Teachers losing their SHT Compilation (Teachers vs Students)
How to Deal with a Teacher Picking on You
Is there a teacher in your school that always seems to point out your mistakes, even when most of the time you do good work? You may just have a critical teacher, or you may be dealing with a bully. Whatever the situation is, you should make an effort to talk to your teacher. Develop strategies to survive in their class despite the unfair attention you might be receiving. If you think the teacher is abusing their power, you can also talk to the administration, although you should be careful when doing so.
Talking to Your Teacher
Set up a meeting with your teacher.After class, ask your teacher if you can meet with them after school. If they are unavailable that afternoon, plan to meet them at a time when you can both talk. Meeting them in their office before or after school is ideal.
- You can ask, "Is there a good time when we can meet to discuss my work in this class? I want to go over some comments that you have given me." Offer some times when you are available to meet. You do not have to discuss specifics with them yet.
- If you are nervous about approaching your teacher, try to take a deep breath before you go over. Remember that meeting with students is part of the teacher's job.
Explain your frustration without blaming the teacher.When you do meet, you should start off by saying exactly where you are struggling in their class. You may feel as though the teacher is unfairly picking on you for a particular essay, or you may think that they ask you too many questions in class. Regardless, try to avoid blaming them for the behavior. This may make them defensive.Instead, say you are frustrated with the class, and you feel as though you cannot meet their expectations.
- Use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. For example, say “I feel as though I can’t understand the questions you are asking me” instead of “You keep making me answer hard questions in class.”
- Sometimes teachers tease as a way of bonding with students, but don't realize that some students consider it embarrassing or even critical. Try saying, "I feel really embarrassed when you mention my work/writing in front of the class. I don't like all the attention on me."
- Try to be calm and rational. You can say, “I keep getting C’s on my papers, which is frustrating because I work very hard on them. I usually think I'm doing well, but then I always get points taken off.”
Ask exactly what you have done wrong.While you may not feel as though you have done anything wrong, there is a chance that you are missing a key piece of information or instructions in your coursework. Asking your teacher will show that you are willing to put in the effort to improve. You can ask:
- ”How can I better prepare for your class?”
- “How can I improve my essays?”
- “What am I missing when I turn in my assignments?”
Listen to what the teacher is saying.Most likely, your teacher has given you criticism that will help you improve. Carefully consider the type of comments you receive in your meeting. This can tell you if the teacher is giving you valid criticism or if they are bullying you.
- Is this criticism justified? Have you actually made the mistake that the teacher is coaching you about? If the answer is yes, then no matter how much you are annoyed by the teacher pointing out your mistakes, you should accept the criticism and fix these specific problem areas.
- Your teacher should never call you names or insult you. If your teacher is telling you that you are stupid, dumb, or annoying, you can complain to the administration.
Smile and nod.If you are irritated, this is probably the last thing that you feel like doing, but your teacher will not respond well to arguing, yelling, screaming, or insults. Just be polite, smile, and agree. This will get the teacher off of your back, and it will make life easier for you.
- Instead of arguing, ask what you can do to fix the problem. For example, if the teacher says you do not have enough sources on your bibliography, you may disagree. Instead of challenging them, say “I have ten sources. How many more do I need?”
- Avoid threatening your teacher. Even if you are not serious about the threat, schools will have to take it seriously, and you will be punished.Avoid phrases like "You'll regret this," or, "I'll show you."
Surviving a Difficult Class
Stay positive.Remember that one bad class will not ruin your career, your college prospects, or your life. You will not have to deal with this teacher forever, and sometimes these difficulties can help make you stronger. Focus on the positive aspects of your life. When you’re down about the class or the teacher’s remarks, think about your friends, favorite hobbies, and upcoming holidays.
- If you’re worried about this class affecting your college application, consider ways you can make up for the bad class. Take on extracurricular activities, volunteer, or work harder on other classes.
Remind yourself of your strengths.Criticism can drain you and lower your self-esteem. Remind yourself about what you are good at. Tell yourself that you still have value and that you are still smart. Focus on talents outside of school like sports or music. You can get through this.
- For example, just because you are not doing well in math class does not mean that you are stupid. In fact, you might be better with words and communication than numbers. That’s okay! People have different strengths.
- Criticism is not about making you feel bad or less than. It's a way to help you grow, learn, and improve. Your essays won't improve if you don't get feedback on where they need work. Try not to look at the criticism as an attack, but instead as another learning tool.
Study harder.Even if you don’t think that you need to do more work, stepping up your productivity may solve the issue. Study every night, even if you do not have homework or a test. Memorize facts on notecards. Quiz yourself everyday. If you start performing better on tests, your teacher may back off. You may also be able to improve your overall grade before the end of the semester.
- Consider spending extra time with the teacher if they are willing to tutor you. Though it may be hard to spend more time with this teacher when you feel picked on, this can help you in a few ways. You will become more familiar with this particular teacher's way of phrasing questions for tests and which types of questions will be asked. In addition, your teacher will see how dedicated you are and might offer ways to bring up a grade with extra credit.
