My Teacher Hates Me

My Teacher Hates Me

We sit together, bent over their books.
The twins and I.
‘I hate it’, says N, throwing down her pen.
She knows I dislike the work ‘hate’ and so she says it again,
‘I hate this teacher and I hate this subject.’

For once, I refuse to rise to the bait deciding instead, that we all could do with a break. She walks off relieved and so do I.

It cannot be that time of the year without an exam post. Right? It’s a biennual ritual of sorts on the blog. This time however, there is a larger issue that’s been plaguing me for a while.

To be fair it’s been a rough year for all of us what with our move and the increased academic pressure. To make matters worse N has had it specially hard with a particular teacher who ‘hates her’, according to her. It doesn’t help that the subject is one of her least favourite ones.

I find it hard to believe that a teacher can hate a student, specially a non-trouble making, eager-to-please child like N and I’m not being partisan.

I know only too well that not being liked by a teacher can prejudice one against a subject for life. This particular teacher’s remarks range from mildly insulting to downright cruel. To be fair, none of his remarks are personal, but they’re mean nevertheless.

The thought of having a word with him has crossed my mind but I’ve been reluctant to do so. The thing is we all have had unpleasant teachers, the ones who insulted us in the worst possible ways. We learnt to handle them. We’d try get into their good books, we’d work harder or we’d simply lie low and get by.

So what has changed? Because something certainly has. I am seeing first hand how deeply it affects N. I see her already shaky teenage self-esteem being slowly chipped away by this one teacher. I know for a fact N isn’t the only one – I know of specific cases of other teachers and other children. Why are children so deeply affected these days?

Is it something to do with our parenting? Are we raising over-sensitive children? Is the idea of ‘gentle parenting’ proving to be counterproductive? If I intervene on her behalf am I taking away a learning opportunity from her? Easing her way, rather than letting her find her own?


Have the teachers become less patient, more judgemental? It’s hardly a crime to not be good at a particular subject. Why be cruel? Back in our time, did we accept our teachers because we had complete faith in their impartiality and their intentions, which isn’t so now?

Or it’s none of the above

but just me, being an over anxious parent, giving too much importance to my daughter’s pain, which she might not even remember a few years hence?


It’s crazy how much of an overdrive my head goes into. Yeah, I’m seriously considering changing my name from obsessivemom to very-very-confused-over-thinking-mom.

I’d love to hear from you. How would you handle a situation like this?


I am participating in the #wordsmatter bloghop. 38 of us have come together to write for this bloghop. I received the tag from Holly Jahangiri who blogs at A Fresh Perspective and I’m happy to pass on the tag to Rajlakshmi at Destiny’s ChildFollow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop for some interesting posts.

30 Replies to “My Teacher Hates Me”

  1. I don’t know what to recommend but I sure can understand that this must be hard. Maybe you should just talk to the teacher to see how he is. What’s his perspective on N and her liking for the subject. I think this would give you a peek into the teacher and then you can take a call if the teacher is mean or they way he says things. That is just my HR brain thinking. Good luck and I would be keen to know how you tackled.
    Parul Thakur recently put up this amazing post…#ThursdayTreeLove – 73My Profile

    1. Thanks Parul. I did speak to the teacher and have simultaneously been working with N to improve on the subject. Keeping my fingers crossed now as the new session starts post Diwali.

  2. Parenting is a hard job–just reading this makes my head spin! Hats off to you moms.

    (On another note, been trying to get in touch–please check your inbox?)
    Damyanti recently put up this amazing post…Aki SchilzMy Profile

  3. Teachers are our role model and we look upto them. We as kids always try to please them and make them happy. We want to be praised by them but when they make nasty remarks they hurt our self-esteem, they shake our confidence. This is the age when kids don’t blame the teacher rather they start thinking that something is wrong with them and they are not “lovable”. I think Tulika, you should speak to the teacher. I am going through a similar situation with my son’s maths teacher and I can see how it is affecting his confidence. Do not ignore this.

    1. I did talk to the teacher Balaka. And it helped. N showed a little bit of improvement and mercifully he noticed it and mentioned it. That seemed to be enough for N to try harder. Isn’t it amazing how a teacher can make so much difference? I do hope things improve for your son too. Maths is the Achilles heel of so many of us. The more you fear it the worse it becomes.

