A parent came to see me the other week and told me her Year 4 son says I keep telling him off, that once I told him not to "show me up" in an assembly and that he keeps saying "I know she hates me". I am distraught. I never thought I would come across as hating a child. I tried to explain as best I could to the parent, saying I don't hate any of the children in my class (which is true) and I would never tell a child not to show me up. I'm not sure she believed me. I said that it's possible the boy has been affected by the fact his dad is very ill and that perhaps it just seems I have been telling him off all the time. He is not a child who is continually playing up. So I spent last week trying to be nice to the boy, smiling, choosing to ignore minor things he was doing (like just watching me work with the reading group instead of reading his own book) and hoping that he sees I don't hate him. But I don't want to be afraid to ever tell him off. I'm just not sure what to do. I've been feeling guilty ever since his mum told me, wondering if I have told him off too many times. I haven't told anyone at school. I'm embarrassed that I've made a child think I hate him. Does anyone have any suggestions/words of wisdom? I feel like a failed teacher, just two years in.