Dear David Coleman: I'm worried my son won't cope with his new teacher in September
Q My son has been really lucky with his teachers up to now. The teacher that we believe he will have in fourth class, however, cannot handle stress, shouts a lot and is very critical of the kids if their work isn't perfect. All the parents know she is a nightmare, but we can do nothing as the principal won't hear a bad word said against the teacher. My son is very sensitive at the best of times and I worry it will be too much for him. Should we move his school?
David replies: Moving school seems like a very dramatic response to a situation you don't even know will unfold yet. You don't know if he will definitely have this teacher and even with his sensitivity, you may find that your son is more resilient than you give him credit for.
Until such time as your son is actually in her class and actually struggling with her teaching style, I would suggest that you hold back from making decisions. If you assume it will be bad, you may think yourself into particular ways of feeling and behaving that actually make the feared outcome more likely to happen.
It will be hard for your son to have much self-belief, for example, if you don't believe in him and his ability to cope, even with a difficult teacher. If we are to truly learn about our strengths, we have to have the opportunity to meet life's challenges.