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If your child isn't happy with her teacher she'll probably have at least one of these complaints. Read on and learn how to tackle them.

1. She's always shouting

The average primary school class has 30 children and teachers do occasionally have to raise their voices. But there's a big difference between talking loudly to re-gain control and completely losing it. Even very young children know the difference and will become scared when the adult in charge of them seems to lose it. They won't learn anything either, so it's important to act quickly but cleverly

Solution:
1. Talk to other parents. Do their children have the same complaint? If so, share stories and write down a few key examples which concern you. Make an appointment to see the head teacher. Take your notes with you. Be polite but make it clear you're worried.
2. Don't be fobbed off with 'oh, we've never had any complaints about her before.' Maybe that's true, but they have now ? and it's the head teacher's duty to investigate.
3. DON'T RAISE YOUR VOICE. Remember, you're complaining about a teacher who shouts. If you start shouting yourself you will lose all credibility.

WARNING: If other parents are happy with the teacher don't assume your child is lying. It could be that she's more sensitive to the teacher's mood or sits close to her! Talk to the teacher yourself. Is she surprised and concerned - or defensive and irritated? Her reaction will tell you all you need to know. If it's what you feared, go to the head.

2. She picks on me

First, consider innocent explanations. Maybe the teacher is pushing your child because she knows she could do better. Maybe your child is easily distracted and the teacher is trying to make sure she's listening. Your child may not enjoy this attention, but if the teacher has her best interests at heart, she may have to put up with it.

Solution: You know your child better than anyone else. Could the teacher be trying to help her? Or do you honestly feel there's more to it? Trust your instinct. If your child seems really upset and not just mildy fed-up, it's worth talking to the teacher yourself. Maybe she's pushing too hard and needs to back off.

3. She doesn't explain things properly

Or is your child just not listening properly? The best way to find out is, again, to ask other parents. Do their children understand what's going on? Do they know when their homework's due in or when to bring in their PE kits and their recorder? If so, it really isn't fair to blame the teacher. Perhaps your child is a daydreamer who struggles to keep up with instructions? Or maybe there's more to it. Eyesight and hearing problems can really interfere with learning. Go to www.kidscape.org.uk for more information

Solution:Check out all the options before assuming the teacher just isn't up to it.

4. I'm not one of her favourites

This is a common complaint from children and it's hard for parents to hear. After all, your child is wonderful ? why isn't she the favourite?
Whether they admit it or not, most teachers do have favourites, although the good ones make a concerted effort to hide their feelings and treat everyone the same.

Solution: If it's common knowledge in your child's class that X and Y are always singled out for praise/special duties or the best parts in school plays, then it's time the teacher was told. But be polite. She may have a very good reason for giving these particular children extra attention, or she may not even realise she's doing it.

Will things get worse if I complain?

No. In fact, they're far more likely to improve. Many parents wrongly fear that the teacher will 'take it out on their child' if they complain. But think about it from the teacher's point of view. The fact that you have already complained means that you are far more likely to complain again. (The first time, is always the hardest!) So it's better to get things sorted out right now.
  • What do you think? Have you had problems with your child's teacher. Tell us what you think on our Chat pages and share your problems with other mums.
  • Get help from:


www.parentscentre.gov.uk.
www.direct.gov.com.
Parentline Plus www.parentlineplus.org.uk. 0808 800 2222

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