5.2 Respecting Students
Mutual respect is a must for teaching to be effective. However, respect needs to be earned. Many teachers feel they should be respected because they are an adult and assume the role of the teacher. Still, people today need an understanding and a reason to do things, including appreciating the teacher.
As teachers, we need to earn the students’ respect and give them a reason why we should be respected, and part of this is mutual respect.
Earning respect starts from the first time you meet your students. Some teachers tend to demand respect and do so forcefully; this more than often backfires. Let us have a look at a few techniques on how to practice respect in the classroom below.
Activity: Practicing respect in the classroom
From the very first time you meet your students, ensure that you show them that you are there to help them and not to be against them – show kindness and compassion.
Avoid these scenarios below:
- Being too strict with the students.
- Misusing authority.
- Treating students differently based on personal interests.
- Creating rules that can be perceived as unfair.
- Ignoring a student.
- Using profanity.
- Yelling or screaming.
- Avoiding apologizing or admitting when you have made a mistake.
- Having a negative attitude consistently.
- Gossiping, discussing, or complaining about other teachers in front of the students.
- Violating a student’s personal space.
- Being hypocritical.
- Humiliating students in an attempt to get them to behave.
- Using sarcasm.
- Holding a grudge against a student that is beyond their control.
Build self-awareness to remember that even though you are in the position of the teacher, remember that we are all learners in this world, so treat your students with respect, and in turn, you will earn theirs!