Escalating a Problem


Despite all your good intentions, established protocols and preliminary punishments, some problems may seem to get out of hand. You should know when to escalate that problem. The school will have some guidelines about situations where you have to inform the higher authorities. In other cases you have to judge for yourself when you want to involve others in finding solution to a problem.

Involving School Management

Every school has a set of people like counsellors, discipline in-charge, academic in-charge, class representative, etc. whom you can approach depending on the type of problem. Two most common scenarios where you might need to do that are −

  • Poor academic record − If a student is performing consistently below par in academics despite additional support on your level, you need to inform others about this. Remedial classes could be organized for all such students together.

  • Repeated acts of indiscipline − If a student breaks rules again and again in spite of verbal reminders, counselling and punishments, you need to report his to the class teacher and the discipline in-charge.

Whenever you plan to escalate an issue, be ready with all the details. Note down the problem caused, date of the problem, how the act has affected other students and what corrective measures you took. Writing down will clarify the matter in your mind, others will understand the situation better and a decision can be arrived at quickly.

Involving the Parents

Teachers and parents are together responsible for overall positive growth of the students. So if you need to involve the parents in dealing with problems, this in no way questions your abilities as a teacher. Here are some situations where you might need to take help of parents.

  • Coming late to school − If a student is consistent in coming late to the school, you need to talk to the parents about it.

  • Dirty uniform − If a student’s uniform is not up to the mark, you definitely need to talk to the parents because they alone can solve the problem.

  • Getting into fights − If a student is getting into fights with other students, you must talk to the parents to know if she does this outside school as well. If school is the only place this happens, you need to identify triggers for such behavior.

  • Using foul language − Language is something students can pick up easily at home because they come across a varied set of people. So if a student in your class is using foul language you must inform the parents about it.

When you plan to involve the parents, prepare written notes about the incident and associated activities. Be prepared to answer lots of queries and don’t feel offended. Put them at ease first so that they do not feel that they are being reprimanded for their child’s behavior. Remember that both of you have the same goal – getting the best out of the child.