Teacher Requests, Too Intrusive or Justified?

The new school year is approaching fast and soon teacher assignments will be mailed home here in Orland Park. 

Kids wait for these for days and then race to their cell phone, computers and neighbors to see who is in their class.  Some parents, however, are already well aware of who their children’s teachers will be.  They know this information because they have specifically requested the teacher(s). 

Some parents believe that leaving it up to the schools is best and severely frown upon requesting specific teachers.  I found this out a recent gathering of a few local women over coffee.  I mentioned that I had asked for one of my kids to be placed into one particular teacher’s class and I was sharing my joy that my request had been accepted. 

Before I could finish my sentence, an acquaintance squashed my joy by informing me that I very well may have “screwed up” my kid’s entire school experience by not allowing the powers that be to choose a teacher for my kid. 

I guess I can understand her point.  After all, who knows better than the staff at the school where my child belongs and is better off?  Well, forgive me for saying so, but I believe I do

In the past, my children were placed in the classroom of the staff’s choosing.  My children ended up with some wonderful teachers this way and still request many of them. 

On the other hand, I have met some teachers who rather not be teaching, and it showed.  One of them even told me flat-out “I really do not enjoy being around children.”  REALLY?  Then would you mind explaining to me why you chose teaching as your profession?!?!  That is like my hair stylist saying she really doesn’t like to touch people’s hair; or the chef who hates food. 

How could I conceivably send my child off to school every day knowing that I was sending them to someone who did not want to be there or receive them with a smile?  I have, in the past, requested my children not have certain teachers.  I am not saying these people are bad people, just not people I would prefer to have my children spend that much time with.

If I did not spend almost every school classroom party, performance, reading coach session, teacher appreciation luncheon…well, you get the point…at the school, meeting and getting to know the teachers and other staff, then yes, maybe I would see her point.  But I do, and I feel that I know which teachers are the best fit for my children.

I only request a teacher based on the needs of the child, not my friendship with a teacher or any other superficial reason.  We are blessed to have many extraordinary and extremely qualified teachers to choose from here in Orland Park.

As long as I am allowed to, I will continue to hand-pick my children’s teachers, even if it is not popular or well received. 

So, what do you think?  Have I messed with the natural flow of school harmony or are teacher requests justified?

About Orland Park Mom

Mom, writer, domestic goddess, superhero extraordinaire. Yeah, that's me.
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6 Responses to Teacher Requests, Too Intrusive or Justified?

  1. Anonymous says:

    As a mom, who IS a teacher in Orland, I agree with you. NO ONE, I REPEAT, NO ONE, knows a child like a mother does. (except for the unusual circumstances…)
    Yes, collectively, as an educator, I can gather information and get to know your child. Sometimes, well enough to have a conversation with the ‘powers that be’ to make a suggestion as to whom would be a good fit. The ‘powers’ work very hard to make these placements. BUT, and there is a but, parents know their children and if are not comfortable, should make a switch. I pride myself on being an outstanding educator, but I am sure, there are parents who may have not LOVED everything about me. (I know, they are crazy right!!?) just kidding. There is no such thing as a perfect fit for everyone year after year.
    On another note, last year, my little girl was assigned to a teacher and her teacher took a new position at the last minute. The principal assured me that the new teacher would be a good fit. My gut was to switch her, and we didn’t. We wished we’d had. Now, the lesson being learned that yes, my child will have to learn to acclimate to whomever she gets placed with in life, but it came with a cost. She was not a happy camper this past year. Not when they are little. I’m sorry- children should adore school and LOVE their teacher and learning. The early years of learning sets the stage for later.
    In my neighborhood, I hear the mom banter of who is good/ bad, etc… Guess what? That teacher who was the ‘top pick’ for Kindergarten would have been awful for my daughter. I think we have to take it all in, think, and make a decision when warranted.
    That being said, teacher requests, in my opinion, are justified when you know your child won’t fit well with a specific teacher. Perhaps your child has special needs, or loves science, or loves art, or needs TLC, or your other children have had the same teacher and your little one knows them and is comfortable. Whatever your child’s need is, your teacher fit should be a good one.

    • Thank you so much for commenting and giving your opinion as a teacher and a mom. I agree that choosing a teacher is not always warranted, but when it is, parents should step in. I also watched a child of mine go through an entire school year with difficulties that were not cirriculum related but a personality clash between the child and teacher. I promised myself and my child that I would not allow that to happen again. Again, thank you for your most valuable response!

    • Orland Park Mom says:

      I am so glad to hear I am not nuts for wanting a certain teacher for my child.I have 3 children and I for the most part let the powers that be do the choosing,but now I have a child with some learning issues and 3rd grade teachers are slim pickins this year.I am keeping my fingers crossed that my child ends up with the teacher I feel is suitable!You are absolutely right a Mom does know her childs needs the best!!Keep your fingers crossed for me

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree! Children are very impressionable during the early stages of development (5 – 12 yrs.). Why subject our precious children at that age to teachers that are not motivated!

  3. Siead Zegar says:

    I agree with you! Why not make the learning experience of our children as pleasant as possible? After all, kids are very impressionable, especially during the early years of development.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I loved reading this article it put a smile on my face.I am frantically awaiting the teacher assignment for my child to come in the mail,stomach in knots because my child has a learning disability and there are slim pickins for 3rd grade teachers .I am praying that my child gets the right one…fingers crossed!!!

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