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Parent told child that she doesn't like me!

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by secretstar, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Hi, I'm a NQT who started at a school halfway through the year. The previous teacher was kindly asked to leave for various reasons and I was the replacement, brought in on long-term supply.

    Anyway, here we are halfway through the last week of term, I have worked my guts out since March for this class (year 1) and this morning, 1 of my highest ability children told me that he's sad that I'll be leaving this week but his mum is happy because she doesn't like me.

    I was shocked, as I was unaware mum had any problems with me or my teaching, but the child said it in a very matter of fact way and I could tell that it's the truth. I asked if mum liked his report and his reply was 'yes, she liked my report, she just doesn't like you.' I then swiftly changed the subject as this was said in front of the whole class.

    I hid how hurt I am by this but the truth is I'm gutted. I've worked so hard and have always assumed that I'm liked by parents and children alike! But clearly not. Is this just a fact of teaching and something I should get used to and let go over my head, or is this something that I should tell colleagues about and/or talk to the parent in question about?

    I want to know WHY I'm not liked, if I don't know I can't change it. The child said his mum only liked the old teacher, I spoke to my TA about this and she said it's probably more due to the parent missing the old teacher rather than disliking me personally but I'm not sure? This parent is also a school governer which has given me more reason to be upset - she obviously knows schools etc and I can't think why she would tell her child that she doesn't like me!?

    Gah, what do I do!?
     
  2. Hi, I'm a NQT who started at a school halfway through the year. The previous teacher was kindly asked to leave for various reasons and I was the replacement, brought in on long-term supply.

    Anyway, here we are halfway through the last week of term, I have worked my guts out since March for this class (year 1) and this morning, 1 of my highest ability children told me that he's sad that I'll be leaving this week but his mum is happy because she doesn't like me.

    I was shocked, as I was unaware mum had any problems with me or my teaching, but the child said it in a very matter of fact way and I could tell that it's the truth. I asked if mum liked his report and his reply was 'yes, she liked my report, she just doesn't like you.' I then swiftly changed the subject as this was said in front of the whole class.

    I hid how hurt I am by this but the truth is I'm gutted. I've worked so hard and have always assumed that I'm liked by parents and children alike! But clearly not. Is this just a fact of teaching and something I should get used to and let go over my head, or is this something that I should tell colleagues about and/or talk to the parent in question about?

    I want to know WHY I'm not liked, if I don't know I can't change it. The child said his mum only liked the old teacher, I spoke to my TA about this and she said it's probably more due to the parent missing the old teacher rather than disliking me personally but I'm not sure? This parent is also a school governer which has given me more reason to be upset - she obviously knows schools etc and I can't think why she would tell her child that she doesn't like me!?

    Gah, what do I do!?
     
  3. Nothing. It's not the mother that you're teaching but the child. Take it as a compliment in a way. If people don't like you it's usually because you're doing a good job! Keep at it!
    If the child says it again, quietly thank the child for the feedback but say that you don't want to hear it.
    However, if the mother shows her dislike by making things awkward for you, speak to SMT or a senior colleague informally for further advice.
    By the way, a tip I always try to remember when I have doubts is not to rely on hearsay. The child says that the mother dislikes you but that might not be the case at all.
     
  4. PS. By the way, I wouldn't try to do anything to change the mother's opinion if it is true that she dislikes you. You're not paid to be liked or to make people like you, you're paid to teach well!
     
