Top 5 Smart Ways to Handle Teacher Troubles!
Parents get very concerned when their child complains about his teacher being rude and mean and refuses to go to school. Parents hate to see their children being annoyed with the people they should be trusting to guide their physical, mental, and emotional development. So, how should parents react when children complain about their school teacher consistently? We have made a top 5 smart ways to handle teacher troubles!
1. Get to the Bottom of Your Child’s Discontent
It is important to first confirm that the problem lies with the teacher. The best way to go about it is to ask your child about the teacher when he is in a calm mood and figure out what irritates him the most about the teacher.
- Start with a chronological approach. Asking questions about the daily activities at school will help. Your questions may be “After you enter school, which is the first thing that irritates you?” or “Do you get sad during classes or during recess?” or “Is it all about the homework?”
- Ask general questions about the teacher.If your child doesn’t give you the response you are looking for, you can always go for the more global approach where the child doesn’t feel threatened by the thought that his answers would make you blame him. Your focus should be on the teacher with questions like “Does Mr. Weber get angry when a student misbehaves?” or “Does Mr. Weber ridicule students regularly?”
- Get down to the specifics. In case your child tells you that the teacher is “rude” and “bad,” get an explanation out of him by asking for concrete evidence of the teacher’s rudeness. You can ask questions like “Does he shout too much?” or “Does he mock students?”
2. Play Advocate
Tell your child that you’re going to write down what she’s saying so you can go have a conversation with the teacher. Let the child understand that you, her teacher, and the principal are partners working to help make school a great experience for her. This serves several purposes: Your child knows that you care about what’s happening, that her concerns are going to be heard, but also that you’re not just going to march in and “fix” a problem. Parents should say something like “Mom and Dad are going to talk to the teacher to find out why you feel this way” and not “why the teacher did this.” “It’s your child’s feelings you’re dealing with. Until you talk to the teacher, you don’t have the whole picture. You might also be able to give your older kid some tools to handle the situation herself. Suggest options, such as approaching the teacher after class and pointing out, for instance, that she doesn’t think she gets called on very often. Sometimes the teacher may not be aware of how your child feels.
3. Meet the Teacher
You should schedule a meeting with the teacher and ensure that you don’t start blaming him from the get-go. Children often fail to communicate their issues properly, and their instincts aren’t always that great. Thus, it’s best to make sure that you allow the teacher to offer explanations without giving him the idea that you are blaming him.
- During the Meeting
Start the meeting on a positive note by praising the teacher for any recent activity that he has conducted in the class and then move on to establishing that you are meeting him to discuss a specific issue. Tell him that your child is having problems with a specific aspect of his teaching, but your words and tone should not make the teacher go on the defensive, as once he goes defensive, he might not talk openly to you and might even take offence.
- After the Meeting
Once the meeting ends, make sure to send the teacher a concise email. In the mail, you should thank the teacher for scheduling the meeting so quickly and for showing concern. Don’t forget to follow up the issue with your child from time to time, too. You can also volunteer to become the educator’s aid. This will allow you to get a better idea of his habits and behavior.
Sometimes, the child shares as much of the fault as the teacher. If you realize after the meeting that the blame lies partially with your child, then don’t hesitate in accepting that notion and try to explore how to rectify the problem.
4. Reach out to other Parents
If you reach the conclusion that the problem does lie with the teacher, it’s best to check if other students in his class are also facing the issue. You can confirm this by contacting the parents of your child’s friends and classmates; but you must ensure that you don’t converse in a manner that makes those parents suspicious of the teacher, even though their child has no problems with the teacher. It’s best to start the conversation with questions like “How has Laura been feeling about school this year?”
Contacting parents who have had children taught by the same teacher earlier would also help as they would be able to tell you whether your suspicions are well founded. You might also get your hands on some new information about the teacher.
5. Maintain Privacy
This is a biggie. Never talk down or reprimand your child in front of a teacher who you are unsure has your child’s best interest at heart. Teachers are people too, and can be manipulative. While most of us truly believe most teachers are loving and want the best for all of their kids, some will use the divide and conquer strategy of pitting a parent against a kid. Once a parent begins to equate their visits to the school with negative behavior from the child, a parent is more likely to keep their distance. Teachers can use this to their advantage if they don’t want parents checking in on their class style. Always handle behavior, homework or peer issues with your child at home. Simply respond to the teacher: “We’ll work on that at home.”