Teachers Should Show Respect to Teach Respect

Dear Dr. Linda,

My issue with the educational system is not with academics. It’s with the teachers themselves and how they speak and treat their students. I understand fully that the majority of them are stressed due to factors such as class size, unrealistic academic expectations and lack of respect towards teachers shown by many adults and students. I know because I’ve been teaching for over 30 years.

But, teachers can’t take their anger and frustrations out on their students. As I walked past one of my colleague’s classroom the other day, I overheard him screaming at the class. He’s not the only teacher I work with who has anger control issues, is sarcastic, or downright rude.

Sign Up for E-News

Our children will not be as successful as we wish them to be if teachers only focus on the academics and ignore their feelings. As teachers, we’re role models. We come right after parents. If teachers and parents don’t set a good example of how human beings need to treat each other, then the fabric of our society will continue to disintegrate.


Mrs. K.

Dear Mrs. K.,

Bravo! Here’s an old tale that you’d appreciate:

One rainy day, the king took a walk with his two children. He held an umbrella in each hand to cover and protect each child. A bystander approached and said, “Why are you protecting your children from the rain? You are the king! They should be protecting you.”

His highness sagely replied, “If I do not show them respect, how will they learn to respect me? How will they learn to respect others? How will they learn to respect themselves?”

We teach and earn respect by modeling respectful behavior toward ourselves and each other. Therefore, when a child at home or in school experiences anger, frustration or trouble with a subject, and perhaps acts out in response, parents and teachers need to think about what they want to teach them about managing their negative feelings.

It seems that some teachers have forgotten or were never taught in college that the emotional environment they create in their classrooms will help determine how much learning takes place. The climate established by parents sets the mood of the home. Likewise, the climate established by teachers sets the mood of the classroom. As the most influential people in children’s lives, teachers and parents have more power over them than they think. Children use us as mirrors. If we’re sarcastic and rude to them, they’ll learn to be sarcastic and rude to others. Children who are treated with respect will treat both themselves and others with respect.

Here are some reminders for teachers (and parents) about how our interactions with children impact them:

• Be aware of the messages you send to children and how they may perceive them.

• Know that the manner in which you speak to children can promote or diminish their self-esteem.

• Put yourself in your children’s shoes, just as you would do when you’re speaking to an adult. How does what’s happening likely feel to them? What is likely causing them to react the way they are? What do they really need in the way of emotional support? What behavior do you need to model for them?

• Are your comments to them likely constructive or destructive? What does your face look like when you speak? What does your voice sound like? What does your body language convey?

Remember that children don’t have the full range of experiences yet that allow them to more accurately perceive the reasons for your actions toward them (or that even adult behavior may be inappropriate). Good or bad, they “hear” unspoken messages you don’t even know you’re sending.

The way our children and students think their teachers and parents view them—even if they say otherwise or their perceptions are wrong—affects the way they view themselves. If students believe that their teachers value them and expect the best from them, they are more likely to feel worthy of that respect.

Dr. Linda

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


I Do Not Make Stuff Up!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote in my column, “Watergate analogies apply to Obama, not Trump,” that President Obama’s Justice Department planted a spy in the Trump campaign. I said I used the term “spy” because this was a counter-intelligence operation, not a criminal investigation, where the term informant would have been proper.

That statement has been brought ...

Here's What You Missed Last Week

Last week, the Daily News ran a headline, “When is our father coming home?” This dealt with a person here illegally, married to an American woman with a family, who was arrested at an Army base while delivering pizza. You are supposed to think that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), under Trump, is tearing families apart. As usual, it was a crock of cow pies. It was ...

Reagan on Trump

The party of “Honest Abe” has now become the party of Dishonest Don, and what follows are some disturbing displays of a Republican Party that has become devoid of conscience:

• More than 4,600 American citizens dead in Puerto Rico—a postscript to the government’s abysmal response to the widespread devastation of Hurricane Maria; 
• The underhanded ...

The Rich Get Richer, and We’re Paying For It

According to a Harvard University study published late last year, most Americans believe that the richest 20 percent of Americans own just half of the nation’s wealth. Wrong! The top 20 percent own 93 percent of the nation’s wealth, and the top 1 percent own 40 percent of that wealth. Additionally, the top 10 percent of earners in 2017 took home more than half the nation’s ...

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

Social media recently showered a lot of likes and love on a high school pitcher in Minnesota whose team was playing in a regional final that would send the winning team to the state championship game.

After the last batter of the game struck out, the pitcher did something unheard of. Rather than spontaneously join his teammates in an on-field celebration, as is customary, the pitcher ...

Competing—Against Yourself

This is the time of year when students are recognized at public ceremonies for notable achievements in their studies, their sports and in their extracurricular pursuits.

Where we live, there are awards in various sports that are named for our son, who also is memorialized by town ballfield Harrison Apar Field of Dreams and a charitable foundation of the same name.

Due to a rare dwarfism, ...

Packing Heat

“Are you leaving me?” asked my husband one night as he surveyed the contents of my closet on our bed.

“What? No!” I said. “Why would you think that?”

“Every single article of clothing you own is laid out on our bed,” he replied. “So I have to assume you are either leaving me or you have joined the armed services and if that’s the ...

I Come from the Land Down Under

I know this is a family column, so I’m going to put this in as delicate terms as possible.

This morning I woke up and I knew, as sure as the sun shines over Bora Bora, that something was very, very wrong in that place in my body where the Bora Bora sun doesn’t shine.

It’s that place I used to refer to my daughter as her hoo-hoo. But it certainly wasn’t a happy ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, June 27, 9:00 AM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

PCDOH Free HIV Testing Day

Health & Wellness