You may think parents who request a specific teacher for their kid in elementary school are kind of helicopter parents, but that’s not always the case. While some kids are excellent students who will thrive in any classroom, moms and dads know their child best and may think that a specific teacher would be the best one to help their kid learn. And if that’s the case, they don’t just hope their kid will be assigned to a certain teacher, they specifically request it. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some pointers from a mom who’s been there and spoke with her school’s principal about when and how to request a particular teacher.
- Make a formal request to the school- Most will require you to do it in writing or via email to school administrators. Address it to the principal since that’s who will probably have the final say in where your student is placed.
- Send the request before the end of the current school year- As the current school year winds down, the school is already figuring out who will be in which classroom next fall, so this is the time to make your request. Some schools even have a cutoff date, so make sure you don’t miss that deadline.
- Focus on your child’s individual needs- Instead of making it about a certain teacher, keep it about your kids academic, social, or emotional needs and if you have experience with a specific teacher you think can best meet those needs, mention that teacher’s name as your preferred choice. And steer clear of saying “I like Mr. So-and-so best.”
- Don’t let gossip sway you- You’ve probably heard one teacher is super sweet and another is very strict, but you can’t believe everything you hear. And just because one teacher wasn’t a great fit for your friend’s kid doesn’t mean she won’t be good for yours.
- Trust that the school might know more than you do- Schools consider all kinds of factors when deciding which classroom students are in, including kids’ learning style, abilities, and academic and emotional needs, while balancing classes out. So if you don’t get your request fulfilled, trust the school has a good reason for it and try to get your kid excited for the class they will be in, instead of worrying about the one you wanted.