I don’t know the age of your kids, but I have two in high school (15 and 17). I’ve been realizing the things my kids and their friends say about teachers they don’t like are very similar to what I have heard co-workers/friends say about bad bosses. When we think about our kids, especially their happiness, we have a lot of emotion involved; so I have been thinking of how I use positive reinforcement for friends and coworkers who aren’t getting it from their boss. How do you continue to inspire excitement in adults who are not given the credit or motivation they deserve? I have a short list of things I do below… In doing this I am hoping I’m also preparing my kids for being strong and independent when they are older and starting their career.
I review my kids classes with them and we decide on rewards for exceeding the ‘standards’ that need to be met that year. I tell my kids to bring home a syllabus or ‘class expectations’ and we walk through them together. They have been different depending on the teacher, but I look at what is really important for them to succeed that year (test, quizzes, attendance) and depending on how many expectations I’m asking them to exceed, we choose one big thing or make a list of the little things that will happen when they achieve each. My kids have chosen things like go to a movie, one night with an extended curfew, have a slumber-party, buy a new video game (with a price limit), manicure, etc.
I don’t know if this helps. I’m just trying to have my kids understand the expectations throughout the year and motivate them to accomplish them without threats or fear of failure. It’s worked so far, even when they don’t achieve the ‘expectations’ they are encouraged to hit the next one… or figure out how to make it up. Good luck!
I had this happened last year with my youngest. He was never keen on school and the teacher he got, well, he was not a fan of hers. I am not sure what it was he didn’t like because to me, she seemed very nice. He was in 5th grade last year so I wasn’t really sure what to do. He continued to express that he wasn’t happy for 2 weeks into the new school year so I spoke with the principle and guidance counselor and they agreed to just switch him to another class and he was fine after that. Maybe that is something you can look into if it is a problem?