Why do students nowadays don't respect their teacher?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by kvs_va, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. kvs_va

    kvs_va New Member

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    Nov 6, 2011

    I am a 2nd year high school Science teacher, and I don't understand why kids nowadays are like that. Majority of them don't respect the teacher and act as if they are doing a big favor by coming to school. This is a big contrast to when I was in school in India. Teachers have a lot of respect there from students as well as parents. I think this is a big difference between Eastern and Western culture. I think kids here are totally out of control because of divorced parents and no one at home to teach them discipline. All they do at home is watch TV so they are hyper when they come to school. They don't respect authority and treat the teacher as if she is their servant. It is never their fault, it is the teacher's fault that they are failing. I had one parent who wanted me to email her son's marks to her after every quiz! She forgot I had 120 other students as well!
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 7, 2011

    I'm sorry you're having such a hard time.

    My experience certainly has been different.

    But I see lots and lots of generalizations in that one paragraph.

    I disagree with the "majority." I also disagree with many of the other points you've made-- my husband and I are happily married, and my kids see plenty of discipline. (My son gets his phone back today; his Xbox is grounded until Saturday.)

    A good friend is in the process of a divorce; rest assured that her daughter isn't sitting home all day watching TV.

    I'm sure there are some major differences between Eastern and Western cultures. But is it possible that you're expecting those kids to conform to the culture you grew up in, as opposed to you adapting to theirs? Certainly they can sense the disdain with which you hold their culture-- that comes out loud and clear in your brief post. Perhaps that has something to do with the way they behave for you?

    You say that parents don't care, yet you have one parent-- not 120, but one-- who wants to keep on top of her son's quizzes, and you're too busy to email her.

    I'm sending an email today to a parent-- she's really been on her son about his grades, and he scored a 92% on Friday's test. I won't give her the grade, but want to be sure she remembers to ask him. That one little email I send will ensure that mom (and Mike, when he finds out) know that I'm sincerely rooting for his success.

    I think that, in order for a teacher to find success, one very fundamental requirement is that you need to like your kids and sincerely hope for their success. Requirement number two is that you do what you can to ensure it.
     
  4. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    I am a new teacher but have over 30 years in other fields. I don't have the experience dealing with young people over that same time frame as others do but i will say that I am shocked at what I see and hear from this generation of young people.(And i teach at a 'good" school btw).I really don't blame the student as much as do their parent(s) or guardian.I am by no means a sociologist but my hypothesis is that your culture has more of the traditional parenting model.Others may argue that nothing has changed but I don't share that belief.But to be fair, as I have also noted, I have not been in the classroom for 30 - 40 years either so I'm sure that others have more data than my anecdotal evidence.
     
  5. bondo

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    Nov 9, 2011

    Sounds like you had a rough day or past couple of days. I'm sorry for your struggles. However, I agree with Alice. It is a product of Western culture to gravitate toward drama and negative news and it seems this may be the case. If the majority of kids were truly disrespectful and held the belief of the teacher as "servant" there would be anarchy in the schools.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 9, 2011

    Respect is earned, regardless of grade level or school setting in which you teach. I have no problems with disrespectful students...that just doesn't happen in my class.
     
  7. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Nov 10, 2011

    Getting them to respect me isn't a problem.

    Getting them to respect each other is a nightmare.
     
  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Beautifully put, Kev.
     
  9. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    It all starts at home. Parents don't want to be the parent. They want to be a friend. Many students have no respect for their parents because they have not been taught that at home. I have been in the office when students have to call home to ask a parent to bring PE clothes, homework, etc. I am appalled about how these kids speak to their parents. If I would have spoken to my mom like that, I would have false teeth today.
     
  10. Silmarienne

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    Nov 11, 2011

    Yes, BUT. Kids are (ironically) craving structure and someone to respect and set boundaries so they can feel secure, at least in that one class. But you must make it loud and clear that you expect respect (both for you and each other), and what the consequences will be when/if disrespect happens. Then you must be consistent and firm every day with them.

