|

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.

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 Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!