Parenting, Parenting Tips

How to Deal with a Difficult Teacher

2 Comments 02 September 2011

How to deal with a difficult teacher using simple tips from author Ron ClarkHave a serious disconnect in your child’s classroom and not sure how to handle talking to the teacher? Follow these tips to foster a happy and productive relationship between student and teacher, from The End of Molasses Classes: 101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers by New York Times bestselling author Ron Clark.

If you are in a situation where your child has a teacher you are unhappy with and showing appreciation doesn’t work, there are other strategies you can try.

Meet Face to Face. When you are upset, avoid contacting the teacher by email. The tone can be misconstrued and lead to bigger issues. Schedule a meeting in person.

Keep Documentation. Document attempts to reach the teacher, especially if they do not respond. It will be easier to plead your case if you have documented communication attempts.

Go to the Teacher First. Speak with the teacher first before contacting the principal. The first question the principal will ask is if you spoke with the teacher about the matter, and if you didn’t it will reflect negatively on your part. Follow procedure and give the teacher a chance to remedy the situation first.

Remain Positive. Never speak negatively about the teacher in front of your child, because if he sees you don’t respect the teacher, he will feel it’s okay for him to show disrespect in the classroom.

Promote Patience. If your child complains, remind him that he will have many different types of teachers in his life and that part of the journey is learning how to be successful no matter what the circumstances.

Make Learning Fun. Maintain a joy of learning in the home. Find ways to supplement the curriculum and make sure the light for learning does not dim in your child’s eyes.

Show Appreciation. Consider having every teacher in the school fill out a survey of their favorite things and keep a book of them in the front office. Check it often to find ways you can surprise, support, and show appreciation for your child’s teachers.


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  • John Parent

    Thanks for the post! MY daughter is strugglin at school for the first time. Her teacher is making it difficult for me to pin point the problem so I can learn how to parent her changing needs. I will try some of these tips and hope to get to the bottom of this soon!

  • neha

    My son is 5, goes to kindergarten! I unable to understand his teacher at all! in the 1st week of school, she asks me if he has a listening disorder as he does listen all the time. Then in a group, she wont let him talk, at a field trip, she holds him by his jacket to tell him not to run around….and she tells me we have issues with this little guy, WE HAVE TO FIX HIM UP….

    now, im totally emotionally sensitive already about this and today my son tells me that he is sent daily to the office and i sit there are color.

    what should i do? should i speak to the teacher, what if she gets completely offended???



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