Changing Your Child's Teacher: How to Do It

teens at homecoming

Photo by Momof3cuties

I'm so lucky that my son loves his teacher and seems to be doing well in her class, but that's not the case for all moms. ajzuell in the Newcomer's Club wants to request her second-grade son get a new teacher but wonders what her chances are.

"Next to impossible," one mom said. "Principals always defend their teachers and you will be looked at as the problem."

So I went straight to the sources in Teacher Mommies (a private group that requires joining) to find out if that's really true. Several teachers gave their perspective of the issue to help you decide if and how you should pursue this course:

mariannainidaho: "The best thing to do is to talk to the principal directly and be prepared to answer a lot of questions. Most principals are hesitant to make a change unless there is a really good reason. Too many kids these days have parents that allow them to NOT take responsibility."

bisou: "In our school, parents must wait two weeks before requesting a classroom change and usually those requests are honored by the principal. An interesting thing happened to me this year. A parent requested that their child be removed from my room before ever meeting me. After the two weeks, she told the principal she changed her mind and wanted her child to stay. I had the child removed anyway. I did not want to deal with a parent who would prejudge me or my teaching. It works both ways."

singlemomme2jj: "Our principal will not change student assignments after class lists are posted. There are pros and cons to that. It's good because we don't have parents requesting changes based on what friends are in the class or hearsay."

But here are some steps you should take if you really feel strongly about it:

1. Request a conference with the teacher first. Clearly communicate your concerns with the teacher, NOT to your child, as it will compound the situation. Then, LISTEN to what the teacher has to say. Too many times, parents come in to just vent rather than listen to what the teacher suggests, especially if it's related to their child struggling or is not demonstrating behaviors that promote learning.

2. After having this dialogue, and you're still not satisfied, think about what you would be teaching your child by pursuing the change. Then see the building's administrator if you still think you are doing this in your child's best interest.

3. Never request a change because someone else says they had a bad experience with that teacher. Never request a change because your child doesn't have friends in that class. It's the principal's job to assess the ability of the teachers in their building.  Know that as national standards are coming, teachers are all teaching the same curriculum, if not in a building, then across a district.


Have you ever requested a change of your child's teacher? On what grounds, and were you successful?


Related posts:

Talking to Teachers: Which Way Works Best

Got Teacher Appreciation?

behavior, education, elementary school


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MomIWant MomIWant

My children went to a small private school, 2 teachers per grade.  There had been many "rumors" about a teacher & frankly, she did seem quite rude in the few dealings with her I had, I dreaded the thought of her having one of my children in her class...well, my daughter was assigned her for 4th grade.  She was the BEST teacher - her love of teaching & children left such an impression on my children (my son had her a few years later) & me, I still talk about her 10 years later.

justa... justanotherjen

Not even a consideration at my kids' school.  There is only one class, and therefore, only one teacher per grade.  They get who they get.  My son was thrilled to find out that his older sister's 3rd grade teacher got moved to teach 2nd grade this year.  She's really nice and he likes her.  The old 2nd grade teacher retired.  She was nice (my oldest had her) but she always seemed so stressed by the kids.

nonmember avatar ctteacher

bisou should rethink her career choice! 1.She is doing the same thing that the parent supposedly did by judging the parent before meeting them 2.She indicates no idea why the parent asked for a change of classroom (maybe their was a bad social situation in the classroom) and 3.She punishes the child for something that the parent did. I thought teaching was supposed to be about what is best for the child in the educational setting-not letting a bruised ego dictate what response the teacher should have.

Cindy Zapien

I need help my principal denied the change of teachers....suck my son is really sensitive and frankly I dont even want her nearby my child so npw I am trying to get homeschool for the remaining of the year

nonmember avatar amber

my mom had to request a change with me in 4th grade i got a teacher that one of my sisters had previous the teacher couldnt deal with our familys learning disabilities and lost her temper at my sister she used that as a way to get me into another class since mine is ten times worse then my sisters we are both dyslexic with numbers and when we read out loud it you can tell while reading alone we understand it better

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