Opinion: Respecting Teachers

A RHS student disregarding the cell phone policy, demonstrating disrespect.

Emma Haun

A RHS student disregarding the cell phone policy, demonstrating disrespect.

From a young age, we are taught basic class etiquette: raise your hand before speaking, follow directions, and do your work as it’s assigned. But as we get older, we tend to do things that benefit us rather than listening to our teachers. RHS students struggle, as many high schoolers do, with respecting teachers. 

Over my past two years at RHS, I’ve noticed that many of the students treat teachers as they should. We listen respectfully to what they say, do the work they assign and do simple tasks like putting our cell phones in the pocket. However, there are still students who I’ve seen lash out at teachers by talking back or completely disregarding what they say.  

In a survey of 14 RHS teachers, 100% of them feel respected by their students, but what circumstances make them feel otherwise?  

English teacher Mrs. Kirsten Main stated she feels disrespected when, “… a student tells me that he/she is going to do something instead of asking permission or a student blatantly breaks a rule because it suits his/her immediate purpose. Also, when students disregard the work I assign by not doing it since I only assign work I know is necessary to their learning.” 

The disrespect comes in many different ways. Whether that be cheating, not doing assigned work often, or cursing, it has become so prevalent that students notice the blatant lack of respect as well. Students may do this due to problems in their personal lives, because they see other students do it, or simply because they can get away with it. In a survey of 27 RHS students, 96.3% have noticed their peers being disrespectful.

An anonymous sophomore stated, “My goal every day is to be nice to everyone around me and that includes teachers. They are the adult figure in the room and it would be rude if I was anything but respectful. Being respectful in the classroom to me looks like doing what you are supposed to (schoolwork and such) and not shouting out or just being bluntly rude.” 

It can be hard to actively respect people when we are so caught up in our own lives, so try to be conscious about how you treat your teachers and keep in mind that they have their own issues too, but still make a tremendous effort to benefit us and prepare us for what’s to come. 

Main stated, “Remember that teachers are real people with a real-life that can be just as complicated as their students’.  We don’t always have good days. Please do not disregard the effort put into lessons and assignments. Most of us work hard so that students learn and are prepared for whatever comes next in their lives.”

Teachers are the backbone of society. Keep this in mind the next time you witness disrespect occurring in the classroom and remember to treat them with respect because, without them, we wouldn’t learn, grow, or prosper as people.