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Give a Little Respect

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I attend school in an area that is predominately populated by families who are “well off” as my Dad puts it. The schools parking lot is not full of the average beat-up tin cans that most teenagers should be driving. In fact, the tin cans are quite scare. Instead, you’d be most likely to see a wide array of expensive beamers, lifted trucks, and flashy sports cars. I wish I could say that most of the teenage drivers of these vehicles worked hard for their luxury cars but I’d be lying. And I’d like to say that a lot of those kids are kind, respectful teens, but I’d be lying.

And with a large population of these indulged teens attending my school, it was statistically inevitable for a handful of them to be in my Ceramics 1 class.

I t is a precious opportunity to be taught by someone who loves a subject so much, it doesn’t matter how much she is being paid or how odd people may think she is. This is my ceramics teacher, and she is truly amazing.
Ms. Dalton has a burning passion for clay and is eager to share her knowledge of with anyone willing to learn. I entered the classroom that day not really knowing or caring about what was going to happen. Just another fine arts credit I need to graduate being my basic motivation for taking the class and I treated it as such. But my perception was unexpectedly changed.
Dalton began the term with trying to excite the love of clay in all of us. But not all of us were as receptive as she would have hoped. Those few students in the back table snickered at her clay caked clothes and deliberately disobeyed the rules on the classroom.
When giving instructions on how to make a new project, Dalton’s eyes light up and her demeanor becomes recharged with new energy. Half-way through her demonstration of hashing techniques, the students seated at the back table start up a loud conversation about how bored they are and how useless they think this class is. Dalton continues on, pretending not to hear but her shoulders drop in response and her bright eyes turn sad and desperate.
This scenario would happen almost every class period, followed by the students wrecking havoc on the room’s supplies. On more than one occasion have I fished out clay from the wrong bags, tools left in the water to ruin, and closed paint left open to dry, deliberately done so by those less respectful students.
One day after school I went in to finish up some projects when I overheard her speaking with another student. To my shocked dismay, I learned that Dalton would stay after school until about eight o’clock at night, just cleaning up after those students that deliberately leave messes in their classes. Teachers are not paid for extra hours stayed after or before school. That is a lot of time for a person to have to stay after.
I admire Dalton for her passion for clay and her will to endure those students that are extremely disrespectful. She does a wonderful job.





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