Once you’ve gotten some information from your child, consider
sending an email to the teacher explaining what you’re hearing. Stay as calm as you can, and ask the teacher to help you understand what your child is describing. Download a
parent-teacher communication log to keep track of your conversations.
Discuss concerns in person.
Schedule a meeting with the teacher to
talk about your concerns in person. If you’re worried that the teacher will be defensive or that you won’t be able to
keep your cool, you can ask that the principal be in the meeting, too.
It’s worth knowing, though, that asking the principal to be there has the potential to negatively impact your (and your child’s) relationship with the teacher. But there are ways to avoid this. One way is to consider asking another teacher or specialist to join, instead of the principal.
Provide information and context.
Explain exactly what you’re concerned about. Try to help the teacher understand how your child is feeling. And come to the table with suggestions for different ways the teacher can work with your child.
If the negative comments continue, or if you feel the teacher really is being mean to your child, move up the chain of command. Request another meeting. But this time, have the meeting with just the principal and the
case manager, not the teacher. Show all your documentation and explain what you’ve already tried.
Request a different teacher.
If necessary, ask about
having your child change teachers. This is something to think about if you’ve tried all other avenues to solve the problem and nothing is getting better.
Working on the issue may have permanently affected your relationship with your child’s teacher at this point, too. The principal may be hesitant to make a change. But if you’ve tried all other avenues to solve the problem and nothing is getting better, you need to advocate for what’s best for your child. (Read what one parent
learned when her son had the “wrong” teacher.)
Write a letter of complaint.
Summarize all the conversations you’ve had in a letter to the teacher, the principal and your child’s case manager. Stick to the facts and try to keep your emotions out of it. Ask that a copy of the letter go in the teacher’s personnel file. (In the end, though, it’s up to the principal and district policy whether to include it in the teacher’s file.)