Respect For Teachers Is Essential
How Can You Get It?

Respect for teachers - some teachers believe that it's a given. To me, that's the wrong expectation. You can't demand respect. It has to be earned and deserved!!

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It works both ways - students and teachers!

It's important to realize that this process starts from the first day of school to the last - it's an on-going process.

Students need to see and believe that you the teacher are a fair and just person. And that you can be trusted. But, always remember, that students are NOT Your FRIEND, they are your students!

The classroom rules and classroom routines that you establish at the beginning of the year are extremely important as it sets the tone of your class and that's where the the process of respecting teachers begins.

That's why, before I showed my students my class rules, we had a full discussion on rules they have at home and why it's necessary to have rules. They also shared their suggestions of what rules would be fair for our classroom.

Believe it or not, the classroom rules that I would be implementing and the students' suggestions were quite similar.

Respect for teachers is such an essential and vital key in creating a wonderful relationship with your students. It's hard work, but when there is mutual respect, it's phenomenal!

Your attitude is also another important factor in establishing respect for the teacher. I'm a very positive and upbeat person, who doesn't feel superior towards the students. At times, I feel like a kid myself and I come down to their level (figuratively speaking).

I feel it's also essential for students to know you on a personal level too. They knew things about my kids, my dog, my husband's obsession with his hockey team. (Again, NOT as a friend).

Students lack of respect for teachers is an issue that was brought up by Veronique, a teacher in the UK. Here's her comment.

"I need to complain about students lack of respect for teachers and parents making making unproven accusations based on past history."

My Answer

Dear Veronique,

I feel badly for you. I know the feeling when parents and their children are ganging up on you and you have no where to turn and don't know what to do.

A few questions pop into my head:

1. Do you have the support of your principal or VP?

2. Have you spoken to other staff members to see if these parents have accused other teachers?

3. Do you have a Federation or union rep. to speak to in confidence about the situation and ask for advice?

4. Can you change schools if the situation is that bad?

Years ago parents held teachers in the highest regard and it was the child's fault "What did you do in the classroom to your teacher?"

Now, the child can run home and cry wolf and blame the teacher for whatever reason. Then the parents are at the front door of the principal's office, screaming " What has THAT teacher done to my child?!"

If you have a very supportive principal or VP you're quite lucky and they will back you up. But, if not, sometimes it's sink or swim.

Watch my video on respecting teachers where I discuss with some student teachers, some additional suggestions for gaining respect from your students.

I just hope you don't become jaded and bitter. In any profession there will be those who complain and bitch about anything and everything.

Teaching is a wonderful profession. Just try not to think about all the craziness.

I hope you have the strength, courage and wisdom to rise above this and move on.

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