Respecting Educators

Teachers, staff deserve the utmost respect from students

Kaitlin Green, Publication Editor

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to sit back and observe other people — whether it be with my friends or out in public, there’s something that fascinates me about the way humans interact with each other.

School is no exception.  I’ve spent hours of my time in high school watching my peers, and a common thread I’ve noticed throughout my past four years has been the blatant lack of disrespect that some have towards their teachers.

My opinions have not been limited to my own experiences but that of my mother as well. She accepted a long-term substitute position at one of the Blue Valley middle schools this past year with excitement to be returning to her passion — nothing makes her happier than watching kids succeed.

And yet, despite her love for teaching, she has been met with students who insult her and degrade her, all because she chooses to follow the rules her job has set and aims to create an environment that fosters well-behaved teenagers. As she has said several times over, “They believe the rules don’t apply to them.”

Whether it be talking while a teacher is talking, complaining unnecessarily, or being outright rude, disrespect runs rampant. And, just like with my own mom, it breaks my heart to see teachers get walked over by students.

It is imperative that students learn to respect the teachers and administration of BV — though it may be difficult or require work, choosing to be kind can only help create a more welcoming and productive environment.

Of course, I’m not saying that all students are rude towards BV staff members — I think myself and a majority of my upperclassmen peers have matured to the point where we subconsciously recognize how much work goes into being an educator.  However, that does not dismiss the fact that there are still those who, whether due to the “lingering” effects of Covid or a lack of normal structure in past few years of education, believe they are above those who work to create a stable school environment.

Respect should absolutely be earned and not freely given, and in my mind, teachers have put in the work to deserve our respect. Between countless hours spent on lesson planning, grading, creating assignments and offering individualized feedback, they have truly dedicated their lives to cultivating us into the best versions of ourselves. Anyone who can disrespect a teacher with this knowledge clearly does not understand the extent to which these adults go in order to prepare them for their future.

Yes, I recognize that not every class or every homework assignment will be enjoyable, and yes, not everything will be convenient and fair. But that is life. Becoming upset is natural in these situations is completely valid, but teachers do not deserve the brunt of these frustrations.

And, if there is frustration from a group of students towards a factor of their education, then I offer a simple solution: communicate. No teacher or staff member wants to create a miserable experience for those who attend those school, and if there is a problem, I can confirm that they would be willing to either make accommodations for valid reasoning or provide an explanation as to why their actions are essential for the growths of students.

Any graduating senior can tell an underclassman that they haven’t enjoyed every class they took in high school and didn’t find relevancy in every assignment they were given. But, what they can also say is that they have learned something from the experience, whether it be study skills, advocation or how to work hard to succeed.

Instead of turning complaints into disrespect, use it to inspire transparency with educators, and most importantly, become a better human. Teachers and staff are simply trying to do their job, and hope to do it in the best way possible for their students.

They wouldn’t all still be in education if they didn’t.