Strategies to use when you don’t like the Teacher
I don’t mean the “like” that we’d find on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. I mean you actually dislike the Teacher. Maybe you’re finding that you’re at odds with him or her about a particular area of your child’s education or you don’t like their demeaner. Or maybe it’s your kid who would prefer hands down to clean their room than keep company at school. While this can certainly be an uncomfortable situation, there are a few strategies that parents can try to get past the awkwardness and move along to a happier place with the person your child spends a great deal of time with everyday.
1. Remember first and foremost that you are both in this together. While it may not feel like it all the time, your teacher has his best interest for his students. Just like you do as their parent. True, they are different roles that happen in different contexts, but the bottom line is that it takes a village to raise a child and you and that teacher, – while not equally important in the life of your kids, – are both individuals who will have much input into their values and knowledge.
2. Ask yourself what exactly it is that you don’t like about the teacher. When you take an in-depth look, you may find that there are truly legitimate reasons, or that it’s a personality thing. The first of these, means that you need to address the issues, especially if you feel they impact on your child. You should probably discuss this is with your teacher first in order to problem-solve. If it’s the latter, and it’s a conflict of personalities, then you really just need to get over it. Sorry, but if their ways are not actually harmful to your child, just annoying to you, well…just ride the wave till June.
3. Get to know the teacher better. It may sound counter-intuitive, but if you have the time to volunteer for a period or two a week or go on class trips, you may find that your teacher will grow on you. Or not. But it’s worth a try.
4. Help them to know you and your child more. Especially if you feel that their are real issues that need to be dealt with. Are you unhappy because the teacher doesn’t understand your need not to have homework scheduled every night? Are you frustrated about the lack or over-abundance of communication via newsletters going home? Was something not explained fully to you and were you left wondering? Did the teacher say something that you believe is inaccurate or disparaging about your child? Start off with one issue to prioritize, bring it to the teacher’s attention, set a common goal and go from there.
You can offer information in many forms: a chat, a note…any form of explanation or question will do. It helps to give the teacher a heads up and ask for an appointment. This gives them time to prepare information that they may need to show you and gives them time to reflect upon you concerns. It also gives you time to plan ideas for how you want the problems to be solved. Most times, this will be a great remedy. As is the case often in any relationship, putting your heads together to find a solution reaps many rewards other than just solving what you perceive as the problem.
5. Finally, remember not to say negative comments within earshot of your children. They ARE listening. They WILL repeat, often with incorrect paraphrasing, which can be not so funny. Plus you want your kid to see you modelling problem-solving behaviour too right?
Do you have any strategies that have worked?
Your VERY likable teacher, Daniela