Dealing with Difficult Teachers

Teachers are the backbone of our education system and most of them are patient, professional and experienced. The teaching profession is one that is lucky enough to contain some of the most dedicated people who take their jobs seriously. It’s the rare occasion that parents have to deal with a teacher with whom they do not get along. It may be a philosophical difference, a discipline issue or a clash of personality, but its best to deal with disputes professionally and responsibly to ensure that your student doesn’t suffer.

Keep it positive

Don’t make negative comments about teachers in front of your students. This may cause them to lose respect for their teacher and can affect the teacher/student relationship. Remember that your students have to see these teachers on a daily basis, so it’s in everybody’s best interest to work differences out amicably.

Keep it professional

If you feel emotional or angry about something a teacher has said or done, wait until you have calmed down before you address the issue; it’s best to keep interactions professional. It’s important to address any differences as they arise. Leaving small issues to snowball into big issues is not a great way of dealing with disputes. Instead, make time to speak personally with your teacher about any minor issues and keep the channels of communication open throughout the school term.


Teachers often have more experience with dealing with behavioral and academic issues and they have some valuable insights into your student’s behavior. They have a different perspective as they see the way your student behaves in class and interacts with his or her peers. Often, parents have skewed perspectives on what is happening in the classroom as they have only had their student’s version of events.

When you have a problem with a teacher, it’s imperative that you listen to what they have to say. Ensure that you understand both sides of the story and that you give the teacher the trust and respect they deserve.

Coping with adversity

If your student is the one that doesn’t get along with his or her teacher, then this is a great time to teach social coping techniques. We meet people with whom we don’t get along in every social situation. We’ve all had a boss, a co-worker or a neighbor we have not gotten along with. Help your student to cope by teaching them how to deal with situations that may arise. Discuss appropriate responses and role play situations that could arise so that they are confident and prepared to deal with situations responsibly and maturely.

While every endeavor must be made to create positive teacher-parent-student relationships, when adverse situations occur, it’s a great opportunity for parents to teach life skills. Work to create a positive atmosphere for your students so that they can get the very best education. Remember that the best way to teach life skills is to be a good example as your students look to you for guidance on how to deal with difficult situations.