What should I do if I don't like my child's teacher?
Real Mom Problem
“My daughter was just assigned her teacher. I have heard horror stories about this teacher from other parents, but I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Upon meeting her, I see why everyone is so hesitant about her. What should I do?”
- 1. Allow the teacher, and your child, some time to settle into the school year before forming any opinions
- 2. Request a meeting with the teacher to discuss your concerns
- 3. Involve the principal if you feel your concerns have not been properly addressed
- 4. If you feel your child's education, or well-being is compromised, see what you can do about switching teachers--or schools--if need be
Real Mom Solutions
Trusting our children to the care of someone else all day can be challenging enough, but what happens when we have a problem with that person? See what the moms of CafeMom have to say about dealing with a teacher you just don't like.
Some Moms Give the Teacher a Chance
When I first met our teacher I didn't like her. I talked to hubby and he told me to give it a couple weeks and see how things really go. She could have just had a bad day, or was overwhelmed, and we need to get a long with her. But ultimately it matters if our CHILD likes her. I gave it a couple weeks and found that I LOVED her. She was NOT what everyone said she was. She was the biggest sweetheart you could have ever met. She was an older teacher so she was strict, most of the parents didn't like that. I liked her so much that I requested her for our middle son when he started. As long as the teacher is doing right by my child, and our child likes him/her, they are OK with us.
I think you should give her a chance. Unfortunately, you are not going to like every teacher your child has and you aren't going to be able to switch just because you don't like her. It's an important lesson for you and your child to learn that you aren't going to like everyone but you have get along and work with all kinds of people.
I've made a point not to request teachers, and get what we get, because I think it can be a good life lesson to learn how to get along with someone you don't like. If my kid's self-esteem or education were affected, I would ask to switch teachers.
I have never listened to what others have to say about my child's teacher. Sometimes people make mountains out of mole hills. Maybe their child had a bad experience, doesn't mean mine will. And just like in life, we have to deal with people we don't like. It's a lesson they have to learn.
Can you change bosses when you don't like what you hear about them? No. What about professors? I had some really challenging teachers growing up and all I can tell you is that the best course of action is to stay involved in her education. Listen to her, advocate if necessary, but you cannot protect your children from people who aren't "nice." If you keep her in the class, she may learn early on how to manage difficult people. As long as you are listening and she is not being singled out, then I bet she'll be okay.
Well like everything in life sometimes it is what it is. There would be a lot of problems in the school system if everyone was switching out all the time. I had a problem with a teacher and I just stayed on her and made it clear I was always around and knew what was happening at all times. Try working in the class a few times. You might get to know her on a personal level and like her.
If principals made classroom changes every time a parent or student didn't like a teacher, they'd be making changes all year long. If she isn't a bad teacher and the students are actually learning in her class, then you need to suck it up and deal with it.
Last year I thought I wouldn't like things about my son's teacher. I did email the principal about getting him into another class. The principal suggested we wait a few weeks before switching. She said the teachers work very hard about class scheduling and didn't want to make changes if she didn't have to. My son had a great experience. If your child is absolutely having a horrible time, do see the principal. But if there aren't any major concerns, don't rock the boat. The teachers do (or should) have the students' best interests at heart. There are many ways of communicating these days too; all teachers have access to email.
Others Share Their Concerns with the School
OK, from a teacher's perspective, here goes:
1. You need to call and set up an appointment with the teacher for as soon as possible. A phone conference may do but it will be better to conference face-to-face.
2. Go into the conference with the attitude that you and the teacher are on the same side. This is very important because if you are defensive, then she will be defensive.
3. Calmly, without accusation, explain what is going on. If you act like you are unsure what is going on and are having trouble understanding, then she will be more likely to sympathize and try to help (theoretically, that is).
4. Remember, you get more flies with honey than vinegar.
I hope this helps. I truly think that if you talk to the teacher, you will be able to straighten this out.
When you treat a teacher with respect and go to him/her privately first, before going to the principal, with an open mind and no aggression on your part, you usually should get a more receptive response. That gives the teacher dignity. Every teacher should have a chance to defend himself/herself before you go to the principal. Be assertive and kind in your approach, please.
I'm a teacher too. Be respectful, but firm. Go tot the teacher first, and then go to the principal if you need to. You are going to have to be the one to keep the lines of communication going with this one. And if you can establish a better relationship with her now, your year will be easier.
Talk with the teacher. Get his point of view, then ask to sit in on the class or volunteer to help out. If you feel uncomfortable about his actions, then bring them up to him and if he continues then you go higher up.
In education, we are taught that each child is different and we must see them for their possibilities, not failures. If a teacher is focusing on a child's failure, then that teacher is failing. If the principal won't listen, then go to the superintendent.
I think speaking with the teacher is a great idea. But remember how hard her job is. No accusations or threats. I'm sure she's a calm, reasonable lady who is willing to work with you.
If you have specific reasons why you don't want this teacher, bring them to the principal's attention. Any issues you have over the year with her, document. You can always ask for a transfer once the year is started. If it is a bad situation, the principal should be willing to help make it better.
I would have a meeting with just you and the teacher. Turn it around and say your daughter thinks the teacher doesn't like her. If she's a good teacher she'll make extra effort to make your daughter feel better. If she's not a good teacher, you'll know pretty quickly and can request a change.
You're going to have to be the "adult" in this situation and go to the teacher and talk to her. Then move up the chain of command as needed.
These Moms Go with Their Kid's Opinion
Sometimes the parents don't like the teacher for whatever reason, but the kids love them. I'd see how it goes, and ask your child what she thinks, then make a decision on your next step.
You should give it a chance before you do anything. She may be a very good teacher. Sometimes teachers may not be that great at meeting parents/adults but may be wonderful with your child. If your child loves her and it's you who is having the problem, I'd say you should just bite the bullet and let it go. If after a couple of weeks, your child isn't happy with her, then I would speak to the principal to see if moving your child to another class is possible.
Check Your Options, Suggest These Moms
I haven't cared for my daughter's last two teachers. Aside from asking for a different teacher (and you'll have to explain why), there isn't a lot you can do. We just sucked it up...it's only for nine months.
You have four options: Suck it up, change classes, change schools or homeschool. If I were you, I'd just switch classes.
Sometimes requesting a new teacher is justified, sometimes it is not. Speak to the principal about your concerns and your options. It can't hurt.
No one knows your child like you do. If you don't think she will do a good job working with your child then I would find a new one. Education is one of the most important things to get right for a child. What she learns now will follow her for a very long time. Do whatever you need to do in order to get her the education she deserves. Every child deserves an awesome education and we as parents need to start demanding it. I know at times it might seem that parents are powerless but that is simply not true.
Spend some time in the classroom with her. Give it some time to decide if your first impression was accurate. If it was, request a new teacher.
I don't know what your school is like, but maybe going in and volunteering would be good and you can get a better idea of what she is like.