There are perfectly good reasons why teachers are often considered as young people’s parents outside of home. Apart from the fact that they are tasked with imparting knowledge to students and preparing them for life after school, they often serve as mentors who provide inspiration, support, wisdom, and important lessons in life to their students. Indeed, the bonds between teachers and students can grow and become friendships that endure even after graduation. Although teachers can be positive influences in students’ lives, there are also times when they become a source of stress for students. One such example of this is when it seems as if a teacher doesn’t like a student. It’s a situation familiar to almost everyone: the teacher seems to be harder on you than other students, gives you lower marks for no apparent reasons, or treats you with less warmth than others in your class. Indeed, most people have at one time or another struggled with thoughts like “my teacher doesn’t like me,” “I feel like my teacher doesn’t like me,” or “why doesn’t my teacher like me, I haven’t done anything bad.” If you’re one of those students who have felt this way, and if you have also thought that “the teacher doesn’t like me” but are unsure why, then this post is for you. Here, we look at some of the possible reasons why your teacher seems to dislike you and what you can do to cope and improve the situation.
Observe the Teacher’s Behavior
If you’ve ever said to yourself that “my teacher doesn't like me for no reason,” you’re not alone. Countless students feel this way every day, and it’s not surprising when students say my teacher doesn’t like me. But before jumping into conclusions, you should first determine if this really is the case. Note that some teachers are just not that friendly towards students. For instance, if the teacher treats you the way he treats everyone else, perhaps it means that you’re not really being singled out. It could also mean that the teacher is by nature aloof. If this is how the teacher is towards everyone, then maybe there should be no cause for concern for now. That said, there’s a difference between a teacher who’s just naturally distant from everyone and a teacher who’s causing unnecessary stress for everyone. Ask yourself, “a teacher doesn’t like me, but is it something that I should worry about?” If the teacher’s behavior towards you is causing negative effects regardless of her behavior towards others, there may be a need for you to address the situation. But if the issue is not really causing any problems, then just ignoring the issue may be the best course of action.
Now, assuming that there are clear signs that the teacher doesn’t like you, then what you should do is conduct self-reflection. Teachers seldom show their dislike for students without a reason, although this is certainly possible. But since it would be unfair to immediately assume that a teacher doesn’t like you for no reason, it will be better to first consider your own behavior and performance. For instance, you may ask yourself these questions: Is there any reason why my teacher doesn’t like me? Am I breaking any rules? Am I being unpleasant in class? Is the quality of my coursework a source of disappointment for my teacher? Reflecting is especially important if your teacher liked you before but then suddenly changed. For example, you used to get along with your teacher well but then it seems that she has become harder on you. If you can say for certain that “my teacher doesn’t like me anymore,” try to think of reasons why. Sometimes, simply reflecting may help you realize if you’re doing anything wrong and how you can improve yourself, which in turn may help in enhancing your relationship with your teacher.
Participate More in Class
One of the ways to improve your situation is by participating more in class. There are times when teachers don’t like students because it seems like they are not taking their studies seriously. This often happens to students who tend to be quiet and just sit in class. Being quiet, however, does not always mean that a student lacks interest. It could be that you are just naturally silent in class. As one student might say, “my teacher doesn’t like me because I’m quiet.” In such instances, participating more in class may be the solution. Show your teacher that you are interested in class by asking or answering questions, giving your opinions, and interacting with your classmates. You don’t have to be too eager; just showing that you are engaging with others in class may be enough. However, this is can be challenging for you if you’re an introvert. But sometimes, stepping out of your comfort zone is necessary.
Being disliked by a teacher will likely make you want to retaliate, but this is one of the biggest mistakes you could ever make. If you retaliate in the wrong way, such as by provoking a fight, intentionally failing the course, talking behind your teacher’s back, or behaving rudely in class, you’re just giving your teacher justification for disliking you. This tactic will most probably just backfire and you’ll end up becoming the problem student that you’re trying hard not to be. Retaliating can also prompt your teacher into making your life more difficult, so you’re really not doing yourself any favors if you choose to take this course of action. Additionally, retaliating the wrong way will only give you a bad reputation that may cause other teachers to dislike you. Rather than retaliate, there are other options that you could take, as will be discussed later on.
Apart from not retaliating, showing your teacher due respect is still important. Sure, you’re mad because your teacher’s probably being unfair. Sure, it’s well within your right to address the issue. But remember that your teacher is still in a position of authority, and showing disrespect is not the way to solve the problem. Whether you decide to address the matter or not, showing your respect is essential because that’s your responsibility as a student. You can always defend yourself or argue your case without being disrespectful.
Give Your Best in Class
If you’re still unsure why your teacher doesn’t like you, the best thing you can do to change this is by giving your best in class. This means that you should focus on your academic performance. Make sure that you participate in class, submit all requirements, and pass all your exams. Being a good student will probably win your teacher over. And even if excelling in school doesn’t change your teacher’s attitude towards you, being a good student will protect you from receiving low marks. If you’re doing well in class, your teacher will have no reason to give you a bad grade at the end of the course. The quality of your coursework doesn’t lie. That way, you won’t be saying “I got an F because my teacher doesn’t like me.”