  4. Aah! We had this discussion just last night. AG was made to stand outside the class yesterday (Yes, in a college!) for no fault of his. He had valid reasons but the teacher just ignored his appeal. This teacher has been really mean and irrational in her approach with other kids too! While both KG and AG were annoyed and wanted me to speak to the teacher, I believed that AG should have explained better and more. As there will be unjust and nasty people always, he should learn to handle them. While AG is a big boy, N is a sensitive kid, so guess you must speak to the teacher. Such tricky situations!! Hope it all works out well for N!

    1. I subscribe to your line of thought Shilpa. I believe children should be capable of handling criticism (even one that sounds unfair) on their own, which is why I have held off speaking to him. What you said about N still being young, is also true. In any case I’m off for their PTM this Saturday and I’m hoping to sort it out with him.
      PS: KG and AG sound so cute :-).

  5. Talk to N about how sometimes life is not a bed of roses, but also talk to the teacher and ask her what the matter is. That will also tell your daughter that you are in her corner ready to fight for her happiness

  6. That’s a tricky situation. Teachers can be so harsh at times. I don’t know why they can’t realize how badly they must be hurting a child’s confidence. As you said this can also be a lesson to your child to handle life. It can improve his resilience… It can make him more determined to prove to the teacher that he can do better. That’s what my dad used to say when I had issues with a Sanskrit teacher. But then all kids have different temperament. Some are disheartened, some take it up as a challenge. Hope things get better.
    Rajlakshmi recently put up this amazing post…6 months Postpartum | Yoga and Health #WordsmatterMy Profile

    1. Yup, kids are all different and they respond differently to criticism – I can see it in H and N. Some of them are motivated to work harder while others just tend to give up. I did notice N being extra cautious with the subject even though she kept pretending she didn’t care. So there might be a positive outcome after all the heartbreak.

  7. I have had a similar experience in the past. The younger son is sensitive or let’s say dwells too much on stray comments. But then some teachers are genuinely mean, and there is no reason for a teacher to be so. What I did was gently but firmly broached it with the teacher at a special appointment I had sought with her. Younger son was with me so that he was in the loop and could respond if he wanted to. He, however, generally clams up in such situations. I told her that her brusque remarks may affect children adversely. I have seen that being direct without being confrontational often is the best approach. If nothing else, at least your child feels heard. After that, if he told me of any mean remarks, I told him that some people are like that and we have to learn to develop a thick skin. That helped to some extent though he continued to ‘hate’ this teacher. I don’t know if it helps but this is what I did. As per your question, it is a bit of both and I don’t think it is wrong. I, for one, felt that our parents were too detached and hence our teachers got away with a lot of unsavoury behaviour. Wish you luck in handling this.

    1. Oh it’s absolutely the same situation here. She shuts down too. And has too thin a skin! Your point about them feeling ‘heard’ is pertinent. It seems like a better idea to meet him privately at a separate appointment rather than the PTM. Thanks Rachna.

  8. Seeing your angst here, makes me wonder why are you even doubting yourself. Go and talk to the teacher and figure out whats the problem. Self confidence being eroded away is not good at all and leads to all kinds of unhealable scars which are painful in later life. I am speaking from personal experience. Its so tough to have confidence in the first place with all these peer pressures. Then comes a figure of authority who takes you down inch by inch. Not done at all, especially as you said so yourself about N being a good child.

    Take matters in your hands and do take it up with the teacher. No child is so tough that they handle everything away- they just store it away. Just N saying a word three times thats likely to bring a reaction from you, is a sign that she wants your attention on this.

    I am not a mom so I hope my two bits are taken with a grain of salt or two. hope you find a resolution from this soon Tulika. Hugs to N!!!
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    1. Thanks Shalz. N and I have talked about it constantly. My first reaction was to make her strong enough to handle it herself. There will always be people trying to bring one down. In this case it’s a little worse because she’s the kind of child who will not answer back. Which is why I will bring it up in the next PTM. Thanks again.

