Disrespect teachers face

Teachers help students figure out difficult problems with classwork daily.

"Student and Teacher" by Wonderlane is licensed under

Teachers help students figure out difficult problems with classwork daily.

Students often ask themselves… “Why is my teacher so mean? I didn’t do anything wrong!”

It’s okay. We have all done it at one point or another. But we forget to take one thing into consideration: what does the teacher think?

Many students just focus on getting through the day so they can just go home. That’s fine. We tend to forget that teachers are human as well though. They want to go home and relax as well. Do they get to? Not always.

Imagine if you had to wake up early everyday, get ready for the day, make sure you get your family ready for the day to attend school and then arrive to school yourself before students arrive.

Then, you get your lesson plans ready and start classes for seven hours. Keep in mind that most teachers have 6 class periods out of 8 and most have to prepare for at least two different levels of students.

Then after that 7 hour day, you don’t get to just go home and forget about work. Instead, you have to go home, grade papers and essays, cook dinner for your family and make sure they have everything they need.  Some even stay up late making sure their students have everything needed done for class before eventually heading to bed to get a couple of hours of sleep. Only to wake up the next day and do it all over again. Doesn’t sound fun, does it?

My example doesn’t even begin to scrape the surface of what teachers have to do. And it most certainly doesn’t even begin to explain what teachers do out of the kindness of their hearts. 

My start to my eighth grade year was anything but easy. From starting new classes, to making friends, to learning how to deal with the ways people talk and get around, I was lost.

But, there was one teacher, who I will keep anonymous that helped me through it. She would check on me throughout the day, not because she had to, but because she wanted to. She would let me come to her room after school and tell her about my day and the weird and crazy things that happened. If I had a bad day, she would comfort me and make me laugh while still telling it like it was. If it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the beginning of the year as well as I have. 

I believe that both students and teachers could improve on the way we handle certain situations. I think if both sides think a little differently before they say something, many of the frustrations both sides have would disappear.

“I think teachers could probably deescalate sometimes,” said eighth grade American cultures and student council advisor, Elizabeth Bronson.  “I also think that if students just followed the rules there would be no issues or problems.” 

It is not that teachers don’t want students to have fun. That is not it at all. But, when a teacher gets angry about something a student did, students instantly believe that it is all the teachers fault. They don’t take 2 seconds to think that maybe they did something to anger the teacher. 

Students feel that they are able to say what they want to say to any and every one. I think that students are so used to being around their friends and just saying the first thing that comes to mind. They forget to have respect and manners when it comes to teachers and other adults.

A challenge that affected teenagers over the past couple of years is COVID-19. 

For many students, not being able to socialize and be with friends has affected behavior and discipline. Not being in school with face to face instruction for almost all of last school year hasn’t helped either.  Being isolated for so long doesn’t help mental health, and it most certainly doesn’t help with behaving in a social setting.

For myself, I stayed virtual all year. That was great until the end of the year. I began to feel the effects of not being in school and not being able to see my friends and ask questions in school. As we neared the end of the school year, I felt my attitude change. I began to get more and more of an attitude. How my parents and grandparents dealt with me during those last few months of school, I will never know. 

My point is that even though we don’t notice it at first being away from a social setting for so long doesn’t help remembering how to have proper social interactions with adults and other teenagers.

Another thing that affects student behavior is social media, TikTok in particular.

“I am well aware that most of the kids that are in this building have not been participating in these stupid trends that have caused damage here. There are many, many wonderful students I have met this year…but there are some people who view these “challenges” as an opportunity to get clout on social media, and they are absolutely using that as a medium or a vent for their frustrations with this place and the people in it,” said eighth grade English teacher John Garlick. 

Many students don’t like going to school. TikTok gives them ideas on how to get revenge in a way on the school, but that doesn’t mean it is a good way to go. 

Students that have not participated in the TikTok challenges don’t deserve to be punished for other students’ decisions, and teachers don’t deserve to have to take time out of their day to watch the bathrooms, so they can make sure no one does anything inappropriate. 

Teachers need that time to post grades, clean up activities, correct papers, respond and send emails or take five minutes to relax. But they don’t get to have those opportunities. 

That isn’t to say TikTok doesn’t have any positive impact. Jill Helsel and Jill Lane are doing incredible work by creating positive TikToks for students. But, students seem to be finding more bad than good.

I know students are trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be. I am too, but just because we are struggling, it doesn’t  give us a right to disrespect teachers. At the end of the day, we all have something we are dealing with. 

I hope students and teachers will take the time to try and do better. I want both sides to be able to understand each other. After all, as Ponyboy Curtis said in “The Outsiders,”  “We all watch the same sunset , don’t we?”