Are teachers getting the respect they deserve from students?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Are teachers getting the respect they deserve from students?

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Parenting is sometimes a thankless job. When children are very young they throw temper tantrums and pout and then turn around and hug their mother. They say "I hate you" when you ask them to do something or tell them no. Alternately, they love you when it's their birthday or you bake them cookies. In a word, children are changeable. They are free and open with their emotions and act on whatever whim tickles their fancy. You see the good, the bad and the ugly because youngsters are not good at moderating their behaviour to fit social standards and they act on impulse.

As children age, they become better at controlling their behaviour and have less emotional outbursts. Parents no longer get the tantrums and glares, but they often don't get the enthusiastic hugs and kisses either. Teenagers can be a particular challenge because they develop more of a sense of self. They feel that they have the answer to everything and can do and be anything they want. Their view of their parents changes as they come to recognize the flaws and failings present in all of us, but previously unnoticed in their parents.

Teachers, unfortunately, are subject to much the same emotional gamut as parents because of the amount of time they spend with children. Younger, primary students often love their teacher and want to make them happy. Teachers involved with teenagers don't experience these positive aspects much at all. This poll shows that an overwhelming majority of people do not feel that teachers get the respect they deserve from their students.

The results are not surprising. From a student's perspective teachers make them do things they don't want to do. Students must sit quietly and pay attention, then they must complete assigned work in class, and then sometimes they have to take work home to complete. Most teenagers are more interested in sleeping, eating, socializing and playing video games. Teachers are all work and no play as far as teenagers are concerned.

We all need to wait twenty years for the rewards that come from children. Once they become adults and reflect on their childhood, they can see clearly the level of commitment and skill their teachers had. So if you are having a particularly bad day with your students, just remember that there is a thirty year old out there somewhere thinking about their high school teacher with fondness and perhaps a little regret that they didn't give them more respect.