Archive for Monday, November 24, 2008


‘Mom … I hate my teacher’: Counselors offer tips for classroom conflict

November 24, 2008


It’s a familiar tale. A child goes to school, comes home and reveals that he or she hates — hates! — the teacher.

So what is a parent to do?

Julia Shaftel, director of the Center for Psychoeducational Services at Kansas University, says there’s no one way to pinpoint the root of the problem.

“That involves a whole lot of possibilities between the teacher and the student,” she says. “Most kids are eager to go to school because it is an exciting social situation, and they like their teachers and they want to please their teachers. But sometimes it doesn’t pan out that way.”

Before jumping to any conclusions, parents need to consider both sides of the story, says Keri Prichard, school psychologist at Schwegler School and Southwest Junior High School.

“I think it’s really important to consider both sides of the situation,” she says. “Sometimes students have a really good perspective at picking up on those kinds of things.”

Shaftel says sometimes students might not be giving the whole story.

“I think parents have to be careful to understand and trust and believe their child,” she says. “But at the same time, recognize they’re only getting one point of view.”

Once parents hear from their children, they can discuss the problem with the teacher, Shaftel says.

“The first thing to do is for the parents and teacher to talk, because parents need to know the teacher has a perspective,” Shaftel says.

If the teacher and parents can’t resolve the situation, parents can contact guidance counselors or principals for additional support.

But Tina Mitchell, a counselor at West Junior HIgh School, says classroom conflicts often work themselves out.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s just a misunderstanding, and it resolves itself,” she says.

And the silver lining?

“School is preparing us for the future,” Mitchell says. “We’re educating kids to be constructive, productive citizens. There might be times when you don’t like your boss. You have to deal with it.”


Robert Rauktis 9 years, 6 months ago

"Center for Psychoeducational Services"You'd listen to a person from somewhere with this title?These people generally have a degree to go with their neurosis.

Tony Kisner 9 years, 6 months ago

Recalling my kid's experience. She did not like her 6th grade teacher all that much. He later was arrested for embezzlement. She also didn't like a teacher in High School; he sends text messages to her roommate (freshman) at 3:00AM wanting to hook-up. I trust my kids feel for people as much as anything else.

Tony Kisner 9 years, 6 months ago

“School is preparing us for the future,” Mitchell says. “We’re educating kids to be constructive, productive citizens. There might be times when you don’t like your boss. You have to deal with it.”I like Mitchell's attitude. The schools is not a service provider but the "Boss". They make the rules, you pay the taxes. Don't like it, take your business else where, but you do need to leave the fees here.

Eric Neuteboom 9 years, 6 months ago

Perhaps, notnow, you should take as close a look at your child as you do their teacher. Speaking from experience, more often than not the problems that occur in school are born of the home. Overprotective parents, helicopter parents, parents who couldn't give a damn one way or the other. The attitude fostered at home carries itself to school. More often than not, the (wildly irrational, totally oblivious) parents are to blame.

jprich 9 years, 6 months ago

notnowdear: I may be wrong, but I think waka1's post was meant to be taken as sarcasm.

salad 9 years, 6 months ago

notnowdear:You are the nightmare parent that we all dread. I bet Jesus Christ himself wouldn't be able to measure up to what you'd expect a teacher to be, in fact, you SHOULD home school your kid and spare the system much wasted time with your whack child developement philosophy.

salad 9 years, 6 months ago

"Parents should take the role of child advocacy very seriously and should be the initial reaction to a situation at school. They should initially back their child up on anything until it is proven otherwise."This is TOTAL crap. It's sad that you have so little faith in your childs ability to differentiate between your support/love and knowing that if there's a call home from the teacher he/she's gonna get it. I never questioned my parents love for me, but I knew if I got in trouble at school that they were on the TEACHERS side, so I towed the line and didn't screw up.

Confrontation 9 years, 6 months ago

jprich: Waka1 is a homeless punk who hangs out at the library and uses computers that the rest of us bought. He's not being sarcastic. He really is that unintelligent.

jprich 9 years, 6 months ago

Yikes. Either way, it's scary that waka1 and notnowdear appear to be in agreement.

Bassetlover 9 years, 6 months ago

Notnowdear says:"I will side with my child first and foremost." This is the primary reason I left the teaching profession and never looked back. You are right, Salad....she is/was the nightmare parent that is causing so many great teachers in the school system to make a mass exodus.

salad 9 years, 6 months ago

Notnowdear says:“I will side with my child first and foremost.”Kid says:"Awesome....screw the rules, I'm bullet proof!"PS: Bassetlover.....dogs or furniture?

formerlawrenceres 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree with bassetlover and salad. I raised my child to have respect for his teachers regardless of if he agrees with them or not. It is important for children to learn how to handle conflict on their own, it is part of growing up. I am always there for my son whether he needs advice or my help in handling something. I would not hesitate to get involved if I felt it was appropriate to. I am pretty sure my son doesnt think any less of my love for him because I gasp actually let him learn what it means to be responsible for himself.

Horace 9 years, 6 months ago

When I was a child it would have never occurred to me to tell my parents I hated my teachers. Why would there care? Children don't go to school to be buddies with their teachers, even as a child I intuitively understood this.

Freestater456 9 years, 6 months ago

I have a teacher that i dislike and i told my mother. When she went to parent teacher conferences she completely agreed with me. Now should parents always take their kid's word to be true? Definately not some kids hate their teachers because they give homework of gave them a bad grade. Those are not legitimate reasons to dislike a teacher. But it is good for parents to know if their children dislike their teacher because (speaking from experience) I don't learn very well from teachers i don't like. And telling kids to deal with it thats just great. Hey if you are in a bad situation no one cares! Toughen up buttercup!

Bassetlover 9 years, 6 months ago

Salad ---- The canine variety! And I also like them ON the furniture! :)

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