How do I express my concern about how a teacher handles student discipline?

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Michael Schoch, Answers questions on Noodle

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Becoming involved in your child's school life can be overwhelming. A lot of parents are trying to walk a fine line between seeming aloof and neglectful on one hand, and hawkish and overbearing on the other. However, if you think your child is being treated unfairly, or if it's clear that your child is upset by her interactions with teachers or administrators, it's vital to open up lines of communication in order to discover the problem.

Education experts at Noodle have written a few articles targeted at the different facets of this issue. You may want to check out this article on what to do if your child feels intimidated by a teacher. It advocates keeping a cool head in front of your child and not becoming immediately enraged at the teacher or school. It also encourages parents to focus first on speaking with their children and getting them to openly communicate about school.

There's another article about speaking with the administration at your school, which offers some great conversational tips on how to bring up any issues you have without becoming too accusatory too quickly.

Finally, this article on what to do if you sense a teacher doesn't like your child breaks the communication process down into steps. You start by speaking with the teacher to get a sense of what's going on, then you strategize with your child on how best to resolve the situation. You only speak with school officials or seek action against a teacher as a last resort.

Hopefully these articles give you a clear path towards resolving school conflicts. It seems like the overarching message is to stay as calm as possible while constantly striving for open communication. If, for some reason, that strategy breaks down, then you can look into other more serious options.

Best of luck! Feel free to write back any time you need!

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