CHILDREN are well known for coming home with the refrain, ‘my teacher hates me!’.
Real or imagined, these malfunctioning relationships with adults who spend more time with your child than you do can cause havoc, and damage the fabric of home/school life.
I have worked as a receptionist in a primary school for years and I can tell you there will be very few teachers who would admit they hate one of their students; hate, after all, is a very strong word.
However, there are definitely students who teachers will actively dislike!
Here are some of the tell-tale signals that show whether your child is one of the least popular in class.
They avoid speaking to you
You spend more time in the school reception than at work, waiting for meetings to discuss your child with more senior teaching staff – your child’s actual teacher will not want to speak to you.
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Your child’s teacher will be strangely inaccessible during parents evening.
If you feel short-changed by the amount of time the teacher spends talking to you, chances are your child is not their favourite.
You can’t get hold of them
Equally, your child’s teacher may also be difficult to get hold of over the telephone and may instead reply via email to try and dodge awkward conversations.
In these circumstances, if you feel as if you are being fobbed off, please do not blame the office staff, they ARE passing on your messages.
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Unfortunately, however good at their job they are, they cannot force teachers into making phone calls that they don’t want to make.
They give plenty of punishments
You may find that you receive more than your fair share of notes about your child: reminders about the expectations of behaviour in school; scribbles in their planner about uniform conformity; texts and letters about lateness or attendance.
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If your child is in Primary, you will probably see their teacher making a beeline towards you at pick- up time on a regular basis.
It may be a genuine reason to speak to you, but if they really dislike your child it may be about something seemingly trivial such as swinging on their chair, calling out excessively loudly, or not lining up properly.
This is just the teacher trying to vent some of their frustrations of the day.
Secondary age children will receive more than their fair share of detentions, more than likely stemming from behaviour or actions that other students will only receive a warning or lesser sanction for.
And there’ll be few rewards
Achievement points, stickers, and stamps will be noticeably absent from planners, which then has the knock-on effect of the child missing out on rewards granted to other children, compounding the negativity.
Some teachers may even go to the extreme lengths of trying to convince children that they don’t hate them, which normally backfires as the child is then more convinced than ever of the dislike.
There may be a misunderstanding
Having said all this, is it fair to take a child’s perception of a teacher hating them at face value?
Are the teachers, while trying to be as impartial, fair and authoritative as possible, at the same time as trying to meet all the targets and quotas set by the government, actually giving out the impression of disliking students?
Could it be the case that your child’s teacher just doesn’t understand the specific needs of your child?
This could be especially true if they have an undiagnosed educational need or requirement.
It is always worth speaking to your child’s school if you believe there is an issue between your child and their teacher.
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The sooner it can be addressed, the sooner it can be dealt with and resolved.
Chances are though, there is probably a valid reason why your child’s teacher dislikes them. Or perhaps it’s you they don’t like.
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