    We can blame parents all we want, but we are the ones who create the classroom environment.

    I can say this, but it does not come naturally for me; however I learned to be this way, and so can you. :) I wish you the best!!
     
  11. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    Exactly. :)
     
  12. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    I believe in this 100%!! Even in during my hallway duty, students I have never had in class but they KNOW how they should behave in my hallway, are respectful of me, each other and the rules of the hallway.

    Case in point - drinks in the hallway. Students are not allowed to have drinks or food in the hallway. The kids in our hallway know this and as the first teacher students encounter in our hallway, from day one they know I will make them throw drinks/foood away. Two days ago, a group of kids entered the hallway and one student, not from my hallway, tried to hide a drink as he walked by. I didn't have to tell him to throw it away, the other kids did :)

    "hey, we don't bring drinks up here. Mrs. IN makes us follow the rules up here"

    other student "teachers let us have drinks downstairs"

    "well, Mrs IN makes us follow the rules" and turns to me "I got your back Mrs IN"

    these are students I have never had in class, just in my hallway :)

    To get to this pont, I greet them every morning, know their names (even the ones I don't have in class), wish them luck when I hear about the big Chem test, give out high fives when they tell me great news, ect . . . . .

    And, if you ask students which teachers they respect, almost always it is the teachers that command the best from their students, are prepared, TEACH, interact with their students, and as my students say "actually act like they like their job and kids."
     
  13. GTB4GT

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    Nov 12, 2011

    To kvs va - in reading thru the responses, I think most everyone is saying that yes, there are issues with the children/students. it is what it is. I think everyone is also saying that the situation must be confronted and managed. That is possible (and necessary if you are ever going to enjoy being a teacher).You will need to develop a strategy as the situation that you describe will not "go away" on its own. I see a young lady who is just out of college in are school who is really struggling - she just was not prepared for the realities of the classroom. I try to encourage her - most, if not all, young professional person is going to struggle in their first year or two no matter what field they choose (assuming they have chosen a profession that comes with challenges as most do). She is being proactive in trying to deal with these problems and that is the key. She has talked about quitting and I tell her if she is patient and continues to work hard she will be rewarded in the end. If she quits and goes to another school (as she says) I have told her the problem will just move with her.

    Bottom line, our young people are challenging. that is unfortunate. Accept it and find ways to attack the "problems". There are solutions and wishing for better kids is not one of them (it is a strategy that may be effective if you are willing to teach in other cultures rather than the US).And that too may be a strategy - have you considered teaching school in India or some other country? I have talked to some young people who taught English in Korea and they absolutely loved that experience. They described the children as being more like what you described in India. Best wishes to you.
     
  14. 2ndTimeAround

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    I agree, for the most part, about kids learning to respect their teachers because they are respected themselves.

    But it isn't always this utopian. I have students whose parents flat out tell them NOT to respect the teachers and administrators. I've called parents who have told me that they will not speak to their child about their behavior because they teach their children not to back down to any white people, no matter who they are. I've had parents call me and tell me I WILL stay after school on Thursday so their child can make up the test she missed when she skipped class. I've had parents call and YELL at me because I sent their daughters to the office for dress code violations.

    Some of the students that come from homes like this can be won over in the classroom. Some have these ideas planted so deeply that they won't be able to change while in high school.
     
  15. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Nov 12, 2011

    this confirms the point that

    was made by the person who originally started this thread. This is just sad. I am a new teacher. I often wonder how children like this will end up 15 - 30 years from now. I do know that some students mature late but is there any realistic chance of a child recovering from bad or no parenting?
     
  16. 99 percent

    99 percent Rookie

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    They are all out of control at every grade level. And those of you who think you have them under your thumb; you should see what they are doing when your back is turned. If it’s bad for the teacher its worse for the substitute. And they blame us for being a glorified babysitter. They are no afraid of us.
    I was in high school in the 1980’s and have been a sub since 2001. In that time, many changes have taken place. I work in an area that most would call “economically challenged” and there is no respect for adults. Kids ignore directions, listen to their IPODS, Cellphones and get up and leave the room when they get bored.
     
  17. Special-t

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    Nov 17, 2011

    I think that students now feel free to act upon their impulses and say what's on their mind much more so than when I was in high school years ago. And kids now have absolutely horrible role models who are too easily accessible to young impressionable minds. I know some parents who won't let their young kids watch the Simpsons because Bart is so outspoken ... and Bart is innocent compared most of what my students watch! Most of my students have nearly completely unsupervised TV, movie and video game access.

    That said, on the whole, my public Title-1 school has SUPER AMAZING non-defiant students. I think it's because we have relatively small class sizes so we are able to build relationships with our students.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I don't have my kids "under my thumb."

    But, just out of curiosity: how do you know what goes on behind my back or the back of anyone else?
     
  19. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I think it's those who have an "under the thumb" approach who have a "behind the back" issue.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    That's kind of what I was thinking. My kids don't behave for me out of fear. They like me and respect me and do as I request.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The OP hasn't been back. I hope s/he got what was needed for the class assignment.:dizzy:
     
  22. Ms. I

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    Yes, I've seen a lot of disrespectful elementary kids, mainly when I subbed & I assumed that if I ever had my own classroom, that it generally shouldn't be that way because kids see subs as the outsiders & will act differently. Now, that I've had my new SLP job & actually have my OWN students, I can honestly say that they're a really nice bunch of kids at both of my schools & I'm happy to be able to say that.

    I have to say that I've only worked w/ 1 high school kid in my life & that was 1-on-1 for a very brief time, so that's a different situation, but I'm not the type to teach a whole class of high schoolers. It's not for me. I lack the comical comments (maybe wit if you want to call it that) that kids that age like. High schoolers would think I'm a very dry person, but I'm nice, but I have no idea how to connectw/ that age level. I'm never around HS kids except when I was in HS myself.
     
  23. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I agree. And, wish that people who don't like kids or can't find their redeeming qualities should stay out of teaching. I've found that I have to be able to have hope for even my most difficult students in order to work with them.
     
  24. bizzbeth125

    bizzbeth125 Rookie

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    I think they get it from their parents...

    A parent came up to me the other day, whose child is in my class, and asked me whose parent I was.... UM HELLO!? To clarify: He was at back to school night, and had been in the classroom a week before helping with stations and I spoke with him at that time too.

    I said, "oh, actually I'm your child's teacher"

    He said he was sorry and then asked me to remind him of my name.....................:dizzy::dizzy:

    I can't blame the kids when the parents don't show them how to respect their teacher. :whistle:
     
  25. showmelady

    showmelady Companion

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    Nov 19, 2011

    Dr. Spock.

    I think that is the answer to many of the problems we have today with kids not being respectful, obedient or just having nice manners.

    I do not think kids are taught to have respect for anyone.

    But I do think they actually want some structure and want to learn respect. I think you have to connect with the students in some way that catches their attention. The more kids you can get to pay attention in a class, the better they will act. And respect comes then.

    I have had some luck with explaining to them that they will get their turn to talk, but that they must respect the right of othes to talk, too. In some classes it is easier to get the kids to be respectful, once they understand that the respect goes both ways. And you have to CONSTANTLY remind them, because to many it is a totally new concept.
     
  26. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sounds like you've made some excellent headway, showmelady. If these kids haven't been taught correct behavior previously, we have an excellent opportunity / responsibility to do so. Also, welcome to the boards from a fellow Ohio resident, if I hadn't said so previously.

    :welcome::atoz_love:
     
  27. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    It sounds to me as though he was very respectful. And that he had attended back to school night and made an effort to speak to you at that point.

