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Telling a teacher that your child doesn't like them; is it ok?

(118 Posts)
WalkingZed Wed 29-Jun-16 20:34:57

Ok as teachers we usually have a good idea of what we are getting into. Definitely not for the hassle free career.

Anyway, I've been teaching for 15 years and have always adopted a firm but fair approach. I get good results, care about the children and do as professional a job and work as hard as I can.

This year, at a parent/teacher consultation, a parent told me they didn't think their child had had a good a good year as "x just doesn't like you." sad

It's bothered me ever since.

The child in question was a high average child, was very motivated in class (I thought) and seemed engaged and as happy it is possible to be in school.

Anyway we are nearing the end of the year and I'm exhasuted.

Just wondered if you've ever told a teacher that your child doesn't like them? Do you think it's reasonable to do this?

AIBU to still think about this?

What would you say if you were a teacher in response to this?

Any teachers had similar and how did you react.

Mentioned to HT but didn't find him particularly helpful other than saying just forget it.

NotYoda Wed 29-Jun-16 20:39:50

No, I would never do it

I think it takes two to make a relationship. I'd deal with it as a teacher (which i'm not) by thinking seriously about my interactions with that child and whether I could see ways in which the child had the impression I didn't like them.

But mainly I'd take it with a big pinch of salt and in the context of what that parent was like generally. Not all parents are reasonable, are they?

Did you ask why?

What did you say?

acasualobserver Wed 29-Jun-16 20:42:24

Not nice but probably at the lower end of unpleasant things said to teachers. After fifteen years, I think you've got off pretty lightly.

Marynary Wed 29-Jun-16 20:42:33

My children would kill me if I told one of their teachers that they didn't like them, even at the end of the year!
I think your HT is right and you should forget it. I'm sure that very few people are liked by everyone.

PovertyPain Wed 29-Jun-16 20:43:24

Is it possible that the parent is actually jealous of your relationship with her/his child? Some parents, a very small minority before I get jumped on, seem to get very hung up on their children's relationships and insecure if they care about someone else. Maybe the child has paid you a compliment at home and the parent has felt slighted by it.

gobbin Wed 29-Jun-16 20:44:54

How rude!

I would have said 'That's a shame, but we can't be liked by everyone. I'm glad that (pupil) has performed well academically this year and I wish (pupil) well in their next class.'

As a teacher you're never going to be liked by every single pupil. I justify this by knowing we're all different, that there are pupils we don't particularly like also, but we all just get on with the job.

NotYoda Wed 29-Jun-16 20:45:10

Also, I don't think they actually have to like you - if they have learned, made progress, been generally happy

NotYoda Wed 29-Jun-16 20:45:33

X post with goblin

BringMeTea Wed 29-Jun-16 20:45:42

Oh OP have some flowers and possibly wine. Parent is a dick for saying that. There are many dicks in the world. I know it's hard not to take it personally but please don't. As a fellow teacher I might cry about that at the end of a long year. It's not you.

CocktailQueen Wed 29-Jun-16 20:46:11

No, I wouldn't tell a teacher that my DC didn't like them! How rude! I might say, 'did hasn't felt motivated/ challenged this year' or 'this hasn't been her best year' but I would not say she didn't like you - unless there was some problem, and I wold have spoken to you about that before parents eve.

You sound like a lovely teacher! But nobody likes everyone, and some parents are bonkers, so just ignore and move on.

Easier said than done, though - that would prey on my mind too.

What did you say?

Wolfiefan Wed 29-Jun-16 20:46:49

No. I would say that "my child was upset when you said x" or "when you do y"
To blame a bad year on just not liking someone is not helpful or constructive.

WalkingZed Wed 29-Jun-16 20:46:50

It's not the worst thing that has happened to me during my teaching career. I just found it a very inappropriate thing to say.

With my own children, I'm just so grateful to the people who look after and care for them during the day, I couldn't Imagine saying anything like this to them.

converseandjeans Wed 29-Jun-16 20:46:58

That's not a very kind thing to say. Might have helped if they had explained what they think went wrong e.g. you told them off once or kept them back one when they thought it was unfair. Roll on the end of term flowers

Floggingmolly Wed 29-Jun-16 20:47:10

The rude bugger!

RiverTam Wed 29-Jun-16 20:47:45

Bizarre. I think the closest I might ever go if my DC had had a difficult year is 'personality clash'. But just to out-and-out say that? I'd be very taken aback!

NotYoda Wed 29-Jun-16 20:48:50


Most people couldn't. I think that parent probably lacks social skills

Some parents take the negative things that a child has said and blow them out of proportion. Sometimes those parents have children who have a tendency to only recount negative things from school because they know it gets them attention and sympathy

Could be one of those

WalkingZed Wed 29-Jun-16 20:49:51

I think I said something along the lines of "that's a shame but their participation in class hasn't been indicative of someone who doesn't like me."

I didn't prolong the conversation as it somehow felt like I was on trial and having to justify myself.

It's been a long year...

I think I'm ready for the summer

HariboFrenzy Wed 29-Jun-16 20:50:16

I was told this in front of the child (y4). It was because I had changed the seating arrangements and the child was incensed to be separated from her best friend. She looked mortified, and I did the 'kill them with kindness' thing and replied that it was a shame as I liked them said through slightly gritted teeth. It did take me aback but I just counted down the days til she was no longer in my class grin

RiverTam Wed 29-Jun-16 20:50:29

Very diplomatic response, OP!

Champagneformyrealfriends Wed 29-Jun-16 20:50:39

Sounds like a parent making excuses for their child not doing as well as they thought they would. Ignore it-if the child doesn't like you a good parent would've explained to them that you can't like everyone and it's not excuse for not doing your best.

HerRoyalNotness Wed 29-Jun-16 20:50:40

It sounds like the parent wasn't actually telling the truth. You'd be aware surely if a child didn't like you by their behaviour?

I would have to find a way to tell a teacher if my child didn't like them. Only because DC1 is quite anxious and needs to trust people in order to feel settled. I'd only tell them to Come up with strategies to help him along in class to get the best out of the year that he could. It would also help his teacher not have a pain in the arse student for a year.

WalkingZed Wed 29-Jun-16 20:51:19

gobbin I like that response!

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Wed 29-Jun-16 20:53:05

Very rude women. By your own admission the child has no learning difficulties , Well to use your words very high average Intelligence, so perhaps the reason she didn't do as well is because. She has a mothers who makes excuses for her.

NotYoda Wed 29-Jun-16 20:53:37

You said the right thing, OP

LarrytheCucumber Wed 29-Jun-16 20:54:46

I can't remember anyone saying it to me, but I had a parent say to the Head that their child didn't like me a couple of times (30 year career). Head just nodded.
In one case it was to excuse the child's appalling behaviour.

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