Many children take a couple of weeks to adjust to a new routine or classroom after even a short break away from school.
There are so many things to feel concerned and worried about when your child is attending school. Many of us worry about the social aspects of it and we want our children to have lots of friends and to feel confident in themselves.
We also want to ensure that they are getting a really good education and learning and developing as they should be. For many children, it can be a case of swings and roundabouts. One element of school could be going really well while another is struggling.
Many children take a couple of weeks to adjust to a new routine or classroom after even a short break away from school, for example. As a parent, one of the last things you might be worrying about is the way your child feels about their teacher. Unfortunately, this is a daily stress for a lot of parents.
We all had teachers we preferred at school. I personally had my two or three favourites but I was always respectful to the others of course. In primary school though, it’s usually the one teacher for the entire year (and possibly beyond). Having a difficult relationship with that teacher could prove to be very traumatic for the whole family.
In the movies, teachers tend to fit a particular profile. With names including the words “honey” and “apple” the picture-perfect image of a teacher might just be Disney’s fault. Teachers are a lot more normal in reality. Of course, many of us will agree that teaching is a vocation and that our child’s teacher should certainly, at the very least, enjoy being in this position and enjoy being around children as they learn and grow.
It is very unlikely that your child does not like their teacher because they are an awful person and that is what makes things so complex. Sometimes children just approach certain personalities and attitudes differently and for whatever reason, their teacher is not their favourite person.
As a parent, this can add huge stress to everyday family life. Your child may resist going to school every morning making it a daily battle and struggle to simply get them in the gates. This can lead to all kinds of problems such as you being late for work and other members of the family feeling upset by the constant source of conflict.
There are some things you can do which might help your child improve the way they approach their relationship with their teacher.
1. Speak openly to your child about WHY they do not like their teacher. “Just because” ain’t going to cut it here. Try to get to the root of the issue. It could be something as simple as the fact that they do not like being told what to do and the issue is simply a case of adjustment. Or perhaps it all relates to one particular incident which you can help your child understand better if you know how they feel about it.
2. Contact the school’s principal. They may already be aware of the issue or at the very least they will have met it before with other past pupils. They will support you in taking steps to improve the situation and will be a liaison between yourself, the child and the teacher.
3. Remind your child about the importance of respect. How many times have our children told us that they do not like us when we’ve given them an unsatisfactory answer or highlighted poor behaviour? It is important that children know that their teacher is someone who should be respected as well as showing respect to their pupils.
4. Is the teacher really the issue? Open up the conversation to explore the possibility that it might be another problem entirely. For example, they could be struggling with the course-work or having a problem with a friend of theirs. The frustration and anger may be completely misdirected.
5. Talk to the teacher and ask how your child is getting on. They might surprise you and say that things are going really well or they may bring up the issue themselves. Having an open respectful conversation about it is a really positive way to move forward with this as otherwise, it will be a very long year.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.