“My Teacher Doesn’t Like Me”: What to Do
Sometimes, it might feel like a teacher just doesn’t like you. For the most part, he or she will try to keep it professional and not let any perceived or actual personal feelings influence your grade or course performance. But if that doesn’t seem to be the case, you may want to take action.
Read on for our advice on handling a situation in a which it seems like a teacher’s personal feelings are negatively impacting you and your coursework.
Don’t Give Your Teacher a Reason to Dislike You
If you feel like you’re being unfairly targeted, it may be tempting to act rudely or sulk in retaliation. That’s not going to help you here—or really in any situation. Being disrespectful will only validate your teacher’s feelings about you and will probably make the situation worse.
Instead, take the high road. Make sure you’re following all rules, doing your homework, and showing up on time. Don’t vent about the situation to friends or other teachers. That way, if you end up having to defend yourself, you’ll be able to honestly say you didn’t provoke your teacher’s reaction, and your classmates and other teachers can vouch for your mature behavior.
Discuss the Situation With Your Teacher Privately
Chances are, your teacher isn’t aware that her or his behavior is bothering you. That’s why it may be a good idea to ask if you can speak privately. Request to schedule a time to meet outside of class. Arrive alone; don’t bring friends or classmates with you. Raise the issue in a non-accusatory way, using polite language and discussing your feelings, rather than casting blame on your teacher. Point to examples to illustrate your perspective, being as specific as possible.
Try not to come across as a grade grubber. If you think your grade is suffering because of personal differences, use evidence to back up your claim. For instance, you might mention having previously received higher grades in the same subject or a specific project in which your grade didn’t match your effort in contrast to other students’ grades in the class.
Give your teacher a chance to explain his or her perspective. Ask if there’s anything you’ve done that has influenced his or her feelings or something you could do differently.
Get Your Parents Involved
If you’ve spoken with your teacher and haven’t seen any improvement, ask your parents to step in. A teacher who is unwilling to respond to you may be more likely to do so with other adults or authority figures.
Take the initiative to set up a meeting with your parents and teacher yourself. Schedule a time that works for everybody. You may want to share some specifics about what you’d like to discuss in an email when you set up the appointment with your teacher. It’s a good idea for you to be there, too; that will demonstrates maturity and proactiveness on your part and avoid making it seem like you’re hiding behind your parents.
As with your private meeting with your teacher, be specific, and give examples. Remember to keep your tone polite and non-accusatory, and ask your parents to do the same.
Involve a School Higher Up
Depending on your school’s “chain of command,” you may want to involve the head of the teacher’s department, your guidance counselor, vice principal, or principal. This person can serve as another advocate for you and take part in the meeting with your parents. However, be sure to discuss the issue with your teacher first. Don’t just go straight to the principal—or worse, have your parents call him or her—without even having discussed the issue with teacher.
Involving an authority figure could have a couple benefits. If you know this person well, she or he can speak to your strengths and may have an easier time understanding why your teacher’s behavior is concerning. An authority figure’s presence also makes the situation more official. If the school takes your claims seriously, they may end up monitoring your teacher’s behavior.
Ultimately, you need to understand that you will be facing many situations that just aren’t fair in life. Not everyone is going to like you, and sometimes there will be consequences because of it through no fault of your own.
However, figuring out how to address it maturely and confidently now will serve you well, not just in terms of ameliorating a difficult situation now, but for your future as well.
For more advice on navigating challenges in high school, check out CollegeVine’s posts:
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