How to Request a Teacher for Your Child And When You Should Request a Change of Teacher:
Children know who the best teachers are, just ask them. Kids across the nation have their fingers crossed hoping to get their first pick for teacher. So, what do you do when your child gets the teacher no one wants? And how should you go about requesting a different teacher for your child?
First, let’s look at why some teachers are preferred over others. Age can play a factor in favoritism. Most kids do not want the crotchety teacher with one foot out the door ready for retirement. However, there are many older teachers who are experienced, competent and manage to keep a happy heart in the classroom, even if they are faking it a bit.
Word of mouth spreads and children are aware of the teacher who always seems to be doing “fun things”. There are many teachers who let the classroom get messy and will take on projects which require a lot of extra planning, purchases and abstract thinking.
Then there are the teachers, who due to their own insecurities and anxiety, assign paper and pencil work as much as possible. Such an approach does little to enhance teacher student rapport, which is an essential component of learning.
Also, there are the teachers who kids don’t like but the parents cannot really understand why because they are young and cute and seem to have a good attitude. Many times, what the parent is missing is the teacher’s heavy use of sarcasm and favoritism in the classroom.
So, what do you do if you are unhappy with your child’s class assignment for this new school year?
If the selected teacher is one you support but your child has mixed feelings, work with the teacher to help your child adjust, most students will do just fine with time.
Now, what do you do if you find your child has been assigned to a teacher who your child cannot tolerate and/or does not meet your criteria?
It is important to note your child’s happiness with the assigned teacher has limited value. However, if the selected teacher is someone your child “hates” but likes most of the other teachers, you will want to pursue a change aggressively because if your child genuinely dislikes the teacher, learning will be compromised.
How to Request a Different Teacher
Make an appointment with the principal. You can always request a transfer to another class. But you will need to have your reasons in writing which convey how it is in the best interest of your child’s personal needs. Saying your child doe s not like the teacheror you have heard bad things about the teacher is not enough.
Also, if you know other parents who feel the same, one of you should go as the representative for the group of parents. The principal cannot move a group of children and have unbalanced caseloads. But, by putting pressure on the principal, the principal will be forced to deal with the teacher.
A good principal will visit the classroom of a questionable teacher on a more regular basis and try to strengthen them as a teacher. Of course even a principal cannot fix a bad attitude.
If a teacher is in the wrong field, it may behoove the principal to force them out of the classroom or into another position in the school district. The teacher may be a good person who just made the wrong career choice. Spending eight hours a day in a room full of small children may not be as fun as it looked in the movie Kindergarten Cop.
In most instances the principal can find a solution to the problem. If the solution offered does not meet your child’s needs, then persevere. Explain thoroughly, logically and unemotionally why the solution won’t work. Offer your own solution but be flexible. Continue meeting with the administration until they offer a solution you can support.
One of the most common defenses principals use to avoid moving a child is their assertion that it is good for children to have to learn to deal with different personalities; it will help prepare them for life and the workforce if they have a teacher they don’t like from time to time. However, this is ridiculous. A young child doesn’t need to spend nine months of their life in an uncomfortable experience. There are plenty of unavoidable situations that challenge our children and will give them ample opportunity to deal with adversity.
If the time comes and you need to request a change of teacher to put your child in a learning situation with a role model who will influence your child’s personality development and self-esteem, while teaching and enforcing rules which may include morals and ethics, you need to choose that person wisely. If you are a person who chooses your battles carefully, this may be one to fight.