True Life: My Teacher Hates Me
It’s a sucky feeling when someone dislikes you. It can make you feel frustrated, uncomfortable in your own skin, and reluctant to be around them. But what happens when the person who dislikes you also teaches you? You can’t get out of seeing them daily, you can’t ignore them… oh, and they have the ability to make or break your GPA.
Dealing with a teacher that you believe dislikes you is a complicated situation. It’s hard to maintain your composure if you feel like you’re being picked on in class, and it feels like there is no possible (or helpful) solution. Lucky for you, we’ve outlined a few ways to deal with this situation – without doing something that could get you suspended!
Avoid the self-fulfilling prophecy.
Have you ever been annoyed with someone, and then because you’re annoyed, every single thing out of their mouth seems even more annoying? The best thing you can do is to avoid this same kind of self-fulfilling prophecy with your teacher. If you head to class with constant thoughts of, "My teacher hates me, my teacher hates me," you will constantly feel victimized and picked on. In turn, you will become defensive, and your teacher may actually start disliking you because of that.
So how can you avoid this? Observe the way your teacher interacts with other students, and how other students interact with your teacher. Does your teacher speak to them differently? Do they speak to your teacher differently? Try to recognize if your teacher treats other students the same way he or she treats you. Try to honestly evaluate your own classroom demeanor and behavior compared to other students, and see if perhaps you could make an adjustment.
Improve any potential academic factors.
I once had a teacher who was notorious for picking on students at random in class, and then berating them for answering incorrectly. I was terrified of getting picked on, so I made sure to prepare thoroughly for class every day. For me, getting positive feedback (and avoiding a lecture) was worth the extra effort I put into my schoolwork. While peers constantly proclaimed, "That teacher hates me," and was just "sooooo mean," I knew that there was a solution at their fingertips.
If spending some extra time studying could potentially help you avoid this “hate” you’re getting, then the ball is in your court. Of course, there are a few exceptions. If you are working your butt off but can’t seem to grasp the material, that’s something to discuss with your teacher privately. If you’ve spoken to them honestly, they may lighten up on you. Otherwise, get studying… or face the consequences.
Keep your head down.
This sounds like a very disheartening tip, but hear me out. I had a friend in college who was a total sweetheart. She had a lovable Southern accent, she wore a constant smile, and everyone fell in love with her charm… except one professor. It was clear that her adorable personality wasn’t appreciated in that particular classroom, but to be fair, that professor wasn’t interested in getting to know any of us.
While I had no issue being quiet and simply doing the work, my friend couldn’t understand why this professor wasn’t returning her smiles and engaging her in bubbly conversation when she inquired about her day. My friend took it as a personal affront. Finally, when she learned to stop taking it personally, she put her head down and got to work. She got an A in the class and discovered that she can survive without everyone’s adoration. If simply keeping to yourself allows you to do the work, get the grades, and survive the class unscathed, go for it.
Kill them with kindness.
At the end of the day, you are only in charge of your own behavior. If you talk back to your teacher out of frustration or skip assignments because you think they’re too tough on you, you’re only worsening your own situation.
If you make a consistent effort to be a kind person – as well as a hardworking student – you will not add any fuel to the alleged fire. You can have total peace of mind knowing that the only thing you have contributed to the relationship is positive. If you continue to feel targeted and mistreated, you can bring those concerns to a guidance counselor or principal. If they examine your behavior, your teacher will have nothing negative to report.
We’ve all heard that student who flunked an exam or got detention explain the situation by saying, “Well, my teacher hates me!” As an outsider, you probably thought, “No, you just didn’t study for that test,” or, “Well duh, you always disrupt class.” It’s unlikely for a teacher to spontaneously pick out a student in class and decide to dislike them for the year. It’s crucial to truthfully evaluate your personal situation, and determine if the teacher is harsh on all students equally, or if perhaps you’ve been deserving of the treatment. If you strongly believe that you are that rare case of bullied student, don’t hesitate to let someone in your school know.