Mutual Respect Between Students and Teachers

Ainsley Black, Staff Writer

“Kids these days don’t even know what the real world is like because they’re always on those dang phones.” How many times do we hear that in a week? We have new technology that some of us may use too often, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t still have lives and experiences.

Teachers are reasonable in wanting us to put away our phones while they’re teaching. They have a job to do. However, disregarding other things we care about is not respectful. Older generations would have utilized the technology we have as kids if it had been available to them.

We are students and the younger generation, and it is our job to learn so we can keep the world going as we get older. We need to stop treating our teachers poorly when they’re trying to teach us the best they can.

We lost in person school during most of last year’s school year. For a lot of us, it was hard on school sports, retaining things we were supposed to learn, and having a connection with teachers and other students.

Now, the opportunity to make those things up is back. None of us should sabotage it by taking advantage of student and teacher relationships.

Johnny Baer, a student at Highland, said he has seen disrespect from students to teachers in most of his classes. “Yes, almost all of them,” he said.

We all have our own opinions on what is considered disrespectful. Some things are completely controversial.

For instance, some people think calling a teacher by their first name is very disrespectful. On the contrary, people think that it is disrespectful to call a teacher anything other than what they have specifically asked, even if it is their first name.

Disrespect in some regards is arguable. However, making fun of teachers, leaving class whenever you feel like it without permission, and being disruptive is straight forward disrespectful.

Valerie Gundlah has been teaching for years, and this is her first year at Highland. Before she came to Highland, getting sworn at and having her lessons disrupted frequently was a regular thing.

She thinks there will always be some disrespect from students to teachers. “Just because that’s the nature of adolescence.”

Of course, we can always expect some outbursts from students and teachers, because we’re all human and we make mistakes. But why do we consider this disrespect a normal thing?

When asking other students how they felt about this, a lot of them could remember things happening, but couldn’t recall specific times, or were worried about getting in trouble for saying anything.

There will always be issues that can be worked out, but how are we supposed to fix them when one side feels like they can’t talk about it?

One student was eventually willing to be interviewed but was very hesitant at first because they didn’t want their name mentioned.

“I was walking to class with one of my friends, and we were almost to the door. I had been a little slow because I have health issues that make me slow on the stairs,” the student said. “When we got about 10 feet away, she closed the door right in our faces.”

The student continued and talked about the lecture they got after getting in the classroom and how angry their teacher was, even though she wasn’t considering her injuries.

Although teachers have authority over us when it comes to safety and following the rules, they shouldn’t abuse this power over students.

The teachers that are most commonly favorites are the ones that accept we are still kids and have lives out of school. Academics are very important and impact our lives, but so do outside elements that need to be considered.

Their jobs are there to help us learn and become responsible for the work we need to do. Even so, they can still understand other things are very important to us right now and it’s not always possible to have school as our number one priority.

These things we experience at school have a big influence on how we act in life later. We can learn from the disrespect we feel, and we can know how to manage it later or not treat others that same way.

After losing most of our school interactions last year, we know how life changing it is. Because we know what that’s like, everyone should be more thoughtful of how they’re treating people at school. We need to not take this opportunity for granted.