An F for Teacher


Every day I have people telling me to do things that I don’t want to do or don’t think I need to do.  Besides having a wife and actual bosses, I work in a hospital where every doctor on site is basically my boss.  I shut my mouth and do what I’m told because that’s what adults do.  It’s called life.

We recently received an e-mail from one of the teenager’s teachers expressing concern because when asked to stop texting and remove her ear buds in class, the teenager informed her teacher that he needed to “drop the subject before she got mad.”  She has tried this same tactic at home. Threatening to get angry?  Was there an accident that I missed where she was exposed to high doses of gamma radiation?  Should we really be expected to back down from the wrath of a fifteen year old girl?




It seems to have worked at school though. The phone was not taken from her, there was no trip to the principal’s office.  The impression I get is that we were only notified because this has happened before.  She, of course ,assures us that “everyone does it.”  Shouldn’t a “no phones during class time” policy be implied?   I’m guessing that the e-mail home was an attempt to put the responsibility of discipline on our shoulders, thus allowing the teacher to remain the “good guy”. The teachers at her new school also allow the students to call them by their first names.  Is the lack of respect so prevalent in today’s teenagers that teachers have given up any pretext of trying to receive it?

Besides the actual “learning stuff”, I believe learning respect for authority is one of the most important functions of school.  The three year old listens to us about as well as you’d expect from a three year old, but she knows that she is supposed to.  She now needs to get used to the idea that there are other people that she needs to mind, starting with her teachers.

I’m aware that as long as there has been teenagers, there have been old men like me lamenting their lack of respect and worrying about the future. So far every generation has managed to keep society functional.

I do have real concerns, however, about how well she is being prepared for the “real world.”  I don’t know when it happened or how I missed the clues, but some serious attitude adjustments are going to be necessary for her to be a productive member of the work force eventually.

We’ll continue to try and impart these lessons at home.  In my house, I still demand respect.  I’m not sure how much I’m actually getting, but I’ll keep on demanding it anyway.  Kayla is not my “friend,” my “peer” or my “equal.” She is my daughter. There are rights and privileges that she can expect as such, but I shall be accorded respect in return.

I really wish that her teachers felt the same way, because somewhere down the road a boss is certainly going to.





16 thoughts on “An F for Teacher”

  1. I have been in education for 19 years and it is getting worse everyday. There is no respect from students to staff and old timers like me are considered fossils who they are waiting for us to retire.

    The scary thing about a lot of younger teachers is that have never had a “real job” before this one. Working at the mall is one thing and commanding respect from students is another. It is easier to be their friend than an authority figure. I came from the Navy, so my mind set is a little different.

    Schools and school boards are scared of parents. The parents who call the school and sue schools over stuff like you describe. It is scary. My godmother was a fourth-grade teacher and retired because the district said it was ok that a parent not give her child (who had serve ADD) his meds and gave him a three-shot expresso from Starbucks as he was walking into school.

    Where I am at, I deal with the worst students (actually non-students) in my district. It is amazing, how many of these parents don’t have any respect for me. I had a parent (with a community lawyer) tell me and my principal that she will sue us if we don’t give only easy work to her child as if we try to advance his skills, he will have anxiety. We found out that she had sued the district six times and had received five-digit settlements from the district each time.

    Sorry, this is so long.

  2. Don’t apologize at all. Its an important issue to me and I’m happy to hear from somebody actually in education. You’re point about younger teachers is one I hadn’t considered. The more that this becomes the societal norm the harder it will be to ever break the cycle. My concerns over my daughter’s lack of preparation for the future are real. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I’ve been trying to “push” this post a little more than some of the “cuter” ones and it’s gratifying to know that it’s worth the effort

  3. I can’t believe the teacher didn’t stand their ground! They’ve just set themselves up to fail on behaviour management for the rest of the year! That’s ridiculous.

  4. I agree with you that respect is important at home and at school and it does surprise me that the teacher backed down. Learning respect and to accept that sometimes we have to do things that we don’t particularly want to is an important part of growing up. I suspect you’re right in that every generation have fretted about lack of respect in young people and on the whole they turn out okay but it does give you food for thought. Thank you for sharing with #ftmob.

    1. feedback I’ve gotten is that the younger teachers seem to have the biggest problems. Need to give it to know how to receive it?

  5. Wow, I can’t believe the teacher didn’t do something. My nephew is 12 and if he is rude to a teacher, gets put on report for a week and has detention! Sounds a bit of a carefree school but I hope that she does get the learning that is required with this. There are some real horrible bosses out there! #ftmob

  6. Wow I am shocked. I got pulled up at school all the time and as a result I like to think I am a better person, I can’t imagine giving my teachers this attitude! That said, when you know you can get away with it, you do. Kids like to push boundaries (and buttons but that is another story…)

    Thanks for linking to #effitfriday

  7. As an educator 35+ years in Canada and 2 more in China I have a few comments. The last 15 or so years I was an administrator; dealing with discipline issues was a significant part of my day. I had a relatively simple set of expectations for my staff and students. Staff should be prepared, concerned and compassionate with their students, and engage them in the learning process. They must ALWAYS address unacceptable behaviors and ultimately the teacher was in charge of the classroom. Cel phone use was generally not permitted in the classroom (some teachers integrated its use on a limited basis for research/communication). And students would be expected to follow the teacher’s direction — “Turn the phone off, remove earbuds, and put it away.” If the student refused to comply, became argumentative, or challenged the teacher, a referral to the office would be made, with the student removed from that class. Generally, I would contact the parent (not because I was shirking my responsibility) to let them know. Most parents appreciated this to allow them to intervene before the school moved toward the detention, in-school suspension, or out of school suspension route.
    I believe students (among others) be given an opportunity to show they will change and stop unacceptable behaviors. But out and out defiance becomes an immediate issue which often will escalate — hence, parents must be informed to help their child calm down to avoid loss of educational opportunity. Communication is key here to keep everyone informed.

    1. Everything you just said is what I would expect and appreciate. This is exactly what I was disappointed to find didn’t seem to be the case in either of the high schools that she attended. Her discipline problems at school ended up escalating and have carried over into her out of school life. I’m in no way blaming her teachers for this, but I think that if we had a more willing partner in trying to teach her to respect those in positions of authority over her that maybe what we said would carry more weight. Thank you for your input. I wish more adminstrators felt this way

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