Editorial – To some at Skyline college, respect is not a two way street

Some of Skyline’s faculty, as well as its student body, are lacking in one fundamental human area: respect.

All of Skyline, both faculty and student body, would do well to remember that respect takes time to earn, but can be lost in the blink of an eye

Respect is one of the most underrated and unappreciated concepts in our “modern” society. People always demand it from others, but never seem to remember that respect is a two way street. In order to get it from someone, you must first give it to someone. The concept of respect is one based upon reciprocity. It is a two way street, a give and take between people. That is what respect is. While this thought process may seem a bit outdated to younger students and faculty here at Skyline, that doesn’t make a lack of respect easier to tolerate from either party.

How many times have you been sitting in a class, only for the lesson to be interrupted by a student speaking out of turn? How many times have you been on the receiving end of a teacher’s scornful words, when a kind word would have done the deed just as well? As students, we are expected to respect our teachers and the position that they hold, but are teachers expected to respect us, their students?

If a teacher gives his or her students the privilege of their respect, then it should be shown to them in turn. If a student shows his teacher respect and courtesy, then isn’t it right that the teacher shows equal respect to their students? When it comes to respect, what is right and what is wrong, there can be no one sided exchanges. It is a process of give and take.

One thing that must be respected, at all times, is the concept of a student’s personal space. With the advent of social media sites, such as Facebook and Instagram, the space between students and teachers is limited more than in the past. With a single keystroke a teacher can gain access to a student’s personal page and interact with them outside of the classroom. While there are obvious benefits to this situation, it is one that must be handled with tremendous care.

If the teacher, or student for that matter, does not respect the boundaries of the situation and contacts the other for reasons that have nothing to do with education, than there is no respect. It would be wrong to assume that all professors would use this in a negative and/or disrespectful way, but the possibility of disrespectful conduct is most definitely there. Just like it would be wrong to assume that all students have no respect for their teachers and will speak out of turn on a daily basis to disrupt their classes meetings.

This is a call to action, to both the students and faculty of Skyline College. If respect is what you want, than first you must give it. It cannot be asked for, demanded, or expected without first giving it in return. Remember that, students, when you speak out against your professors. Remember that, professors, when you think of violating that respect by contacting your students outside of the classroom for personal reasons.

Respect is a slippery slope. One wrong step and you lose all the progress you’ve made, and you find yourself right back where you started, and with no respect coming your way from those around you.So when your professor slips up and mispronounces a word, think twice before you call them out on it and seek to embarrass them in front of a room full of other students. Think twice, professors, when you think about contacting that student via Facebook simply to “get to know them,” because it will not be a secret and you will lose the respect of, not only your students, but your colleagues.

The clichéd golden rule, to “treat others as you want to be treated,” speaks volumes in regards to respect. If you believe treating your professors as verbal punching bags is acceptable, then you have no right to be offended when they do the same to you. If the faculty doesn’t want students harassing them on social media sites, then it is in their best interest to set a good example in regards to personal space and privacy.