It is highly likely if you have children who attend school that at some point in their school career, you will have to deal with a problem at your child’s school. Whether it be your child having issues with another student or a teacher, behavior issues or you having issues with another parent, teacher or administrator, there is a strong a strong possibility that there will be some type of school problem.
Dealing with school problems is never easy or enjoyable but there are steps and tips that can be taken to minimize the situation as quickly and efficiently as possible.
My experience as an educator and seeing all types of school problems transpire and dealt with, I have found the key component in resolving any school problem has been communication and lots of it.
As a parent or caretaker who has concerns about your child’s school problems or your problems with the school, the situation can be handled in a manner that is compassionate, effective and ultimately resolves the issues at hand.
Have a Heart to Heart Talk with Your Child
If a child is having a problem at school whether it be behavior issues, with another student, a teacher or some other type of school problem, be sure to allow your child time to explain what the school problem is while gently probing to try and find out as much information as possible. This is not the time to judge the situation but rather simply to listen. It is also the time to explain to the child that you as the parent will be talking with people at the school and that you will openly hear all sides of the story.
From my personal experience, I cannot tell you how many times I dealt with a child who told a parent about a school problem he or she was having and conveniently left out what his or her role was in the school problem. The parent became completely emotional, came to the school on a rampage only to find out that once we brought his or her child in to talk about the situation, the child’s story was not quite how they told it to their parent at home. Many times kids do not realize that all sides involved with be heard, they think only their side will be heard and sometimes they like to tap into their parents emotions to get their parents to take action quicker.
Talk to the Teacher First
If your child is having a school problem or if you are having a school problem, make sure to talk to the teacher first. So many issues and problems can be resolved just by talking to the teacher, a teacher is in the front line of education with your child so he or she will be the one you want to share you or your child’s school problem with. Most parents do talk to the teacher first, however I have witnessed numerous times a parent or caretaker who goes straight to the principal with a school problem, most principals will ask the parent if they talked to the teacher first. If the school problem does not seem like it is being resolved by talking to the teacher, then by all means go to the Principal.
Make an Appointment with the Principal of the School
If you talked to your child, talked to the child’s teacher and still do not feel like the school problem is resolved, be sure to make an appointment with the Principal. A Principal’s schedule is typically ridiculously busy with classroom observations, discipline issues, meetings and so much more, so expecting to see the Principal immediately may not be possible. Call the office and make an appointment with the Principal, if you feel comfortable sharing with the secretary your reason for coming in then do so, if you do not feel comfortable sharing your reason, then express that to the secretary.
Resolving your child’s school problems can be a great teaching moment for your child, showing your child the importance of open communication and handling issues calmly and professionally can make your child a better adult, kids learn from the actions of their parents.