• This past week, I had the pleasure of volunteering, as a teacher’s assistant, in my son’s 4th-grade class. It was part of our school’s mandatory 20-hour volunteer program, in which each family needs to participate. I wanted to get it out of the way quickly, so I knocked it out over a four-day period, during the second week of school. And believe me, that was more than enough time for me to get a nasty taste of the level of disrespect festering in our young children. Maybe its always been like that or perhaps I”m just getting old. But the lack of respect for authority figures and adults, in general, is alarming.

    Every generation thinks that the generation before them is archaic and outdated, while the generation after them is a bunch of spoiled brats. But my son’s class seemed way out of control. At the end of recess, on my first day, the teacher told the children to line up for assembly. Three of the children flat-out refused and continued to play. The teacher approached them and repeated her demand in a stronger tone. One of the children walked up to her and flat-out said, “I don’t feel like it!” So, the teacher whipped out her cellphone and called the child’s father. That would have been enough for me, but the child refused to come to the phone and said, “I’m not afraid of him,” and continued to play handball. Then two other students, who had briefly gone to the line, now left to join him. I almost lost it and wanted to slap all three kids back into oblivion, as my mom would have done, but I stopped myself and let the teacher handle her business. She walked the three students to the principal’s office while I led the rest of the class into the auditorium.

    The things teachers put up with, I could never tolerate. I got a first-hand look at how disrespectful some of these kids can be and why teachers have such a high burnout rate. The problem is a combination of factors; from society tying our teacher’s hands with limitations on discipline as well as parents who expect teachers to raise their children for them. All the while, placing the blame on teachers for their child’s lack of motivation and behavioral problems. You should direct your frustration at you children or yourselves not the teachers. Disrespectful behavior and motivation come from the home. If you, as a parent, don’t respect and give your children the time of day, then they in turn, will do the same to others. So, let’s give our teachers a break so the can focus on what they’re trained to do, which is provide an education. It is not their job to raise and teach your children respect. That’s yours!