When your child gets a teacher you really didn't want - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 08-13-2011, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you do when your child gets the teacher that you really didn't want him to have?

 

We are explicitly told NOT to request a change of placement. We are explicitly told NOT to request a certain teacher. Instead, we are invited to fill out "parental input" forms in the spring describing our children's needs and explaining what kind of environment we think would suit our children best. We are assured that the professional staff at our school puts a great deal of thought into classroom placement and that they take into consideration the parental input forms.

 

Well, I stepped way out of my comfort zone last spring and filled out one of those forms. I thought I had done a pretty good job of describing the 3rd grade teacher I wanted and the teacher I didn't want. Apparently, I did not do a good job at all, because not only did DS not get either of the 2 teachers I'd hoped for; he got the one classroom out of 4 that I was trying to avoid. 

 

What should I do? I have always felt like the principal and I were on good terms. I volunteer at the school---I'm not one of the ones organizing fund-raisers, but I'm there tutoring kids in reading and helping out in the classrooms. My kids have always been well-behaved and well-liked, and they excel academically.  Should I make an attempt to get DS' placement changed? We are told not to do that. I understand that they can't have every parent in the office trying to get certain teachers. But with my older DS, he got this same classroom in 3rd grade and it was awful. In 4th grade, we knew the teacher wouldn't be a good fit and we ended up pulling DS out at Thanksgiving to homeschool him. what if we end up having to homeschool DS2 too? I have a 3 yo and a baby on the way--I don't want to take that on!

 

WWYD? Talk me down from the ledge! Thanks!!!

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#2 of 14 Old 08-13-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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Are your children pretty alike? My older two had the same teacher for 1st grade. My youngest got the other 1st grade teacher and I really didn't think she would be a good fit. But my youngest is a different type of kid and he ended up doing really well with the other teacher.

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#3 of 14 Old 08-13-2011, 07:34 PM
 
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Well, if you've experienced the teacher before and your children are similar in needs, I'd go ahead and push for a move. If you've not had actual experience, I would give it a try. My kids have had a few teachers I was not thrilled about but they actually ended up excellent teachers for my kids and upone watching what the other classes were doing, I was quite grateful they ended up where they ended up.


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#4 of 14 Old 08-13-2011, 11:17 PM
 
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it's worth a try. I know that they can (and do) change class lists up until the last minute.

 

Go in with a very detailed list of why it's a bad educational fit for your child. Remind them that because it was such a bad fit for your older child you pulled them and homeschooled them, and gosh, you'd sure hate for them to lose the funding for this kid too.....(In other words, I'd pull both the guilt card and the money card and wave them around madly). The squeaky wheel gets the grease. It's time to squeak.

 

Eek eek eek...

 

 

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#5 of 14 Old 08-14-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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That's been one aspect of parenting I've had trouble getting used to... stepping outside of my comfort zone on behalf of my child. You might not want to "buck the system," or, "make waves," but, in this situation I would.
Your child will be with this teacher for the better part of a year. If you feel strongly that he'll have a much better year in a different classroom, personally, I'd race to the school office and try to get him switched.
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#6 of 14 Old 08-14-2011, 04:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

it's worth a try. I know that they can (and do) change class lists up until the last minute.

 

Go in with a very detailed list of why it's a bad educational fit for your child. Remind them that because it was such a bad fit for your older child you pulled them and homeschooled them, and gosh, you'd sure hate for them to lose the funding for this kid too.....(In other words, I'd pull both the guilt card and the money card and wave them around madly). The squeaky wheel gets the grease. It's time to squeak.

 

Eek eek eek...

 

 


This. I would stress that it is a bad 'educational' fit for your DC....especially if you had this teacher before and had a poor learning style fit (assuming this DC has a similar learning style) last time.

 

 

Honestly, if you have well-behaved, academically sound kiddos-- the schools tend to fill those in last to balance gender/numbers. First placements often go to : (not in this particular order) Spec.Ed students, ESL, High/low achievers, behaviors concerns, student-student conflicts, and teacher from the last grade suggestions. Then they fill in for gender and number balancing with parent requests.

 

I would go in as soon as possible : classes shift up until the first week, try to get it done now so they can readjust numbers as needed as new enrollees get placed.

 

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#7 of 14 Old 08-14-2011, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much to everyone who responded. I have to go in to the school office this week anyway to get some old records for DS1, so I may talk to the principal. I  am less upset than I was yesterday; I have calmed down enough to realize that the teacher is not bad; she just wasn't a good fit for DS1. DS2 is actually quite different.   My sister had a high school math teacher that she hated...3 years later my little brother had her and they got along famously. 

 

The only thing still bothering me is that I guess I am still uneasy around this teacher; I still harbor a little bit of resentment even thought i know it is not that she did anything bad or that she was a bad teacher. I don't see myself wanting to help out in the classroom or go on field trips; I will probably try to get DH to go to "Meet the Teacher," curriculum night, etc. 

 

KCMichigan, that is really interesting about the order of placing kids. I had no idea that's how it went. Thanks for the information! 

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#8 of 14 Old 08-14-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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Take a step back, is this a teacher YOU didn't want or a teacher your child didn't want.

Obviously (I'm assuming) your child has been at this school for a year or more.  Kids are pretty in tune with the staff members by that point. Has your child ever said "I don't like Ms X, I've seen her on playground duty and shes mean, or I see Ms X in the lunch room and she never lets the older kids get up" type of thing?

