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Being Respected vs. Being Liked

Some recent events at school have led me to reflect on the attitudes of my students. Last night at the football game, I saw the stark difference between the treatment my flagline gives me and the treatment that my students give me. A few of my students volunteered to help out at the game and I realized that a lot of the crap that I tolerate with the flagline would not fly in my classroom.

It made me analyze the other teachers at our school as well. On one polar extreme, I see the teacher who wants all of her students to like her. She’s nice to everyone. Students cut her class all the time. No one values her opinion. Her compliments don’t mean much because she only gives compliments. But the students seem to like her.

At the other extreme, I see the teacher that all of the students fear. She criticizes every move of every student. I can’t remember her ever complimenting anyone. Students beg to drop her classes. Whenever we discuss situations in class, she always finds a way to put me down so that she looks good. But the students seem to respect her.

I guess my problem is that I want to be respected and liked. My students seem to like and respect me, but the flagline … not so much. It’s very frustrating. I can’t figure out where I went wrong. Got any suggestions?


4 Responses

  1. I think you earn the respect first then they like you. At least that is how it worked for me when I’ve worked with inner city kids. I will definitely pray for you because I know FIRST HAND how tough this is!

  2. Oh and it doesn’t really sound like the kids respect that other teacher. It sounds like they just fear her. I have found that sometimes fear can look like respect but really is just fear!

  3. I’d say give compliments when deserved. But have rules, and don’t let them be broken. They’ll respect you, and when they realize you’re not out to get them, they’ll come to like you. It means a lot more to get a compliment from someone that you respect, than someone that you think you can walk all over.

    Hope that helps, but I’m not around too many teenagers, so I don’t know!

  4. having Jesus in your heart is so important.we must realize that it is not about people liking and respecting you but you loving and respecting yourself and others. Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you. Only god knows the heart of people and he knows how they truely need to be treated. Get his advice. Have character and integrity. Have standards and bounderies and know that everyone will not like or respect you. And it is ok.

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