Ask Sam letter


To Sam


When I'm in a maths lesson my teacher asks me a question. She knows I'm very shy and that's why I prefer not to put my hand up. But she picks me on a very high level question which I do not have a clue what the awnswer is. Then I go as red as a tomato because everyone stares at me and laughs, because I look puzzled. At this point I feel so embarrased because I start to stutter! So I come up with an awnswer. I try to get it right, but I don't because it's so hard. Then the teacher rolles her eyes and everyone in the class just laugh at me and point. I really want to cry but I try to hold it in. I hate school.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. It sounds like you’re going through a difficult time at school.  You’ve done the right thing by reaching out to get some support and talk this through.

I can hear that you’re a naturally shy person and your teacher asking you hard questions makes you feel very embarrassed. This must make it hard to properly think and answer any questions. 

It can be difficult to experience embarrassment. It’s not okay for anyone to laugh at you or make you feel uncomfortable.

It can be natural to go red and stutter your words when you feel embarrassed, although I can hear that it isn't nice when this happens. We have some information about coping with embarrassment, being more assertive and building confidence. Perhaps reading through these pages might help you feel better with speaking out and being more confident in yourself. You could contact a ChildLine counsellor to talk this through some more if you feel that would help.   

I also want to mention that you have the right to tell your teacher how you feel and how you would like to be treated in class. Perhaps you could find a good time to talk with her (maybe before or after class) and let her know how upset you feel about people staring and laughing at you. It’s important that she knows how shy you feel and that talking in class actually doesn’t help you to learn or feel more confident. Perhaps together you could come up with a solution to help you feel more comfortable about talking in class. 

If you need any support with how to talk to your teacher you can take a look at our page about asking an adult for help.

You could also talk this over with one of our counsellors whenever you want to and even practise talking it through with them first. I hope you have found this information useful but remember you don’t have to go through these feelings alone. ChildLine is here to support you.

Take care

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter