How to help a Child who Doesn’t like his Teacher

In some cases, there is a serious problem with the teacher that is not connected to one particular child or another; in these cases, action should perhaps be taken through the principal or by speaking with the teacher. However, in the cases in which the problem is between the teacher and one or a few specific children, I have found that the most important thing to remember is to create a dialogue between the teacher and the students.

The worst relationship children can have with their teachers is one of complete silence; a child who does not like his teacher and bottles up this emotion inside him will dislike the teacher more and more as time goes on. This emotion will either lead to a sudden verbal or violent outburst or cause the child to internalize his emotions and thus distance him from his classmates, friends and even family. Needless to say, this is a terrible situation, and should be avoided at all costs.

The best way to avoid this situation is to allow the child to speak directly to the teacher in a constructive manner. First, contact the teacher and find out what the root of the problem is. Coordinate expectations with the teacher and explain how those expectations could come to fruition. Then organize a meeting between the teacher and the child, if possible with one parent to help the meeting succeed. During the meeting, the child should be given the opportunity to express his issues with the teacher independantly; the parent should try to avoid intervening if possible. The teacher should be, most importantly, calm and kind in manner; this might help more than the content of the dialogue. The teacher should then try to speak directly to the child and defend himself or herself; this should not be done aggressively, and should also be somewhat admitting of mistake. The teacher should try to say something along the lines of “If this bothers you, I will try to change to best fit what you want”.

The aftermath of this meeting is also important. The teacher shouldn’t try to [ay special attention to the student or give him priveliges of some kind; rather, the teacher should be careful not to say or do something that will even remind the child of the past differences. The teacher should try to make the student forget about the entire ordeal, if at all possible.

Children at this age can change their opinions on teachers, and a terrible relation can turn into an excellent one. While this is not a simple process, it could make the elementary school experience much better for the child.