When the teacher is the problem

Most of the teachers in the world are kind, loving and passionate advocates for their kids. However, sometimes, teachers are the problem. I myself was bullied by a teacher in high school.

One in particular, would sit behind me during tests – eating corn nuts loudly whispering – don’t bother, you are going to fail anyway. Up until this teacher – I had been a straight A student. Never did drugs. Never got into trouble. Why did this teacher harass me? Openly? Because I made the mistake of asking him a question: if you don’t like poetry – how are we going to get anything out of it? Oops. From that day on – he harassed me in class and gave me bad grades. My mother, wrote an essay for me one time to see whether the problem was me or him. She got a C. She’s a VERY good writer. The problem was him.

I survived this because I had my parent’s support. I also made a very good friend who was the other “loser” who sat in the back of the class with me.

So, what should you do if you suspect the teacher is the problem

Most of the time, I get asked by parents how to stop other kids bullying their own. But every once in a while I get a question about how to handle the teachers. I received this question last month:

I know there have been quite a few horror stories shared but I have a question for parents with children. Have any of your children felt targeted by certain staff? I only ask because my son has never been a disciplinary problem at school before, and ONE of his teachers has written him up 5 times. I would understand if he was misbehaving this way in all of his classes but we’ve met with all of his teachers and this particular teacher made it abundantly clear that she doesn’t care for my son.

Concerned Parent

My advice:

Talk to the school counselor and admin. Ask for your child to be transferred out of that class. My son had a problem once with one of his teachers so I’ve been through this. It was very upsetting, but it’s just best for everyone if the teacher who doesn’t click with your child – doesn’t teach them. They may be good with other kids, just not with yours. It happens. In our case, the teacher admitted, she was not a good fit for my son – and supported my request. I didn’t make her into a bad guy – because she wasn’t. It was just an acknowledgement that for her and my son – a change was needed.

The person in question – responded:

That’s about where I’m at. But if my son has to suffer the consequences of her targeting and change his entire schedule to have to avoid being in her classroom, I’d like to know she is being held accountable for her improper behavior as well.

Still – concerned parent

My advice part 2:

Let the school deal with the teacher. If there is a problem – they already know about it.

Talk to the school counselor and school psychologist and ask them for help and guidance. When it happened to my son – I was very emotional. They were very supportive. The teacher in question – retired that year and helped me understand that the problem wasn’t me or my son.

I would also emphasize – your child is NOT the only one being impacted. If the teacher is targeting your kid, they are probably doing this to other children as well. You just might be the only one who is aware of it as many kids – don’t tell their parents what is going on. Or … it could just be – that they don’t click with your child. My point is: don’t make assumptions about why it is happening or what the ideal response should be. Allow the staff – who do know – to do their job. The best way to get them to help your child is to let them know – this isn’t personal – even if it feels really personal. Let them know you are concerned – not just for your child, but for the other children still in the class. This will help you get the help you need and get your child moved and give the support staff the information they need to maybe investigate that teacher and classroom a little bit more.

Your main concern – should be to get your child moved. My son was very upset when his schedule was moved around, but it ended up being really good for him. Much better than being subjected to a teacher that – just didn’t get him or like him.

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