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Can you make a request for for your chil's next grade teacher?


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pamiepoo119 June 16, 2009


I would really like my son to be in Mrs. Viveios' class for 2nd. I think she is wonderful with the kids, and has alot of know ledge to share.

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pamiepoo119 June 16, 2009


I think it is important to get involved with as many of the classes decision making progress.

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healthy11 June 16, 2009


Hi. Greatschools is a nationwide website, not connected to any specific school. In most cases, parents can NOT request specific teachers by name, although parents may be able to influence the decision by tactfully writing a letter that states what type of instructor or learning environment their child does best in.

Let me give you an example....at my son's school in 5th grade, there was one older teacher who had a reputation for being very soft-spoken, and putting on lots of rehearsed "historical re-recreations" of events (ie, dress up in period costumes and recite "old English.") My son is dyslexic, and doesn't do well in settings where he either has to memorize lots of lines, or sit quietly and listen to others doing it.
I knew almost any other teacher would be better for my son than this woman, but it's inappropriate to say, "please avoid Mrs. Smith's class," or "put him with Mrs. Jones."

Instead, I wrote a letter to the principal stating that "my son learns best in a classroom where there is an energetic and patient teacher, who values interactive discussion and provides opportunities for hands-on learning." He ended up with a teacher who did things like letting kids prepare historical recipes in class (allowing each to get involved in the process, rather than watching a skit where one student enacted an event as others watched) and it turned out to be a much better placement than if he'd gotten stuck with the old, soft-spoken teacher....

(Another reason it's hard to accept specific instructor requests is that there is a certain amount of turnover, so not all teachers may be known at the end of the previous spring. I have a good friend who had been teaching at 4th grade level, but she opted to move into a 2nd grade class one year, and she said many parents of 3rd graders later expressed disappointment, because they'd wanted her. So it goes...)

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MagnetMom June 16, 2009


Hi pamiepoo119, and welcome to GreatSchools Parent Community.

While I totally agree with your concern to be involved with your child's education, imagine what happens when 60 students' families ask for Mrs. Smith. Then 30 families will be upset they got Mrs. Jones.

You might start by asking how your school handles classroom placement. For instance at my daughter's school, the current teachers brainstorm for the next grade level and take into consideration everything from which kids get along well, to which kids need to be separated, to balancing boys to girls, to balancing the active kids among different teachers, and a whole lot more. It takes them hours to do it.

I'm a parent, and I volunteer one day a week in the classroom, and I know I'm pretty privy to more than most, and I certainly couldn't assume I know more than the grade level teachers in this concern.

However, if like health11 mentioned, you had a concern regarding the teaching style of one teacher over the other, you could likely write a very specific letter detailing your child's learning style and how this particular teacher would meet that (or even how the other teacher might not).

Be prepared to be disappointed, however. Because even when they take these request letters, the classes have to be balanced for the sake of education. In the end, you might find out that your child does even better than you could have imagined with the teacher you didn't consider.

Good luck, and let us know what happens.

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hockeymum June 16, 2009


At our elementary you do have an opportunity to request a teacher but there are no guarantees what so ever. To have your request granted you have to have legitimate reasons why you are requesting the teacher. Not just ..."I heard from the other parents Mr. X is so nice" or "Ms. Y doesnt give enough homework".
I stated that my daughter had Ms. B this year and we found out she will be teaching the next grade in Sept. My daughter has learning difficulties and Ms. B already understands my daughters issues and worked quite well with her. Her success in the school term I believe can be credited alot to Ms. B....."

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TeacherParent June 16, 2009


The answer to your good question varies from school to school and principal to principal. It does no harm to try - I prefer writing letters myself but the best approach is always the personal approach and people do mention teachers by name - Mrs. V's style of teaching would work well with my daughter's learning profile. Such a statement doesn't denigrate the work of the other teachers - and no teacher is the right teacher for every child.
Good luck.



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