I hope I will remember the questions you asked and will answer them all here. Respect for teachers is very dependent on the location of the school and the grade level. When I taught elementary school in Philadelphia, I felt respected by my students (3rd through 5th grades), but I did not feel respected by their parents. The parents thought that everything their children needed to learn about life should be taught by the teacher. Teachers feel that parents are also responsible for teaching their children respect, morals, and values of society. Teachers cannot do it alone.
When I taught in college in CA, I had mostly great students that respected me as a person and as a teacher. However, as we say in English, there are always "a few bad apples" who would talk on their mobile phones during class, not pay attention, talk disrespectfully to me and others, and the list goes on. For the most part, I had good experiences. I do know teachers in elementary and upper grades where their schools have to have security guards at all times to patrol the hallways. I used to watch Boston Public and E.R. since I am a teacher and also have a medical background. Both are good shows, but both are Hollywood. The shows are interesting, but not really close to reality.
This is the end of the first week of the university. I teach 4 different semesters of American Studies, one Advanced Grammar course for masters level students, and one Research class for doctoral students. I had this brilliant idea of setting up a Yahoo group for each of my classes this summer. I spent over 50 hours scanning all of their readings into the group's files, put all of their syllabi, reading lists, anything and every thing they could need for the semester. In the bookmarks, I put dozens of references to academic writing and other reference materials. Their groups are as loaded as a spoiled child's Christmas tree. I want them completely ready to be techno-ready for the E.U. when they join in May of 2004. I even found a huge Internet cafe where they can, as students, get membership for $4.00 a year and have unlimited access to the Internet and e-mail for that year. They can also print up to 5 sheets for free.
What I did not anticipate is that of the 60 of them, 59 had no idea how to get a Yahoo ID. I have spent hours with them in my office on a computer that is almost as old as I am, setting them up with a Yahoo account and then putting them into the group. I made each one sign in blood, okay fake blood, they they would call or e-mail me if they had problems. Calling a teacher at home is not in their culture, so I have had 75 e-mails from students today, in a tither over problems accessing the group. Do you know the word "tither"?
The good thing is that I will have all of them for next semester too, so once we are over these humps, life will get easier. Until then....
On top of this, I have had a roaring mouth infection from what I thought was the root canal I had done last week. My mouth looked like I was harboring a baseball in my right cheek. The good news is that is it getting better on its own. The bad news is that the dentist thinks I have really bad genes with my teeth. Years of brushing and flossing are not paying off at all for me, but do it anyway!!. It was not the root canal tooth, but the one next to it.
We also have many soap operas in the U.S. Some have been on the air almost as long as "Coronation Street". The shows "Dallas", "Knots Landing" and "Dynasty" were also considered soap operas by many. These were a bit different from the daytime ones and many people who swore they would never watch a soap opera were hooked on the night time soaps.
If I don't respond as quickly as most of you do, I have not forgotten you. It is just a lack of time.
Greetings from Hungary,