publication date: Feb 12, 2008
author/source: Anne Coates
While many kids may use the excuse that a teacher doesn’t like them if challenged about poor progress, the majority of teachers would be horrified if they thought they had allowed their personal feelings to show in the classroom.
However it does happen. So what do you do if you think your child is being picked on by a teacher?
Firstly listen closely to what your child is complaining about. It may be that the teacher is objecting about bad behaviour or homework not being handed in. This may be justified and is nothing to do with being liked or not. Children often have a very distorted view of who likes them or not and most teachers would be appalled that tehy were thought of as bullies!
However if it seems that your child is being victimised you should act.
- Don’t openly criticise the teacher in front of your child but reassure him that you are taking the matter seriously.
- Try to find out how the teacher relates to other children in the class. Sometimes just by listening to children talking (without appearing to) you can find out a lot of what is going on in the classroom. Don't question other children but do chat to parents.
- Make an appointment to see the teacher. Do not be confrontational but say you are worried and listen to her comments. If you feel uncertain in this situation take a friend with you. Make notes during the meeting.
- If you are unhappy with the interview, and feel your child is being victimised, make an appointment with the head teacher. Explain your concerns and ask the head to come up with a strategy to resolve the situation.
- The head has a duty to investigate complaints. She may seem to be backing up her staff but remember she may have had complaints about this teacher in the past and so will act accordingly.
- If you are unhappy with the outcome, write to the chair of governors and/or the education director of your LEA.
- Most importantly make sure your child knows that it is not his fault and you are there to act as his advocate.