I truly believe that the majority of people who dedicate their lives to educating young people are a good bunch. A teaching degree does not make them infallible, however, and we all know that bad teachers do exist. As a weekend teacher for some twenty-plus years, I am sure that there have been parents who hated me! Unfortunately, at one time or another in your child’s academic career, you will experience this unfortunate emotion.
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Try to figure out exactly what’s bothering you. Jot down a list, then show it to your spouse and a friend to see if they agree that there’s a real problem — or if they think you’re just being crazy. If your kid is enjoying school and seems to be thriving, maybe you can overlook philosophical differences. Face it, your child is going have all kinds of teachers, and you can’t expect to see eye-to-eye with all of them.
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So what exactly should a parent do when their child has a horrible teacher? One who makes you cringe every time they talk and regularly sends your little one into frantic emotional breakdowns?
- Document Everything. If things get out of hand, you’re going to need to talk your principal. When you do that, you’ll want to have some cold, hard facts. Keep a copy of every snappy note written home, write down any extreme stories from your child and be ready to share these facts when necessary.
- Your child still has to follow the rules. When your little one has a terrible teacher, they could start acting out. It’s easy to become angry and frustrated with your situation. Let your child know that you love and support them no matter what, and that you will help them get through this.
- Get involved. Volunteering in your children’s classroom is always worthwhile. Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! Make sure that you send a note and clarify your point of view and understand what is going on.
- Remind your child that it will all get better. It’s only one year. We can all get through one year, but it’s a balance; ignoring that your child is upset will just make them more frustrated by their situation.
If you’ve decided that there really is a problem, it’s time to talk to the teacher. Schedule an appointment instead of trying to cram in a conversation at school drop-off or pickup.
Tell us what your tips are for dealing with teachers that you dislike.