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.

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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?