Not everyone is perfect, and this includes teachers. Sometimes, as parents we can find ourselves in the surprising situation of butting heads with a child’s teacher. Though this may be unexpected — you have every right to this kind of reaction — it’s not completely unheard of, and a few interpersonal communication tips can really help you put a bridge over troubled water when you need to. An educational confrontation can be a tough thing to navigate, because you want to always be operating from the standpoint that both you and your children’s supervisors want what’s best for everyone. There can be times, however, when this just doesn’t seem like it’s really the case. We’ll talk about what to do when this happens, so you can avoid a messy situation in the classroom.
To begin with, appealing to reason, and doing so calmly and politely are the keys to any disagreement. Confrontation takes two, and if there’s a genuine disagreement that’s brewed between you and your child’s teacher, then make sure you take a moment to sit and very thoroughly reflect on a situation from every possible angle. A little bit of perspective can solve a lot of problems before they might even begin. Try to think about where the teacher might be coming from, and consider if or how the difference of opinion might make sense from this standpoint.
If you’ve done this and there’s still a genuine feeling that the situation is not being handled or approached properly, then you must make every attempt at explaining yourself politely and respectfully. Appeal to the instructor’s logic and reasonability — explain yourself in polite and relatable terms, and make sure you establish a very important precedent: that you are both on the same side.
Make sure this is clear, very early on. If you enter the situation with the attitude that you don’t need to “win,” and that there is a resolution that makes everyone happy, you’re all the more likely to find this attitude shared. When these attitudes prevail, talking things out is an easily-achieved solution. Simply make it clear that you care what the teacher has to say, and you’re concerned with meeting everyone’s needs. This kind of altruistic countenance makes any confrontation easier on both parties.
If all else fails, you might want to speak with another school administrator. Whatever the case, always maintain a respectful and polite demeanor, and always plead your case in reasonable, logical terms. It may seem odd to go over a teacher’s head, but if their behavior is illogical and unreasonable, then you might not find yourself left with very many other options.
Dealing with problematic teachers can be tough, whether you’re working with an accredited online MBA programs or a child’s preschool. Feeling like you’re contradicting someone who is supposed to be your child’s authority figure is almost never comfortable, but sometimes it’s a situation you simply can’t avoid. Whatever the case, using these few simple tips can help you communicate more effectively and make sure everyone gets what they want.