I recently read a post written by a teen about her experience with respect (or lack thereof) in the classroom — and I found it thoughtful and articulate. Our teens are paying attention to the world around them and considering who/how they want to be!
I received permission to share the post; I hope you enjoy it.
Respect in the Classroom
Yesterday, I had an interesting encounter during my Greek school class. (I volunteer as a teacher/teacher’s aide at my Greek school.) I witnessed one of the students be rude and disrespectful to the teacher.
The teacher I was with is one of my favorite people at the Greek school. She is so sweet and always a positive person to be around. During class, she was being her usual happy, bubbly self — which is why I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that this student was being disrespectful. While in the moment, I was quite shocked, but I had to restrain myself from acting out of impulsive emotion. Thus, I suppressed my emotional response at the moment in favor of reason because I was worried I would escalate the situation if I responded immediately.
I took the rest of the class to think about it all. I reasoned through why she may have acted like that, I thought rationally about the situation. But, at the end of the class, I relied on my intuition and emotion and decided to approach the student about her disrespect. I had considered the ethicality of it all — thinking that she needed somebody in her life to tell her that such disrespect is unacceptable, somebody to tell her that one day she may regret it because she’ll need help from that teacher in the form of recommendation letters.
Although she was angry with me after I discussed it with her, I believe I made the right choice. If she’s unhappy with me but learns to respect the teacher as she should, I can live with that. Making this choice required a lot of consideration from my different Ways of Knowing — emotion, intuition, & reason — to decide what the moral decision would be.