Questions and Answers


“I have a hard time respecting one of my schoolteachers. What should I do?”

To find a solution to this situation, you might start by identifying the reasons you feel the way you do. Are you offended by the way your teacher treats you or by your teacher’s lifestyle or beliefs? Maybe you just don’t think your teacher is a very good one. Whatever the reason, try to separate your reservations about your teacher from the lessons being taught. In other words, don’t let your feelings get in the way of your education.

Remember that your teacher is a fellow son or daughter of God, and we all deserve respect. You should also respect the fact that your teacher is trying to help you learn, so it will help if you focus more on your instruction and less on your instructor. Something as simple as coming to class with a positive attitude will also help. And finally, take to heart this challenge from President Thomas S. Monson: “I would encourage members of the Church wherever they may be to show kindness and respect for all people everywhere” (“Looking Back and Moving Forward,” Ensign, May 2008, 90).

Pay Attention

I also had that problem with one of my teachers. The way I fixed it was by paying attention in class and listening. Then I could actually get something out of the lesson. I also did my very best to be respectful. Even though it was pretty hard, it was worth it because the teacher also started liking me a little better.

Zachary B., 12, Hawaii, USA

Remember the Worth of Souls

The disrespect I felt for my teacher all changed when I was doing Personal Progress—Individual Worth. I read a scripture I had read before, but it struck me this time as an instruction for developing the respect my teacher deserved: “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” (D&C 18:10).

Hannah H., 19, Utah, USA

Talk It Out

Talk with the teacher who is troubling you, and voice your troubles. Teachers are there to teach and encourage us, not to bring us down. Schoolteachers give us the opportunity to learn things that will help us later in life, such as finding a career. Try to eliminate the problem before it gets worse.

Sam E., 16, Maine, USA

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Sometimes we think only of what we are feeling. How do the teachers feel? Teachers grade papers, put together homework assignments, and try the best they can to provide a good learning environment. Tell them you appreciate their hard work. Remember that they are trying hard for you.

Dominique D., 14, Nebraska, USA

Think “GPS”

GPS: Gratitude, Prayer, and Smiling. Remember that you wouldn’t know a lot of things without your teachers. Keep that in mind at school, and take the time to thank your teachers for all that they do. Keep a smile on your face, and also pray for help to respect your teacher.

Jordan J., 13, Arizona, USA

Consider Their Life

It may help to think of the stress they must go through with work, bills, family, and even their very own students. Remember they are trying to help.

Deanna R., 16, Utah, USA

See Their Viewpoint

Think about what it is about the teacher that’s hard to respect. Maybe it’s his teaching style or the amount of work he gives you. Now think about what you would do or how you would act if you were teaching your class. Remember that your teacher is just trying to find the best way to help you learn and, most important, that he or she is only human, just like you.

Stephen R., 16, Washington, USA

Do a Good Turn Daily

One of the best things to do is be kind to your teacher. If you do a nice thing for your teacher every day, it will make it easier to respect him or her. It won’t be easy to do, but it will help you respect your teacher.

Kidron G., 18, Arizona, USA

Say Thank You

I had trouble respecting my drivers’ ed teacher when I was a sophomore. I felt like he was unfair to me and could sometimes be kind of mean. I really wanted a better relationship, so I looked for a time when he taught me something I didn’t know before and I said thank you. Though he was still not my favorite teacher, I was able to learn some valuable things from him.

Hope H., 18, Utah, USA

Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as official pronouncements of Church doctrine.

Show Love and Respect

Elder Quentin L. Cook

“We need to be civil in our discourse and respectful in our interactions. This is especially true when we disagree. The Savior taught us to love even our enemies [see Matthew 5:44]. … If we show love and respect even in adverse circumstances, we become more like Christ.”

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “We Follow Jesus Christ,” Ensign, May 2010, 84–85.

Next Question

“I am repenting of a sin, but other people gossip about me and what I’ve done. It hurts a lot. What do I do?”

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