Nothing can be a bigger disappointment than when your child is having a bad year at school because he/she does not click with one of his/her current teachers. At one time or another, we have all had a negative experience with a teacher, so we have an understanding of how difficult it is for our child to face this person each and every day. There are things we can do to support a child that is having a rocky relationship with his/her teacher and help them in this situation.
Listen to what he/she has to say about his/her teacher. Let your child know you are there to hear and validate his/her feelings. Share similar stories from your past and tell them how you handled these situations. Try to keep the conversation light to see if your child needs to just vent a little and had a bad day or if it is something more serious. A call or email to the teacher is also helpful, explaining that your child is having trepidations about going to school and you would like to find a way to work together to help him/her. This type of call will help to key in the teacher that you are both involved and ready to get more involved, and work together as a team. It will also let the teacher know that your child is talking about this at home, and it is a situation that needs to be addressed.
Teachers have a multi-faceted job, and they deal with many different things, both academic and emotional each and every day. The teacher might not have been aware of your child's feelings.
Unfortunately, though, teachers are human beings, filled with emotions, opinions and likes and dislikes. If this problem persists... it could be a case where your child is reacting to something that the teacher may be actually demonstrating. The teacher may not hold your child in high esteem, and this needs to be addressed.
If you feel this is the case, a conference with your child's teacher is a must. Your child does not have to be the teacher's favorite, but it is imperative that your child feels safe, comfortable and treated fairly at school. If the problem persists it might be necessary to alert the principal, school psychologist or counselor.
One of the most important things that your child can gain from this experience is to learn how to handle different types of situations and people. Your child will have many different teachers in his/her life. Some will be nicer than others, and he/she will click with some and not click with some. As long as the situation is not one in which your child is being singled out or treated unfairly in any way, it is beneficial if you have these challenges during a school year, that your child understands that he/she is supported and can work to make the situation better. This teacher might not ever be a favorite, but the accomplishment of asking for and receiving help and finding a way to make the year a positive one will be a great learning experience for any child, and give him/her tools that will be useful throughout his/her academic life!