Four Things I Do When a Student Says They Don’t Like My Class!

Depending on the student and the reason why, I might actually do…


But after I do this, there are four specific things I do, that actually work, when I receive constructive feedback from my students and even their families.

I Look Back to Move Forward

At the beginning of the school year, my students complete Content Attitude Surveys. From time to time, I go back and reread their responses to determine if any of their thoughts are an indication of them not liking my class. Most times, it’s there. I respond based on what information I glean from the survey. Sometimes you have to go back, back to move forth and forth. Click here to get the free surveys!

I Check Relationship Status

Sometimes, I need to take a step back and reflect on the relationship the student and I currently have. I have to ask myself some questions:

  • Are they having positive experiences in my class?
  • Are they making progress?
  • Am I communicating that progress?
  • How am I communicating progress?
  • Are they receptive to the way I am giving feedback?
  • Are they receiving any positive feedback?
  • Do this student and I bump heads?
  • I am the adult in this situation, so what can I do?
  • What do or don’t I know, about this student, that can help me to help them?
  • Do I really know my student?

I Get Quiet and Listen

I take what the student says seriously (more often than not). Behavior and attitude are communication. Again, I ask questions about the behavior and attitude, then I shut up, and I listen to the response as best as I can with the time that I have. (This is easier said than done, but in the whole scheme of things, it is worth it). Sometimes, I incorporate their ideas. I listen.

I Try to Never, Ever Take it Personal

But sometimes, it is personal.

Some students do try to personally attack us or our character, but sometimes, its not usually about us at all. They could be struggling with something unbeknownst to us. Perhaps past experiences in school or in similar subjects/content areas were unfavorable. Maybe it is about us, and the student thinks we are inconsistent, are unfair, are disorganized, are unclear, or talk too much. Don’t take it personal, especially if it’s true. The best way is to validate the student, and use the feedback as an opportunity for growth. An opportunity to show a child and model what to do and how to act when they receive unfavorable feedback. I rarely take things personally.

Now with most things, these steps depend on how well you know your students.

Again, at the beginning of the year, I give surveys to my students to help with this. I also gather information from their families, former teachers, and student files. I prefer to be proactive vs. reactive. Based on what you know or don’t know about your students will ultimately determine the best way to handle when a student says, “I don’t like this class.”

How do you handle when a student says they don’t like your class? Share in the comments below.

Happy Teaching!

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Communicating with Your Scholars and Families Amid Covid-19

This week was a roller coaster! Between daylight savings, a full moon, Friday the 13th, Corona-virus, and the excitement of Pi Day and the half day we had last Friday, I cannot believe we all survived!


Roller Coaster of a Ride. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

On Friday, March 13, teachers in Pennsylvania received news from our Governor, Tom


Closed for 10 Days. Image courtesy of Flickr.

Wolf that all K-12 schools would be closed for 10 business days effective Monday, March 16 due to the pandemic spread of Covid-19 in the commonwealth. This announcement was made after our scholars had been dismissed from school. Students had a half day of school while teachers stayed for professional development. During that time, we discussed Covid-19 and began preparing for schools to close as the virus continued to spread throughout the nation. We originally thought teachers would be in school on Monday and Tuesday. Students would come on Wednesday for a half day, and then we would be out for 10 days. Governor Wolf wanted all schools closed immediately. On Saturday, two cases were reported in Allegheny County. Two more reported on Sunday. Currently, there are 6 or 7 confirmed cases in the Pittsburgh region. (The data is changing rapidly.) State wise, as of Monday, March 16, there were 76 confirmed cases. On Thursday, there were only 22, and on Friday, there were 41.

With many people following the Governor’s order to socially distance themselves from family, friends, and other large crowds, how do we help the families of our scholars remotely when our schools or districts are not necessarily set up to do so?

Here are three ways I intend to do so:

Class Dojo

  • Class Dojo is an educational app and website that connects teachers, students, and families, through communication features such as feed for photos and videos from the school day, and messaging. I messaged the families of my scholars today to check in with them. I informed them that ALL schools in the district would serve food throughout the week from 11am-1pm. I also shared that an academic packet would be ready for them at the school when they arrived. In addition to this, I left them with more contact information. I sent them my e-mail address and Google Voice number.Google Voice
  • Google Voice is a telephone service (app) that provides a U.S. telephone number chosen from selected area codes, call forwarding, voicemail, voice, and text messaging services for Google Account customers for free. Because I prefer to not give my personal cell phone number to the families of my schools, I have chosen to use a Google Voice Number. What is really cool about this communication service is that I can receive and make phone calls with my Google Voice Number on my cell phone. When I call families, my Google Voice number shows up on their Caller ID. Two parents called me today, and I was able to give them more information about how long we were going to be out of school, the food at the school, the academic packets that were being sent home, and just to help relieve some anxiety that some family members
  • E-mail, well we all should know what that is, but just in case, e-mail stands for electronic mail and is a way to exchange messages between people using electronic devices via the internet. While I attempted to upload the 110 page document to Class Dojo for families to have access, I quickly learned that the file was too large to upload. I therefore e-mailed it to one of the families that e-mailed me earlier in the day, and then returned to Class Dojo to ask families to send me their e-mail addresses. However, I later learned that Dojo was having a few glitches throughout the day, and about 10 minutes ago, I was able to upload the academic packet to Class Dojo! Yay!!!

With all of this uncertainty, I think that we teachers should enjoy being at home with our families. However, I also believe that we are all in this together, and our scholars as well as their families need us to support them. These are three ways we can reach out to communicate with families amid the Covid-19 takeover.

How are you keeping in contact with your scholars and their families? What do you recommend? I have seen some really cool remote ways of facilitating communication and learning (Zoom, Google Classroom, Quizlet Live) these last few days, and I would love to hear some details on how it works and how well it works in your world!

Until next time, happy teaching from home,

Krystal L. Smith, The RenewED Teacher