Are you looking for tips on confronting your child's teacher? While issues arise that call for your quick attention and the need to address the teacher, parents don’t always know how to handle these situations in the best manner. Luckily, I have put together a list of 7 tips for confronting your child’s teacher.
1. Listen to Your Child
The first step in confronting your child’s teacher is to listen to your child. Maybe the teacher has sent a note home addressing her concern or maybe your child has come home with his own complaint about his teacher. Whatever the case is, sit your child down and hear what he has to say. Listen with open ears and without judgement. Ask several questions and tell the child what you understand for clarification. Try to get as many details as possible before moving forward.
2. Don’t Assume the Teacher is Wrong
The worse thing you can do is to go in with a negative attitude towards your child’s teacher ready to rip him a new one. Check your emotions at the door. Approach the situation as an investigator. Your natural instinct is to defend your child, but remember there are always two sides to every story and you’ve only heard half of it so far. Be ready to listen to what he has to say with open ears and without judgement, just as you did your child.
3. Write a Note
Some issues don’t need a face to face meeting to be revolved. You can handle many issues through email or a written letter. Check your situation and see if it can’t be handled in this manner. Its often times, easier to express yourself through writing anyway. Then you can go back and read what you've written and make sure you haven’t left anything important out. Make sure to include a phone number or that you would be willing to have a conference if needed.
4. Attack the Problem
Often times we want to attack the person and not the problem. Don’t do that here. If the problem is that your child is failing a certain class, for example, address that issue. Don’t assume it is the teacher’s inability to teach. Try to work with the teacher and your child to find a solution. You will get more done if you work together instead of against each other.
5. Know when to Seek Help
Sometimes an issue comes up that is so big you need to go above your child’s teacher. As a parent you need to know when it is appropriate and necessary to get a school counselor or the principal involved. The obvious issues would be inappropriate touching, physical harm, mental abuse, and bullying. If you think something is wrong, don’t hesitate to take action.
6. Be a Part of the Solution
Your child’s teacher may have as many as 30 students in the classroom. That is 30 sets of parents and guardians to contend with. He may not have all the answers or even the best solution to a problem. Do your best to present a solution for the problem to your child’s teacher that doesn’t necessarily create more work for him. If your daughter is making a poor grade because she doesn’t turn her homework in because she forgets to bring it to school, maybe you need to create a routine so she gets that homework back into her backpack as soon as she has completed her assignment.
7. Open to New Ideas
You have probably noticed that things are a lot different from your day in school. New teaching techniques have been introduced, new concepts, and new technology. It can be an adjustment. Maybe all this newness has thrown you off because it’s different from what you experienced. Change isn’t bad, it’s just different. Be open to the new ideas your child’s teacher and the school have and give them a chance before you declare it a disaster.
Have you ever had to confront your son or daughter’s teacher? How did you handle the situation? Is there anything you wish you had done differently?