Teachers are a large part of any teenager’s life. Teens spend eight hours every day for five days a week with teachers at their high school, maybe even more depending on extracurricular activities. Respect is such an important aspect in the relationship between teacher’s and students and is crucial to have.
No matter where you are, there is always an instinct for teens to disobey and rebel against their elders and an instinct for adults to have a disdain for teens because of the rebellious nature of the stereotypes attached to teens. The lack of disrespect between teachers and students can be found all around us. The problem can never be fully solved because it’s prevalent in many different settings. However, an important thing to remember is that the respect or lack of respect from both teachers and students can either decimate or create a healthy environment and relationship.
English teacher Brad Odice said, “teachers should show interest in the lives of their students, treat them well, and have compassion toward the life changes they are going through, caring beyond academics. Students should understand that teachers want students to learn, and want the best for them. They need to know that many of the decisions teachers make are to help guide students, hold them accountable for their action, not ‘out to get them.’”
Respect is an important aspect in any relationship. That high regard or admiration for another individual’s abilities, inner qualities, views, and feelings, is a key component in having a civil or even splendid relationship.
According to Psychology Today, in their research, Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, Hal Holloman and Peggy Yates have proven that respect is in fact a two way street; when an individual receives respect, they return the favor. Their study focused on teacher-student relationships specifically.
Respect for teachers is an important aspect that should be valued and used by everyone. Teachers spend countless hours working to help the future generations of the world become intelligent and knowledgeable adults. They work to help guide each and every student to success. The least a student can do is show their teachers kindness and respect in return for their guidance and knowledge. Teachers pull through many challenges in order to teach kids.
One of the challenges that teachers face is their low salary. Teachers live on a low salary; in spite of that, they still dedicate their time to children. According to cpr.org, the average salary of a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience in Colorado is $36,700. The national average is roughly $44,900.
On the other hand, because respect is a two-way street, it’s also crucial that the teachers respect the students in return. According to acsd.org, respectful schools are learning environments where everyone feels safe, supported, engaged, and helpfully challenged. All of these factors go into a good learning environment where students can learn. If the teachers do not show respect for the students, the students won’t give any respect and may be less likely to learn because they may instead feel unsafe, unsupported, distracted, and frustrated by the challenges. Odice said, “I often use compassion and humor to connect with students. If they feel like they are cared for and surrounded by a light-hearted environment, it can open a door to build positive connections. I also want to build a culture of trust between my students and me. I feel students are willing to push themselves when they feel like they are in a trusted place.”
While this is a challenging problem to fix because a lot of times it’s natural for respect to not be given so easily–especially when it is not given first or in return. However, respect is an incredibly important factor in a learning environment and in any relationship. Small but significant steps to take to be respectful include but are not limited to: saying please and thank you, offering kind and positive reassurance, offering constructive criticism instead of harsh criticisms, and say only kind things whether it is to their face or not. Being respectful is something that each and every one of us, adult or teen, should be working towards in every relationship.
Caitlyn Tsukamoto, Editor in Chief