Conflict with your child’s teacher is a nightmare. Do you automatically side with your child, or do you hear the teacher out? What do you do if it becomes apparent that a teacher is being unfair?

We spoke to some Volusia and St. Johns County administrators, and this is what they recommend:

  • Document everything. From the complaint your child has to your interactions with the teacher and what you observe.
  • Take it face to face. Emails can be misinterpreted. Ask for a meeting, and beforehand, ask for meeting minutes and a plan to come out of it. Set your expectations.
  • If this is not satisfactory, speak to an administrator or counselor. They may not agree with you, but getting this alternate opinion may be helpful.

My experience with this happened when my child was in sixth grade. The teacher gave a huge vocabulary workshop every Thursday night, due on Friday. It was really too much for one day. I was not the only parent who asked that they be given more time, and the teacher complained in the classroom that the kids did not belong in that class and the kids should not tell their parents what went on in the classroom. For me, that was a huge red flag.

I met with the teacher, and it was easily one of the worst meetings I had been in. The teacher criticized me as an overbearing parent and accused my daughter of being too polite, and that she shouldn’t be striving for A’s, that C’s were good enough. When I met with the Vice Principal, however, my words were heard, and the Vice Principal agreed that it was her problem, not mine. That teacher retired shortly after.

Unfortunately, unfairness in the classroom does happen now and then. Be prepared to advocate for your child. An open mind when meeting with teachers and staff will help, but do not ignore your instincts.Everyone involved should have your child’s success at heart.

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