One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone has a lack of respect for someone else, especially when it comes to students mistreating teachers. I was raised in a family that always taught you to respect your elders — no matter what. Where have those manners gone?
Teachers of high school students are some of the bravest people alive. I know it sounds crazy, but some students can be vicious and cruel. The fact that teachers have to put up with it, with only a few ways to discipline, makes them even more brave.
My question to teenagers is this: Why are teachers so bad? Is it because we get homework? Is it because they gave us a “C” when we think we deserve at least a “B”? Well, I am here to say disrespecting them is not going to make it any better. So you made a snarky comment? Congratulations. You have just shown you are immature. You did, in no way, prove you deserve something better. Then, in all irony, you demand they respect you. How does that make sense?
Let me remind you of what wonderful things teachers do for us. They get up early in the morning, and come to school with a nice lesson prepared to give you all the knowledge you need to move ahead. They, by law, have to teach it, even if you think it is completely a waste of your time that could be spent texting. Then, they have to get up, completely alone and teach 30-plus kids. Then, after that is all done, they get to watch us at lunch to make sure we don’t do anything stupid.
Finally, the end of school comes and instead of going home and getting freedom like the rest of us, they grade, or sometimes without getting paid, do after school activities. Even when they do get paid, it’s not much. A lot of the time, teachers even spend their own money and time when they could do something else — for us. If that doesn’t show love and respect, then I have no idea what does.
If that still doesn’t convince you, then what about this? What about those teachers who in school shootings, lied to protect the kids and got killed for it? That is a huge deal. They just gave up their one and only chance for life so that those kids could have theirs. I know for a fact, any of the teachers at our high schools would do that for us as well.
I want to tell all teens out there something magical. If you want respect and to be treated fairly, then do it to others, even if they mistreat you. It sounds dumb, but at least you can go to bed at night knowing you are doing everything you can to be kind. If you think I’m just a teacher’s pet, at least it gives you something to think about.
For parents and guardians of high school students, it is up to you to set an example for your kids. They look up to you, even when they slam their bedroom door screaming they hate you. You have been there their whole lives. The teachers deserve respect from you too. Yelling and screaming because your kid has a “C” isn’t going to help anyone. Teachers are not out to get your children, and if you believe they are, then you need to talk to someone over them instead and the problem will be looked into. Everyone at that high school only wants the best education for your student.
School is important. Knowledge is something you will have the rest of your life, so why not make the most of it? Yes, school can be expensive, but it will be worth it when you have a well-paying job that can easily make up for it. Teachers make all of that possible. Without them, our generations would be lost. I think it’s time everyone steps up when it comes to education. There are other countries who have already figured it out and they are catching up quickly. Don’t you want that to be us?
As an American, I ask everyone to have some pride in our country. We are the ones who truly represent what our nation stands for, and yes, our forefathers fought so we could have that opportunity. We have police and the army and countless others who fight today so that we can still have that opportunity. The least we can do, any of us, is to show a little respect for those around us.
Peatross will be a junior at Tooele High School this fall.