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Time for back to school! Who’s looking forward to it? Next question…who’s looking forward to meeting the mean teacher? (silence…)

So, how do you deal with the mean teacher? Try these tips:

Make friends with the teacher next door:  By forming a close relationship with another educator who teaches the same grade or a parent of another child in your kids class a parent can still keep their thumb on what’s going on in the classroom without further straining the relationship with the teacher.

Get principal visibility: Unless the situation becomes unbearable with your kid’s mean teacher, Stay away from complaining to the principal. She has bigger fish to fry.  Before resorting to that, make sure the principal and guidance counselors know your name.  Whether you show up to PTA with cookies the last Thursday of every month or offer to fill-in for the secretary’s lunch period occasionally, once the principal knows you are actively involved at school the teacher will have less validity to claims your presence at the school is useless.

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Accept Responsibility ~ Not always, but sometimes the child is at fault as well as the educator. If your meeting with the teacher gives you reason to suspect your child is part of the problem, accept that responsibility. Discuss the issue with your child. Look into ways to modify your child’s behavior.

Talk to the Teacher ~ Express your concerns to the teacher. If you feel lack of discipline interferes with learning, let them know. Tell them if you are concerned they are too strict. Express any concerns you have with the teacher’s performance with the teacher first. Be polite. Understand you only have half the story. If the teacher has obstacles to reaching the kids, offer to help.

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