Requesting teachers? — The Bump
School-Aged Children

Requesting teachers?

DS is starting kindergarten in the fall. Dh's aunt is a teacher at the school he'll be going to. She's warned us that one of the k teachers is excellent and that the other is....not! This has been relayed from dh so I haven't asked for details on why the one teacher wouldn't be as good. She told us that parents who write a letter to the school can request a teacher, but of course you need to have a valid reason for the request. I can't for the life of me think of a reason that doesn't sound dumb to actually write a letter. It's not like I can just say "so and so says mrs. M is not a good teacher"! Lol. So, have any of you ever requested a certain teacher? In my situation would you do so (assuming I get more details from dh's aunt)? I obviously know I can't control what teachers DS gets for the rest of his life! It's just nagging at me after dh's aunt brought it up!
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Re: Requesting teachers?

  • Spin313Spin313 member
    At our school, you can't request teachers...but you can write a letter describing your child and their learning style/behaviors, which helps the school with class placement.

    I'd ask the aunt about the two teachers. Not "why does teacher #2 suck," but maybe the aunt can tell you about their classroom styles. Then, if you decide to write the letter, you have something to go on.
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    sunnydays99fancynewbeesly
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  • Ours is the same. You can't request teachers. 

    But you can write a letter describing a teaching style that would fit with your child--one that may need a more structured/rule oriented classroom/etc. Or you can request your child be separated from other peers. But not a teacher themselves. 
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    My daughter is my hero.
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    sunnydays99
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  • My district is like the other two posters above.  If I were you, I would talk to your DH's aunt and try to get a little more info on the two teachers.  Then you can possibly write a letter about the type of teaching style would be good for your LO and match it with the "good" teacher.  
    DD~6 years old~born June 6, 2008 (1st grade)
    DS~4 years old~born November 6, 2010 (1st year of preschool)
    sunnydays99
  • would take the aunt's opinion with a grain of salt.  Can she be more specific?  What makes the one teacher "excellent" and the other teacher not?  Are there any parents you can talk to?  There are so many factors to consider and not all of them will have an impact on your LO's education.  

    My oldest DD is almost finished with kindie. Last summer we thought we knew who DD's teacher was going to be, but a week before school started we found out she quit, and DD would be getting a new hire. We were worried because the other teacher was one of those sweet, bubbly types, and the teacher DD was placed with was more structured and a little more strict. She turned out to be a great fit for DD, and I don't think she would have done as well with the other teacher.
    sunnydays99
  • rsd12rsd12 member
    edited June 2014
    I personally would not request a teacher. I had heard so many bad things about my sons kindergarten teacher and I absolutely adore her! I had heard good and bad things about my sons 2 nd grade teacher and we are not having the best experience... But he is happy and we are just trying to finish up the year. I am hoping to instill in my children that you may not always like the teacher but you have to respect them. It's a valuable lesson, you can't always choose who will be in their life as they get older.
    Boy 1 2/06 - Boy 2 12/07 - Boy 3 9/09
    sunnydays99
  • rsd12 said:
    I personally would not request a teacher. I had heard so many bad things about my sons kindergarten teacher and I absolutely adore her! I had heard good and bad things about my sons 2 nd grade teacher and we are not having the best experience... But he is happy and we are just trying to finish up the year. I am hoping to instill in my children that you may not always like the teacher but you have to respect them. It's a valuable lesson, you can't always choose who will be in their life as they get older.

    The more I think this through the more I think I'm just going to let fate take it's course! I can't control everything for the rest of his life (despite wanting to :-p)! I also agree with @mrszee2b‌ that I have to take the aunts opinion with a grain of salt. I talked to mil yesterday about it (the aunt is on vacation) to see what exactly the problems with her were and she said stuff like "she's not a team player, takes extra days off, etc". So, I can see why a co-worker can be annoyed by this but frankly that doesn't mean she'll be a bad teacher for my son! I'll still cross my fingers for the other teacher!! Lol
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    funchicken
  • Most schools have a stated policy that parents absolutely cannot request a teacher.  There are always going to be perceptions that some teachers are "better" than others, and the school is opening a real can of worms if it allows community perception to drive teacher assignments.

    All that being said, I believe that in most schools (including the one where I teach) parents who have some "pull" can make requests unofficially.

    The best way to influence your child's placement is to write a letter to the school stating that your child does better in an environment that's a good balance between structured and warm/friendly/supportive.  If you imply that your child doesn't do well when placed with teachers who don't run such a tight ship, you're more likely to get a better teacher.
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
    sunnydays99
  • With my DD I requested NOT to have a certain teacher. One of the kindergarten teachers at her school was my brother's ex. It did not end well and I was worried from what I knew of her and her behavior that she would take residual bad feelings out on my DD. My concerns were listened to and my DD was not placed in this classroom.
    However, if it's just because someone told you the teacher was bad I don't know if I would personally do anything. Children respond to people differently so one child's bad might be another child's good.
    Good luck
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    sunnydays99Spin313
  • Thanks for all the feedback everyone! I'm glad to hear it reinforced that this "bad" teacher may not necessarily be a bad fit for my DS.
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  • As a teacher, I really wish our P didn't allow requesting. First, our parents try to get friends in each other classes and that sets us up with cliques. That has its own behavior issues. Second, you feel like a piece of meat. With the exception of those cliques, you can make everybody feel like somebody but its hard to be everything to everybody. It's not that I don't want to try to walk the line of perfection. It's just exhausting worrying about every decision, style and method. Plus in upper elem, you see every kid for your specialized subject though we teach handwriting and social studies to our home room, so its not much more time for us. But I'm a big believer in all subjects being taught. Sorry your kid wants more free time in social studies. Third, being the new person in the grade level, I had the largest class and most of the SPED kids and all dyslexia kids in my room. I have a lot of understanding of these kids and love working with the underdogs, but that's 7 people I had other meetings for. It's more work one person. I had one parent complaint that I didn't answer her child's math question in a timely manner ( not that this child ever stopped talking to listen) but I had one SPEd child occupy a lot of our math time (it's the only subject she wasn't one grade level with). No para. It's a lot for one class. But we had one parent request that she not be in the class with any SPED and they complied! Fourth, going along with the above, it does make for unbalanced classes in behavior & ability. And we are asked to balance the classes at the end of the school year, they change it and waste our time and energy. Finally, it places some of the teachers review in children's hands. When there is a class that does games during social studies and you make yours read, research etc....I love social studies. Sorry, I'm not skipping it. There is a state test on it in 8th grade. You're not going to be behind....gah! Annoying. Okay, my rant is over. I agree that usually when I don't like another teacher in our building, it has to do with our working relationship and/ or hearsay. We have a 4th teacher that I hear is every bit of a tenure lump on the log. Dd will have him for at least science and social studies. I guess I will the see truth.... It's my team mate who hates him.

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  • Spin313 said:
    At our school, you can't request teachers...but you can write a letter describing your child and their learning style/behaviors, which helps the school with class placement. I'd ask the aunt about the two teachers. Not "why does teacher #2 suck," but maybe the aunt can tell you about their classroom styles. Then, if you decide to write the letter, you have something to go on.
    Same here.
    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
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