Don't Like Your Kid's Teacher? Ask for a New One

Jeanne Sager
Big Kid

kindergarten classroomI never wanted to be "that parent" at my kid's school.

You know the type. Pushy. Expecting more for their kid than anyone else.

The type who would ask the school to assign their kid a different teacher.

That isn't me. My daughter's been assigned the teacher everyone tells me they'd kill for.

I'm happy.

But kindergarten hasn't even started, and I'm already shedding the "mother of toddler/pre-schooler" ideals for the reality of "mother of a school-aged child."

I am starting to get "that parent." My apologies for ever doubting her.

I sat at a recent playdate and flat-out suggested a friend have her daughter's teacher changed.

It's the girl's first experience at school, and she's been assigned the polar opposite of my daughter's teacher -- the one everyone dreads.

And my friend, R, isn't just going on rumor. She knows the horrors of dealing with Mrs. X as her son was in her classroom just two years ago.

She knows firsthand what this teacher is like. More importantly, she knows her daughter and what she can handle. She's a sensitive kid, and this teacher is a yeller.

With kindergartners, it's tricky to find them the right teacher. They spend just an hour or two at a registration where teachers evaluate them -- that's not always enough time to get a read on this child as a whole.

Teacher placement gets easier as kids get older. A teacher who has had a child for an entire year knows what they're like and what they need to succeed. I'm still willing to give the school an edge when it comes to the higher grades.

And I understand how rumors and misconceptions can screw up a teacher's career. "That parent" in his/her unreasonable form does indeed exist.

But what makes kindergarten particularly precarious is the mere fact that it's kindergarten. You don't want to start your child's education off on the wrong foot. For many kids, this is their first foray into formal education.

Scare them now, and you could be in for a world of trouble for the next 12 years. Forget college.

Is it OK to ask for a new teacher?


Image via woodleywonderworks/Flickr

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