“ Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.” ( Michelle Obama) In this quote the inspired first lady talks to the students to take advantage of their education and with that same make a change for their country.
Over the course of history one job has been severely underappreciated in recent times, a career so powerful that none would be capable of being in any profession or much less function in the real world without said professionals, I speak of course about the ever so powerful profession of teaching. The importance of education has been valued and cherished for centuries, but lately the ego of society has limited many to the point where now education has become more of a burden to educators and students, but over the last couple of years it seems as though the symbiotic relationship between teachers and their pupils has taken an unpleasant turn for the worst. A constant battle has always been fought between teachers and students, but over the last couple years it seems as though the symbiotic relationship between teachers and their pupils has taken an unpleasant turn for the worst. The once respected career of teaching has been overrun and diminished by the next generation of students who will one day take their place in a society where education is mocked. This is particularly evident in the United States of America, more so than ever before in history, we as Americans are suffering not only financially but intellectually. At the price of our country’s future, we as students must change our attitude on the liberties we take for granted every day. We must give our schools and educators the respect they deserve, because the cost of our nation’s future is too great. This ongoing epidemic in America cannot be uncorrected, in order for our country to progress, America’s youth must be willing to change their attitude and give the respect that educators have so earnestly earned by being students themselves.
The relationship between student and teacher has been and still is an endless cycle, passed down from generation. Though not everyone may care to be a teacher, at some point or another everyone has been a student. In spite of this relationship, the attitude of many seems to be shocking. It goes without saying that the behavior of the next generation of Americans is repellent, and that something is wrong with the direction our nation has taken. An ego complex has developed in the minds of America’s youth, in the book entitled, The Shame of the Nation, Jonathan Kozol explains that the general attitude of our countries youth can be seen in not only the worst schools but the institutions as well. From lower class, to middle class, to upper class, all students have been guilty of consciously and unconsciously, labeling schools and teachers as something to mock and ridicule instead of appreciate and value. He further goes on to say that the youth of our nation have been spoiled by the past generation, and thus cannot value education in the way previous generations have because the two generations are nowhere near alike, thus the general attitude of our nation’s youth must be rehabilitated to see past the debt, and instead visualize the benefits a good education offers.
Our nation’s youth must make an investment in themselves and truly invest in something priceless, something that can never lose its value, knowledge. This lesson is very trivial in everyday life, but is easily forgotten when a person is unsure about what will give them more, their continued education or the working man’s salary. Even in ancient texts we find this lesson taught over and over again, such as in the Bible, Solomon can pray for anything, but asks God for wisdom he asked for and because of this he was able to help many and have a prosperous kingdom. However, there is a certain attitude that people who wish to be wise must have in order to heed such success. Plato made this abundantly clear in The Apology, in which we can learn that in order to be wise, one must simply acknowledge that they are no wiser than any other. This lesson is important because many times our nation’s youth retain an ego complex from their forefathers, and what could’ve been a great generation is limited by their ego, which in turn limits them not only as students but as future educators themselves.
The sense of pride a student feels when they achieve their educational goals must not be subdued by arrogance and false pride. False pride is a very dangerous thing for anyone to withhold, it is conjured up by the arrogant attitude that they as the student, were solely responsible for all that they have become. Giving little to no recognition to all those who have invested their time, and effort to see that their pupil has become greater than they were. Students must realize that without teachers they are to become nothing, and that teachers only strive to make their students greater than they themselves could be. In The Shame of the Nation, among students in America, over 70% of our nation’s youth believe themselves to be smarter than most any other country, when in fact USA scores the lowest in national average IQ among the developed countries of the world, at a national average score of 98. The fact is most Americans are unaware of this statistic because they are too caught up in their own ego complex.
This ego complex adopted by so many students make their arrogance unbecoming and thus the failure to respect their teachers and professors is the end result. Despite educators earning the respect of their pupils, it is so rarely given to them due to their students ego. If it is one thing students must give, it is the utmost respect for their teachers, because this is the last we can give them. Teachers deserve respect because they have devoted their lives to helping children develop into adults. Most teachers could make more money doing something else, but instead choose to work with students. However, most students fail to see this, and continue to show disrespect for the teachers that seek to only make them better than they could be.
Students cannot see the debacle teachers must deal with, but rather they can only see what’s in it for them; where they are part of something much greater than themselves. “If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.” this conundrum is hard for many to grasp, but once the smoke confusion clears it is easy to see why teachers deserve such respect. Not only because they earned it by facing all the same obstacles the students have to do themselves, but because it is what we as students owe. We as students build up a debt of priceless knowledge that can only be repaid by passing on the knowledge that was given to us and demanding the same respect our instructors ask of us.
It was once said, “We are remembered by the gifts we leave our children,” and what greater gift than that of education in which no one can take away. I t is selfless to give generation that you know will never give anything back to your own, but instead give the knowledge that you’ve bestowed upon them so greater generations to come may reap the benefits. This can only be due to the illogical word that holds so much meaning, but cannot truly be appreciated or conceived by the recipients till their education is complete and they become educators themselves; for this in itself is love. It is the love for humanity that makes such selfless behavior possible, and because of how universal it is, its power and potential is limitless, just as all students should be and could be if they aren’t limited by their own ego ideology.
The ideal-teacher student relationship is one where both the teacher and the student learn and adapt to new ideas and reasoning. This is the only way to create a new attitude and respect between the student and the teacher and ensure that our country will prosper. The importance of education must be valued, and the ego of our nation’s youth must not be allowed to continue the way it has or it will not only the students of today but the infinite generations to come. The battle between the educators and the student must cease, so that we may better ourselves, our country and our future. Students can either reap the benefits of the education they are so blissfully granted or suffer the consequences by making their institutions resent their ill-mannered attitudes toward educators and themselves. At the price of our country’s future, we as students must change our attitude on the liberties we take for granted every day. Now is the time when we as students must ask ourselves what kind of future we want, one filled with progress through love, or one lesser than the one we were given. It is up to us to make the most of the world were given by the people who loved us enough to see us where we are today and lead us to a greater tomorrow; it is only just that we as the next generation honor all which they had done with progress and prosperity.
“Americans Stats.” National Center for Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. Sept.-Oct. 2012.
“Education for the Future Foundation.” Education for the Future Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012
“Education Statistics.”. N.p., n.d. Web. Oct.-Nov. 2012.
“Forces Affecting Education in the Twenty-first Century.” Education.com. N.p.,n.d Web. 06 Dec. 2102.
“Home.” Conservation-. N.p., n.d Web. 06 Dec. 2012.
“Join the Campaign for the future of higher Education!” Futureofhighered. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec 2012.
Kozol, Jonathan. The Shame of the Nation : The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America. New York: Crown, 2005. Print.
“New Day for Learning.”
Htt:/ /www.newdayforlearning.org/docs/NDL_Overview_and_State_ARRA_Recommendations.p df.N.p., n.d. Web. Sep.-Oct. 2012.
“Our Countryâ s Future Depends on Educated Citizens | Center for Inquiry.” Our Countrya s Future Depends on Educated Citizens. N.p., n.d. Web. 06. Dec. 2012.
“Our Country’s Future Is Tied to Our Educational System.” HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012.
“Respect for Our Nation’s Teachers.”
Http:/www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/170586226.html?refer=y. Tribune, n.d. Web. Oct.-Nov.2012