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What to Do When Your Child Is Miserable in His Classroom Environment

Johnny used to love school.  Now, however, he cries every day before he goes to school.  He’s told you that he doesn’t like school anymore and doesn’t want to be there.  Here’s what you should do.

First and foremost, you should ask Johnny what he doesn’t like about school.  You may have to ask a variety of probing questions to understand what is troubling him.

Next, you must respond to Johnny’s concerns, whatever they may be.  If he says he’s being bullied, you should speak with Johnny’s teacher to alert her to the problem and ensure that she keeps a closer eye on the bully to prevent further bullying behavior.  If he says that he thinks his teacher this year is “mean”, then you will need to know what “mean” means.  What behavior does she exhibit that he is interpreting as “mean”?  You may also pop in on Johnny’s classroom once or twice just to observe classroom interactions.  If the teacher’s “mean” behavior is sounding more like a teacher that is all business, then you can talk to Johnny about the difference between “mean” and “not snuggly”.  Emphasize that this teacher’s presentation is not intended to be “mean” but merely “efficient”.  Help Johnny reframe how he views his teacher’s behaviors.  You may also speak with Johnny’s teacher about the way Johnny perceives her behaviors.  If the teacher truly is being “mean”, you must notify school administration.

If the problem (whatever it is) cannot be corrected, then you must assess your options.  Can Johnny transfer to a different class within the same school or in a different school?  Would his coursework be the same or would the transfer create academic difficulties?  What affect would the transfer have on his social circle?  These and other considerations must be evaluated.  Johnny’s input should be sought and given consideration as well.  After all factors have been considered, you must make the decision that is right for Johnny.

By handling Johnny’s classroom discontent in this way, you can effectively resolve Johnny’s concerns and restore his happiness in his academic experience.

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