How do I respect my teachers

Teachers need to take the lead

How do we ensure that our Learners us as Recognize leaders and show us respect? This is a question that concerns many teachers over and over again. Looking for reply the students themselves can provide valuable impulses.

Text: Stefanie Rietzler and Fabian Grolimund
Image: Franziska Messner-Rast

In the comment columns on online articles about current school problems, the same statements can be found again and again: "In the past, the students still had respect for the teachers." - usually with the demand that “we have to take tough action again” or “parents should kindly bring up their children intelligently”.

Often behind this is the misconception that the children get practical from home earlier «Fully educated» came to school, where they only had to be taught by the teachers.

In the past, teachers used traumatizing methods to assert themselves.

It was never like that: As a rule, most of the teachers made sure that the prevailing rules were adhered to - sometimes with traumatic methods.

You can find out that teachers who could not or did not want to assert themselves had to struggle with discipline problems earlier when you talk to senior citizens about their own school days. There is talk of bad strokes - glue and thumbtacks on the teacher's chair, itching powder attacks and sneakers flying forward.

The much-praised discipline and order were enforced with intimidation and sometimes with sheer violence. It is a We are very lucky that our children are allowed to go to a school in which adults no longer assert themselves in this way.

The children want guidance, clarity and structure

Today most teachers know the importance of a good teacher-student relationship and actively ensure that people are treated with respect. Ela, 9, is one of the children we interviewed for this dossier. She raves about her elementary school teacher: “She laughs a lot and helps when children are not doing well. She also writes nice things under the notebook entries. She sings with us before rehearsals: 'I can do it, I can do it, I can do it all by myself, I will definitely come, I'll definitely get back on my feet.' That gives me strength. "

Emil, 11, also has reason to be happy: «My teacher is nice and understands everyone! And a lot of patience in explaining math to me. She has a sense of humor and is funny ... and she is fair and just! »

Next to the Desire for relationship Based on the statements of the students, it becomes clear that they want leadership, clarity and structure: They expect the teachers to ensure a calm working atmosphere with clear assignments, to react to disruptive behavior and to ensure safety by preventing bullying Take a stand.

11-year-old Cyrill is annoyed when his classmates “annoy the teacher and we get stuck in class. It's getting boring! I just think that's stupid ». You just need «a good class, rules and the teacher who enforces them - but in a good conversational tone instead of the commanding tone, so that you can feel comfortable in school, says Lucy, 7. 14-year-old Joan, for whom a good teacher is “very nice, but when it comes down to it she remains serious ».

Structure is just as relevant for learners as cordiality and determination.

Jan's example shows that, in addition to cordiality and determination, structure is also required. When asked about his dream school, the 9-year-old replies: “There would be Weekly plans where I know exactly what to do

"No teacher helped"

Again and again there are statements from children like Laura, 10, who find it hard to have theirs Turn away from teachers when faced with social problems: “When one of the class started calling me 'fat pig', other children joined in and no teacher helped. Only my favorite teacher listens to me and doesn't tell me that I should clarify such things with the children myself. "

The older the students are, the more often the term “respect” appears in their statements. We were amazed at how critically and differentially many young people scrutinize their teachers. They expect a real interest in them as a person: Béryl, 16, describes how he doesn't like teachers who “have no respect and think that they always know everything about the students, but they don't know anything about us”. And Jana, 14, replied to the question about her perfect everyday school life: "That would be if the teachers were also interested in me as a person and not just in my performance."

Schoolchildren now see through earlier strategies and see them as ridiculous.

If you want to know what behavior young people reject in teachers, you will come across the same descriptions over and over again: lack of fairness, prejudice, constant nagging and criticizing, exposing and insulting, Condescending sayings, know-it-alls and technical incompetence. Many of the strategies that teachers used to gain respect in the past are now seen through by students and perceived as ridiculous.