If your child is sincere about his/her attitude concerning a teacher, this needs thorough investigation by you, the parent. Many times children actually hate the teacher because the teacher has not been kind, loving, or considerate towards them . Most children love a teacher who truly manifests evidences of caring and warmth. However, if a teacher has put your child in a position where hatred or dislike exudes, watch out! You are in for a continually bad ride all school year.
The first thing a parent can do is to go to the school and ask if you can observe in the classroom. Say little to the teacher about your child’s feelings unless the teacher brings it up. If you come in on the defensive, the teacher will be sure to give your child little benefit of the doubt. So, just sit and observe. Do this on announced and unannounced occasions if possible. You will get a general feel of how the teacher relates not only to your child, but all the children in the room. Try to stay at least 1-2 hours each time you visit. You will eventually be able to unravel the truth about your child’s position.
Listen carefully to the teacher’s voice as he/she addresses each child. Notice if there are variations or inflections in his/her voice as the children in the class are addressed.
If you see a radical swing from sweet to agitated, you can be sure the teacher has some students which are more favored above the others. Also notice how he/she keeps the classroom. Is it organized, neat and tastefully decorated, or is it messy, dirty and totally unorganized. If the latter is the case, your child may be fully justifed in having those personal feelings about the teacher in question. Disorganized teachers are sometimes beset with their own emotional problems, and cannot fully give to the class their best.
Validate your child’s feelings by continual talks with him/her. Ask relevant questions as to why the negative feelings about the teacher exist. Do not take sides, but keep asking the questions. Next observe your child’s progress reports and grades. If they are not up to par, something indeed is wrong. Ask to see evidence of your child’s grades- things such as grades in a grade book, computerized progress reports, percentages, and ask how grades are generated. Be the sleuth in this case, and stay on the case. You will turn up more evidence of why your child cannot have the comfort of liking the teacher.
Ask to speak to the teacher after you have done some observations and find out the teacher’s assessment of your child. Be sure to schedule an appointment for this conference and try not to rush this type of discussion. If the teacher brings up everything negative about your child, take notes and ask questions that will lead you down the path of understanding the teacher’s viewpoint and feelings towards your child. Be aware that there are times that a teacher and certain children in a classroom clash.
Sometimes a child will say a teacher doesn’t like him/her. There are times the child is hiding behind this excuse because he/she is not trying their hardest in school. The child feels that if he/she can alienate the teacher in your eyes, you will overlook his/her failure to achieve in that class and the blame will be placed completely on the teacher. Make sure this is not the case. Child are smart that way, you know.
When you have sized up the situation as best you can, bring the principal in on the matter. Have a 3-way conference between the teacher, the principal and you. Bring your concerns here. Sometimes the principal will suggest ways to solve the problem, and other times the principal will be in full defense of the teacher, leaving you nowhere to turn.
If nothing is resolved, ask that your child be moved to another teacher’s room if possible.
Sometimes you may even have to switch schools depending on the feedback.
Please believe that a teacher who has undesirable image in students’ eyes, has some problems which sometimes can only be solved on a professional level. Never discount your child’s assessment, however at the same time, don’t jump on the side of your child without
your homework on the case done. If your home is a two parent home, let both parents make the final decision as to how best to help their child. Two heads are better than one, don’t you agree?
I have found that your continual coming in to see about your child’s progress is the best medicine you can give in this case. Teachers who see parents take the time to come to the school on a continuous basis, somehow begin to treat your child with a higher regard. It’s the principle of being there in a supportive way that will inevitably yield good results.
Let your child and the teacher know you are there for both of them. In the end, you will find out a great deal more about your child than you thought you knew.