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?