A Lesson in Respect

Stephanie Dugan, Staff Writer

Be respectful at school. We’ve heard countless times how we are supposed to act.
But do students really listen?
Getting up in the morning is rough. Sitting at a desk for seven hours is tiring. Snow days are a blessing. School is demanding.
As we near spring break and the end of the school year, it’s hard to focus. But despite that, we’re still here to learn. Yes, talking to friends and becoming more social are definitely important aspects of school, but it doesn’t erase the fact that teachers are here for us, by their choice.
Teachers and students recognize students disrupting during class. Surveys show that nearly 90 percent of teachers experience disruptions in the classroom, according to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).
A common example is side conversations. Sure, whispering is more courteous than a normal volume, but students should remember it is still distracting. And without it, there could be more time at the end of the hour to mingle without restriction.
Along with conversations, cell phone usage has skyrocketed in recent years as well. Students may think silently sitting on a phone in class isn’t disruptive, but it is highly disrespectful to teachers for students to ignore lectures, or simply waste time.
Not only is listening to teachers respectful in the school environment, proper behavior in class prepares us for the future.
Being in high school means we’re close to, or already are, experiencing life in the real world. College and careers will challenge students and thrust us into professional situations, and professors or employers aren’t going to tolerate students blatantly ignoring them or being outright disrespectful.
Respect and professionalism is expected in every field. It’s important to remember that someone in a place of authority earned their position and won’t tolerate insubordinate behavior—and they shouldn’t have to.
This isn’t to scare and belittle students, or characterize everyone as having no regard for rules. It is a reminder that school can be fun and that little acts of respect can go a long way.
Remembering to be respectful grooms better habits for the future and can help make your teacher’s day just that much better—and even yours.