Any parent knows the influence a teacher can have on the entire school year -- if your child's personality clashes with the teacher's, it could be a long year. Experts say there are a few ways to make sure your child winds up with the teacher you want them to have.
First, if your school doesn't let you ask for a specific teacher, ask for a specific curriculum or teaching approach. You have to do a little homework and research here, but mention that a teacher's more visual approach or hands-on style would suit your child best.
Next if your child gets placed with a teacher that doesn't suit them, make it about a classmate -- not the teacher. Most schools will honor separation requests from another student more readily than requests for a specific teacher. Tell the school that your child has issues with another student and you'd prefer they be separated.
So, what if none of that works, and your child is stuck with a teacher you're not wild about? There are some things you can do.
First, always keep a profile of your child. It should have specifics about your child's strengths and weaknesses and the best way your child learns. Request many appointments with the teacher to go over your child's goals.
Next, know your school officials. Make friends with the principal, vice-principal and the people in the front office. These are the people with the power.
Third, know the other parents. If a teacher is being unfair to your child, chances are they're being unfair to others. Numerous parents are more powerful than a single complaint.
And lastly try and get to know the even higher authorities. If the principal isn't interested in your complaint, take it higher to the school board or superintendent. That may seem extreme, but if these people know your name and know your child it could go a long way to making the school year bearable.
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