  5. Can I reply to this as a mum of 3 at school ?
    Sometimes mums don't like teachers. Sometimes there are good reasons for this, as far as the mum can see; perhaps the teacher is a bit off with parents who take up their time first thing in the morning, sometimes they don't feel as though the teacher has listened to any concerns they might have, and sometimes their reasons are entirely irrational. There are teachers at my kids' school who are less popular than others. Parents moan about Mrs xyz in the playground at pick up/drop off time all the time. There are teachers at my kids' school that I don't "like". I think one particular teacher shouts excessively, talks over the kids' heads a lot of the time and is, quite frankly, a bit of a dragon.
    The other point is that even though a parent might not personally like you that doesn't necessarily mean that she thinks you're not a good teacher. With the above-mentioned dragon, even though I think she shouts too much and can be a bit scary, I do still think her teaching skills are basically fine and her results are good (I am also a governor so am in a position to know!)
    The main point I wanted to make is that I try very hard to keep my personal opinions of their teachers out of earshot of my children. I am aware that badmouthing them in front of my children is a quick way to go about eroding the respect that they have for their teachers. I have seen first hand the effect that this has. I have heard children telling teachers "my mum says she's had enough of you" and I know full well that it can massively hinder a child's learning experience. So I try not to do it. In my opinion your pupil's mum shouldn't have said what she did.
    I am fully expecting that the same thing might happen to me when I become a teacher, and whilst I would be lying if I said it didn't worry me I am trying to remember my own experiences as a mum. You can't please everyone. I know it must be frustrating to not know whyshe doesn't like you but I would try not to worry about it. If she had a serious problem then I expect she would raise it with you, and if not then really she shouldn't be speaking that way about you to her child.
    Good luck with the rest of the week ! xx

     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    You have just a few days left...do nothing at all. If it hasn't been obvious before now then there is no issue to address.

    Some parents just don't like some teachers. And you know what teachers sometimes just don't like some parents. I have one that I could cheerfully slap just for saying hello to me. She has done nothing wrong as such, just irritates me. I hide and neither she nor her child know, but such is life.

    It is horrid the first time it happens, and it is never ever nice to hear. But you will just have to get over it. If you have a colleague that you trust, then maybe tell them just to get it off your chest. You might find out that the parent doesn't like teacher ever and is known for it.
     
  7. I am an NQT completing their induction year. I had one parent at my first school was constantly in complaining, but were notorrious in school for it with both their children, so much so that I felt I couldn't do anything right. However on the day I left the dad (who was the worst culprit) came up to me and said he was going to miss me teaching his son because he felt I did deal with things.
    At my present school I know several of the children do not like me and they have told me to my face. I also have a couple who have expressed their parents views too (One child even cheered on the day that it was announced I had a new job and would be leaving! Nice!) One parent even came in ranting at me and the head because she thought I was 'picking on her child' and 'singling him out' when actually the truth was I was treating him exactly the same as the others, with the same rules and expectations. This child has told me several times that he hates me (usually in the heat of one of his temper tantrums) but I was the first one he came to today when another child had upset him.
    I also had a brother of one of my children come up to me and tell me his brother hated me and his mum didn't think I was a very good teacher.
    However, on the plus side, I had a child leave and go to another school this year because she moved house but hated the new school so much that she came back. When she left she sent me a beautiful thank you card and letter. I had a looked after child who also had to move schools due to relocation and she has been back to see me three times since. One child went home in tears when she found out I was leaving at the end of the year because she knew I wouldn't be her teacher next year.
    You've guessed it - the kids and parents who hate me are the challenging kids - the ones who need clear boundaries and who sometimes make the wrong choices and earn themselves exclusions for their behaviour and their parents don't understand that their children are capable of making the wrong choices. But with these kids, I know I am doing them no favours in the long run if I give in to them and go for the popularity vote. The kids who got upset about me leaving or who sent the thank you cards are the lovely well behaved kids - often the quiet kids who often get overwhelmed by the kids who often make the wrong choices or dominate the teacher's or TA's time with their poor behaviour.
    Don't take it personally. You can't please all the people all the time and you are their to teach, not be popular and sometimes in this job you will rub people up the wrong way, particularly parents who either don't have a realistic perception of their child or have no idea that you may have 30+ other children in the class.
     
  8. Change yourself all you want but it will be pointless. Not everyone can be liked by everyone in all situations and circumstances.
    You are there to teach, not to make friends. There will be parents who just hate teachers, regardless of their personalities or hard work etc. Just ignore it.
    I've been called hideous things by children and parents alike (when working in a very challenging school) but just brushed it off. Their opinions are theirs and don't change who I am or the teacher that I am.
     
  9. I feel for you but, as others have said, please don't let it disrupt your confidence. We all want to be liked by everyone but it just cannot happen. That is one parent from a whole class.
    You will face times like this in your career - it is just a shame that this has happened in your NQT year. I dare say that you will be more emotionally robust after a few more years and will be able to shrug this off.
    If you can honestly say you are doing an effective job for the children, then continue to hold your head high.
    Nearly there and well done on finishing your NQT year!

     

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