Bad Teacher This Year? How to Deal With It

Bad Teacher This Year? How to Deal With It

We’ve all had a bad teacher. And I’m sure you remember that instructor very clearly. His or her appearance, attitude, mannerisms, and teaching methods are all stamped in your memory. Ugh.

For me, it was my high school German teacher. She just wasn’t good at her job; she was unorganized, rude, and not effective. There was only one German teacher at my high school, so I had no other options. My mother spent three years trying to get her moved to no avail. It was super frustrating for students and parents.

When you or your child have a bad teacher, the year will be rocky. Let’s talk about how to navigate the year ahead!

Bad Teacher This Year? How to Deal With It

bad teacher

Assume Positive Intent

Even if you are sure this teacher is the devil incarnate, please assume that his or her actions come from a positive place. Tweens and teens tend to misread adults’ facial expressions, meaning you might take a facial expression the wrong way. Also, sometimes the instructor’s methods don’t work for you or your kid. That’s doesn’t make him or her a horrible teacher, just one that needs to be more flexible.

One other thought – the classroom policy you hate may not come from the teacher. Sometimes teachers are enforcing someone else’s expectations. When I was taught, parents were angry at me for something decided by my adminstrators.

If you’re reading this during fall 2020, please give the teachers some grace. Remote learning is new for everyone. Teachers are building the plane while flying it.


You need to set up a line of communication as soon as possible. Having a second form of communication, usually email, is useful. Also, if things go south, you will have documentation. If an email or a phone call gets heated, ask to meet in person. (Though in 2020, that will probably be a virtual meeting.)

Students, if you’re nervous about emailing your teacher, write out a draft and have another adult read through it BEFORE sending it. I also have some free scripts you can grab here!

Psst, parents! You know your kids better than anyone – share information with the teacher that will help him or her teach your child. It could be about a physical or mental health condition, where they like to sit in the room, or how they hate to read in front of others. This information might change the way the intructor interacts with your kid for the better.

Find Assistance

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Definitely ask your teacher for help. But if that doesn’t work out, find other people who can help. It might be your instructor from last year, a friend’s teacher, a study group, or a tutor. Having someone else who can assist you or your student can make the school year more manageable.

Parents Corner

Hey Mom & Dad! I know that this situation is super frustrating for you. However, take a deep breath and let your teen start the first few steps by themself. They need to learn to advocate for themselves – this is the place to start.

However, if the instructor doesn’t respond in a timely manner or the response is not useful, it’s time for you to step in. Contact the teacher again, reiterating the issue your child brought up. If that’s not working, I would recommend approaching your child’s guidance counselor. They can often get a dialogue going between you and the teacher faster than an administrator.

When you do escalate past the teacher, think about exactly what you want from the teacher. Are you looking for more flexible due dates, different teaching methods, more organization, or better communication? Knowing that will make conversations with administrators more straightforward.

Hopefully, these tips will help you manage the year as best you can. I understand the frustration you’re feeling right now – taking some action can help you feel more in control and improve the situation!

How do you handle a bad teacher? Let me know in the comments below!

Related Posts: How to Manage a Hectic School Year, How to Actually Use Your Academic Planner, Student Self Care: How to Destress and Unwind

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