Tap Into Your Support System
If you find yourself getting increasingly stressed out because your teacher doesn’t like you, looking for support from your friends can be a big help. Your friends are probably familiar with your problem. They probably experienced it before. In fact, simply saying “I think my teacher doesn’t like me” is enough for your friends to understand exactly how you feel. After all, the feeling that a teacher is not that fond of you is practically universal. By tapping into your support system, you’ll be able to receive trustworthy advice from people who care about you. Asking your friends for help can be beneficial since the advice will come from your peers who are likely in the very same situation as you currently are. They will know what your situation is and offer you comfort and assistance.
Apart from asking for support from your friends, another way to cope when your teacher doesn’t like you is by talking to your school counselor. Every school has a counselor whose main responsibilities include helping students develop as individuals, providing advice on academic and career choices, and generally aiding students in resolving their concerns. Because of the nature of the job, a counselor is in an excellent position to help you when dealing with a teacher who dislikes you. You won’t be the first to tell the counselor that “the teacher doesn’t like me.” The counselor can help you reflect on how you are as a student, give advice on what you can do to improve your situation, and even bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate authorities if the counselor considers it necessary.
Talk to Your Teacher
So you have already tried different tactics. You’ve thought about your behavior and performance but you can’t think of a single reason why your teacher should dislike you. You’ve also talked to your friends but they can’t offer any advice. The school counselor is also equally baffled as you and right now cannot give any assistance. If you’re running out of options, one thing you can do is talk to the teacher directly. This is not an easy task. Most students will find it nerve-wracking to go directly to their teacher and ask why it appears that that they are not liked. However, you must bear in mind that sometimes the best way to deal with a problem is by coming face to face with it. If you do go to your teacher, there are important things to remember. First, be respectful towards your teacher. You’re more likely to receive a positive response if you show due courtesy. Adopting a confrontational and accusatory approach will only make your teacher feel uncomfortable. Second, be clear in explaining why you feel like you are not liked. This will help the teacher get a clearer picture of why you’re feeling that way. Finally, express your willingness to improve by asking which areas you think you need to work on. Remember, if you’re asking why the teacher doesn’t like you, you need to be prepared to address any valid reason that he might tell you. Otherwise, there is no point in asking. Once you get your answer and you recognize that the points are valid, make sure that you do exert your best effort to change so that your teacher will no longer have any reason to not like you.
If you already tried different ways to resolve your problem including talking to your teacher but you’re still not getting any positive results, maybe it’s time to involve your parents. Talking to your teacher is a good idea, but it does not guarantee that your teacher will accommodate your concerns and give you the answer that your need. In fact, there’s even the possibility that your teacher will deny that she dislikes you and assure you that you’re just fine, only to show later on the same attitude that made you feel disliked in the first place. If talking to your teacher doesn’t help, involving your parents will likely make a bigger impact. Unlike you who’s a student, your parents are older and on equal footing with your teacher. Having your parents talk to your teacher may make her feel that the concern is serious. In other words, your parents have more leverage than you, and a teacher is more likely to be responsive to an issue if already involves parents.
Involve Your School
Assuming that you’ve already tried talking to your teacher, sought guidance from the counselor, and even involved your parents but things remain the same, there may already be a need to bring the matter one step further. This is by involving the school authorities such as the principal. While the chances of this happening are low, this situation does happen sometimes. If you reach this point wherein the school is already involved, there are crucial things to consider. First, make sure that you have tried other ways to address the issue before involving your school. For instance, talk to your teacher directly first, or have your parents bring the matter to your teacher’s attention. This is because it will reflect negatively on you and your parents if you escalate the matter to the school administration without trying to resolve the issue in a simpler way first. For example, what if you go directly to the principal but it turns out that the teacher is just going through some personal difficulties that make him withdrawn from students? In other words, before involving the school, you need to give the teacher the chance to explain his side. Second, make sure you have evidence to back your claims. It’s difficult to prove that a teacher dislikes you, especially if it’s just your word against the teacher’s word. So you need to have specific and concrete evidence to show that your teacher’s attitude is negatively affecting your health and performance in school.
Move to a Different Class
Assuming that you’ve already exhausted most of your options but you still feel that the problem remains unresolved, one option that you can take is to move to a different class. By moving, you will no longer have to study under the teacher. However, you need to note that moving is not that easy. For one, you will likely need to secure the school administration’s permission and go through the official process. For another, moving to a different class will require you to adjust to your new environment. But if it’s truly necessary, moving may be a much better option than compromising your grade and wellbeing by staying.
Teachers are noble professionals whose work is essential to nurturing young people. But teachers are only human, and there are moments when the way a teacher treats a student may become a problem. Such is the case for students who feel that they are not liked by their teachers. This is doubly hard for students who actually look up to their teachers and consider them as their favorite mentors. As many students would say, “my favorite teacher doesn’t like me, and it’s making my life difficult.” For those who can honestly say that “the teacher doesn’t like me,” the options provided may help in coping and improving the situation. Being an excellent student that can impress any teacher, remaining respectful, talking to your teacher directly, and involving your parents and your school are just some of the steps you can take. In the end, what’s important for you to know is that resolving this issue is not impossible and that there are those who are there to help you.