The Piedmont Highlander Editorial Board | We need to respect our teachers

“What can I do to improve my grade?”
“Can you round up my 89 to a 90?”
“Can I have extra credit?”
“Why did I get points off on this assignment?”
“That’s not fair!”

Teachers hold the power of our grades, and that is the main thing we recognize them for. Teachers at PHS are disrespected at times and are not appreciated for all they do. Yes, [recently we recognized] Teacher Appreciation Week, but flowers and cards do not make up for the disrespect they receive throughout the year. We need to treat our teachers with more respect.

In this day and age, teachers are replaceable. This year alone, PHS has hired 10 new teachers, five of whom will not be returning for the 2019-20 school year. There is a perpetual cycle of hiring and firing teachers, morphing our school into a revolving door, constantly bringing new staff in and out.

Students have been treating teachers like they are replaceable. Students speak out against and criticize teachers without a second thought.

Doing anything to receive a grade boost, students will constantly question teachers’ decisions regarding their grading. On top of this, students frequently talk during class while the teacher is talking. It is hard enough to teach a bunch of moody, anxious teenagers, and it is even harder to do so in a place like Piedmont because of the disrespectful attitude towards teachers. We need to show them more love.

There are some simple fixes that could completely change the teacher-student dynamic here. We can show our appreciation in a multitude of ways, whether it be telling them that they are valued or giving them little gifts at the end of the year.

A “thank you” here and there or a gracious smile in the hallway goes a long way.

Furthermore, we can change the way we ask for a grade boost. Instead of demanding that a teacher change our grade, we should approach teachers with the objective of learning. Our teachers are incredibly knowledgeable and are great resources that are too often underutilized. The next time you approach a teacher in hopes of a grade change, instead of just demanding points back, ask them what you can improve, how you can improve it, or why you got something wrong. Treat it as an opportunity to grow, and both you and your teacher will get something out of it. This is incredibly gratifying for teachers because it shows them that we truly want to learn and care about something other than grades.

At the end of the day, teachers are the backbone of this school and should be treated as such.

Even if school is not our favorite place in the world, we need to take the time to recognize everything they do for us. By treating teachers better, we have an opportunity to improve the culture here for everyone. This goes beyond teacher appreciation week; this is much bigger than simple cards and flowers. As the school year is coming to a close, we need to make sure to treat our teachers with respect.

-TPH Editorial Board

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