Some teachers make such an impact on their students that they never forget them. They may even inspire some to pursue a career in teaching.
But there are also instances when students and teachers have personality clashes, or students may complain that a teacher is mean or too tough.
Learning how to get along with the teacher is an important lesson for kids that can teach them how to relate to different types of people they’ll encounter throughout their lives. It will also help make the time they spend in the classroom more pleasant.
However, the most important reason to make sure your child and her teacher get along is to ensure she learns the material and feels comfortable asking questions or for extra help when she needs it.
“In early elementary school, your child may have had a favorite teacher who was bubbly and sweet, but as he gets older, he may find some of his teachers to be more stern and focused on teaching the material,” said Geoffrey Putt, PsyD, a pediatric psychologist and director of outpatient therapy services at Akron Children’s Hospital.
But a teacher who is considered tough may be someone who feels strongly about doing a good job and making sure students learn the subject matter.
“If your child is struggling in a particular class or embarrassed when she makes a mistake, she may blame the teacher or complain he is mean or doesn’t like her,” said Dr. Putt. “She may not notice that other kids have some of the same struggles and she’s really not being singled out.”
It’s also important to remind your child that making mistakes is part of learning. By pointing out errors and helping your child correct them, the teacher is trying to teach your child, not pick on him.
If your child is getting in trouble frequently for talking in class or other disruptions, help her see things from the teacher’s perspective. If necessary, meet with the teacher to discuss what’s going on and some strategies that might help.
While your child doesn’t have to like his teacher, he does need to be respectful, polite, pay attention in class, follow classroom rules and complete assignments.
“As harsh as it might sound, sometimes life isn’t fair and teachers have favorites,” said Dr. Putt. “By helping your child recognize the teacher’s job is to teach and her job is to learn, you can help her succeed in the classroom, while getting an important lesson in how to get along with others.”