Teacher-related issues

7 Steps to Take If the Teacher Hurts Your Child’s Feelings

By Mike Tucker

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Sometimes teachers slip up and say things that are insensitive. Sometimes it might even seem intentionally hurtful. Here are seven steps you can take if a teacher seems to be shaming or belittling your child.


Do your homework.

Write down the date, time and specifics of each incident. If possible, gather details from other students, teacher aides and anyone else who witnessed the teacher’s troubling interactions with your child.


Schedule a meeting.

Meet with the teacher one-on-one. It’s usually best for your child not to be there. Try to remain calm and keep an open mind. Ask the teacher to describe what happened. Discuss possible ways to move forward.


Reassure your child.

Talk openly with your child. Reassure her that you’re working to improve things at school. Watch for changes in her behavior. Talk to your child’s doctor if you have concerns about her mental health.


Climb the chain of command.

If the negative comments continue, move up the chain of command. Meet with the teacher, principal and case manager and talk about what can be done.


Keep climbing, if necessary.

If the situation doesn’t improve, request another meeting. But this time meet with just the principal and the case manager, not the teacher. Suggest a solution such as having your child change classrooms.


Put it in writing.

Send the principal a letter that includes the dates of all the meetings you’ve had. Explain why a room change is the best option for your child. If your request is denied, contact the superintendent and a school board member.


Look ahead to next year.

Before the next school year starts, meet with the principal and ask her to make every consideration to provide your child with a more positive experience. If problems persist, then it might be time to consider changing schools.

About the Author

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Portrait of Ginny Osewalt

Ginny Osewalt is certified in elementary and special education, with experience in inclusion, resource room and self-contained settings.

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