Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Spare A Thought Please.

I am still debating whether to write on this issue or not, I might come across as preachy and an annoying miss-goody-two-shoes, but, what the hell...!

It is about something that I have felt right from my first day in college and sadly I still feel the same way--- students just do not bother to talk in a respectful manner when they are communicating with teachers.

I remember back in my school days, a teacher's entry would mean that sing-song "goooooooood morrrrrrning ma'm" and a similar ritual when they left. The rule was the same regardless of the fact whether we liked or hated the teacher. Asking questions to a teacher would mean talking in the most respectful way possible. Things changed in college. 

My college was nothing better than a school, it was a virtual prison, yet I noticed from the first day that remarkably different tone which some students used while talking to teachers. What surprised me all the more was the fact that the teachers did not rebuke them, may be that was  the norm. Teachers can be friends, and one need not always be almost sycophantic while talking to them but still the basic tone of respect (god-knows what I mean by that, do not ask me to explain) was lacking in a few people (not all mind you).

But that was almost 5 years back, what prompted me to write this today is something that occurred yesterday. A person (this was not the first time) talked to a teacher in a way that made me feel as if the teacher was a log lost junior buddy, on top that the tone was one of accusation. 

I agree that all teachers are not great at teaching, some of them are lousy persons and go on making our lives miserable in class and they might even be clueless about what they are saying, BUT  at the end of the day, they are teachers, someone next to your parents (please do not make faces, i know it sounds super-idealistic but that is true). 

You do not have to fall in love with the teacher and you can utter curses under your breath when he or she leaves the class, and have a gala time mimicking them but the minimum you can do is show some respect while talking- and THAT  is not buttering, THAT is basic (very basic) courtesy.

I do not know about the teacher-student equation in other countries and I do not want to know. I like the way things were when we were back in school. One can be friendly and close to the students yet there is always a thin line between casual disrespect and warm respect. Am i overrating "respect" ? may be. Don't care. Each to his own, this is my view and I jolly-well stick to it.



Particular Girl said...

Hey, Ms Chatterpillar! I'm so glad you blogged about this. Having toyed with the idea long myself, an incident yesterday, (which incidentally recurs periodically every week with different teachers) had made me exceptionally angry at the prevailing tone of the students nowadays. I have ceased to explain people that I do not try to be Victorian when I insist on showing respect when we talk (at least when we talk) to teachers. Apparently the present generation seems to be taking the idea as back-dated (as if you and me didn't belong to the present generation), and continue mouthing obscenities (yes it has come to that) in the face of the teachers. I have been very disappointed about this for a very long time, but your post still gives me hope that there are still a few "weird" people out there just like me, who believe in respecting teachers no matter what.

Harish said...

I second you on this matter. i had been on both sides. a student and trainer. given respect and took it :-)

chatterbox unplugged said...

@Particular Girl ... :) You are absolutely right. People fail to understand that you can say something to a teacher and put your point across without being offensive. I'd rather be a "weirdo" than a "cool" carefree disrespecting moron.

@ Harish You are a lucky one then !! :)

Nivedita said...

I so agree with you. Even I heard two students basically foul mouthing and when I tried to stop them, they almost started abusing me as well. I had to put on air and say 'shut up' then completely ignored them. I think, no matter how the teacher teaches, if I am there in the class, its my upbringing that shows through in how I behave. It was horrible

Particular Girl said...

I completely agree with Nivedita. No matter how democratic we try to be, at the end of the day, there's no ignoring the fact that upbringing matters. At times, I almost do not blame these rude morons with the thought that someone who's been accustomed to spending all his/her time in the shady corners of infamous streets, what else should we expect of them in a class-room but ignorant defiance?

chatterbox unplugged said...

@Nivedita and particular girl.... I actually tried reasoning you know ...kept my cool and said "After all the person is a teacher...where does your self-respect stand if you behave like this?"... do not know if that had any effect...It is sad....Even i have hurled choicest abuses at teachers BUT in my mind...or with friends..... but behaving in that way in a classroom that too with a teacher ....is just so so despicable, I mean shady street or not...i do not care...even a person brought up on the road can have some self-respect and dignity. Where do you stand when you behave in such a manner?

kuheli/bulbul said...

i agree with this point. i have been a pg student in India's one of the best institutes. world famous research scholars used to teach us. but some of my batchmates used to treat them as some pathshala'r pondit. all of them were not good teachers, but an institution has some basic rules. U must behave urself while u r in a class. and i think good manners are a part of ur qualification too.

nice blog u hav btw. food for thoughts kind. i'm following u btw. :))

chatterbox unplugged said...

@Kuheli.... glad that you agree... and thanks for the follow... :) I'm a follower of your blog too....