In Defense of Teachers

Isabelle Martin, Staff Writer

When I first started talking to teachers their experiences as educators, I was expecting something completely different. I expected a few reports of kids calling a teacher a bad word, and a few stories of problem children with discipline issues. What I was not expecting were the stories I received. 

Death threats, teachers being physically assaulted, kids telling lies to get teachers fired, blowing smoke in teachers’ faces, and so much more. One teacher tells a story of two students who recognized them at a restaurant, and broke into their car to steal their bag. The teacher was shocked to find a shattered window of their car, her bag later turning up in a ditch behind a Taco Bell, where one of the two students worked.

When I asked these teachers to tell their stories, some of them seemed used to it, as if this is a typical event, but some, the ones who have gone through more than others are tired, afraid, and hurt.

But, let’s take a moment and put morals aside, let’s look at some data. More than half of teachers feel like they aren’t respected by the general public, so one can assume that since teachers are not respected by the general public, children learn from society to not respect teachers, the place this hate stems from. 

In no way does this validate treating your teacher like they are less, instead it should make you want to build them up so they feel respected by those who are supposed to respect them. Look at the data from years ago, back then teachers and scholars were respected and treated with immense kindness. Over the years as respect for teachers in society has diminished, so has the respect given to teachers in the classroom by students. 

Besides respect, over forty-four percent of teachers said they were often or always burned out at work. Teachers and Principals report frequent job-related stress at twice the rate of the general working population. Burnout is one of the main reasons teachers leave jobs, and over forty-four percent of teachers quit within the first five years. 

Teachers are deeply mistreated and taken for granted. All they want is for you to do well, learn, and not feel like they’re terrible or worthless because some kid decides to treat them like dirt. Teachers are trying, they aren’t perfect, but neither are you! And that certainly does not give you any right to treat them the way they are being treated.