|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Uncomfortable School Situation

Middle School Expert Advice from Judith Lee Ladd

Q: My daughter's teacher yells at her students. She ridicules them in front of their peers, intimidates them to the point that they will not approach her for help, and rips papers out of their hands. My daughter has gone from being an A/B student to barely passing her courses. She is essentially shutting down at home. She has headaches (our eye doctor says her eyes are fine). She is sick every morning (the pediatrician gave her a clean bill of health).

I have tried conferencing with the teacher to no avail, and after talking to other parents with similar concerns, I approached the principal, who has been of no help. Do you have any suggestions for me regarding getting my daughter out of this situation beyond what I have already tried? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

A: Being unable to remedy a school situation is very frustrating, especially when you feel the situation is harmful for your child. You have paid your thorough attention to the symptoms your child has suffered and followed proper medical actions.

I do not know how you approached the teacher or the principal, but I suggest a very personal appeal. Since your daughter was new to the school, the teacher had little time to learn how best to work with her. Perhaps a good start is to have another meeting where you can describe the environment your daughter works best. Confrontation seems to be the teacher's style, but may not be your child's.

Ask your daughter what kind of support she wants from you. Often, children and adults just need to vent. It is very healthy to even describe a problem to be more intense than it is. That does not mean she is telling a story. It means she is releasing pent up anxiety. Fear that you may take over the problem (and in her eyes make it worse) adds even more anxiety. Discuss together your strategies to deal with her teacher.

More on: Expert Advice

Judith Lee Ladd is a former president of the American School Counselor Association, a national organization of K-12 and post-secondary school counselors.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks