Letters Extra: Earn some respect

24th January 2003 at 00:00

I refer to Neil Southwell's letter entitled "Blame boredom, not parents for truancy" and must take issue with his half- baked notion that poornbsp;relationships with teachers are to blame.

Teachers do not get up every morning and think about which pupils they could victimise, nor do we come to school looking to reinforce "poornbsp;relationships" with our students.

In fact, the relationship a student has with his or hernbsp;teachers is in my experience almost entirely up to them.

Some students actively decide to be disruptive in certain lessons or to be rude and insulting to certain teachers, frequently based on prejudiced opinionsnbsp;before the teacher has even opened his or her mouth.

Poor behaviour isnbsp;premeditated and does stem from parenting. If you want to blame anyone for your poor relationships with teachers, blame yourself. Respect has to be earned and is a two-way arrangement.

We are professionals who have spent in excess of fournbsp;years preparing for this career and do not expect tonbsp;encounter poor relationships with students or colleagues. If we did, wenbsp;would not choose teaching as a life-long career.

As for boredom being a cause of truancy, has it not occurred to you that schools are about educating students to become balanced adults, capable ofnbsp;thinking logically and making sensible decisions that affect you and othernbsp;people?

Life is made up of issues that we don't want to deal with or don'tnbsp;find entertaining. Most of what we teach is a requirement of QCA and thenbsp;National Curriculum and should give everyone the opportunity to leavenbsp;school less ignorant than when they entered.

How you use this education (or don't) is a personal choice. Admittedly, the system is flawed and doesnbsp;not offer a sort of education appropriate to every individual, but equallynbsp;it is not about entertainment. We do not live in a cartoon world.

So how about you look at yourself and take some responsibility before you blame others.

Neil Urwin
Fenn Viewnbsp;

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