9 tips for difficult conversations with teachers
Kids Help Phone is here for you during the COVID-19 pandemic. School looks a bit different this year, with many students studying either through e-learning, in-person classes in some provinces/territories or even a combination of the two. It’s important to find ways to get support with school (e.g. by reaching out virtually, etc.) while practising physical distancing.
If you need to talk to your teacher about something that’s on your mind, here are a few tips for navigating the conversation:
1. Set a time
Book a virtual or physically distanced appointment with your teacher so you both have time to prepare. You can also give your teacher a brief description of what the meeting is about.
2. Write it down
It can be hard to say (and even remember) everything that’s on your mind. Writing your thoughts down on paper beforehand can help you stay focused. (You can read from the paper if you need to.)
If you’d like to practice what you’re going to say to your teacher, or if you’re not sure what to say, you can always call a Kids Help Phone counsellor at 1-800-668-6868.
4. Keep calm
Try to relax before the conversation. If the meeting gets heated, it’s OK to ask for time to calm down.
Start the conversation with the key points so you cover the big stuff first. For example, if you’re experiencing bullying at school, you can begin by telling your teacher what happened and how it made you feel.
Give your teacher time to reply to what you’re saying and be sure to listen carefully to their response.
7. Get support
If the conversation is not productive, you can ask someone else (a principal, guidance counsellor, parent/caregiver, etc.) to step in.
8. Take notes
As your teacher is talking, it may be helpful to take notes so you can recall the most important details.
9. Decide on next steps
Wrap up the conversation by defining next steps for both you and your teacher.
Get information about how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are connected and what you can do to care for your well-being. Learning about mental health can help empower you with the language to communicate how you’re feeling.
Find resources by group
Practise with tools, tips and resources to help build your skills and improve your wellness in the way that feels best for you. Learn how to identify your strengths, communicate thoughts and feelings, overcome obstacles and connect with support.
Take a quiz
Find out how much you know about specific topics and get resources to learn more.
Play a game
Reduce stress and have fun at the same time.
Map out your support network
Identify who and where your community is to get help when you need it.
Share what’s on your mind
Try different tools to express how you’re feeling.
Make a safety plan
Access tools for safety planning and reporting.
Regain calm and relax with these activities.
Try a self-assessment
Identify how you’re feeling and find resources to support you right now.
Explore lived experiences from other young people across Canada. Learn from real-life youth stories, gain new ideas and ask questions to connect and inspire your own wellness journey.
If you need help right now, you can talk to a trained volunteer crisis responder about anything you're going through. No issue is too big or too small.
Connect with a professional counsellor to better understand what you're going through and help take a step in the direction you want to go.