Moving Your Child To A Different Classroom
If your child has a teacher that you simply do not like. Please move them to a different classroom. Here are the best tips for this to happen and for a win/win outcome.
True Story: Right after the first day of school my principal called me to the office. “Sally, Joey’s mom called to complain that you did not have two crock pots in your classroom. Why do you need two crock pots and did you put this mom up to complaining?”
“Heck no! Whose mom is it? I don’t think I ever met her? How would she know if I have two crockpots anyway? Why would I need them? I don’t understand why this woman would complain.”
“Okay, let’s hope she just calms down.” The principal laughed and we went back to work.
Day 2 of school I am called in to the office again. “Sally. Joey’s mom called to tell me that he couldn’t see the board today. Can you move him closer?”
“What is wrong with this mom? Why does she call the principal instead of calling me? I should know when a student has vision problems, right?”
Day 4 – yep, we skipped day 3! “Joey’s mom called to complain that you taught the math lesson too fast today. He said he couldn’t keep up.”
“I am not surprised he had trouble keeping up. He was turned around tossing things at the boy behind him. I had to move him in the middle of the lesson – and had to move two other students because he needed to be right up front. Again, why isn’t the mom calling me directly? Have you ever had a parent complain three out of the first four days of school? I think we should move the child to another teacher. I will take someone’s behavior problem which is too bad because Joey is basically a nice boy. I don’t think you should be bothered before I have a chance to talk to the parent.”
“Let’s give it another week. I hate to make moves. It starts a bunch of other parents wanting to move other kids and most of them wanted you to be their teachers. I had to say no to fifteen other parents who requested you. Sorry, let’s see what happens.”
Most of the time when a parent wants to move a child from one teacher to the other, the teacher has already asked for this to happen. Unfortunately, children sometimes decide they want a different teacher for their own reasons and lie to their parents in order to have it happen.
A great student, Walter, was in my fifth-grade classroom. We had made the new classroom up mid-year and the students were transferred to me. I made them do all four pages of their speller. Walter and his best friend came to me one day after school and Walter said, “I don’t think I should have to do all four pages of the speller. The other teacher didn’t make us do all four pages. If you don’t change this back to three pages I am going to make my parents move me back to his classroom.” His friend said, “Me Too!”
Lucky for me I knew the parents were pro-education. I told the boys to go ahead because they were not going to tell me what my expectation should be. The parents saw through their whining and called to see what the real story was. I explained and they laughed – he will do all six pages every week! That kid has a lot of guts! We are so sorry!
That same year I discovered that one of the teachers gave straight A’s on every students report card…yikes! No wonder everybody loved that guy. I had taught about 28 years by then and he had taught 2. He didn’t know what he was doing to these kids. They were not all straight A kids and he was setting them up for a huge problem in their future. I was stuck trying to figure out what to do about it. I decided to look at each report card and give them exactly the same grades but to write comments that were true about their work. I had one parent come in and demand I delete the comment that said, “Sam would learn more if he completed his class and home work.” I took my pen and crossed it out immediately because I knew my superintendent would support them. Did I love those parents? NOPE. Did I want them to move the kid, YEP!
Rules to follow if you want to move your child to a different teacher. These protect your reputation in the school system. If you ignore them you will be labeled as a trouble maker. Please do not make extra trouble. I must admit sometime a student needs to be moved. If parents just hate the teacher – move the kid so he can succeed. But, do it privately – do not involve the child in adult decisions
1.DO NOT badmouth the teacher. If you have been badmouthing the teacher in the car, over your phone, at the dinner table..STOP
- If you have a negative history with a teacher please meet with the principal in May and tell them you prefer your child not have that teacher. That is the easiest way to solve the problem.
- Support the teacher while this situation is being worked out. Some principals will not move a student, no matter what. That is wrong. If you get stuck in this situation, email me or call so we can brainstorm together to help you get what your child needs.
- Make sure your child behaves. If you have bad mouthed this teacher previously because of something negative, please start to praise him/her at home.
- If your child is in elementary school and is with a teacher all day every day it is best to do all you can to move them. To take time to give your child the most positive loving experience you can. However, if your child is in Jr. High (Middle School) or High School and moves to six different teachers a day you might want them to stay with a difficult situation. That will teach your child how to handle a person they may not like. We all have had bosses we didn’t get along with and we had to make it work. The teacher situation is the closest thing to a boss and you are there to help your child figure it out.
Your goal must be that during the school year your child is happy and will react positively during activities where that teacher is in charge. If you think about the school carnival, jog-a-thon or end of year activities. Both of you need to be able to have fun. If you are positive and forgiving, gracious and happy, uplifting and enthusiastic you will raise a child who sees the light in a sometimes dark situation.
Be able to articulate the difficulty without blaming either the teacher or your child. Never tell your child that you moved them because they complained. If a move is made it is best to tell the child something like, “The principal needed to move one student from Mr. Jones to Mr. Smith. I told her it was okay to move you. I hope you will have a good time and adjust quickly to Mr. Smith.”
Working with a tough teacher