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How To Positively Influence Your Child's Negative Teacher

Oct 11, 2007
Above all, do not send a note. I repeat, I've been teaching for nineteen years, do not send a note. When a teacher gets a note it can give them a feeling of failure. Especially if it is a long one with your signature. Think about this: "What if every day that you came into work, you received a detailed note from your customers about all the bad things you are doing on the job?"

That said, if you want to get through to your child's negative teacher, you are going to have to "Do unto them as you would have them do unto you." You are going to have to make tiny efforts to get to know them, like making comments after school like: "How was your weekend, how are you doing?" Simple communication builders can go a long long way.

Also, use the parent conference as your time to voice your concerns. But do it politely, wait until the end of the conference, and you have listened to the teachers' reports, then voice your concerns like you would to a police officer who just stopped you on the road-with respect, courtesy, and with the ultimate outcome of improved teaching and better treatment overall to your child.

Some other do nots! Do not attempt to stop a teacher after school and discuss serious issues. Do not stay after the bell rings and meet him/her in front of the class without permission. You'd be surprised how many parents do this one. You are sending the message that protocall is not important to you.

Do not call during the school day to set up a parent conference. Again, you'd be surprised how many parents do this one as well. Teachers have contract hours that must be spent instructing your children, and phone calls during school hours may interrupt teaching.

Also, it is my opinion, that every teacher can teach, I'm not saying every teacher is not negative, or burnt out, or just lousy in general. What I am saying is that 99% of the teachers I've met in my career genuinely love what they do, let's face it the pays not that great, and they love children and love creating life long learners.

That said, it would behoove you to take that viewpoint as well. Also, do not blame your child's teacher for their behavior problems. This is probably a number one among some parents. They wish to place blame on someone so of course they target the child's teacher. Again, I've been teaching for nineteen years, and I've never seen a child whom I can honestly say it was "my fault" they act out, misbehave, and break the rules.

That's not bragadocious, that's just a fact. Most children who act out and misbehave come from a home that lacks discipline, love, or a mixture of both.

If you want to influence your child's teacher, you must make the effort to be professional, courteous, and you can also ask the teacher if they have a certain day they like to do parent conferences on, and meet them on that day. I've always liked meeting on Thursdays, because it's almost the end of the work week. Imagine a teacher who needs improvement that has parent conferences scheduled after school every day of the week! Not encouraging!

Also, find out what your child "likes" about their new teacher and praise the teacher for these strengths. Nobody is perfect. So don't expect your child's teacher to be perfect either. But do expect the best, and do the little things like give the teacher a gift at the holidays, and don't set a limit on that gift either, I once had a teacher give me $500 in a Christmas Card, writing that they just appreciated all I had done for their son. Don't limit gifts to your child's teacher, this is one of the most important persons in their little lives.

Also, get the opinions of other parents. Find out how their children are doing. If you interview some other parents and find out 90% of them are giving their stamp of approval on this teacher, you can probably be sure that you have made a false judgement on this teacher, and that you need to focus on the few issues you have with the teacher, and not the overall program or focus.

Above all, as the Bible states, "Speak the Truth in Love" to a teacher you have concerns with, and make sure you address concerns in the proper forum, such as a parent conference, at the end. Do not barge into the classroom like you own it, and do not interrupt instruction to get your questions answered, you are only giving yourself a negative reputation with the teacher, students, and staff members.

Lastly, let's talk about the 1%. If you do have a teacher that you feel is constantly crossing the line in terms of their behavior, go through the due process at your particular school. Go straight to the district office and file a complaint, stating that you wish to have this placed in the employees file. Make an appointment with the superintendent, and lastly, hire an attorney to have your child removed from the classroom. But don't go out there and sue the school district for $10,000,000 dollars like some parents due because of supposed "verbal abuse" on their child. Just like we teachers have to let the consequences fit the crime, keep that in mind when facing a truly horrible teacher as well. If that teacher gets fired they will probably get the message. If they also get sued for millions, they have just learned that all people are greedy, and especially you.

Above all, remember the words of Christ, "Do unto others as you would have them do to you" and you'll find favor with your child's teacher. Unbelievable favor that will improve your veteran teachers and favor to have those removed who are incompetent as well.
About the Author
"Helping ALL to Succeed"
Don Alexander, Noted Author & Online Business Mentor
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