Lifestyle

Let's ~school~ you on how to deal with teacher problems

Got no time for that #dramz.

By Matt Galea

Your education is THE most important thing that’ll set you on the path to becoming the world conquering boss babe that you’re destined to be; so if you have a problem with your teacher, you need to address it with them ASAP. How the heck do you do that, you ask? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

The panel
Kim Smith Wellness and happiness expert and founder of standing strong (girlsstandingstrong.com)
Matt Galea DOLLY features and entertainment writer
Emma Hedges DOLLY intern

“I feel like my teacher is picking on me and I don’t know what to do.”

Matt says: We’ve all had that one dragon teacher that’s always out to get us. First, do some self-reflection and see if there’s anything you can do to get on their good side like acing every bit of homework and showing that you put 110 per cent into every lesson. If they’re still acting like a dragon, have a little chat with them.

Emma says: Approach them maturely and ask, “Is there anything I am doing wrong in class that could be improved? I feel like sometimes I am called out more than other students.” If they don’t realise how they’ve acted, they might be taken by surprise. If they remain unfair and refuse to address your concern, have a chat to your year supervisor to see what can be done, like transferring classes.

“I have a huge crush on my teacher and I know it’s inappropriate, but I can’t help it.”

Emma says: A lot of girls develop a crush on a teacher which can make you feel uncomfortable asking for help and can get distracting, maybe even resulting in falling grades. Remember, this is no PLL episode so accept that a potential relationship is 100% wrong (soz Aria!), as it crosses many lines and is very much illegal. Crushes eventually pass so either wait for the feelings to disappear, or if it gets too distracting, ask your coordinator if you can transfer to another class.

Kim says: Nothing good can come from a student-teacher crush. Trust me, as good as you think you are at hiding it, your teacher can see straight through you and will pick up on your strange behaviour. It’s a dead end and not worth risking your grades over, so stop being distracted by your teachers’ butt and listen to his lessons!

“My teacher isn’t doing a very good job of teaching us and I’m worried that my grades will suffer.”

Matt says: This is a serious problem ‘cos your education must come first (yes, even before Harry Styles). If you feel like your teacher isn’t putting enough effort into the lessons, speak to the other students in your class and see if they agree. Then speak to students from other classes and see if they’re at the same level as you and if it looks like you’re falling behind and missing out on the content, you should have a chat with your parents and ask them to approach the school.

Kim says: Sometimes teachers can get complacent when they don’t think anyone really cares about what they’re teaching. Show them you care. Ask questions. Do some extra research so that they see that you’re interested in learning. I know it shouldn’t be like this, but sometimes your interest is all a teacher needs to be motivated to be a better teacher. Keep them on their toes!

“My teacher plays favourites with the other students in class. It’s so unfair!”

Emma says: If you’ve tried multiple times to be on the same level as the other students and they still seem to focus on a select few, have a chat to those ‘favourite’ students to see if they’ve noticed it. Otherwise it’s a good idea to chat to a trusted teacher who can offer some advice.

Kim says: I remember a few of my teachers doing this! Look at what the other students are doing that’s making the teacher connect with them. Are they paying attention? Are they polite, respectful and wanting to learn? Is there anything you’re doing to create a clash between you and your teacher? Be the bigger person for the sake of your sanity and grades.

“My Mum teaches at my school so everyone sees me as ‘the teacher’s daughter.’”

Matt says: This is a toughie when all you want to do is be a normal student but everyone automatically lumps you in the ‘teachers’ kid’ category. Try and limit the amount of contact you have with her while you’re at school so that you’re not constantly reminding peeps. And look on the bright side! While everyone’s stuck catching the bus, you have a sweet lift. Winning!

Kim says: At the end of the day you can’t change it, so own it! Most teachers are nicer and more accommodating to other teachers’ children and have you read the other questions in this feature? Student-teacher relationships are tough! If you can have a good relationship with your teachers, then it’s one less thing you need to worry about.