It’s been 10 years now that we’ve had a kid in school, 11 if you count preschool. In that time we’ve had teachers who were fun, and smart, and kind, and gentle, and rules-y, and stressed, and tired. We’ve always emphasized to the kids that they need to find a way to work with all personalities, and that being a teacher is a hard job so they deserve our respect even if we don’t quite mesh with them. Until now, that has worked – while our kids haven’t loved every teacher, they’ve gotten though alright.
This is the first year that we have a teacher-kid situation that is a genuine personality conflict. I do think this teacher means well, but this teacher has a bombastic, Big! Fun! style of teaching that involves a lot of teasing and lot of hijinks and a lot of rushing forward with big plans without filling in the details, and it does not work for one of my kids, the kid that has him. Luckily, the kid in question only has him for one class, three hours a week, but it has still resulted in many tears, coming home at the end of the day using words like “hate” and “horrible” and “terrible” to describe school and this teacher in particular.
If this were your kid, would you say something?
I’m torn. On one hand, I think it is quite likely that this teacher has no idea he is destroying my kid’s whole day. I’m sure he would be concerned to hear how much of an effect he is having on the kid’s feeling about school.
But on the other hand, I can see, I think, that it’s nothing personal, and that it’s just this teacher’s personality. Can I ask him to change his whole personality? Can I ask him to handle my kid with kid gloves (heh), to pussyfoot around while he is happily Going Big with the rest of the class?
And I’m worried that his style of teaching specifically VALUES independence and hardiness, and pointing out that my sensitive kid is sad will only highlight the fact that the kid is not doing well in that class, and does not have the skills valued to succeed in that class.
Hm. What do you think – continue to comfort my child and emphasize that we must work with all types, that it’s nothing personal…or ask the teacher to change and to make allowances?