How to Deal With Nasty Teachers?


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Almost every high school, university, and college student is familiar with the expression “nasty teacher”. Though, in the relationship between a teacher and a student, it’s difficult to understand who is actually right and who is wrong, as both sides have their own reasons for believing that they are right.

Everything is clear when the student understands the cause of tensions, e.g. he doesn’t study well, skips classes, tests, and exams, etc. But when the student seems to be active in classes, takes all exams, and knows and understands the subject, why does the tension happen then, why does the teacher behave nasty and how to deal with it?

There is another reason for a teacher being nasty – a student may have insulted the teacher – was rude, was not attentive when talking to the teacher, and did not say hi. On the other hand, a teacher may just not like a student, and no matter how hard a student tries, everything he does is incorrect and all the written assignments are graded low.

Regardless of the reasons for the teacher’s nasty behavior – what should you do as a student? Many will advise you to contact the administration, write a complaint and, if possible, ask for a transfer to a different class with a different teacher. However, these measures taken might not help and only make the current teacher angry. Of course, you can go to write complaints again, but first, you need to build solid evidence of the teacher’s bias, you can’t prove anything with empty hands.

Collect solid evidence

If you are absolutely sure that the teacher is biased and is behaving nasty, then start collecting evidence. Use a voice recorder on your smartphone, record a video of the teacher’s nasty behavior, make notes, and ask other students if they are willing to report the same things and be your witnesses.  

You should defend your interests at all costs. For that, you will need:

  • self-confidence
  • courage
  • patience
  • excellent knowledge of the subject
  • a well-spoken language (doesn’t always save)

Think about why the teacher is behaving nasty. Could it be that he is just trying to ask you some questions or, on the contrary, help you be a better student? It often happens that a student does not know the subject well, but believes that he is experiencing biased behavior from a teacher. Prepare for all tests and exams so that you are confident in your knowledge. It is impossible to drown someone who can answer questions well and knows the subject.

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How to build a conversation with a teacher

Peaceful resolution of a conflict is the main goal of the conversation with a nasty teacher. In 9 out of 10 cases, the best solution would be to just talk to the teacher. However, you need to prepare for this conversation and conduct it in such a way as not to aggravate the situation. So, when going to talk to the teacher: 

  1. Try to schedule a meeting personally, not through the school administration.
  2. Choose the right time. It is best if it is after school, but not at the very end of the working day.
  3. It is desirable that the meeting takes place face-to-face, but within the walls of the school (the best option is the teacher’s office, as serious conversations in the corridor are taboo).
  4. Try to make it clear to the teacher that you are not going to expose or accuse him of anything.
  5. Begin the conversation by indicating the desired result (“I would like our conversation to lead to positive changes in our relationship”).
  6. Be sure to talk about the fact that you recognize some of your shortcomings, and gently steer the conversation in the direction of acknowledging that everyone has the right to make a mistake (in case you are really guilty of something).
  7. Next, you should directly ask questions about the reasons for the teacher’s dissatisfaction (never mention nasty behavior, etc.). Perhaps, by behaving nasty, the teacher takes revenge for some actions directed at him by you (for example, an insult, which you don’t even remember).
  8. Depending on the answer received, the conversation can go in two directions: understanding and recognition on the part of the teacher of his mistakes, or embitterment because of your attempt to expose the teacher with an unprofessional attitude.
  9. In any case, you should end the conversation by thanking him or her for the time spent.

Depending on what kind of results you manage to achieve by talking to the teacher, it is easier to outline a plan of further actions. In most cases, an open and friendly conversation solves all tensions and changes the situation for the better.

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