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Kids’ Questions: My Teacher Hates Me


Dear Rene,

There’s a teacher at my school who’s always picking on me!

I don’t know what I’ve done but Mrs. Scripps is always telling me off in front of my friends, putting me in detention and giving me bad grades.

I told my dad what had happened and he ended up having an argument with Mrs. Scripps parent’s night and complaining to the school principal. He’s made everything so much worse!

Some of my friends think I’m being a crybaby and their parents don’t want them to hang out with me anymore because they think I’m a troublemaker.

What do I do now? I hate school!

Emma, 13


Dear Emma:

I want you to practice something that will coming in handy, as you get older, okay.

Sit on the edge of your bed and take a deep breath. Relax for a few minutes and listen to what I say.

I PROMISE you this will not stay the same. I PROMISE you it will ultimately get better and I PROMISE you will learn from this experience. I have a great many friends who are teachers and they are true professionals, as the majority of them are. But I’m sure, as in any profession, there are some who are less than stellar. That may or may not be the case with Mrs. Scripps, but that’s neither here nor there. What you want is answers on how to deal with a teacher you don’t think likes you. So here’s what I would suggest.

TALK TO MRS. SCRIPPS: I know this is hard because you’re a kid and she’s the teacher but you might as well learn now how to approach problems and issues. You were bold enough to write me, so I suspect you have it in you to talk to Mrs. Scripps. I would just ask her if you could stay after class one day and then tell her how you feel. Because here’s what I think might be happening. Mrs. Scripps might be one of those hard-nosed teachers; I had a few in school too. They just have a manner about them that is pretty no nonsense and while it’s only business to them and other adults, to you, it can sound like they don’t like you. So just ask her. You can say you are worried that you offended or made her mad and if you did, you would like to apologize. But my suspicion is that she doesn’t know how she sounds to you.

TALK TO YOUR DAD: Okay, dad is the second adult you’ll need to have a conversation with. First you need to know he did what he did out of love for you. He was trying to protect you. But you need to tell him that while you appreciate it, he made things worse. Tell him what’s been happening at school as a result of his outburst and ask that he not do it again.

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: This is the final bit of advice but perhaps most important. You need to make sure that you are being responsible for your own actions. If you got a bad grade on a test, you need to go over it with Mrs. Scripps. Ask her why she marked you off for a particular test and what you can do in the future so as not to make the same mistake. I think what you’ll see is that rather than being arbitrary, there is a method to her grading that may become less mysterious once she shares more with you. But you have to take the first step and ask.

Finally, if you do all of those things and still have no results or satisfaction, you may have to ask your parents to set up a meeting with the school principal and bring this issue to her attention.

Hang in there, Emma. This, too, shall pass.

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4 Comments

  1. Janet

    June 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Great advice above. And I also want to just chime in and say that it’s good practice for as you get older. It sucks but very often when you get into the working world there will be a co-worker (even a supervisor) who just plain does not like you. It’s a challenge to figure out how to work with them and get your own work done. Just do the best that you can and try as hard as you can to get your work done. Like all difficult times, this will pass and you will learn from it.

  2. m.e. johnson

    June 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Emma, Rene has given you real good advice. Here I come from another angle. How is your attitude? Are you ‘daddy’s little girl”?

    Just why really did you get a bad grade? Why do you get detention, what did teacher say you did? What did you really do?

    Why ~ if they saw unfairness going on ~ didn’t your friends stick up for you? Why do they call you ‘crybaby’?

    Did your dad really listen to the teacher or did he fly off the handle? Have you asked him what did she say?

    Maybe you’re the perfect one, maybe not. Good Luck.

  3. Peppercorn16

    June 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    As crazy as it sounds some teachers think that by treating a student this way their helping them. But to me it’s being mean and cold hearted. I think the parents needs to have a serious talk with this teacher and get to the bottom of why she’s treating Emma this way. Teachers are suppose to help students not tear them down so I hope this ends soon.

  4. Tiffany

    June 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Emma,

    When I was in the 5th grade, I had a teacher who positively didn’t like me. Mostly, she didn’t like me because my desk was always messy (but it was *my* desk, why should she care? — this was my thinking) & I was pretty much a C-average student. I was getting bad grades, which wasn’t normal for me, & my mom was getting upset at me. I kept telling her that this teacher hated me & she thought I was just making up excuses as to why my grades got so bad. After the next parent-teacher conference, my mom came home from it & apologized to me for not believing me when I said that she hated me. Apparently, she made it clear to my mom that she didn’t like me.

    What did my mom do? She told me that I’d just have to get through it, work as hard as I can & that it would all be over when the school year ended (because I’d have a new teacher in the 6th grade). And she was right.

    Sometimes, you just have to weather the storm. Work your hardest & take Rene’s advice. You’re 13, so it isn’t too soon to learn how to handle these sort of things. Good luck with everything! 🙂

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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