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kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent asks:
Q:

What's the best way to "lobby" for the teacher you want your child to have next year?

I know principals tend to frown on parents requesting certain teachers for their kids.  But I also know that some parents always seem to get exactly who they hoped for.  Is there an effective way to talk to your school about the teacher you think would be best for your child without offending the principal or making her think you're second guessing her judgement?

I'd appreciate any advice!
In Topics: Back to school, My Relationship with my child's school
> 60 days ago

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Expert

MomSOS
Mar 20, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

You cannot guarantee that the principal won't have a reaction or think you are second guessing her judgement, if you "lobby." But there is no guarantee that she will react negatively either.

What is important is to exercise your right as a parent. You have the right to involve yourself in decisions that affect your child. You may not get what you hope for, but you do have the right to try.

The best way to talk to your school about the teacher you think would be best for your child is to talk respectfully and calmly. Before speaking to the principal, you might find it helpful to think about your reasons and make a list of the points you want to bring up. You did not say whether or not you have already discussed this issue with the current teacher. In some schools the current teachers play a part in these decisions. It might be useful to talk to the teacher first, especially for help making your list of reasons.

Whether talking with a teacher or the principal, the best way to speak is to refrain from over reacting. If the other person does not agree right away, maintain calm and stay as unemotional as you can. Stay focused on the facts as you see them regarding your child and the reasons you prefer a certain teacher.

 If the principal refuses your request, and you still think you need to pursue it, you always have the right to take the issue to the next level, which might be an assistant superintendent or a curriculum director, depending on your city or town.


Also keep this in mind.  Kids are adaptive and resilient.  If you fail to get the teacher you want, it does not mean your child will have a negative experience.
This perspective requires having trust in the process, but if it does not turn out the way you want it to, trusting that your child will be okay might help you accept the outcome.

Bette J. Freedson, LICSW, LCSW, CGP
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MrsReading
Mar 20, 2010
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Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
Principals in my experience frown on parent requests. One effective way I have seen work for parents is to say, "I'm not requesting a certain teacher I'm just requesting not to have ____." But this, of course, only works if there is a teacher you do not want your child to have. Another thing I have seen work is to get this year's classroom teacher to put in a request a placement for next year.
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Additional Answers (1)

educator_with_a_heart
educator_wi... writes:
One of the best ways to broach this topic is to highlight to your principal the way that certain teacher traits/practices mesh with the way your child learns best. At my school parents are not "officially" allowed to request teachers, but I know that my principal does listen to parents who advocate for a certain skill-set or type of teacher that works best with the type of learner being placed. You might use a teacher your child has had previously as an example; for example, talking about the way that your child flourished in a class with highly consistent expectations or with a teacher with a sense of humor, etc. might be better than asking for one specific name.
Good luck to you!
> 60 days ago

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