    Perhaps he has memory issues, perhaps he's simply bad at connecting faces and names, perhaps there's something on his mind right now that supercedes everything else-- perhaps his job is on the line and he's terrified about putting food on the table.

    But I most certainly wouldn't call his behavior disrespectful.
     
  28. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I agree with Alice on this. He didn't sound disrespectful, but there was definitely something interferring with putting people's names and faces together with his child. That isn't disrespect. What if this man at some point had a stroke or has a medical condition that interfere's with his ability to put it all together. Just the fact he shows up shows he has interest in his child's education.

    It could also be as simple as he has multiple children (over the years) with multiple teachers and it just becomes a bit too overwhelming to keep everyone straight. You may have looked familiar, but with all the teachers and parents he ends up meeting it just ends up being one jumbled mess of names and faces. Teachers tend to be good with names and faces, not everyone is.

    I would think he was probably a bit embarrassed by this situation but tried to hide it.


    On an aside here:

    I think sometimes we want to lump everything under the term 'disrespect' when it isn't perfect. Are we the new 'gang' on the block where everything is met with the term 'disrespect' whether it was really disrespectful or not.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  29. bizzbeth125

    bizzbeth125 Rookie

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    You both may be right, but he exhibited many other signs of less than respectful behavior... Telling me he was going to use my computer when he was supposed to be leading a group of kids in an activity, answering his phone in class while the students were doing readers theater, and carrying on the conversation loudly while the kids were trying to put on the play... Sighing loudly during conferences, the whole time, laughing at students playing a song during the veterans day assembly.

    You may both be correct, but I've seen multiple instances where he has been less than respectful of the classroom, students and teachers. I wouldn't have said it unless I had reason...
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  30. bizzbeth125

    bizzbeth125 Rookie

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    Thinking about it more, you may be right, he could have an issue that I'm not aware of, but, considering everything I think it is more of a social awareness issue where he may not realize how he is acting and how his actions are perceived by others. :-/
     
  31. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Keep in mind, though, that we only know what you tell us.

    It's also possible that what you interpret as disrespect is actually Asperger's Syndrome or something similar.
     
  32. bizzbeth125

    bizzbeth125 Rookie

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    Yes, you are right, that could be the case. I recently posted that he may have a social awareness issue I hadn't considered before. Thanks!
     
  33. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    :yeahthat:

    I have respect from my 6th graders. There are some that try to be a little disrespectful at the beginning of the year. This was nipped in the bud.

    However, getting them to respect each other has been an uphill battle that I continue to fight every day.
     
  34. Soccer Dad

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    This thread is an interesting one, albeit it being a sad one as well. First of all, I have to agree with what Alice said about understanding that while each culture--Western vs. Eastern--has its own weaknesses, each also has its own strengths. Perhaps you haven't fully adjusted to Western schools. That's okay, of course, but I think a better approach is not to focus on the negatives, but on how to expand on the positives. What are these positives? Well, we can chat all day about them, but in my opinion: Western students are (usually) forced to collaborate more, think and discuss more about their own feelings (thus forcing critical thinking), focus more on the bigger impact than the specific facts, give more oral and written presentations, and are told to pursue their personal interests (even if they happen to be "useless" to society). I think, especially in education, it's better to remain optimistic. I'm cynical by nature, but I don't think I could handle the job if I didn't constantly remind myself that our system of education--while deeply flawed--is still a wonderful work of society. (By the way: I student taught in an Eastern school so I'm not completely without experience.)

