It's All About Respect

Bad Day

I am having a bad day. I've been a teacher for over 15 years and have learned to deal with a lot of things about my job that are less than positive: low pay, long hours, frustrating school board policies, lazy coworkers-the list can go on forever. But I continue to do my job to the best of my ability day in and day out for one reason and one reason only: the children.

I am the teacher who goes the extra mile by doing things like volunteering my time to teach my students on Saturdays. I get up early just so I can go and pick up students who don't have transportation to school to make sure they get there. I spend an hour or two nightly on the telephone and the internet helping my students with their homework or talking with parents about how they can help their children excel at school. I even spent a recent Saturday teaching a parent how to do fractions so he could help his son with them at home. If my students let me know that they do not have enough food to eat at home-I purchase groceries for them. If my students need socks or underwear-I buy it for them. I do whatever it takes to help my students get into the mindset that no matter the circumstances they are in they have the power to pull themselves out and create their own excellent life by getting an education.


I do a lot and can tolerate a lot but there is absolutely one things that I will not put up with: DISRESPECT. I currently teach fifth grade and was subjected to a student who has behavior issues showing blatant disrespect to me by rolling his eyes, clicking his tongue, yelling, turning his back to me when I was talking to him, and refusing to go to the office when he was told to do so. He has been written up 15 times in the past 5 months for acting this way and being disrespectful to various teachers and staff. After speaking with the boys parents on numerous occasions his behavior has not improved. This boy feels that he has a right to act the way he does whenever he feels like it no matter the circumstances and his behavior is only made worse by his mother who refuses to keep him in line.

Letter To Mom

I have this message for his mother: It's all about respect. You are not doing your child any favors by not making him accountable for his behavior. It may be easier for you ignore his disrespect at home but he is not at home 24 hours a day. Your son spends the majority of his time outside of your house interacting with other people who do not deserve nor welcome his abusive behavior. He is extremely lucky that he hasn't come into contact with anyone yet who will give him the reality check he so badly needs and deserves.

By not parenting your child you are setting him up to be "parented" by society at large. When he gets older he will come into contact with a police officer or other authority figure who has the power to make him act appropriately and he will learn a lesson then he should have learned in childhood. Jails and prisons are filled with individuals who acted inappropriately and disrespectfully and if you do not begin parenting your son he will find himself a guest at one of our overcrowded state sponsored facilities.

Disrespect is not a natural behavior it is a learned behavior. By your allowing him to talk back and roll his eyes at you without a consequence you reinforces his belief that his antisocial behavior is acceptable and he can act any way he chooses to as long as he gets his way. By justifying his bad behavior and placing the blame for his lack of respect on the actions of someone else you show him that he doesn't have to be accountable for his own actions. Just asking the question, "Well what did so and so do to make him act the way he did?" shows not only your unwillingness to make him accountable for his behavior but also shows your unwillingness to accept your responsibility as a parent to teach him right from wrong.

Your son is on a one way path to unhappiness if you don't do something about it NOW! In a few years he will be a teenager with raging hormones and it will simply be too late. If you refuse to step up and teach your son the fundamental lesson that you need to treat others with the same respect you wish to receive from them he will remain socially crippled and his life will be a reflection of the negativity he perpetuates by his own behavior.


This particular student went on to middle school and unfortunately experienced many of the negative consequences that I listed in the letter I wished I could have sent his mother. He has been suspended several times and his dreams of being a professional football player have been derailed due to negative behavior. Hopefully he will pull it together despite his mother not teaching him the basic concepts of right and wrong.

More by this Author

Comments 14 comments

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee

voted up and beautiful! Thank you for going the extra mile for kids. They need this instruction at home but many don't have anyone that cares about what the child encounters in later life.

schoolmarm profile image

schoolmarm 5 years ago from Florida

You are an amazing woman and sound like the teacher we all wish we had growing up. It is such a shame that something more can't be done about situations like this. My wish is that not only will these parents read this and realize what they are causing, but that this will also get into the hands of many more parents that allow this behavior to go on. I appreciate your devotion and the amazing job you do. Feel better.

mikicagle profile image

mikicagle 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks Samsons1 and schoolmarm I had to write this hub to get out my frustration yesterday. I am sure the drama isn't over though-our principal was out of the building yesterday so I am sure I will get to visit with mom on Monday. I am tempted to just print this hub out and hand it to her.

shogan profile image

shogan 5 years ago from New England

mikicagle, I'm a teacher, too, and I can definitely understand how the frustration builds. You and I both know that the boy will likely end up the victim of his parent's passivity. It's nice to see you take a vocal stand on the subject.

mikicagle profile image

mikicagle 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

shogan-thanks for your kind words. It's sad to me that a boy that is so smart will be derailed by his own lack of self control. His mother will be the woman on the news in a few years saying that she doesn't know where he went wrong............

jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

Awesome hub. Respect is something learned through modeling during early ages. Coupled with parental guidance children can learn this abstract concept better. Voted up for the sheer awesomeness and importance of the topic.

mikicagle profile image

mikicagle 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Jpcmc-thanks so much.

tritrain profile image

tritrain 5 years ago from United States

Very well said; you're a very good writer. :)

mikicagle profile image

mikicagle 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

tritrain thanks so much.

vishwas01 5 years ago

It's really a great hub. We need to teach the children a basic thing that 'what you give you get back'. So with the respect, which is necessary.

mikicagle profile image

mikicagle 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

vishwas01 I totally agree with you. You get what you give or you reap what you sew is a basic lesson all children need to be taught.Thanks for your comment

Maggie.L profile image

Maggie.L 5 years ago from UK

A fantastic hub. It must be such a difficult job being a teacher and having to deal with disrespectful children. As you mentioned, it's all down to respect which should be taught at home. It's inspirational to hear how you go the extra mile for your pupils, despite all the challenges you face.

nitin333vats profile image

nitin333vats 5 years ago from INDIA

A fantastic hub. Mom be the first teacher for child, he/she learn all basic rules and regulation of society from mom, but it not always so easy for a mom to find out that her child is doing wrong. because of her extreme love,she take all activities of kids for granted. Small small mistakes of child,do not make her angry but provide happiness. A mom can not scold a child every time. Now if we talk about student behavior, it is not necessary that he has same disrespect at home too as he show in school. It is nice to inform parents about their kids, but we can't blame only them for all this. A student learn at home but most of time he/she spend in school. We must try to know what make that child behave like this. A student obey teachers more than parents. It is frustrating for teacher when student disrespect him/her but I think it is only teacher who can change him.

mikicagle profile image

mikicagle 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Unfortunately in this case the student in question has issues with women in general. He is disrespectful to his mother and it bleeds over to his female teachers in school.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article