Opinion: Teachers deserve more respect

Sarah Joseph, Contributing Writer

Have you ever been in the room where a teacher was disrespected? Almost everyone has seen it at least once.

Years ago, teachers were viewed as the most educated members of their communities. Many people looked up to them because of their intelligence and knowledge. But teachers are not as respected as they used to be.

Disrespecting teachers should be unacceptable. It refutes the respect and obedience teachers deserve. There are many reasons why teachers are not treated with respect. Teachers are disrespected not only by students but by parents and other teachers, too.

Many teachers leave because of the relentless disrespect. Statistically speaking, reasons as to why teachers leave is; 15 percent retirement, 17 percent school staffing action, 34 percent to pursue other jobs, 34 percent family or personal matters, and 48 percent dissatisfaction.

Many students disrespect their teachers just because they do not like them or do not agree with something that was said.  

Zamia Rodriguez, a sophomore at Monroe-Woodbury High School has experienced a time when teachers have been disrespected. Rodriguez described a time when she was in class and a student was talking back to the teacher and mimicking everything the teacher was saying. The student’s peers were only encouraging the situation by laughing and following along with the student.

“Students need to realize that teachers are humans also, and at the end of the day they are doing their best to help us succeed,” said Rodriguez.

But what is the teacher supposed to do in this type of situation? Many times the teacher retaliates by yelling at the student, giving them detention, or even writing them up. But do these consequences really discipline the student?

Centuries ago, discipline was a way to humiliate the student. For example, a slap on the hand, or being sent to the corner facing the walls. But nowadays, teachers will often yell or speak harshly at the students, and that doesn’t exactly teach them a lesson about respecting the teacher.

Another reason why students disrespect teachers like this is that their parents do not teach them that this behavior is wrong. Some parents are spoiled themselves and overconfident, which reflects poorly on their children.

These people are rude, demanding, hostile to service people, and unfortunately, they view teachers as servants whose primary responsibility is to act as a nanny, and, oh yes, also teach something along the way,” said Richard Worzel, in an article on TEACH magazine’s website. “These parents will often blame teachers for the children’s lack of manners or discipline, completely ignoring the fact that this is their responsibility, not the teacher’s.”

Teachers are not only disrespected by students and parents, but by their colleagues as well. Many do not realize they are doing this, because it can be as simple as speaking over the other person,  criticizing your colleagues for trying new things, trying to tell others how to teach and what to teach about or talking about others behind their backs and excluding them.

Teachers do not deserve the disrespect given to them, no matter who it is from; it is uncalled for and unnecessary. They work hard every day to give us an education so we can succeed in life, they hold our future in their hands, and in return, they are repeatedly disrespected. It is time we stop disrespecting our teachers and actually focus on our education to better our world and futures.