In Parenting

Learning to Respect

Whether at school, university, the workplace or at the supermarket, one has to have self respect and treat others respectfully, to be accepted by them as part of society.

Understanding Respect

It might be easier to understand respect by showing what it is not. If a schoolmate came to your home for a visit and the first thing she did was pull on your hair, push you down, and call you names. Would that be respectful?

No, that would be the opposite, which is called being disrespectful.

When any person enters a place that is not their own, they must act show respect; otherwise they will never be invited back again. Nobody wants to be around people who are rude, mean, and disrespectful.

True respect is implied in how a person feels about another person and how they treat them. When others admire a person, they are well respected. A good example of this would be an athlete who wins a gold medal at the Olympics and is respected for the achievement.

Self respect shows how one perceives themselves  or their worth. This is also called self-esteem. When a person has self respect and respects others, they are pleasant to be around, because they show kindness and politeness.


Love and Respect

Parents who love their children and children who love their parents both give each other love and respect. Families who cultivate respect from within are happier than other families. On the other hand, in some families where respect seems non-existent, the family members are constantly fighting, and even physically or emotionally harming each other. These types of families are called “dysfunctional.”

Functional families get along most of the time. This does not mean there are never any fights or disagreements. It just means that that bad energy is not present all the time and there is plenty of love at other times. The way to achieve a functional family is to have respect for each other.

Many people blame their parents for all their troubles. When they do this, they forget that their parents are burdened with life troubles, too. Showing respect to your parents will help you understand their feelings too. Be a polite, understanding person when speaking with your parents, even when you’re upset. It is better to say, “what you did made me feel really bad,” than to say, “I hate you!”. Furthermore, practicing respect when in a calm mood makes it easier to remain respectful when one gets upset.

Show more love! There doesn’t have to be any specific reason to tell your parents you love them. In fact, when children tell their parents that they love them, especially when there is no specific reason, it makes their parents very happy. This is because respect and love are inseparable; they go hand in hand.

Showing Respect to Teachers

Some people get respect for being in a position of authority like a police officer or a teacher. This form of respect is often reinforced by the law. If you walked up to a police officer on the street and stirred trouble with him, whether verbally or physically, you would probably end up in jail for showing such disrespect. Police officers are admired for doing the very difficult job of protecting society from malicious people.

Similarly, teachers are admired for helping children to learn. They work hard to help students learn things, so that is why it is important to respect your teachers.

What Makes a Great Teacher?

All teachers deserve respect, whether they are great or not. Showing respect to your teacher implies sitting quietly in class, being well behaved, and trying to pay attention as much as possible. Great teachers deserve even more respect.

From a parent’s point of view, according to the Wall Street Journal and ASCD, a great teacher has these characteristics:

  1. Passion for Learning and Communicating

    Great teachers follow intellectual pursuits even when not teaching, because they are so interested in learning more themselves. By constantly developing themselves, they continue to get better at educating others. When they talk about a favorite subject, their enthusiasm is very strong and they speak with passion about things that interest them. They are active in the community, have interesting hobbies, and are great communicators.

  2. Believe Anyone Can Learn

    Great teachers do not accept that only certain people are intelligent. They understand that different people learn in different ways and at difference speeds. They do not think that anyone is incapable of learning and that learning is available to everyone.

  3. Use Positive Feedback

    After covering a new section of material, they like to find out how much the students learned. They give quizzes, even “pop quizzes” and the best ones do not grade the students by these quiz scores. They keep a record of the scores, but the quizzes are more for the teacher to find out how well the teacher is doing in helping the students to learn. Students might be very surprised to learn those teachers who give many quizzes are not testing the students as much as they are testing themselves.

  4. Ask Challenging Questions

    When teachers ask students the type of questions that expand a student’s abilities to conceptualize information, use deductive reasoning, or express their opinions, these are examples of high-quality, challenging questions. This skill of in-depth comprehension and participation is better than the route memorization of facts. If anyone needs to know a fact, they can simply go on the Internet and look it up. For example, knowing when something happened in history is good; however, it is usually much more valuable to know why it happened.

  5. Positive Relationships and Excellent Outcomes

    Great teachers have less behavioral problems in class because students are engaged in the learning process. Great teachers also get along well with adults, such as other teachers and parents. They have consistent excellent teaching outcomes over a long time, even when facing a personal crisis in their own lives. This is because they love teaching and they love helping students to learn.

From a student’s point of view, according to KidsHealth, a great teacher has these qualities:

  1. Easy to Understand – Great teachers explain things well, in ways that are interesting.
  2. Has Humor – Great teachers are funny in entertaining ways and have wonderful personalities.
  3. Listens Well – Great teachers listen to what students say and respect their feelings.
  4. Offers Extra Help – Great teachers offer students extra help, even after class.
  5. Makes Learning Fun – Great teachers are kind, enthusiastic, entertaining, and are able to present the material in such a way as to make it interesting. Great teachers are NEVER boring.

Great Teachers in History

One of the reason teachers are so respected by others is that there have been great teachers in historical times that are still honored for their teachings. Here are some examples of the greatest teachers from history:

From Southeast Asia

  • Confucius – This great teacher was Chinese. He lived from 551 to 479 B.C. That is over two-thousand five-hundred years ago. He developed a system of personal and governmental morality. His philosophical quotes are valid in modern times. One of his respect quotes says, “Respect yourself, and others will respect you.”
  • The Disciples of Confucius – Confucius taught about three-thousand students and seventy-seven students, some of whom became scholars with excellent knowledge and extraordinary abilities.

From the West

  • Socrates – This great teacher was Greek. He lived from 470 to 469 B.C. He was famous for creating the “Socratic Method,” which is where students debate their teacher with questions of critical inquiry into the subject matter. The idea of this method is to focus on concepts and learn more about them through deep discussion. Students were encouraged to disagree with Socrates, but they had to make a convincing argument about their point of view on the subject.
  • Plato – Greece in ancient times became a place that birthed many great teachers because society had a great deal of respect for learning and teaching. Plato was a student of Socrates. Plato lived from around 424 to 347 B.C. He was the first teacher in the western part of the world to create an academy of higher learning, which formed the basis of what eventually became our modern universities.
  • Aristotle – This great teacher was also Greek. He was Plato’s student. He lived from 384 to 322 B.C. He was a scientist and a philosopher. He tutored Alexander the Great, who later went on to conquer most of the world. He built a library in Lyceum, which held hundreds of books for the education of his students. Books were very rare at that time and all written by hand.

These examples from ancient history show exactly why it is important to respect your teachers. The students of Confucius and the students of Socrates took what they learned from their great teacher, added more to the teachings from their own ideas, and went on to become, in some cases, as famous as their teachers. It is no wonder we have great respect for teachers; great teachers, like these, are remembered for thousands of years!

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