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Teaching Advice/Telling a teacher you feel uncomfortable


Ok, so I am in middle school. I have amazing teachers in most of my classes. But I used to have this one teacher in second period (which was for special ed). At first, in the eyes of my family, she was a great person, out to battle problems we might experience. But as time went on, it was revealed that she wasn't who they thought she was. We weren't doing anything productive in class, (we were either doing worksheets all day with no end, or we were just sitting around, doing nothing.) She started making me her personal tech assistant. At first, I was totally fine with it (though slightly annoyed as she came up with the simplest of questions like, "So Zoe, how do you install Google drive?")
The final straw came when she pulled me out of English class (managed by Mrs. Renee, which my parents like for several reasons) to help the new kid find one of his files. (I'm totally fine with helping the new kid find his files, just don't pull me out of my classes to do it.) Fed up with taking away valuable time away from English to do something that didn't benefit me (is this selfish?) I found Mrs Renee's "Parking Lot Program" where you place an anonymous post it note on the cabinet, with your problem, to be answered with another post it note.

Mrs Renee sees me writing my post it problem, so she asks if I want advice in person, which I do. After telling her everything above, she thinks that we should talk to the Principal about it. (I'm one to stick up for my rights. I go talk to the principal about it in person.)

After that, I left that class forever, (giant argument between Father and teacher about that.) and joined Drama (also managed by Mrs. Renee!!! Yay!!!) where I am happier than ever. End of backstory. Start of problem.

This teacher also hosts this little hangout room for her students (current and former.) which I enjoy. Through that class, though, I see her. Most of the time I 'm fine with that. But when I'm in a gloomy mood, or something in bugging me (where I go to either Mrs. Renee, my loving parents, or this very site.) She'll try to be this new, phycologist person that can help me with anything. I think she is trying to become this new role in my life. How can I tell her I feel uncomfortable with that new role around?

Hello Zoe
Thanks for your question.
The best approach here is to be honest and straight forward. If this person has created this open and safe space for the students then it should mean that she is open to hearing from the students about how they feel about things and to having frank discussions. Though you need to be tactful and polite, you do need to let her know that you appreciate her support but you really only want a place to hang out and chat about general things. You need to do this repeatedly until the pattern is broken. You can also anticipate when she is about to run that pattern and deflect it- turn the attention to something else, distract her with another thought or question etc.
If is not working then you may want to avoid the situation for a while until it weakens.
The important thing is to be appreciative of the general support and let her know this but to also insist in a firm but gentle and kind way that you do not want that kind of communication.
Hope this helps

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Marilyn Robb


I am an educational psychologist and counsellor, with more ten years of experience in teaching, parenting, running support groups and workshops, teacher training and counselling. I would like to share my knowledge and expertise in issues particularly related to helping children cope with learning and the school experience.

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