Every teacher has to deal with disrespectful students. While no two situations are alike, perceptive teachers can find ways to manage the situation. First of all, refuse to take the disrespect personally. Keep in mind that the child does not really know you as a person and is responding as a child would—childishly.

Next, work to minimize the disruption in your classroom. Depending on the degree of disrespect-from rolling eyes and heavy sighs to loud remarks, you can choose to keep everyone else as on task as possible. 

Deal with the misbehaving student personally and in private whenever you can. When you do speak with the student, resist the urge to engage in a verbal battle. Instead, take a problem-solving approach. Work to solve the original problem and usually the student will volunteer an apology.

Even if the child does not apologize, when the behavior improves, be glad. You won. Even better, the child is on the right path.

When parents and teachers don’t work together, everyone loses. Unfortunately, this can happen to any teacher at just about any time. If you have done everything you can to build a positive relationship with the parents of your students and if a parent still refuses to believe you or work with you, then you need to speak to a supervisor or administrator about the situation. (It would certainly be best to do this before the parent does.) Ask for assistance and advice. Be very careful to maintain meticulous documentation.

Also, grit your teeth and continue to treat the parent with respect, dignity, and professional courtesy. You have nothing to lose if you do this. Finally, and really, most important—keep in mind your larger goal: the welfare of the child. Don’t let a conflict with a parent affect the positive relationship that you want to maintain with all of the children in your class.

By: Mrs. Gemma G. Dela Cruz | Teacher I | Bonifacio Camacho National High School | Abucay, Bataan

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