  9. I actually had a problem like this once, where my little one thought that her teacher did not like her. It was when we shifted to Pune, so Miss A had adjustment problems and she did not like the teacher as well since she would talk in marathi. However, during a PTM, I made sincere efforts to talk to both the teacher and Miss A face to face. Things did ease out a little after that. #WordsMatter

  10. I think you should tell your daughter that there will always be people who like her and who she likes and vice versa. We spend far too much time pampering their egos ? I know no one pampered mine. I went thropugh life with many teachers who didn’t like me but I never lt bother me. in fact it made me work harder to impress them
    Unishta recently put up this amazing post…Happy Birthday dear GandhijiMy Profile

    1. My thoughts exactly. I’ve been trying to tell her the only way to turn this around is to study harder and not give him the chance to ridicule her while also developing somewhat of a thick skin. Thanks Sunita.

  11. Ouch! Yes, you are overthinking it. And yes, it is very natural for a mother to do so. In my opinion, we need to equip children to fight their own battles. Once they leave the nest they will have to deal with bigger issues. I have always preferred to let them deal with the small ones by themselves so that they are ready when the big ones hit! And hit they will!

    But we need to share our experiences with them and nudge them along with our opinions and comments to guide them. My two cents. I hope this helps.

    1. Thanks Jyothi it did help. I know I over-react sometimes. The sight of her tears makes me want to set things right with the wave of a wand. That’s not happening I know.

  12. I can understand your child losing interest on the subject because of the teacher. Teachers have more influence on students than anyone else. Parenting and also teaching changed over time. In old days when a strict teacher disciplined a child by beating, no one would have talked but now both parents and teachers are expected to be gentle. But, if teachers are using harsh words and crushing a child’s interest on the subject instead of doing a constructive criticism, parents should intervene.

    1. That exactly is what the problem is Ramya – he’s an old timer and perhaps doesn’t understand the idea of modern day teaching. His comments are proving to be counter-productive.

  13. I can imagine how it feels, Tulika because I’ve been there before! I can say that this is particularly difficult with sensitive kids who are victimised by authoritarian and judgemental teachers (who take it out on certain kids only!). I’d definitely ask you to request a meeting with the teacher and discuss this in detail. Last year, I had a similar issue with my son who was being singled out by a teacher in a subject that he was very fond of, but the teacher always marked him down! Discussing the issue certainly helped pave a solution but only over time.
    Esha M Dutta recently put up this amazing post…It’s Not That Time of the Year Without… | #WordsMatterMy Profile

  14. I do not see any problem with gentle parenting. There are certain personalities among teachers who (for their own reason) are rude, nasty and pick upon children. I have heard a familiar tale from a friend about his sensitive son, brilliant in studies, but hitting the lows because of one teacher. I think you can talk to that teacher to understand what is the case citing N’s declining interest in the subject. Parenting is tough and ever so confusing.
    Anamika Agnihotri recently put up this amazing post…It’s not that time of the year… #WordsMatterMy Profile

    1. I feel teachers need soft-skills training Anamika. I’m not sure this one is even aware he’s being cruel. He’s one of those insensitive old-timers who have an awful way to pulling up students. When I said gentle parenting might be a problem I meant that we’re making the children over sensitive, too easily hurt and unable to handle unpleasantness. I really am so unsure about it all.

  15. This is really a hard one. I’m tempted to say it’s a little of both – children have slightly thinner skin these days and teachers are increasingly a frustrated bunch and not impartial as they once were. Perhaps, if you shared your experiences from school or otherwise and how you handled rejection or being picked on…. Like I said, no easy answers, but I am sure you will find a way.

    1. Thanks Corinne. I tried that and it did work to some extent. She still finds it tough to handle, what she thinks is a public humiliation. I wish she could laugh it away like a lot of kids can.

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On my other blog: Beat About The Book

Unfinished #BookReview

Unfinished #BookReview

Priyanka, with her grit and her determination, as also her ability to stand up to all kinds of trolling and bullying, has always been inspirational. Everything about her seems to spell, ‘Say what you will, I’ll do my own thing’. To me, that’s the greatest kind of freedom anyone can ever aspire for. And that’s what prompted me to pick up her biography.