10 signs your students don’t respect you

Do you ever wonder whether your students even like you? If not, don’t worry—you aren’t alone. In fact, it’s pretty common to get the do they even respect me? feeling once in a while at this stage of your career, and there are ways to know if they really do have the utmost respect for you as their teacher or professor in the classroom. Read on to discover 10 signs that indicate your students don’t respect you.

Reasons Why teachers are losing the respect of students

Fidgeting and wandering around

It’s not uncommon for elementary school kids to fidget and wander around the room. They have a lot of energy, and it can be hard to keep them focused. However, if you notice that this is happening on a near-daily basis, it could be an indicator that your students do not view you as someone in authority or someone who deserves their respect. Perhaps the class is too large or overcrowded. Perhaps the material is too difficult for them.

Slow response time on an assignment

Slow response time on an assignment can be a sign of disrespect if it is intentional. On the other hand, it could just be a matter of procrastination or lack of motivation. If the student is not responding to you in any way, this could also be a sign that they do not respect your authority. Sometimes when I ask questions and then wait for a response from my students, I get nothing at all. When this happens, I’ll ask the same question again and then eventually say Okay, let’s move on.

Students give excuses when working on group projects

The first sign that a student might not respect you is when they give excuses for not being able to participate in a group project. These could be as simple as I have too much homework or I have to work. They may offer other reasons, but the true reason is that they’re not interested in working with their classmates because of how they feel about you.
If it’s a good excuse, it’s likely true. If it’s an obvious excuse, it’s likely not true.

Irresponsibility with completed assignments or turning them in late

When the student does not turn in the work or turns it in late, it is a sign of disrespect. It shows that the student does not care about what is being asked of them and just wants to get out of the situation. The same goes for when there are incomplete assignments. The student thinks that they can just do what they want and will get away with it because nothing will happen. If they would have done the assignment on time, then they wouldn’t be facing this problem. Inability to take responsibility: A lack of responsibility can come from laziness or lack of understanding but either way, it’s disrespectful.

Delayed hand-in dates

It’s frustrating to wait for weeks or months before a student turns in their work. Delayed hand-ins demonstrate a lack of respect and consideration towards deadlines, which can lead to other disrespectful behaviors like ignoring instructions, being late to class, or cutting in line. If this is an ongoing problem with your students, there are several solutions. Consider discussing this with them as it might be a misunderstanding. They might be waiting until the last minute because they don’t know what the assignment entails and think it will take more time than it does. If you want to enforce stricter consequences for handing in late assignments (e.g., automatic zero), then establish that at the beginning of the semester so that all parties are aware of the expectations from the get-go.

Show up late to class

One sign that a student doesn’t respect their teacher is if they show up late to class. If a student is tardy on more than one occasion and the teacher asks them why it might be because they aren’t interested in the material or because they’re disinterested in how much time the teacher puts into planning their lessons. Showing up to class on time shows that you are respectful of the teacher’s time and makes them feel appreciated.

Lack of participation in discussions

Lack of participation in discussions can mean a number of things. It may signal that the student doesn’t feel comfortable speaking up in class, or it could signal that the student lacks interest in the material. In any case, lack of participation is not a good sign and should be addressed. If the first reason applies to them, introduce some activities in which they are able to get involved and give feedback on their thoughts. If the second one applies to them, consider assigning different types of assignments so as to keep them interested.

Lying about their work not being done or making excuses why it wasn’t turned in yet

Students who lie about their work not being done or make excuses why it wasn’t turned in yet are doing so to try and avoid consequences. They are trying to avoid the feeling of guilt that comes with not completing a task, and by lying they can create a false sense of security that everything is okay. If they know you will find out eventually, then there’s no point in trying to get away with anything. There are many ways that teachers can tell if a student isn’t turning in their homework- for example, if there is an assignment missing from the binder- but sometimes this sign may be less obvious such as missing class time due to them making up excuses as to why they missed school.

No eye contact or half-hearted greeting when entering the classroom

It’s hard to give a lecture when no one is looking at you. If they’re not looking at you and they’re making eye contact with everyone else in the room, it means that they’re not interested in what you have to say, or worse, that they think you don’t deserve their attention.
Students who are disrespectful towards teachers can be intimidating for other students and are more likely to cause trouble in the classroom.

Rude email responses

If you have ever received mails like “You’re the worst teacher I’ve ever had. Your tests are too hard, and you never teach anything useful. I’m transferring schools as soon as possible, and I hope that our paths never cross again because it would just be a waste of both our times. And while we’re on this topic, why are you using this email address to send us messages? What is this? Some kind of digital form letter? We actually want to hear from our teachers, not some robot. And for all the effort you put into copying and pasting these messages out every day, maybe you should have spent more time on your lessons instead. Who knows? Maybe if you were teaching better, we might actually like coming to class.” from your students, then it is a sign of disrespect.

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