How to Help a Student Who Hates the Teacher

Are you teaching or dealing with a student who hates the teacher? Here are some ways to help them move beyond this.


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    Talk to the student about why they feel angry or annoyed with the teacher. Use active listening technique and do not belittle the student's concerns. Do they feel like the teacher sneers at them? Do they have a clash of views or personalities? Does the student think the teacher is poor at their job?
    • Draw on particular instances or incidents that might have happened and work through them to lessen any negativity.
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    Ask the student for ideas about how he or she could overcome some of these feelings. Add some of your own suggestions to help build on the solutions.
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    Act if there are real reasons of concern. If you feel that the student will continue clashing with the teacher and their studies will suffer as a result, speak to the principal or dean about making changes.
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    Talk to the teacher about the student. Don't be aggressive or accuse the teacher as this will harden any resentment and make life harder for the student. Instead, ask for a meeting after school and explain that you are aware there are issues and you would appreciate the teacher's perspective and advice. Let them know that you are their friend as this will make them feel there must be good in the child and they will come to you with problems or queries, instead of taking it out on the child. See Build and Effective Relationship With a Child's Teacher for more advice.
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    Work at the subject at home or in resource or after-school classes. Many students and teachers clash because the student doesn't feel challenged or is overwhelmed. Give the child some revision notes and a textbook - try not to use what they use in class, as this will cause negative associations. Challenge the student and allow them to achieve goals. If the student is more enthused about the subject, feels confident in preparing for their examinations, realise the structure of the subject in preparation for exams and is being challenged by someone they like and respect, they are more likely to be tolerant in class. The level at which you will have to intervene will vary according to the severity of the situation in class.
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    It is important not to feed the student's resentment of the teacher. Do not tell the child that they are wrong for not liking the teacher or belittle what may be very real concerns and acknowledge problems but a constant stream of jokes and insults will only harden the student's attitude. Affirm that the teacher is trying their best, has made an improvement, is entitled to their own opinion etc.
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    Especially leading up to important examinations,remind the student of what you expect. Be realistic. Troubleshoot the main things that provoke this particular teacher, such as being corrected. Ask the student to attend the class and to remain for the duration, to avoid giving cheek or correcting the teacher, to have homework completed, to be polite etc. If you are aware that they may be asked to leave the class or are likely to walk out, remind them of arrangement you have already made with the principal or other teachers, such as If you leave the class, I want you to wait outside the office until the principal can talk to you or When you're mad, you are to go down to Mrs. Reynolds room and she will let you have some quiet time until you feel better. In addition to behavioural issues, remind them of their academic goals, being realistic about what can be achieved. Set short, medium and long term goals, such as I will do my homework this week, I will achieve a C in the next test and I will work hard so I can go to college and become a nurse. Support them by doing work with them to bring them up to the required standard. Remind them that you expect a certain, achievable attempt, despite the difficulties they face.
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    Discuss the matter with the principal if things have become very poor. Inform him/her of what you are doing to improve the situation and arrange support which may vary depending on how serious things have become.
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    See if your child can change classes. If they have the option of studying in the back of another class it may be a good choice for all concerned. They may also have the chance to transfer to another grouping. Discuss your choices with the principal.

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Categories: Learning Techniques and Student Skills