What to do if you think your teacher doesn’t like you
We’ve all had classes where we didn’t really connect with the teacher. They were too strict, or annoying, or just plain grumpy. But have you ever had a class where you thought that your teacher didn’t like you?
If you’ve ever been caught in this scenario, you know how painful it can be. Feeling like you are being unfairly criticized, judged or pigeon-holed by an authority figure can make you feel extremely trapped and powerless.
Luckily, however, there are ways that you can turn a bad relationship with a teacher around. Here are a few ideas for what to do if you think your teacher doesn’t like you.
Schedule a time to talk
Although this may sound terrifying, the first thing to do in this situation is schedule a time to talk to your teacher one-on-one. Remember to be polite and respectful at all times and avoid being accusatory. If you think that you’ve been receiving lower grades than you deserve, you might want to bring evidence, such as higher grades you received earlier in the year or grades from a previous teacher. Also, make sure to give your teacher the opportunity to talk and explain herself – then ask what you can do to change.
Get to know your teacher
Another tactic you can use to improve your relationships with teachers is to get to know them better. After class, try giving a compliment or asking a question, such as why they love their subject matter. For example, you might say something like “I really liked what you said about X. That was really interesting.” Often, once you get to know someone on a personal level, you are better able to understand why they are the way they are and can then accept them more easily.
Reflect on your own behavior
Take a long, hard look at what you may have done to make a bad impression or cause trouble for your teacher. Were you sarcastic in class? Have you cracked jokes or been disruptive? Have you consistently turned your homework in late or asked for too many extensions on big assignments? If you can admit that you have been doing any of these behaviors, you can approach your teacher, apologize for your mistakes and promise to try to change your ways. Most likely, your teacher will appreciate your honesty and maturity.
Recognize it may have nothing to do with you
If you haven’t done anything specific that you can think of to annoy your teacher, just remember that teachers are human, too! They may be going through personal challenges outside of school that are causing them to be irritable. Or there may be other factors in your class that they are having trouble managing. Whatever the reason, if a teacher is just plain grumpy, it’s probably about them, not you.
Prove them wrong
If you think your teacher is giving you lower grades than you deserve because of preconceived notions about you, it can be tempting to give up trying. Instead, do what you can to turn the situation around by putting in your best work. Hopefully, you will amaze the teacher with your newfound drive and effort.
Consider that maybe they’re pushing you harder for a reason
Sometimes the teachers who push us the hardest are the ones who see the most potential. They may put higher expectations on you than other students because they believe you can achieve more. In the moment, it may seem unfair or punishing, but if you can survive the test, you might come to appreciate that they saw something special in you and tried to encourage it. Someday you may look back and realize the teacher who seemed the harshest wound up being your favorite.
See if you can change classes
If none of these efforts work, you may want to consider changing classes. Talk to your parents, guidance counselor, department head or school principal and explain what is going on. (However, make sure you’ve already spoken with the teacher before you go to the department head or principal). Usually, you’ll end up having a meeting with the teacher and your parents or school administrator present to see if you can work something out. And sometimes the school will agree that switching sections is the best option.
Above all, remember to have an open mind and a positive attitude. Usually when you take actions to try to improve the situation, it will make things much easier!