On Tuesday, I was sitting next to my brother as he attended a class through Zoom. He told me right away that there were only two other students participating out of the 42 in class. At the same time, I heard his teacher say “I feel like I am losing you. We are only four now," and it made me truly sad. Why do students do that? Why disrespect a teacher’s job, dedication, and time?
I am able to understand we are all dealing with the global pandemic in our own way. Not every student is able to go online for every class, and that is acceptable. However, lately I have noticed ignoring the teachers and not taking advantage of the classes has become very normal. I have seen many teachers post on social media about their frustration. They dedicate an enormous amount of time to prepare their classes, and then they are met with lack of attention, of effort, and even lack of motivation.
For one of the teachers’ posts, I see ten from students asking teachers to be more understanding. Many demand grades are not taken into consideration or that deadlines are extended. But, why is a student’s situation more important than the teacher’s? Why are students expecting to be treated differently while teachers are being held to higher standards? Do they forget the person giving the class is human too?
Sometimes, it is very easy to lose ourselves in our struggles and we forget those around us. Sadly, that is the case with some students these days. They worry about themselves –which is completely valid– but they forget teachers have their own difficulties. So they do not join the online classes. They submit their projects late without warning or permission. They leave homework undone. And, whether they want it or not, those actions are disrespecting the teachers. I believe most of them do it unintentionally, but it still is something to think about.
More than ever, now is the time to think about your teachers, to value them a little extra. They are going through this pandemic as well. Just like you, they had to adjust to a new way of teaching. Some of them had to quickly expand their technology knowledge in order to connect with you. They spend time planning their class, commenting on your projects, and grading your work. Occasionally, students forget their teachers are not just a face on their screen. It is time everyone remembers their hard work and dedication.
If you connect with your teachers, they will be able to help your future after graduation. They are people you want to have on your side for advice, support, and even a good recommendation letter. Because, trust me, teachers are willing to help and be there for the dedicated, hardworking students. They worry about you, care about you, and respect you. Don’t you think you should do the same? Don’t you want an ally who has your back and can guide you through the grownup world?
Next time you are thinking about skipping your Zoom class, do not do it. When you are about to be late on an assignment, message your teacher asking for an extension. Comment on their classes. Read the material they have given you. By doing your part, you are showing respect. You are giving their hard work the value it deserves.
My word of advice to you, student, would be to thank your teachers for the way they have found the energy to continue to prepare wonderful classes amidst the chaos. And always remember to tell them you hope they are doing okay; that is worth more than you will ever know.
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