So Your Child Doesn't Like His Teacher? Here's What To Do

| Living

The classroom is a sphere of learning. During school hours, teachers are entrusted to promote knowledge, encourage curiosity and help our children learn and implement new values. It can be disheartening to hear that your child doesn't like his new teacher. He says that the teacher is mean and too strict; perhaps that is the case, or perhaps it's going to take a while for your child to adapt to this new environment full of new personalities. Personalities clash, but as all adults know, part of life is working with the people we clash with the most. Should your child come home with a negative view of his teacher, the root of the problem could be resolved by talking it out and engaging your child's problem-solving skills.

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Remember that there are two sides to every story. Listen first to anything and everything your child feels the need to discuss. He's been interacting all day and may have more on his mind than he lets on. But it's also good to remind yourself that children may interpret behaviors differently; to him, the teacher is loud and mean, but in reality the teacher might have stricter standards than what your child is used to. It's easy to run to his aid when he's upset, but keeping that communication open and honest will help identify the root of the issue.

Emphasize that a student-teacher relationship is a two-way street. His negative feelings toward the teacher may impact his behavior in that regard as well. Remind him that as a student, he should always remain respectful toward any teacher or authority figure. Successful relationships are equal, in that communication is always open and both parties work to benefit each other mutually. The teacher can't give him her full knowledge and attention if his behavior is off-putting. The same can be said for the opposite: He can't absorb information or ask questions if the teacher is off-putting.

Keep track of how often your child brings up the topic. If the complaints are reoccurring, if he comes home from school with a less-than-excited attitude and attributes it to the teacher, the problem may be concrete. Let your child know that you are taking these issues seriously, because his happiness is your happiness. This will also help you decide if and what the problem is; if there are multiple days where your child says the teacher has yelled, it will help to reference those days during any school meetings you set up.

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Set up a meeting with the teacher. If the problem gets to the point where you feel the need to open discussion with the teacher, go into the meeting with unbiased mind. Any good or influential teacher will care about your child and care about his ideas. That is important to remember. More than anything, your child's teacher will want to better the relationship just as much as you do! Take any advice that the teacher may offer, as she has an entirely different understanding of your child within the classroom setting.

The last thing you can do is give the situation time. Any significant change, like a new class with a new teacher, can be hard on kids. Always emphasize the positive side of these changes: that his new teacher has a wealth of knowledge to impart on him, or that his new teacher loves classroom art projects! If it turns out that the teacher really is a problem and you're worried about the negative impact on your child, you can always set up a meeting with the school principal or superintendent. Working with higher ups at the school can bring about a respectful resolution to the situation.

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