I think the teacher is ignoring my child. What should I do?
If you feel like a teacher is ignoring your child, there are a few things you can do.
The first thing is to speak to your child’s teacher directly. Don’t go straight to the principal. Write the teacher a note or email, asking to set up a time to meet. It’s important to make an appointment so the teacher can make time to talk to you without distractions.
When you talk with the teacher, try to explain your position calmly. Talk about why you feel your child isn’t getting enough attention.
For example, did your child tell you she needs help and isn’t getting it? Do you see homework assignments that are unmarked? Was there a specific incident?
Whatever the cause for concern, try to describe it to the teacher without being judgmental. Let the teacher respond. The teacher might not be aware that your child’s been feeling neglected. Opening the doors of communication is the first step toward making progress.
After you talk to the teacher, hopefully the problem will be resolved. If it persists, you can make an appointment to speak with the principal.
During your meeting, tell the principal about the problem and why you feel the way you do. Give specifics about how you’ve tried to resolve these issues with your child’s teacher. Include the dates of the meetings and emails you’ve had with the teacher.
The principal may want the teacher to attend the meeting. If so, stay as calm as possible and repeat your issue. The principal may ask the teacher to take specific steps to ensure that the issue is resolved.
Before the meeting ends, ask for a plan of action. This will help you know exactly what steps the school is planning to take to address the issue.
Another thing you can do is to arrange a classroom visit. By observing, you can get a better idea of the classroom dynamics.
It’s also a chance to see how the teacher interacts with your child and the other students. After the visit, bring any concerns back to the teacher or principal.
If the problem continues, you could consider requesting a switch to another classroom.
Feeling neglected can cause kids to perform poorly in school. It can affect their self-esteem, too. That’s why it’s important to speak up if you feel your child isn’t getting needed attention.
Address the problem with the teacher first. But if that doesn’t work, remember you have other options.
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About the author
About the author
Whitney Hollins is a special education teacher and adjunct instructor at Hunter College.