It’s rare that a child doesn’t come at home at some point during their educational career and moan that they “hate their teacher.” But how do you know when to take the complaint seriously and what to do about it?
Identify the problem
You know your child better than anyone so, if you think their complaints about a specific teacher are serious, then address it immediately. “Good teachers are, to some degree, a little strict,” says former teacher Gregory Helms. “They need to inspire respect amongst the students, even though being their friend would make things easier from the beginning. Good teachers maintain a level of authority at all times and children must be made to understand that.” However, if the teacher seems to be demonstrating unduly harsh behaviour, encourage your child to talk about what is going on.
Speak to your child in a calm way but urge them to be honest about their role in the problem. Are they misbehaving in class? Being disrespectful or provoking a telling off from those in charge? Find out why they feel to need to do this and try to tackle the problem before it gets out of control. As Family Therapy UK points out, misbehaving at school can be a sign of problems at home. Children want to feel safe and secure and, if they don’t at home, they often feel school is the only place they can act out. Pinpoint the reason for the bad behaviour and it should go in no time.
Meet the teacher
Whether you decide to do this with your child or separately, it can be really beneficial to get the other side of the story. If you have a tendency to take your child’s side and get protective, this can be a good move to establish some objectivity about the situation. You may not like what you have to hear about your child’s behaviour, but the information will arm you better to address the problem. It will also be helpful to the teacher who may be able to advise you how best to tackle the issue at home in a way that works simultaneously with what they are doing. If your child is present, it gives them the chance to talk to the teacher in a refereed environment that makes them feel safe and able to talk honestly,
If the level of strictness being applied by the teacher seems unfair and you are concerned, see the Headteacher immediately. Behavioural problems in children aren’t uncommon, but if your child is being treated unfairly at school and doesn’t feel they are being heard or taken seriously, their behaviour could get worse. That might have detrimental consequences in the long run.