Classroom respect important

Respect. It’s something we all think we deserve and all hope to receive. We also give it to those we find worthy. The concept is simple, yet often overlooked.

This semester I started attending the University of Central Oklahoma while simultaneously finishing my degree at OCCC. The very first class I had at UCO was anything but pleasant.

The professor was rude from the start, threatening to lock a student out of the classroom the next time she came in late when the student had only been two minutes late. Considering it was the first day of class, the professor’s response was completely uncalled for.

Turning textbook pages before being told to by the professor, asking classmates questions and not taking enough notes are just a few of the things my class has been called out for this semester.

The thing that unnerved me the most was one day while preparing for an upcoming test, a student raised her hand and asked a question. The professor’s response was “I know you guys aren’t children. You shouldn’t need me to explain everything to you.” The student’s question had been straightforward and honest, yet the professor used it as an opportunity to once again challenge the class.

I understand there are certain rules and regulations professors have to follow and it is important to keep a classroom under control; however, my professor is right — we are not children and shouldn’t be treated as such. There is never an excuse to belittle an individual.

Educator and Professional Counselor Deborah Bauer promotes the idea of mutual respect between students and professors at

“Mutual respect grows out of a positive learning environment. By showing consideration for your students and a genuine desire for them to learn, you will help to create a culture in which you can offer respect. In return, you will receive appreciation and even admiration from your students.”

I believe you get the same respect you show others. Why should I feel inclined to attend, pay attention and do well in a class where I know the professor will confront students virtually every class period?

College students sacrifice time, money and effort to better themselves, so when a professor tells them they are not up to standard, that is an insult.

If students didn’t care, they wouldn’t show up for class. If a professor cannot respect a student personally, the professor should at least respect the goal the student is trying to accomplish.

In return, students should be respectful toward professors. It is a two-way street that only works when both parties are on board.

I can honestly say the OCCC faculty does an excellent job of respecting its students. I have never felt like less of a person and very rarely have I had a disagreement with a professor here.

All of us should feel important. If we all put a little effort into how we treat others, we would all be happier people. Respect goes a long way and all it takes is a kind word, helpful gesture or a warm smile.

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