Most classes remain online, and teachers have to connect with their students through Zoom or similar digital platforms. This has been an adjustment for everyone, but sadly a lot of students forget this is also the case for their teachers. They become so focused on their own struggles–valid enough–that they forget the person on the other side of the screen has been facing their own challenges as well. For some reason, there are young adults among these students who believe everything is about them. But the truth is, teachers deserve the same respect they are giving you by preparing for their class and adapting to the “new normal."
Social media provides great platforms to stay informed on what is happening around the world. Many individuals use Twitter as soon as they wake up and read it as if they were reading the newspaper. This is obviously done with certain precaution since not every tweet will provide accurate information. However, it is still a good way to keep up with trends. Posts are shared. TikToks are viewed. Hashtags are trending. And with just a few scrolls and a click you immediately know what is happening.
This quick spread of the news has led to many challenges and pranks students have been playing on their teachers as Zoom classes resumed. These jokes go from blocking their microphone and camera even when asked not to, to dancing in the middle of the class. Students think it is funny to interrupt the class with actions like this, forgetting it is their teachers’ job they are interfering with.
Making fun of people, pranking someone, while they are trying to do their job is a sign of disrespect. It is understandable that students want to find ways in which to cope with their new learning experience. But, should that come at the teachers’ expense? Why show such disrespect towards someone else’s work? It seems like students forget their teachers spend hours off screen preparing their classes, grading, and doing the necessary research to bring updated knowledge. They are also adjusting to their “new normal" and finding ways to make each class easier and more accessible for everyone.
Being a teacher is much more than just sitting in front of a class–connecting to Zoom–and speaking. Their experience involves years of learning, constant upgrading of their knowledge and techniques, and endless hours of grading and preparing for the next class. When a student disrespects them by making jokes or not taking them seriously, they are invalidating the hard work behind the few hours of class. So, why is this still happening? Why are we allowing students–however old they are–to continuously treat teachers as inferior? Who has given them the right to believe they can treat another human being in such disrespectful manner?
If you are someone who has participated in pranks directed towards teachers, why? What is the point? Does it actually make you feel better to make someone else feel bad? If you have seen your classmates disrespect your teachers in this manner, have you done something about it? I believe it is time you stand up for your teachers as well. No disrespect should be accepted in class. You should want your teachers to be respected the same way you want to be treated. It was never right, but nowadays more than ever is not the time to make someone else feel bad over the work they are trying to do.
If you are a teacher, thank you for the work you do. Thank you for taking the time to adapt to these changes, expanding your knowledge, and spending so many hours after class to make sure your students get the best learning experience possible. I am sorry if you have been made fun of or have been disrespected. Your work does not go unnoticed! Thank you for all that you do.
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