The Lost Art of Respect

I have been forced to ponder the lost art of respect by several parents at my school. I’m a teacher. I try to be fair, understanding of students problems. I work them hard, but reward effort. I trust the students tell me the truth about dogs eating their homework and ‘I swear I sent it!’ until I don’t trust them. Invariably, they get the trait of thinking bullying will elicit some prefered grade from me from their parents. I’ve received too many emails from parents who assume that I’m treating their child unfairly, dislike them, was too stupid to notice whatever, rather than assuming I know what I’m doing and asking how to work things out. They pay me–I teach at a private school. Wouldn’t you think they’d trust what they paid for? Instead, they think they bought it.

Such is life.

It’s more than my tiny universe. Sound bites have brought out more and more comments designed to elicit emotion rather than logic. Politicians come to mind. They’re asked a question and answer the one they want to–who cares what was asked? If they’re caught in a corner, they use emotion because people get flustered by an emotional outburst. Gets the interviewer off their back. And heres a favorite of Democrats: They fillabuster. When they get the floor on a talk show, they talk forever, on whatever. Usually not well-related to the question. Does no one notice they don’t answer the question?

I do.

I think if we all assumed each other was innocent until proven guilty, we’d approach interactions with respect, rather than name-calling or emotional outbursts. We’d solve a lot more problems that way. I’ve decided to include a picture of my dog, Casey. Casey always respects everyone. Guess what? We feed him, clothe him, pet him, house him–all for free. He’s got the dream life. All because he respects…


One thought on “The Lost Art of Respect

  1. I think some of it also comes from parents automatically believing their kids over adults. Even though I was a trustworthy kid, my parents never believed what I said about teachers or other adults if it was negative until they experienced it themselves.

    As a teacher, I had many experiences in which the parent assumed the child always told the absolute and complete truth and that there could be no other version of what had happened.

    There is also an element of protecting children from consequences. I do not know when that started, but our culture seems to have gotten carried away with doing everything for our children, including protecting them from paying the consequences for their actions/inactions.


What do you think? Leave a comment and I'll reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s