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When Kids and Teachers Don't Click

Are your child and his teacher at odds? Take these steps to foster a better relationship.
 

Learning Benefits

If you worry that your child's teacher doesn't like him, first try to explore what's triggering these fears. Has your child been saying that his teacher doesn't like him, doesn't pay attention to him, or speaks harshly to him? Or have you noticed something — perhaps that the teacher only shares negative comments with you about your son's behavior, attitude, or schoolwork?

Whether your child complains, you have received negative feedback directly, or your just have a gut feeling that something isn't right, the first step is to set up a conference with the teacher. To avoid putting her on the defensive, ask objective questions, such as:

  • I've noticed that my son seems to be having difficulty at school. Can you tell me how it's been going?
  • Is he behaving in ways that are annoying or disruptive?
  • Is there anything you'd like to see change?

You want to send the message that you care very much about how your child does in school, and that you are there to help. You can ask the teacher, "How can we work together to help him do well and get along with others?" If you are genuinely interested, most teachers will take a new, active interest in your child.

For older children, if you learn that your child's behavior is the problem, you can help him appreciate that some of what he does is bothersome and offer suggestions for how he might change that. If his teacher doesn't reveal helpful information, involve him in figuring out what to do next. By working with the teacher and, if needed, with your child, you will be able to solve the problem.

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