Sunday, June 26, 2011

Give Me Respect

I always thought that I would automatically get respect from students when I walked the coridoors of a school because I was a teacher. That was not the case. You have to work hard to get respect. You have to say "hi" and get to know names of kids. You have to pay attention. You have to stop and talk to students during recess or any chance you get. Don't be an authoritarian. Respect will come. Things become easier.


  1. True. I always liked and respected the teachers who I talked hockey with in the hallways and the teachers. They were the ones I could joke with and feel comfortable around. I rolled my eyes at anyone who talked down to me or anyone who was trying to be something they were not.

  2. This is why I always liked having duty. It gave me a chance to build relationships in a short period of time.

  3. These posts—regarding the respect and reverence that a teacher receives or should receive from students—makes me think of students’ memories of teachers. To me, respect and reverence of the students with whom I work is inextricably tied to the authentic, unique and bettering relationship that I nurture with each student. In the long run, the respect and reverence that I earn comes in the form of how students remember me upon their completion of school. If a student looks back at me as one who did not care about her or him, then I do not deserve her or his respect or reverence. In contrast, if a student looks back at me as one who truly cared about her or him, then I have earned her or his respect. Such memories begin in the present with rapports, built one small bit at a time.

    When my students have concluded their formal education—just as every single day therein—I aspire for each of the students with whom I am blessed to work to think of me as one who genuinely and deeply cared about her or him. It is absolutely imperative for their development into an inspired learner, a well-rounded individual and a contributing member of our global community that I believe in each student and their respective promises and limitless potentials; it is equally as important that each student knows that I believe in her or him.

    My life is dedicated to a profound belief in and care of each child. A means by which I do so is celebrating and helping youth flourish within their unique gifts and contributions. To me, diversity is an inextricable asset in education and in our world; whether as a Student Teacher, a One-To-One Teaching Assistant, the Founder and Director of the Red Oak Role Models Mentorship Program, a leader in the North Shore School District 112 and individual schools, a Sixth Grade Religious School teacher, a youth basketball coach, an overnight camp administrator and beyond, I create communities of inclusion, respect and engagement in which everyone belongs and adds value.

    Of course, a cornerstone of my exemplary educating is that I equitably challenge each student within her or his zone of proximal development; true differentiation, scaffolding and authentic access to learning is a way of life for me. I work tirelessly to nurture each student to always strive for academic and personal excellence; students remember me as an unwavering advocate of such. Yet, the advocacy of each student’s success is only as effective as one’s belief in and care of the student.

    As an educator, I plant seeds of goodness, betterment and hope in each student; the seeds bear fruit immediately and in ways incomprehensibly removed. Though fruit will be borne in the lives of my students, some of the source seeds will not always be recalled. For instance, many years from now, the students with whom I have been blessed to work will likely not remember specific academic concepts and ideas that were explored in our class. Yet, my students will always remember how I treated them and the seeds of authentic rapport, holistic care and true fun. I hope and dream and work for our students to remember that I not only believe in their unique performances, but also in their limitless potentials. Such building blocks of authentic rapports will give rise to respect and reverence in the short-term and of tremendous importance, long-term memories that continue to better, enliven and inspire.

  4. Billy, thanks so much for your excellent description on the importance of building relationships and the impact they can have. Indeed, it's not the academic parts students will remember; They will, however, remember how they were treated.I am reminded of the following quote: “And every day, everywhere, our children spread their dreams beneath our feet. And we should tread softly.” ~ Sir Ken Robinson