By: Maya Gomez
As a high schooler who’s mother is a teacher, I observe the way that students treat their teachers, and hear how such behavior affects the educator. In the past couple of years specifically, it seems as though disrespect towards teachers is much more widespread than I ever expected for it to be. Now, I understand the concept of “I show respect when I am shown respect.” Still, students and parents show blatant disrespect for no apparent reason.
It’s common knowledge that faculty members take on work that is not accounted for in their already low pay grade. It has been a pre-existing, unwritten rule that educators buy supplies for their students, create trial versions of projects, assist with one-on-one tutoring and essay help, and more things that many of us don’t even realize we take for granted. However, following the pandemic, teachers have had to take on an entirely different workload, responding to endless emails from students and parents for things that they have little to no control over, including mask mandates, absences and tardiness, and the class curriculum.
On top of extra pressure caused by the pandemic, LGHS educators revealed that they face crudeness from several of their own students in class. One teacher recalled some of the worst instances, conveying “In my career, I have had a student cut some of my hair off. In several instances I’ve had students call me a ‘bitch’ because I won’t tolerate bullying and not following basic respect rules.” The teacher continued “I had students make up rumors about me being a drug addict, just for fun. I have never even smoked a cigarette and can’t remember the last time I drank alcohol.” The teacher declared that what bothers her most about such instances is the “utter and sheer lack of respect for rules and [other students].”
[quotes from peters]
I often have to wrack my brain for who told students that this sort of behavior is acceptable, and then it comes to me: their parents. According to the teacher discussed above, “For the most part, parents have been great. But a couple instances stick out to me. [A couple years ago,] a student who did basically zero work in my class had his dad walk into my classroom during school hours and insinuated that if I didn’t change his grade, I would ‘get what’s coming to me.’”
You don’t necessarily need to agree with every policy that a teacher may have in place. In fact, you aren’t even obligated to like them; the fact is, you should show at least a small level of respect towards educators.