Let me be the first one to say that I like adults in many ways more than people my age. I’m not denying I of course have friends that are my age that I truly care about, nor am I saying I don’t appreciate younger children either. But personally, I really feel like I’m at least 25 in my mind. That’s why I can relate to adults a whole lot more. And that’s why I don’t fear them. I actually am interested in learning from adults and I am never intimidated by anyone to speak up.
This was brought back to my attention a few weeks ago when I got back a test that I scored decent on, but most of my colleagues didn’t do super great either. We were all complaining about how our teacher was grading our tests all semester, and I finally got tired of the jabber. I just asked everyone, “Why don’t we just talk to the teacher about the way they grade?” No one had ever brought this up prior to this point in time. I didn’t have any problem bringing this up to my teacher. On the surface, he/she(for anonymity purposes) doesn’t appear to be the most generous person. I thought it was justifiable to ask our teacher as a student how he/she grades. So I went up to him/her, asked how they grade, and asked if the way he/she graded was intentionally curving those who score higher on the exam. He/she said they would go over it with our other teacher, and they emailed me a few hours later letting me know the grading policy would be changing to grant a fair and equal curve to all students.
It bothers me that students are so fearful of not just their teachers, but of their parents. And for many cases, there is a reason for that. Some students have the unfortunate circumstance of abusive parents, or controlling and manipulative parents, or even parents that just force them to study 24/7. But if you aren’t in that circumstance, I would assume that you have parents and adults in your life that you can speak your mind to, respectfully. That is how I’ve been raised. There is no reason to fear adults because you should be able to speak to them respectfully and in a way they can respect you.
This also goes for other teachers at school too. I often see people fear some teachers that I don’t really mind discussing random topics with because I know they are human. They aren’t, and I know this may be hard to believe, malicious and evil beings who assign miserable homework and mind-bending tests. They like watching Stranger Things and eating cronuts too. They also like to chat about sports and aren’t afraid to discuss the political climate in America. What disagreements and/or feuds you may have with your teachers, that is no real reason to not acknowledge them for who they are: normal people, just like you and me.
So what is the first step as students to being genuine to our elders? It’s simple, actually. For starters, we could start treating our teachers with genuine respect as someone who is above us, but know that they are people we can talk to. Our parents were once our, and if anything, no matter where they’ve come from, they could have some sort of understanding for the circumstances we deal with. Another step we could make is to try and get a better understanding with adults in our lives is to ask questions. Ask literally anything. The more we can ask and understand their experiences, the more they will become more “human” and more relatable to us.
And perhaps the one thing I would suggest for all of us to be able to appreciate and recognize adults for who they are is to just be more mature. We all need to grow up a bit and realize that our teachers like Star Trek, and even some of our parents used to love playing video games too. Sure the adults in our lives can be hard to appreciate through all the things they do that we may not like, but if we can truly appreciate adults as we do our friends, then our relationships with them can truly be of mutual respect and admiration.