By Maddie Baker
There is a certain stigma that burdens students who are friends with their teachers. Some people may call these students brown-nosers or teacher’s pets, but this negative connotation that accompanies being nice to educators is ridiculous. Students shouldn’t degrade other students for getting along with a teacher. Teens get so much more out of an education if there is respect for teachers instead of derision.
When a student is friends with a teacher, it doesn’t mean that the student stops treating the teacher like an authority figure. Respect is a virtue that is mutually earned, and it’s easier to develop esteem between two friends than two people stereotyped to be enemies. A friendship leads to mutual regard rather than one party commanding reverence because of superiority.
Teachers feel like family by mentoring their students all year long. This relationship causes students to defend their teachers. A student will visit a teacher that left a lasting impression on his or her life, thanking them for everything the teacher did for them in and out of the class demonstrating the importance of close relationships with mentors.
When someone has a problem, typically, the first person he/she wants to complain to and get advice from is his or her best friend. Having a teacher as a close friend allows a student to comfortably talk to an unbiased adult and who has seen and lived through their fair share of insanity to understand what’s going on. They are further in life, but separated enough from the issue that they wouldn’t try to command action, while still pushing their students in the right direction. Teachers can even influence morals, careers, and interests.
There’s always a safe place to go at school when a student befriends a teacher. The classroom is open for early morning groaning, lunchtime stories, or after school studying. Students can finally associate school with a welcoming classroom instead of frustrating worksheets and aggravating peers.
People underestimate the power of friendship. When a teacher, a source of authority, becomes a friend to a student, they influence that student in and out of the classroom. Interacting with a teacher after the pop quizzes and homework assignments give teens a more positive outlook on school and adulthood.