I Hate My Son’s Teacher!

School can be a real challenge for many families. The classwork requires effort, of course, but this is also the first opportunity many children have to manage relationships. These relationships between students, as well as between student and teacher, can be complicated. As a parent, you want the best for your child, and sometimes that means butting heads with the people in charge of their education. If you find yourself in a situation where you dislike your child’s teacher, you have several options.

Identify why you hate your son’s teacher.

The first step in solving a problem is understanding what the problem is. What exactly is it about your child’s teacher that you hate? Sometimes someone will remind us of a person we don’t get along with, and we will instantly have a negative reaction. If that is the situation for you, you will need to work on separating your personal feelings from how the teacher behaves. Ask your child how they feel about their teacher. Chances are, if they give you a good report, you will find your stance softening.

Did you get the teacher’s side of the story, too?

Other times it may be due to something that happens in the classroom. If your issues with your child’s teacher come from something they have reported to you, you should make sure you are getting both sides of the story. Approach this conversation with an open mind. The ideal result is for your child, the teacher, and you to reach an agreement. Maybe the teacher won’t be your favorite, but if you can tolerate each other for the year, it is a win for everyone.

Sometimes you may feel like you hate your kid’s teacher because you don’t think they are good at their job. Maybe your child reports that they yell at the class. Perhaps the paperwork and assignments are disorganized. You may feel like they do not do a good job of covering the subject matter. If you have concerns about the quality of your child’s teacher, it is normal to have negative feelings.

You must open the lines of communication.

Contacting your child’s teacher to discuss the issue is the first step. As uncomfortable as it is, scheduling an in-person meeting or, if that is not possible, a phone call is your best option. Email may seem more convenient and less stressful, but between the inability to read the tone of the message and the back and forth that can develop, both you and your child’s teacher will probably become frustrated. You may be surprised at how quickly you can resolve a matter by speaking in-person.

Are you hating the teacher too early? Or is it justified? Ask a friend.

Go into the meeting with an open mind, and be ready to listen. You know your feelings, and you know what your child has reported to you. What you don’t know is the teacher’s side of the story. Let them know why you wanted to meet and then give them a chance to respond. Maybe the class is particularly disruptive, or the teacher doesn’t have enough help.

Work out ways that the situation can be improved. Even if there is a reason for what is going on in the classroom, it is not an excuse. Would it be possible for you to volunteer? Perhaps an extra pair of hands once a week would be beneficial. Is your school lacking the appropriate equipment or technology it needs? Get involved in the parent-teacher organization and help with fundraising.

Can you forgive if nothing changes? It’s unhealthy to hate your son’s teacher forever.

If you go into the meeting with an open mind and are met with a teacher that is defensive or dismissive, you have limited options. Speaking with the principal is one choice, and that may be enough to get results. If the teacher is young or a new teacher, having a voice of experience let them know they need to make some adjustments can be beneficial. However, if the teacher has years of experience, it can be difficult to convince them to make any changes.

You can ask to have your child placed in another class if you are unable to reach a satisfactory conclusion. Before doing this, you should talk to your child. If you are the one that has issues with the teacher, you may be ahead to work through your emotions privately and allow your child to stay in the classroom. If they are uncomfortable, they may prefer to switch to a new room.