Problems with Teachers

School is a wonderful experience for most children. They learn new information everyday, establish friendships and are prepared for life. School teaches your child not only academic knowledge, but important life knowledge—especially when it comes to dealing with people. While many teachers work hard to establish a good rapport with their students and diligently work to treat each of them fairly, a few teachers do not. Along the path of education, your child may encounter one of these teachers that seems unfair or is extremely difficult to relate to and learn from. As a father, it is important to know how to work with teachers to help create a positive experience for your son or daughter.

If your son or daughter comes home from school and is frustrated with their teacher, it is important that you listen to what your child has to say. As you listen to your child, make sure you ask questions that will help you understand what is happening at school. For example, if your son or daughter tells you that the teacher is always picking on them, ask your son or daughter how the teacher picks on them. Having your child provide you with specific examples will help you better understand what is happening at school.

Once you have examples, brainstorm ideas with your son or daughter of how to solve the problem. Perhaps your son or daughter is frustrated because the teacher never calls on them or the teacher never listens to what they have to say. Perhaps your child is eager to answer every question the teacher asks and the teacher wants to give other students an opportunity to answer. Or perhaps your child is not raising his or her hand and the teacher is trying to teach your child proper classroom conduct. This is when you might suggest that your child try raising their hand before talking in class or suggest that they not try to answer every question in class. Talk over possible reasons for the teacher’s behavior with your child. This will help your son or daughter develop important problem solving skills.

If your child tries the new approaches to dealing with their teacher and is still unsatisfied, it is important to confront the teacher about what your child is experiencing in the classroom. If you are feeling quite passionate and upset about the situation, it is important for you to wait to contact the teacher until you are in better control of yourself.

The teacher may not be aware that your child is feeling that way or that they are treating your child differently than any other child in the classroom. The teacher may even have a different interpretation of what is happening in the classroom. Regardless, it is best not to put the teacher in a defensive position. Therefore, make sure you are not defensive when you schedule the meeting.

When you are talking to your child’s teacher, stick to the facts and avoid making value statements. For example, it is better to say, “Johnny has been having a hard time in class lately. He feels like he never gets called on to answer questions. Can you help me understand why he might feel this way?” than “Why aren’t you paying any attention to my son?” When you put your child’s teacher on the defensive, it will be difficult to work out a solution. Most teachers are more than willing to work with parents and address their concerns.