School Problems: When The School and the Teachers are The Problem, Not Your Child
In the days when my son attended high school, he was bullied by many of the teachers and labelled a “slacker”, even though he tried hard to do well. But no matter how hard he tried, his grades just seemed to get worse, and no matter how hard he studied, he just couldn’t seem to remember anything at exam time. The teachers started telling him he was lazy, and that he was slacking. I was convinced he was the problem and laziness his driver. I was sure he would not pass the year.
The Problem Wasn't My Son; It Was the School
After receiving letters from the teachers, punishing my son as a result of the letters, speaking to the teachers and being shocked at what they were telling me about my son’s behavior, I finally decided to call a meeting with the teachers who seemed to have a problem with him.
We gathered in the school boardroom for what seemed like a session of war. The war waging was between the teachers, the vice principal and myself against a 14 year old boy. My 14 year old son didn’t stand a chance.
How my heart breaks when I remember that day. Because I stood with the teachers against my teenage son, and I stood with them because I was convinced that they were right and he was wrong. But as the meeting progressed, I saw how they bullied him, giving him no chance to speak. As we left, me in confusion at what I had witnessed (for goodness sake, these were teachers! How could they bully a child?!), and him in tears and sorrow, I knew that the problem lay not with my son as I had originally thought, but rather with the school.
Bullying By a Teacher?
Teachers Who Bully
It was some time after that, that he was diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Disorder. Not once had any teacher considered this as a possibility for the problems he seemed to show in his school work. The symptoms he showed were as follows:
- A noticeable difference between his intellectual capacity and his grades (he was just about failing in almost every subject)
- He was bullied by his peers and labelled stupid
- He often suffered depression
- He never made friends easily
- He was forgetful and would do the wrong homework, or forget he had homework
- He would lose focus and concentration and be easily distracted
- Teachers complained about his behavior and thought he was rebellious
Finally, we understood what the problem was, because there was a definite disconnect between what his teachers were complaining about, and his behavior at home. He was content to be alone, didn’t party, smoke, drink etc. He was a good kid.
The really sad thing is that only two of his teachers ever sat down and spoke with him in the attempt to help him, but the rest just treated him like he was a nuisance to be tolerated in their class. Not one of them looked deeper into the situation and therefore, they never understood why he was such a “rebel” (as many of them put it). They automatically just conspired against him, except for those two teachers who are just about his only pleasant encounter with teachers in a high school setting. Those two teachers will never be forgotten. Those two teachers had real love for their students, unlike the others who bullied a child they should have been trying to positively shape.
If Your Teen Has School Problems, What Can You Do?
As a parent of a good kid who was being bullied by teachers, my advice to you if your child is doing badly at school, or tells you about unfair teachers, is to investigate why. If a teacher tells you your kid is lazy, examine where the laziness comes from. Is it friends? Is it psychological? Is it ADD, or ADHD? Don’t blindly accept what teachers tell you about your kids. They may be right about what they say (and please parents, don’t blindly take your child’s side either), but they may very well be wrong.
If you can’t identify the problem, examine the teachers. My son says he really started going downhill when the teachers lost faith in him. They picked on him, and deeply unhappy, it showed in his grades.
It may be that the teachers are mean and unloving, or even just simply not caring. You may ask why this would affect your child’s grades? My son says he picked it up in class, sometimes subconsciously, and so he would respond with the same attitude, by not caring about said teacher’s class. This is why the teenager might do well in certain classes and badly in others. It’s all up to the teacher taking the class.
Each Child's Learning Style is Different: Discover Your Child's:
Creative Kids Often Battle in the School System
The School System Often Doesn't Work For Creative Kids
To boot, if it’s not a case of your teen having ADD or ADHD, the school system only rewards a particular type of child, and there’s a great chance that the style of teaching is wrong for your child. Since all people learn differently, the school system is difficult for many artistic and creative people. The school system is respondent to the left side of the brain, which is mathematical and realistic, but some people like my son learn well in a colorful and fun environment. If this is the case with your teenager, look for a school who can provide that style of learning, or even just talk to the school, and ask them to put some color into the work, or some fun activities.
Self-Help Books for Teens (read the review below):
Book Reviews: The ADHD Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Gain Motivation and Confidence (Instant Help Book for Teens)
Self-help topics covered:
- Attention deficit hyperactive disorder
- ADD help
- achieving goals despite having ADHD
- how to self-calm
- how to get organized
- how to be confident
11 – 18 years
Male and female
Books for teens review:
A teenager with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder may find it difficult to pay attention and sit still when their impulses are constantly tempting them to do the opposite. In The ADHD Workbook for Teens, they’ll learn simple skills to confidently handle school, make and keep friends, and organize and finish every project they start (which is something the Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder teen struggles with).
This workbook helps teens find out who they really are through a series of exercises and worksheets that focuses on identifying their strengths and interests. Then, they'll begin using those strengths to create strategies for overcoming the ADHD related issues they struggle with. Topics included:
- Learn how to calm yourself down when you feel hyperactive or impulsive
- Develop plans for meeting the goals that matter to you most
- Get your life under control and organize your schedule
- Improve your social life by becoming a better listener and friend