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What to Do if You Don’t Like Your Child’s Teacher

The school supplies are labeled and the lunch boxes are packed. It’s time for school. As you drop off your children each morning, you entrust their education, safety, and so much more to total strangers. As a teacher myself, I want you to know that we take this responsibility seriously.

But I’m a parent, too. And I know that there could be times that I look at the classroom teacher assignments and say, “Awwww, man.” There are zillions of hard-working, incredible educators out there. But there are also some that, well, aren’t so fabulous. So what’s a parent to do when they don’t like their child’s teacher?

Don't like your child's teacher? Here's what to do if you don't like your child's teacher.

What to Do if You Don’t Like Your Child’s Teacher

Ask Yourself the Hard Questions. Start by considering why you don’t like your child’s teacher. Is it a personality conflict? Is it academic? Is this about you? Once you’ve identified the cause, it’ll be easier to evaluate if it’s something you can or should tolerate for nine months.

Be Patient. Being a teacher is hard work. Long hours with overcrowded classrooms, limited resources, and less than stellar paychecks can weigh on a person. Be patient with your child’s teacher. Don’t let a bad day or two distort your opinion.

Consider the Benefits. One benefit of school that is often overlooked is the ability to deal with different personalities and situations. When your child enters the work force, he or she will encounter a challenging boss, unhappy customers, and undesirable conditions. Start the training now. Learning how to adapt to thrive in difficult environments is a great life skill.

Work Together to Make a Plan. Request a conference to discuss your concerns. Rather than vague statements like “We are going to focus more on math,” set a concrete action plan for all involved parties. Put it in writing.

Go Through the Appropriate Channels. Not getting the results you wanted? Each school is going to have a set policy for how to proceed. Jumping to the superintendent rather than going through the channels may seem like the fastest way to get results, but I’ve never seen it work like that. Email the teacher professionally, reference your plan, and seek follow-up. A little BCC to the principal doesn’t hurt now and again.

Always Be Your Child’s Advocate. My children are perfect and incapable of any wrongdoing. Riiiiiight. If there is a concern, I try to temper my understanding of my children’s shortcomings with my knowledge of how they are. As polite and professional as I try to be, I will fight for them like a crazy she-bear if needed.

Don't like your child's teacher. Here's what not to do when you don't like your child's teacher.

What Not to Do if You Don’t Like Your Child’s Teacher

Start World War 3. If you are seeking resolution, try the sandwich approach. Sandwich your critique in between compliments. This sample statement has the concern bolded.

This dodecahedron book report is such a great way for the kids to present their books to the class. The instructions were vague, and we felt confused on how to proceed. I’m so thrilled with the progress my child has made in public speaking thanks to opportunities like these.

I’m a proponent of the “you attract more flies with honey” philosophy. Respectfully voiced concerns from parents trump tempers flaring. Keep your objective, the best educational experience for your child, at the forefront.

Take to Social Media. Public shaming of an individual isn’t something I can get behind. If you’re looking to vent or get advice, grab a cup of coffee with a friend. If you do need to post your concerns online, I recommend tactfully wording yourself.

The truth is, we all had teachers we adored and some that were just okay. Our children will most likely have the same experience {not mine — all of my coworkers are fantastic!!!}. By following these do’s and don’t’s, we can make it an even better year for our children.

How do you deal with teachers you don’t like?

About Melanie

My name is Melanie. I love glitter, my family, and making lists.

Comments

  1. 1

    Having a teacher you dislike is tough. It gets even tougher when your kids don’t like him or her. That’s really bad.

  2. 2

    My nephew is experiencing problems with his teacher and it’s really hard on all of us… Thanks for this thoughtful post! It calmed me down a bit 🙂

  3. 3

    I imagine that would be a really tough situation. Knock on wood, I have been lucky with my kids teachers so far! Phew.

  4. 4

    Been there. Done that. Many times. It isn’t good ever. This is why we pulled out kids and I homeschooled. The area was bad, the school was just bad bad bad. Hoping with our move on Monday the new place is much better.

  5. 5
    Catherine S says:

    I can imagine not liking the teacher could be hard. We homeschooled from second grade on so I never had to deal with that.

  6. 6

    It really is so important to be your child’s advocate. I was pretty lucky to always have great teachers.

  7. 7

    You are absolutely right – you always need to be your child’s #1 advocate.

  8. 8

    These are some good things to keep in mind. Parents and teachers aren’t always on the same page but there are reasonable ways to get through it.

  9. 9
    Debbie Denny says:

    Best to look clearly at the situation. You never know what is going on at that moment.

  10. 10

    This is such a great post and on point! I completely agree with the examples you gave on the life-skill benefits one can learn! Sometime we don’t get everything we want. We need to teach our kids to adapt!

