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Dealing With Your Child's Tough Teachers

How To Deal With Your Child's Tough Teacher

Chances are, you can recall a particularly harsh teacher you once had in school -- one who was strict about behavior, took no excuses for missed homework assignments, gave detailed and difficult tests, and resisted the charms of even the most charismatic students.

Being in this teacher's class might have created a camaraderie among your classmates, and past students might have even rolled their eyes knowingly when you mentioned this teacher's name. While you may look back with a chuckle, there was probably nothing funny about it at the time. That said, if your child is currently having a rough time with a teacher, there are things you can do to help.

First, make sure you understand the teacher's expectations. Schedule a meeting with the teacher to find out the rules for behavior, how grades are calculated, the pace of the curriculum, what type of tests are given, the type of communication between the teacher and home, and the teacher's suggestions for helping children have a successful year. Once you better understand these things, help your child understand them, too. You can also review your own expectations of your child in school, and let him know you'll support him in reaching those goals.

Second, talk to him about what lessons can be learned from the experience. You might share your own experience with a tough teacher or boss, how you felt about it at the time, and how you handled it. Make sure to give your child validation for handling a tough situation well.

Finally, pay attention to what your child says about the teacher, whether related to himself or to other kids, and be sure to investigate if he reports anything that raises a red flag. There can be a fine line between tough and abusive, and you should approach the school counselor or principal if you think that line might have been crossed.

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