens
  • Don’t talk back

What do you think makes a good teacher/student? Who has the most responsibility in the classroom? Did you respect all of your teachers, or just tolerate them?

To be a good student you need good teachers; to be a good teacher you need good students.


18 thoughts on “Respecting Your Teacher

  1. I was a college instructor for over 30 years and I can’t help myself. Sorry. But please be careful about using ‘your’ and you’re’ in your composition. Your is a possessive pronoun, indicating ownership. You’re is a contraction of you are. Very different beasts who look very odd in the wrong herd.

      • @mystudentstruggles – you answered the comment above in a respectful manner. My exact response to that horrible comment would have been, “Your a jerk! “I would have said I don’t give a crap if you are the President of the United States!” What a self-loving jerk. I would delete his stupid comment and block him. Tell him to kiss it, I would.
        Liz – cannot beleive a-hole up there made such a comment. Rude.

    • @rogel – I am glad you wrote this comment. We all see that you are a genius. Your, I wrote, YOUR a genius.

      Guess I better go put some duck tape on my mouth again. Per my recent post.

      This was the point of my recent rant post!

  2. Since you ask… I think the bulk of responsibility rests with the teacher – after all, they are the “teacher” and are supposed to know how to handle (or elicit good) behavior. But…
    In order to answer more realistically & effectively, I would question why either one (teacher or student) are in the classroom to begin with. In most cases I would venture each is there because they need/have to be there. Until the classroom consists only of those who truly want to be there, you will have good, mediocre, and bad students or teachers. Eliminate the ‘mandatory’ and it follows that only the good ones (truly interested in teaching or learning) will remain.
    I say all this because, in my opinion, we continue to approach the (siginificant) problems and solutions of this society from the wrong place. Start from the beginning – why are we doing this, what are we doing, etc. Then the solution will become more evident.
    Oh… I should mention that I think this is a great post – you’re (you are 🙂 ) thinking and asking questions. Thank you for that. We need much more of it.

    • Thank you, I love questioning things, it’s an affliction. I suppose mandatory education is why you get bad students, in other countries education isn’t a right, it’s a priviledge and teachers and students work together to further themselves and each other.
      As for why teachers are there, it should be because they care (like nurses and doctors) not just because it’s a job.
      I’m usually very good about the whole your/you’re thing! I’ve read several post complaining about bad grammar and such and now I’m over-thinking everything 🙂

  3. @mystudentstruggles – I enjoyed reading this post. In response to your question, I only respected the teachers who showed me respect. If the teacher disrespected me, I disrespected them. I feel if a person wants respect, than they need to give respect. I have had horrible teachers. I actually had a teacher ask me to go on vacation with him in high school. He was fired the following year for trying to date students. However, teaching is a hard job.
    The best thing I feel for teachers and students to do is to respect eachother. General kindness is also a good thing. It has been my experience that teachers like students who smile often, and are not always down and depressed.
    A smile says a thousand words. The above post should be copied by all teachers and handed out to their students.
    People in general like others who smile more often, I think.

    • I think the teacher, as the adult, has the responsibility to start the mutual respect.
      Expecting all students (especially bored teenagers) to smile in school is obviously unrealistic, as is expecting teachers to smile all the time. 😀 But I agree general kindness on both sides helps everyone, even if you don’t get on personally, common courtesy is important.
      What a terrible teacher! Sadly there’s one in most secondary schools 🙂

  4. @mystudentstruggles – the reason I popped over here. My latest post is missing something. I can’t figure it out. It is actual events of my life. What is it missing? Too long? Something….Can you pop over, let me know, then I will delete your comment? I need your eyes to fix it.

  5. Some of my non-honor classes in high school were filled with disrespectful kids. In fact, disrespectful does not even begin to contain the correct connotation. I mean, these kids threw oranges at the teachers. They also had a mom at home that was, maybe, ten years older than they were. No father, and were high most of the time. Terrible….

  6. @mystudentstruggles – Just changed my discussion settings–getting way too much spam comments. Would you mind giving a comment on anything. Trying to see if the comments are still working. Sometimes, changing disucssion settings can mess up things for discusssion. I can’t figure out any other way to make sure people are still able to comment…..

    Thanks! 🙂 Much appreciation.

  7. As a private tutor, who once ‘had’ a few years in the classrom, I found your post very interesting.
    Fortunately, most of my classes were with adults returning to Education. 11-16 year olds are are a challenge that I wouldn’t have been prepared to take on full-time. I have the greatest admiration for those taken on this daily task.
    There are many pupils who simply don’t want to be in a classrooom. This, in my opinion, is something that successive governments have failed to provide a solution to.
    I sometimes also wonder if we take Education for granted – as we do with all things that are free. There are hundreds of millions of children around the world who can only dream of what our system offers our young. When you do not have to strive for something, it loses its value.
    Keep up your thoughtful and though provoking posts.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting 😀
      We take a lot of things for granted in this country, education especially. It’s only truly appreciated after you’ve left or with the realisation some children don’t have the right to be educated and have to work from a young age. I know I used to take it for granted, it was just something you do, something everyone has to do.
      It’s difficult to think what the solution might be.

Thank you for your comment. I shall endeavour to visit and comment on your blog :D

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