Tutor Doctor | Jan 7, 2015

How to Deal with Conflict in the Classroom

Categories: Elementary School, High School, Middle School, K-12, K12

Every child has one; those teachers they just can’t get along with. Being a student is no cake walk, parenting is difficult and teaching isn’t the easiest job in the world, but with a little empathy and understanding, we really can all learn to get along.

Be fair

It’s easy for students to blame teachers rather than taking responsibility for their behavior and academic performance. This means that when they get bad grades, their first go-to is to blame the teacher. Students can be harsh critics so try to get a better idea of what is really going on in the classroom before you confront the teacher.

Ask your students for examples of how the teacher didn’t help or when they were inattentive or unfair. If you decide to talk to the teacher, its best to keep an open mind and allow them to share their views on bad grades or personality conflicts rather than being confrontational.

Get involved

Being involved in your child’s education is the best way to form a positive relationship with teachers. Volunteer to help in class a couple of hours a week, help out on a field trip and always attend teacher/parent conferences. Get involved in after-school activities and special events so that you can see what’s really going on. This will give you better insight and will help you to more effectively deal with the situation.

Be a good example

No matter how frustrated you feel, always be polite with your teachers and try to resolve situations rather than making them worse. Remember that if you are confrontational, your child may suffer the consequences.

We are all confronted with people we struggle to get along with. Perhaps it’s a neighbor, a manager or a work colleague that you don’t like. Teaching your child how to navigate these relationships and resolve conflict is a wonderful life skill to have. This means you have to be a good example so try to resolve the situation without losing your cool.

Step back

Listen carefully to your child’s complaints and express your solidarity. Try to get a very good idea of what the problem is. If your child says: “She hates me,” ask for more specific details. Once you have established what the problem is, discuss possible solutions with your child and role play scenarios. For example, if you realize that the teacher is getting frustrated because your child is disruptive, or they aren’t focusing, ask your child to concentrate more in class. Ask the teacher to move them to the front of the class or away from the window so that they have less distractions.

Try to let your child solve the problem for themselves. Learning to deal with difficult situations is an important life lesson. Try to avoid being confrontational with teachers; instead work together to resolve the situation. If you see any attempt at resolution from the teacher or student, offer appreciation and encouragement.

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