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What to Do When You Don't Like Your Kid's Teacher

School is back in session! As we settle into to cooler weather and homework routines, we turn our collective attention toward our child’s teacher.

Is she good? Is she nice? Do we like her? Do we not? God forbid we feel our kid has been assigned to a bad teacher.

Listen, I’ve written about not liking my kid’s teacher, only to swallow my pride with a follow-up post as to why that very teacher was the best one for our family.

While not every “bad teacher” story can have a happy ending, it’s an educational inevitability that sooner or later your child will be assigned to a teacher with whom there’s no love connection.

So what’s a parent to do? Storm into the principal’s office? Demand a classroom change? Hold up!

I consulted teachers and school administrators on the best ways to handle parent-teacher conflict, check out our handy dandy guide on what to do and when – after the jump!


  • Establish communication 1 of 7
    Establish communication
    Introduce yourself early and initiate open lines of communication with your child's teacher. Providing your contact information and inquiring about preferred methods of communication makes your child's teacher aware of your personal commitment to the parent-teacher partnership.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Be patient 2 of 7
    Be patient
    Back-to-school is a transitional time for parents, students, and teachers alike. TLC reminds us that negative first impressions shouldn't instigate an immediate call to action. Allow your child and his teacher adequate time to settle into a new routine. Minor situations often resolve themselves.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Ask yourself the tough questions 3 of 7
    Ask yourself the tough questions

    What's really bothering you?

    Is it that your child didn't get the teacher you were hoping for?

    Is your child being treated unfairly?

    Do you have reason to believe your child's education will be negatively affected by his teacher?

    Are you looking at the situation objectively?

    What could the teacher have done differently?

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Schedule an appointment 4 of 7
    Schedule an appointment
    You've waited a few weeks and the situation hasn't resolved itself. Now it's time to take action. Contact your child's teacher to make a face-to-face appointment. Don't attempt to resolve large issues via notes, phone calls, emails, or without an appointment.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • The do’s and don’ts of parent-teacher conferences: 5 of 7
    The do's and don'ts of parent-teacher conferences:

    Do: Pat yourself on the back for attempting to resolve the issue with your child's teacher first.

    Don't: Put your child's teacher in a defensive position.

    Do: Ask objective questions and address your concerns.

    Don't: Feel the need to defend your child. Remember, you and your child's teacher have a common educational goal in mind for your child.

    Do: Inform the teacher of any issues at home that may impact behavior and learning.

    Don't: Tell the teacher how to do her job.

    Do: Understand there are two sides to every story.

    Don't: Threaten your child's teacher (sorry, it needed to be said).

    Do: Treat your child's teacher like the professional she is. Rely on her expertise to help resolve the issue and develop an action plan that benefits your child.

    Don't: Think for a moment that you have to love your child's teacher for him to get a great education.

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Keep your opinions to yourself 6 of 7
    Keep your opinions to yourself
    Even if you can't stand your child's teacher with a capital CAN'T STAND, keep your opinions to yourself. You may not respect her, but your child absolutely must.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • If all else fails, contact the principal 7 of 7
    If all else fails, contact the principal
    If you've attempted to resolve parent-teacher challenges without success and your child's education continues to suffer, seek the counsel of your school's principal.
    Image credit: Shutterstock

Have any additional tips or personal stories to share about not liking your kid’s teacher?

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