    Behavior is definitely influenced by parents. It's also influenced by teachers. If my students go home and curse, that's one thing but I can assure you it's not happening in my classroom. Why? Because I follow through with what I say. If you curse, you're in trouble (one page paper--single spaced--on how to better communicate). It's MY classroom. I will dictate how it's run. Of course, my students--30 of them in number--try to dictate things as well. Sometimes, we can cooperate and work together to make better policies (ie: this year, I don't quiz on Mondays). However, if students are disrespectful, I refer them to their AP AND take points off their participation grade. Could it be that your students just don't care about consequences? Absolutely. It happens and it SUCKS. It really is unfortunate for both you and the class when students don't care about their education. However, in the grand scheme of things: you can either change your method of "getting through to them," accept it or transfer. We're all different when it comes to perseverance and what we can handle. I transferred from the city--I couldn't handle a class size of 43.

    In the end, you need to reflect on your own views. My kids had a strict upbringing but there have been many times they have acted out against me (most recently, my son lashed out at my wife.. he's now without a credit card, car and cell phone [the three c's]). Kids will be kids. They push boundaries. They test their superiors. It's human behavior. How we respond can determine a lot. Of course, there will ALWAYS be those that just don't care... and that's the saddest thing of all--something that is inevitable in society.
     
  35. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I gotta chime in here about the excuses. Yes, the father mentioned above might have some condition that causes him to laugh at students while they are performing. That doesn't mean he is not being disrespectful. It may mean he has a hard time learning what respectful behavior looks like. But it is still disrespect.

    When an ADHD student jumps out of his seat and starts singing during lecture he may have a chemical imbalance that led to his impulsiveness. But he was still disrespectful.

    It isn't a murder trial that's being argued down to manslaughter. Proof of intent is not required.
     
  36. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I have to chime in also.

    The problem is when you judge the PERSON and do not consider if the action had intent, it becomes a problem.

    The person with Tourette's syndrome that blurts may be terribly disrepectful in action. Judging the character of that person and labelling that person disrepectful would, in my opinion, be disrespectful on the part of the labeller. Why? Intent.

    When we talk about PEOPLE being disrepectful, intent is important. When we talk about ACTIONS being disrespectful, intent is not needed. While the action may be disrespectful, the person may just not know (or for that matter, we may take something not disprespectful, read more into it, and be offended).

    Intent is important based on the how the term is being used.

    Addition: This is not to say that students performing disrespectful actions UNintentionally should not be taught why the action was disrespectful. Adults need to be worked with differently depending on the situation. Sometimes it is just best to let it go.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  37. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This behaviour can certainly be disruptive, but it is not necessarily disrespectful.
     
  38. sanderson

    sanderson Rookie

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    This is not the case with every teacher. I believe, you get what you give. Let’s not make any generalizations; you cannot judge the whole class on the basis of a child. And I agree that respect is earned, if you are not being respected, then find out the reasons and work on it. It’s always easy to condemn, try the difficult part, improvement.
     
  39. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I find it interesting how the same class may behave well and respect the teacher in one classroom, and be totally out of control and disrespectful in another classroom. They have the same parents - familial background, this is all happening on the same day. The difference?? : the teacher.

    You, as a teacher have the power to form and mold yor students, at least for the time they are with you - and hopefully you can make a long term impact as well.
    Students are very observant, and they know how far they can go with each teacher. They know, that one teacher allows them to get out of their seat, be disruptive, or whatever, either because he's ok with that, or he is not ok with it, but cannot handle them. And they know that another teacher will not allow it.

    Of course, some groups are harder to handle than others, but that's when we need to put in the extra effort for them to learn our expectations.

    I don't like generalizations, and I don't like anyone to talk about divorced parents, as if they are providing less than acceptable living conditions. I am a single parent, and although it is hard at times, I do all I can. My child does watch more tv than I would like, but she is respectful, and overall a good kid. Should I have stayed with her father, in an unhealthy relationship, (emotional abuse, which would have turned into physical abuse) just for the sake of saying : "I'm married?" No. So let's not judge the kids background.

    Although there are certainly enough parents out there who let their kids get away with murder, don't follow thrugh with anything, we can't control that, and we shouldn't think ALL students come from that background.
     
  40. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 24, 2011

    Well said linguist.
     

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