Behave well in class.Do not give your teacher any opening to discipline you. If you are truly having issues with them, the best route may simply be to avoid their negative attention. What this means is that you have to be on your best behavior.
- Do not talk to friends during class. If you must, do so discreetly.
- Make sure your phone is turned off and put away. Otherwise, you risk getting unwanted attention in class when it rings!
- Pay attention to what the teacher is saying.
- Volunteer to answer questions.
- Take notes. Do not doodle or draw while your teacher is talking, except if it helps you understand the information more.
- Hand in your work on time.
Try not to take criticism personally.It is a teacher’s job to give you feedback and help you improve. While sometimes this can feel like a personal attack, you should learn how to cope with criticism. Teachers sometimes don't realize that they are being so hard on you or that you are so upset by it. It's just their way of teaching.
- Take a deep breath. Meditate for a few minutes until you feel your anger or frustration leaving you.
- Try to separate your self-worth from the grades you receive. What your teacher is commenting on is a specific task. They do not look down on you as a person.
- Instead of considering how you failed, focus on how you can improve next time.
Take care of your mental health.If your situation is causing you to feel hopeless, isolated, reckless, or suicidal, you may be developing depression. You should not be ashamed or afraid to tell someone. Talk to your parents, and consider counseling.
Differentiate between criticism and abuse.Criticism can sound mean, especially when you have poured your heart into an assignment or class. That said, the administration probably cannot help you if your teacher is merely being a harsh critic. You will have to prove that the teacher is specifically bullying you or that their remarks are abusive. Criticism offers you a way to improve where abuse means that the teacher has predetermined your grade without good reason.
- Criticism includes remarks like, “You need to proofread your paper,” or, “If you don’t show your work, you will not receive credit.” These may come off as harsh, but they are not abusive.
- Abusive comments include threats, insults, or personal attacks. These include comments like, “If you don’t shut up, I’m going to fail you,” or, “You’re so stupid. I can’t expect you to understand how to do this correctly.”
Gather evidence.Write down in a journal every time your teacher mocks, humiliates, or insults you. Make sure to note the date and the cause of this abuse. If you have any evidence of your teacher’s harassment, bring it with you. This includes emails in which they have insulted you, harsh assessments, or misgraded tests. The principal or administrator will review these and decide whether or not they were unfair.
Involve your parents.If you are frightened or upset when the teacher picks on you, tell your parents. They can tell you if they think the teacher is just doing their job correctly or if they should talk to the teacher about picking on you. Teachers and administration will probably respect your parents more, and they may be more likely to listen to them.
Set up a meeting with the principal or guidance counselor.If you are confident that your teacher is intentionally bullying you, you should go to the administration to make a complaint.Ask to make an appointment with the principal. You may be referred to a guidance counselor instead.
- This is a last resort. If you meet with the principal and they decide that the teacher was right, the teacher may have a grudge against you.
- You can also have your parents call and make the appointment. Administration may be more willing to listen to them. Ask one of your parents to come with you to the meeting if possible.
Discuss your options.Make it clear during your meeting that you would like to discuss options for fixing the problem. After presenting any evidence you have, ask the principal if you can switch classes, make the class up in summer school, or drop the class. Be aware that it is very unlikely that your teacher will be punished. Instead, the principal will probably either tell you to resolve your issues yourself or move you to a different class.
- You can try saying, “I do not think that I will be given a fair grade in this class because I am not given opportunities to improve. I want to know if it is possible for me to be moved to another teacher’s class. I’d even be willing to make it up over summer.”
- Instead of complaining that you received bad grades, point out specific instances when the teacher gave you an unfair mark and explain why you think it was undeserved.
- If your teacher is abusive, then a complaint can be made to the principal and possibly the school board. You will need thorough documentation of the abuse (a detailed, written record, or even a recording if possible) and you will need your parent's help. Don't try to do this alone.
QuestionWhat shall I say to the teacher if I don't know the answer?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt can be stressful to be called on when you don't have the answer. There are a few solutions you can try. If you know part of the answer or something related to the question, you can use it to show that you studied but have forgotten this particular point. If it is a complex problem and you don't know how to solve it, answer the question with your own question. If you are desperate, avoid saying "I don't know." Instead, say you want to think about it. The teacher may move on to someone else.Thanks!
QuestionWill there be consequences for telling the principal?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerConsequences for you? Or for the teacher? Ask the principal to make sure your complaint stays anonymous if possible. There may be consequences for the teacher, depending on how serious the situation is. He/she could be reprimanded, or even fired if they're doing something really inappropriate.Thanks!
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- Just because a teacher gives you a bad grade, it does not mean they are picking on you. It is their job to assess your work fairly.
- Use a calm tone when speaking to teachers and administrators. Even if they’re in the wrong, being the bigger person shows that you are mature, and it will help you in the long run.
Video: How to react when someone insults you? Dealing with Rude People – Personality Development Tips
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