Our kids aren’t perfect. We love them more than anything, but also know all too well that they can sometimes be little pains in the asses. That being said, being a teacher is a feat of enormous patience, that requires superhuman skills and saintly levels of kindness. Teachers have a tough job, for sure, and are human and subject to favoritism amongst those they teach. It would be naive to think they don’t have favorites. However, the difficult thing is when your kid is clearly not one of them, and is therefore getting the short end of the ruler.
In more extreme cases, your child may even be being singled out, shamed or picked on by a less than stellar teacher. As parents, we must balance that fine line between being advocates for our kids and not overstepping the boundaries. Being clear and truthful to ourselves about our own child’s behaviour requires a certain level of self awareness and the ability to admit their faults and therefore our own. If it is clear to you, that your child is, in fact, being treated unfairly, here are 5 suggestions for a solution.
Talk to your child about what is really going on. Empower them, to see if they can solve the problem for themselves. Ideally, if you can help them find a solution, an important lesson in problem solving and proactivity has occurred. Of course, this is dependent on certain variables, including the age of the child and the severity of the situation. But the best case scenario is if the kid can turn it around for themselves.
Kill the teacher with kindness. I’m not recommending being phony or inauthentic, but how we make people feel plays an enormous role in how they treat us and by osmosis our children. Go out of your way to acknowledge the hard work they do. Lend a hand by volunteering in the classroom. Go the extra mile to be kind, helpful and available.
Address the problem head on. Set up a meeting. Ask if your child can be present in the meeting as well. Get the issues out on the table. Be tactful, proactive and solution oriented rather than accusatory. At the end of the day, your goal is to make your child’s learning experience the most optimum and beneficial. Keep your emotions in check and try to see their perspective.
Seek outside help. If you feel the communication has broken down to an unproductive state, or that the personality in question is behaving unreasonably, call in the principal, head of school or school counselor. Put things in writing and keep your side of the street clear by behaving with dignity and grace.
Get out or just grin and bear it. If there is no way to transfer classes or exit the situation, let it be a life lesson in learning to manage a less than ideal situation. Conflicts, disagreements and learning to deal with difficult personalities are parts of life. Have an intentional talk with your child about how this teacher is in their life to teach them a lesson in perseverance, in conflict resolution and perspective. Not everyone will like us, and learning to be ok with that in life is an invaluable teaching opportunity. Remembering, that sometimes, people at odds with us, are the best teachers.