Make sure you don't color your child's impressions of Ms X by your previous experience. Sending DH to Meet the Teacher Night is a way of doing this, not volunteering when you have in the past will raise an eye brow as well.

You may not love Ms X but she may end up being your child's best friend.

 

Honestly, I wouldnt' ask for the teacher change.  


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#9 of 14 Old 08-15-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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I think it is okay to advocate for your child.  When kids are younger they might not always recognize what doesn't work about a teacher....poor communication skills, wacky theories about education, etc.

 

My oldest had a teacher that was troublesome in a variety of ways.  One of the most difficult things was that she point blank refused to answer questions, even when they were simple yes/no questions.  We had a curriculum night, and she straight out said to us as a group...this is a time for me to talk, not for me to answer questions.

 

So when my youngest got to this grade there was no way he was going to have this teacher, and I was prepared to do whatever I needed to do to make sure he wasn't in this person's classroom.  Luckily the school honored my request with no fuss.

 

Except later on in the year they started travelling math groups...and he ended up in this person's classroom.  

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#10 of 14 Old 08-15-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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If you feel the teacher will have a very bad impact on your child then request the change immediately.If they refuse to change tell them you will have no choice but to enroll your child in another school,because you will not allow your child to have that teacher.The school will either switch your child,or you accept the bad teacher,or you pull your child out.I would pull if it came down to it.

 

You are right in that the teacher could be good for your other child.You never really know how things will go until they get into the class.We had a teacher that was decent,but she did not correct ongoing bullying issues in a proper way,so we had to pull our child out of the school after everyone up to the top of the schooladministration  handled the sitaution with denial.

 

If you let things remain as they are I would say listen to your child.Believe your child if issues occur.I was told all was well when it really wasn't.

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#11 of 14 Old 08-16-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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My oldest got two teachers (Kindergarten an 2nd grade) that we were told were "Iffy."   Someone whose kids had the K teacher just ranted bad stuff about her.  We were really nervous...

 

And she was wonderful with my son.  She *got* him.   She watched him and understood him and helped us to understand him and his needs better, and was great with him.

 

As we headed into the open house the day before 2nd grade, two of the other parents were talking about the 2nd grade teacher our kids had been assigned to.  Again, it was "So and so's daughter had her two years ago and she was this and that and they felt this and that about her....'

 

That teacher was the most amazing advocate for my son and his needs.   WHen he began to struggle because his sensory issues were being pushed too hard with the increased demands of the school day, she recognized the behavior for what it was, worked with us to find ways to help him, recommended him for evaluation by the Occupational Therapist.   She remembered some exercises she'd learned years before at a conference on movement and learning, and instituted them as something the whole class could try (so she wasn't calling him out).  She made him comfortable withouit ever making him feel bad or different, and in the end we had a great year.

 

So:  Different kids, different experiences with the same teacher.   Also, different years with the same teacher=different experiences (it turned out that the coworker whose son had our K teacher?  Had her the year she got divorced and lost her mother to cancer.   It was just bad all around).  


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#12 of 14 Old 08-16-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Pickle View Post

 

The only thing still bothering me is that I guess I am still uneasy around this teacher; I still harbor a little bit of resentment even thought i know it is not that she did anything bad or that she was a bad teacher. I don't see myself wanting to help out in the classroom or go on field trips; I will probably try to get DH to go to "Meet the Teacher," curriculum night, etc. 

 

 

I felt the same way around my son's first grade teacher. Honestly, I was kind of afraid of her! I was never as comfortable around her as I was around the other first grade teacher but it did get better as the year went on. Would you really have much interaction with her on field trips? I helped with the first grade class that went to the zoo and I barely saw the teacher. So I wouldn't totally write off helping.

 

Good luck with whatever happens!

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#13 of 14 Old 08-18-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

Take a step back, is this a teacher YOU didn't want or a teacher your child didn't want.

Obviously (I'm assuming) your child has been at this school for a year or more.  Kids are pretty in tune with the staff members by that point. Has your child ever said "I don't like Ms X, I've seen her on playground duty and shes mean, or I see Ms X in the lunch room and she never lets the older kids get up" type of thing?

Make sure you don't color your child's impressions of Ms X by your previous experience. Sending DH to Meet the Teacher Night is a way of doing this, not volunteering when you have in the past will raise an eye brow as well.

You may not love Ms X but she may end up being your child's best friend.

 

Honestly, I wouldnt' ask for the teacher change.  



I agree. :-)


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#14 of 14 Old 09-12-2011, 08:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Pickle View Post

 

 

The only thing still bothering me is that I guess I am still uneasy around this teacher; I still harbor a little bit of resentment even thought i know it is not that she did anything bad or that she was a bad teacher. I don't see myself wanting to help out in the classroom or go on field trips; I will probably try to get DH to go to "Meet the Teacher," curriculum night, etc. 

 

 

I felt this exact same way!  My DS1 had a first grade teacher that was just awful for him.  I was so scared DS2 would get her and he did :(  I was horrified, ready to homeschool.  DH convinced me to at least give it a try.  I did, but with the attitude, "you deal with her then".  He did.  He went to parent/teacher night, he did some of the volunteer activities with the class etc.  DS2 absolutely BLOSSOMED in her class.  I kid you not.  I couldn't believe it.  So if they won't change the assignment for you, give it a try and see how it goes.  (I still don't like her, even though DS2 adores her and I still hope DS3 doesn't get her, but at least I know it's not the end of the world if he does).  Good luck!


 

 

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