If your kids are headed into a new school year, you've more than likely had a talk with them about dealing with bullies. In some cases, however, the bullying takes place in the classroom rather than on the playground. You trust your child's teacher to protect them when you can't, but what do you do when your child needs protection from the teacher instead? If you suspect a teacher's behavior has crossed the line and become downright cruel, there are some signs your child is being bullied by a teacher you may want to watch out for.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, bullying is defined as aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived imbalance of power. And because the teacher is in charge of the classroom, that power is very real. As GreatSchools pointed out, it can be difficult to know when the teacher's strict demeanor crosses the line and becomes bullying. But job burnout, problems at home, or a desire to appear tough in front of other students can be reasons why a teacher exhibits aggressive behavior towards your child, as WebMD mentioned.
If you suspect your child is being bullied by a teacher, you should get to the bottom of the situation quickly. Leaving your child in an environment where they are bullied can have negative consequences, according to Very Well. But as Great Schools pointed out, it's important to go through the appropriate chain of command. Contact the teacher directly to set up a meeting to hash out all of the issues. You can also talk with other parents in the class to see if they are experiencing similar issues. When possible, keep a paper trail of your communication for your records. This can be especially helpful if the situation moves up to the principal or beyond.
1. Their Grades Drop
If you notice that your child's grades are falling below their norm, it could mean that something is going on at school. As Character.org mentioned, bullying can result in a child's inability to concentrate at school. This would especially be true if the teacher was the one making him feel uncomfortable.
2. Their Mood Changes
If your child once looked forward to going to school suddenly appears withdrawn or sad, Very Well noted that it may be because they are experiencing some form of bullying. The teacher may be putting your child on the spot in class in front of the other students, which can be embarrassing.
3. They Think The Teacher Doesn't Like Them
If your child is telling you that his teacher doesn't like him or is mean to him, you may want to do a little more investigating. Ask a few more questions to find out about the teacher, as Parenting advised. It could be that the teacher has high expectations and believes your child can do more, but it could also be something much more serious.
4. Weeknight Nightmares
If your child is experiencing nightmares on school nights, it could be a sign that he is afraid of something. As Reader's Digest mentioned, Monday is the most common day kids try to avoid going to school. They've felt safe at home over the weekend, so making the transition can be tough.
5. The Teacher Tries To Keep Parents Away
If your efforts to set up a time to meet with your child's teacher go unanswered, there might be something more serious going on. If your child's teacher is in fact a bully, they may not want parents around to witness their behavior.
6. Other Parents Have Similar Experiences
If you suspect your child's teacher is a bully, it can help to speak with other parents of children in your child's class or parents of former students. If they have similar stories of aggressive behavior from the teacher, you'll know that your concerns are valid.