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Use what you have learned so far to decide what you will do. Remember that you may learn more about the situation as you try to solve it. If your child has a truly bad teacher, you will likely need to use more than one of the following strategies. Teachers continue to learn and change over the course of their careers. Teachers in their first three years are still settling into the profession. Veteran teachers who have already been teaching for years are more likely to be set in their ways and refuse to change. However, schools across the nation have been changing their annual evaluation process to help veteran teachers notice their weaknesses and make improvements.
Suggest ways to your child that they can improve the situation. If the teacher doesn't answer questions, can your child find the answer in a book, from their classmates, a website or their notes? If the classroom is chaotic, can your child move to a quiet spot in the room or the hallway to do their work?
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If the school work is boring, can your child nicely suggest to the teacher to assign projects? Can your child create a reward system for themselves to encourage them to do unexciting school work? Your child may learn self-regulation skills in order to do well in this classroom. Schedule a time to talk with the teacher. It is best to do this in person if possible. Let the teacher calmly know what your child has told you, and give the teacher a chance to respond.
Be careful to present what your child has said without being accusatory.
For example, you could say "My son seems to think you don't like him, he says that when he asks for help with his math you roll your eyes and just tell him to try. He feels lost in math. What do you see in your classroom? The teacher may have a different explanation of the events. The teacher may have been unaware of their body language and may change after hearing about how the student felt. The effective teacher will either be able to explain what has happened, or will use the feedback to make positive changes.
If nothing else, this will make the teacher aware that your child talks to you about what is happening at school.
If they are a truly bad teacher, they might watch their step a little more around a child if the teacher knows that parent may complain. Each school has different rules about parent visitors, so check with the office and the teacher before you come in to observe.
You may have to go and observe a few times to see if there is an overall pattern. Don't worry that the teacher will be able to cover up if they have a serious problem. The truly bad teacher won't teach any better just because you came to visit that day. You may find that your child is the one who is actually causing the problem. A teacher may be refusing to provide help or assistance because your child refuses to follow the directions or take notes in class. Use what you see during your time observing to either talk with your child or the teacher.
Administrators are extremely busy and will try to respect their staff members as professionals. If the principal believes that it is a problem between a teacher and child or a parent and a teacher only, the principal will try to solve it at that level. Involving the principal is complaining to the teacher's supervisor. The teacher may resent you "tattling" on them. A professional teacher is unlikely to hold resentment over a parent complaint against a child. More likely a teacher may feel more cautious around you. This step is unlikely to lead to a relaxed relationship between you and the teacher.
However, if a teacher really is a bad teacher, this is an important step to take. Be prepared to stay calm and stick with objective facts as you know them. Begin by stating in one or two sentences what you see as being the problem. Be prepared to explain how you know what you know. Include what happened, and the effects of the events. For example "Mr. Smith's classroom is unruly and my child cannot learn. My child has told me several times she feels stressed out by the noise and cannot complete any school work. I came and observed twice for 20 minutes during the reading lesson in Mr.
Smith's room. Several students talked loudly while Mr. Smith tried to teach, and a few students were throwing paper wads covered in spit across the classroom. Smith clearly saw what the students were doing and did nothing about it. Don't expect the principal to go into specific details about how they plan to handle any issues with the teacher. Any disciplinary action is a personnel matter and often legally needs to be handled with discretion.
What you are interested in is whether or not the situation improves for your child. This should absolutely be a last resort option.
Changing classrooms means adjusting to new peers, a new teacher and classroom rules. Some schools may not be able to provide a different teacher due to staffing limits or district policies. This will leave the only option to change schools, which requires even more change and transition, possibly even transportation problems.
If you can't change teachers or schools, do your best to try to fill in any learning gaps as quickly as possible. Look into tutoring or ways your child can learn outside of school. This will help them to be prepared for the following year, with a different teacher. Getting your child to think about the material they should be studying in school can pique curiosity and become a learning practice. An ineffective teacher may be giving out assignments but really following up to check their understanding.
To enhance your child's learning, ask questions that will get your child to think at a deeper level about the material. Some example questions:. Not only will talking about the school work enhance learning, but it will also provide information about the teaching happening in the classroom.
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Keep in mind that while a full school year with an ineffective teacher is far from ideal, it is not the end of your child's education. Other school years will bring different teachers into your child's life. The important thing to do is view this as a lesson in how to handle difficult or less than ideal situations. Your child will learn early how to handle difficult people, a skill that can be very helpful throughout life. Get diet and wellness tips to help your kids stay healthy and happy. More in School. Get All of the Information. Tips to Gather Information Ask your child open-ended questions to gather key details.
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Examples might include: "What happened today at school? Watch What You Say. Failure to comply with the teacher's order to remain may be treated as a further disciplinary offence which may well be a fixed period exclusion imposed by the head teacher. Q A pupil is listening to a personal music player in class. The rules say they must not be brought into school. A The teacher has the legal right to confiscate the player but to be lawful it must be "proportionate, necessary in a democratic society and in pursuance of a legitimate aim".
Taking the device and returning it at the end of the day would be a proportionate response but destroying it would not. A Schools can ask pupils to turn out their pockets and search them without consent. Teachers are advised to have another member of staff present. Q A teacher has reason to believe that a pupil is carrying drugs or a stolen wallet. A Teachers can confiscate a mobile phone but should not search through text messages without permission.
Q A local shopkeeper says that two pupils from the school were abusive and swore at him. A When the pupils return to school they can be punished by withdrawal of privileges or detention for their behaviour when they were "ambassadors" for the school on their way home in uniform. Q A group of pupils were throwing bottles at passers-by in the town centre at the weekend. A The school has no legal right to discipline the pupils but may well decide to speak to them about the allegations. Terms and Conditions. Style Book.
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Related Articles. A Teacher might make the pupil stay behind at break time to finish it off. Q A pupil alleges that another one in his class is carrying a knife. A Schools are advised that the search should be done by the police. Q A pupil alleges that another has been bullying him by text messages.
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