Blog

Dealing with Teachers You Don’t Like


Dealing with teachers you dislike (or one that you believe dislikes you) is one of your first big life lessons for adulthood.  As you mature and go off into the world, you’ll have to deal with people you don’t like.  You’ll also need to work with people that seem not to like you. Unfortunately, it’s going to happen more than you’d like it too.  So, even though it’s miserable to sit in a class with a teacher that makes you unhappy, learning to cope with this situation now will make it easier in the long run.

Uncover Your Issues

Don’t ignore the situation or run away from it.  You’ll learn a lot more about yourself – and demonstrate the maturity that teachers love if you face your issues.  Start by being honest with yourself about the teacher you can’t get on with.  What is it that you dislike?

Is it the way he teaches?  Does she speak too quickly?  Do you feel like you’re not getting clear explanations or answers?  If the reason you dislike a teacher is due to teaching style, approach them and speak to them about your concerns.  Many teachers will welcome feedback  – as long as you keep it positive and not too critical.  You don’t like feeling as though you’re under attack – and your teachers feel the same way.   By discussing your issues, you’ll also show how invested you are in your education.  And, that always helps.

Of course, if you have an issue with a teacher that doesn’t involve teaching style, you’ll need to approach this situation just as you would anyone else that you don’t truly get along with.  Most often this means displaying the appropriate courtesy when needed.  After all, rarely does a student-teacher conflict lead to a change in schedule or teachers.

Focus on the Positive

A teacher you dislike can have a negative effect on your learning and confidence. It’s important to not allow yourself to be discouraged.  Instead, look for the positives in this class. It may be the subject material or even that you’ve got a good friend in the class that you can study with.  You’ll soon find that you dread that class less once you find a positive reason to be there.  And, don’t allow your feelings to jeopardize your grades.  Try to participate, avoid distractions and don’t cross the line.

I Don’t Dislike My Teacher; She Dislikes Me

Contrary to popular belief, most teachers don’t dislike their students.  They’re in the wrong profession if they don’t get on well with their students.

To your teachers, you’re an investment.  They want you to succeed.  And, it’s discouraging when you’re not meeting your potential.  That’s likely when you feel that a teacher is on your case or picking on you.

If you feel that a teacher is picking on you, speak to her in a calm manner.  And, if you still feel nothing is changing,  speak to your guidance counsellor.  It’s likely that you’ll get assistance to mediate the situation. If you feel a teacher doesn’t like you try to be the bigger person, work with them to resolve the reason rather than making it worse by being on the attack.

If you dislike a teacher (because you feel that you’re not liked back) you may just try to make that teacher’s life difficult by pushing the boundaries or misbehaving in class.  But this is an absolute don’t!  It will garner the wrong form of attention from the teacher and strain the relationships in class.

Put Yourself in Your Teacher’s Shoes

Consider how your teacher feels instead of getting angry.  It’s not easy when you have prepared a lesson, and all you receive back are blank stares and eye rolls.  Indeed, it and be quite discouraging.  You’re likely to receive a more of a positive reaction from a teacher if you show an interest or participate more in class.  Try working with the teacher instead of against them.

Feeling some empathy for your teacher may make you realise that you might not dislike them as much as you thought. Remember your teacher has a very different perspective of the lesson and the class than you do.

Requesting a schedule change should be your last resort.  Remember there are always two sides to every story.  Focus on the positive and be a positive member of the class. If this does not help you in enjoying the class or liking the teacher, only then look at moving classes.

Unfortunately, you will always encounter people you don’t like and will need to figure out a way to work successfully with them.  That’s just the way of the world and learning from the experience now will make it much easier in the future.