  11. 11

    I don’t have children so I’ve never run into this problem but I’m sure it happens more often than either side would like. Personalities clash for no good reason all the time.

  12. 12

    We aren’t quite old enough to relate to this as my oldest isn’t even in preschool yet, so I had never thought about this!

  13. 13

    I’ve never experienced this yet, but maybe in the future when my two year old boy go in school soon.

  14. 14

    Thinking about this subject makes me realize just how lucky we have been over the years. Both of my daughters have each had a teacher I was not fond of, one did the very minimum she had to and another seemed to enjoy drama with the kids. We got through the year both times and it made me a more tolerant mother.

  15. 16

    I think this is all great advice. Not taking it to social media is so important. It is crazy how small this world is and how quickly things can go bad when you “air your dirty laundry” on social media.

  16. 17

    Great read and tips. It is a very real possibility. Prayer is a huge help too… praYING FOR THE TEACHER AND the child. 🙂

  17. 18
    Rocio Chavez (@yoursassyself) says:

    Great advice. Totally boils down to being involved and trying to work together as a team first them seeking other avenues. Perfect for BTS. 😀

  18. 19

    It is tough. We have twins so we get to experience two teachers in each grade and it is hard NOT to compare in that situation. Last one had an amazing teacher and the other had a teacher that just did not seem to care quite as much. It was frustrating. I try to teach our kids that there will always be people you don’t agree with or like but we still have to deal with those people.. in all aspects of life. Even in jobs. So best to learn at a young age how to respect the person even if you don’t really like them.

  19. 20

    I was so nervous about meeting my daughter’s teacher for the first time! Luckily she’s been really great!

  20. 21
    Danielle K says:

    Thankfully we haven’t had to deal with this yet. I know if we ever have a teacher we dislike we’ll be sure to stay on top of what’s going on in the classroom and try and speak with him/her.

  21. 22

    These are wonderful tips. This happened when my daughter was in fourth grade. I just didn’t like her and thankfully we had no issues, so it wasn’t really a problem.

  22. 23

    I actually have never had a teacher I didn’t like for my kids. I guess we have been pretty lucky. However, I think addressing issues in a way that’s non-confrontive is key.

  23. 24

    We had one teacher of each kid who we just did not care for. In one case, we had to report some questionable behavior on the teacher’s part to the school board.

  24. 25

    It really does make things so challenging. We had one teacher out of four kids who really gave us pause, It was a tough year.

  25. 26
    Stephanie says:

    My son and I have loved all our Teachers so far. He is young though and you have given some great advice! I will keep this available for later, should we need it!

  26. 27

    This is certainly important info to share. I have always had pretty good teachers, thankfully but we will see what we get handed this year as there are two new ones I am not familiar with … in past it was the oldest child’s older teachers OR ones I had been around before and know.

  27. 28

    We were always blessed with great teachers but I can imagine this is hard. I agree with the avoiding taking it to social media point. To many parents want to vent online and that is just not cool.

  28. 29

    I think your addresses are perfect for this hard topic. I mean, it’s hard when you don’t like a teacher. It’s hard to work together. But if it is purely a personality conflict or something like that, it’s something parents need to temper down and work for the best of the kid.

    If all your tips fail…which should always be the first steps to dealing with a teacher you don’t like, then I’d say talk to the principal about changing your child to a different teacher. I had a friend last year, no matter what they did; they couldn’t get over the issue with the teacher. It was conflict of teacher with child’s personality. And no amount of working with the teacher was fixing the issue. So The parent went to the school and asked the child to be moved to a different teach who would mess better with the child and their learning skills.
    Not to say anything bad about the teacher, but sometimes some personalities just don’t do well together. and a teacher with 30 kids in a classroom can’t cater her entire time to one child’s personality that doesn’t blend well with her or the classroom in a whole. Yet that child shouldn’t suffer either if they would do better in a different classroom.

  29. 30

    I think personality conflicts are normal and we aren’t all going to agree. I think teachers are trained at what they do and know what works. Sure, as parents we want whats best for our kids, but when it comes to the classroom, we really may not know what that is.

  30. 31

    Not liking the kids teacher is a tough position to be in. I think you give good advice on how to handle it. Including what not to do is great too.

  31. 32

    Oh wow, that would be a tough situation to deal with. You gave some great ideas on how to resolve it though.

  32. 33

    As a student, I had two teachers that really hindered my ability to learn. My parent’s tried to be proactive, but the principal didn’t really take their concerns seriously. Thankfully, my younger siblings didn’t have the same teachers and years later, one was finally fired. I can’t help but think of how many students didn’t get the education they deserved because of those two individuals. Thankfully, there are many educators who are passionate about what they do.

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