Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Have to Have THAT Teacher

Pretty soon you'll get the letter that announces the teacher or teachers your child will have next fall. With three kids of my own, I had a lot of angst over those letters. The rumor mill ran rampant and getting certain teachers could potentially make or break you and your child.

Yet, now that I'm on the other side of the door, I urge you to keep your cool if the teacher-you-had-to-have is not the one your child gets. I admit, my kids had a couple of really lousy teachers in their long educational careers. But now that my son is 21, how horrible was it really that I found his second grade teacher to be boring and lazy? I have no doubt that he learned ways to compensate, and the truth is, real life isn't always perfect.

Where I teach we spend a lot of time and take great pains to match students to both the appropriate teacher and the best class for that child. It is a long and painstaking process, that is intended to match personalities, temperaments, and learning styles, while also considering the mix of the entire group. Last year the class I taught was phenominal because the chemistry among the kids and teachers was magical. We all got so much out of the year.

So, before you go postal and call the Preschool Director to complain, take a deep breath and consider why your child received that placement. If you feel a call is necessary, be respectful and allow the Director to explain why your child is destined for a wonderful experience. Nine times out of ten, your child will have the right fit. Once in a while, it may not go as smoothly as you'd like, but try to see the positives in even difficult situations, because every teacher has something important to offer her students.


  1. As an educator, I am appreciative of such insight and consideration to the schools, as well as the "person" teaching. As a mother, I will certainly be thoughtful to the process and well-being of not only my children but the entire class as a whole. Your message was positive, well written and thought provoking... thank you!

  2. It is refreshing to hear such a reasonable approach to a perennial situation for parents and students. Sometimes, a little adversity can make a child stronger.