R really dislikes his new teacher. After the amazing Mrs L last year (young, fun, passionate, active) I had a feeling that whoever he got this year wouldn’t measure up, but this morning in the car he looked really down and when I asked him what was up it all came out.
She doesn’t shout, she isn’t a dragon, but according to him she ‘just shouldn’t be a teacher.’ He faults include not listening, accusing him of hairsplitting and being, basically, boring.
I know my boy loves to prove a point, and last year Mrs L was happy to debate and argue in a fun and respectful way. This teacher, it seems, doesn’t like to be told when she’s wrong, especially if it’s backed up with hard evidence.
Seeing him slumped and wishing he didn’t have to go to school (as compared to last year when he couldn’t wait to get inside) I wanted to change the world for him, go in and demand that they get last years’ teacher back, move him to another school… but that’s not how life works, and I know that wouldn’t help him.
So this was the advice I gave the boy (not sure how much went in to be honest, but anyway)
I first listened to him and didn’t try stand up for her – let him have his moan (we all need a good whinge sometimes right?).
Then I told him that he’s going to have some good, some great, some average and some dreadful teachers and that the same will happen one day in the work place. That this is training for life and that if he learns how to deal with this person now it will help him in the future.
That he needs to choose his battles so that she won’t see him as an argumentative pain in the butt and ignore him when he has something serious to sort out with her.
That he can’t change her, he can only choose how he is going to let her affect his school year – he can let her make it miserable or try find some positive things about her, try be respectful and (genuinely) helpful and friendly towards her and try to stay interested in the work itself (he loves history, geography and English).
I hope he will be able to get his head around this. It’s not easy but I would hate for him to spend the year miserable. I hope that he settles in and finds a way to not hate her and that this year doesn’t mark the start of his developing a negative attitude towards school.
But I have to agree with him. Some people shouldn’t be teachers. If you don’t like children, if you’re not passionate about what you’re teaching, then maybe it’s time to change careers.
Any advice from other parents out there?