Parent Request

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Miss W, May 3, 2005.

  1. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    May 3, 2005

    Hey guys,
    I was wondering if this was a problem anywhere else. We sent a letter home yesterday, district wide, that told parents that they could request teachers for next year in a written letter to the pricipal. They had to have at least 3 teachers on this letter, and the letter would be considered during placement. This morning, the hallways were full of parents who were requesting teachers for next year. I can see where this might be appropriate to request not to have certain teachers (you know, when certain teachers are family, or have had a bad experience with the child, or know the teacher too well), but it has just gotten out of hand. I'm a first year teacher, outside in a modular. This is already 2 strikes against me. We try to place ability, behavior, and special needs evenly across the board. Then these requests come in. What's the point of us even trying to place the students were they need to be? There will be 8 spots in each classroom reserved for these requests. Does anyone have these problems, or had this in the past? What do you do to solve it?
     
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  3. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    My school always allowed teacher requests but last year it got out of control. This year they are not allowing requests for next year. We teachers do the placement and like you we try to place them by ability, behavior and so on. Some parents are not happy that they can not request but oh well! One incoming kinder parent said she wanted to request a teacher (not me) and they said she couldn't and she said well we'll see about that, she doesnt realize they aren't taking anyone's requests!
     
  4. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    May 3, 2005

    My program isn't supposed to be based on requests but since its SPED, our parents have a certain amount of pull that they might not have elsewhere. I'm a first year teacher as well, but I actually have strangers requesting their child be placed in my room when they enter middle school next year. Apparently I have a reputation that I didn't know about; my boss was amused by these requests. I also have kids in my room who are not zoned for my school but will continue in my room primarily because of parents' requests.

    Oh this thread makes me anxious for next year; they started our class rosters and I heard through the grapevine mine wasn't looking too peachy. Eh.
     
  5. ViolaSwamp

    ViolaSwamp Habitué

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    May 3, 2005

    Miss W,
    That sounds crazy!!! :crosseyed I have never heard of sending home request forms, that is just asking for trouble.:eek: All of the schools I've attended/worked allowed requests, but the parents had to make the effort and very few bothered. In all actuality I think it is better for the teachers to place the students because they know the children's school personalities and teachers' personalities best. They also know to separate certain kids, etc....the list goes on (as you know). Parents think, "Oh Miss X did well with my older child Joey, I want her to teach Jimmy too." They don't think about how different their children are and how hard it can be for a kiddo to follow in a sibling's footsteps (I am still discovering the repercussions in my own life :rolleyes: . I am so sorry for you. Don't feel bad if they don't request you. Remember it is only for the reasons you mentioned. Maybe it will all work out for the best (just in case I'll say a prayer for ya :) ).
     
  6. wordy

    wordy Rookie

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    May 3, 2005

    Our school allows requests for teaching STYLES, but parents are not supposed to use teacher's names. They might write, "Joey learns best in a quiet, structured enviroment" , or "Kim needs a patient and warm teacher to feel comfortable."
    This isn't perfect, but sounds better than request forms! Typically, parents write these letters to reflect the traits in the one specific classroom they want their child in. In our small school, it is easy to figure out who parents are referring to. In a larger school, however, these types of requests might actually be more appropriate. There may be more than one teacher who fits the criteria, or a newer teacher (like Miss W) that the teachers don't know well enough to request. Good luck, and try not to take it personally! Just think, maybe you won't have the more outspoken and judgemental parents to deal with!
     
  7. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    Speaking personally, we could request a teacher for our child, it did not mean that our child would have that particular teacher, but it would be considered. Where I teach, the elementary school takes requests, but it does not mean that your child will definitely get that teacher. Most requests are given though. After 4th grade is not even considered, don't even think about requesting.
     
  8. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    May 3, 2005

    I WISH!!!!
    Public school would be an absolute if we could do this.
     
  9. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    May 4, 2005

    Our principals made the decision to allow requests a few years ago. There were 12 teachers per grade, and parents would complain if they got the teacher they didn't want, so it saved them time switching things around. It turned out that only a small percentage of parents returned the form. They were given 3 options and were not promised that they would get the teacher they wanted since classes needed to be balanced according to academic levels, behavior, boys/girls, etc.
     
  10. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    That's kind-of what they're trying to do, but it doesn't look like it's working. As to having two strikes against me, I also have some good qualities: Being outside means we get to do more tactile activities outside. My classroom is also the most technologicaly advanced in our grade (that, of course, does not count the computer classroom). I also have organized major reading events and activities for our school. I do know of four parents who have requested my classroom. It's just not fair for everyone on the whole.
     
  11. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    The problem at my school was that new teachers and those who were relatively new were not well-known by the community. Those teachers often ended up with the apathetic parents who didn't care or didn't register the kids until right before school. Then there were teachers who had a class full of kids whose parents had requested her. So, the level of parent involvement was often off balance even if the other factors were in balance.
     
  12. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Gee, that sounds like my room this year. Now that parents know that I'm here though...
     
  13. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    We used to take parent requests, but there were some problems one year so they are no longer taken (those who work at the school are allowed to request, that's it). The principal places the kids, supposedly each with an equal mix of strengths.
     
  14. aussiejen

    aussiejen Rookie

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    May 5, 2005

    We take parents requests "into consideration".

    We have never sent parent request forms home. The parents don't even know which grades we will be taking until we come back after the summer holidays.

    The princial won't promise anytnig - though he will take requests from parents who don't want their child in with a certain other child - if there is a good reason (bullying etc).
     
  15. sandimreyes

    sandimreyes Comrade

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    Our principal has stated that he will not honor parent requests for specific teachers, other than those very active in the PTA. He, too, has said that parents can write in to request a certain style of teacher, but not a teacher in particular. This has been the rule for 3 years now, but the request letters keep coming and, at times, the teachers themselves have been given the option of accepting or declining the request.

    Each grade used to put together classes for the next year, but last year they had the grade that the students are GOING INTO look at the students' cards and put the classes together. I think that's CRAZY! We know our kids...they don't yet. (Although, I do admit...I am very very selfish when it comes to my kids and hate to give them up to ANYBODY else! ;) )
     
  16. Teacheskidz

    Teacheskidz Rookie

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    My school has gotten out of hand with parent requests as well. Parents actually walk around the school the last few weeks of school to peak in on teachers in the next grade level to see who they want. The principal usually gives them who they want but you guys are right when it's not fair to the newcomers like myself who get a bunch of kids whose parents didn't care who taught them. These are the ones that don't volunteer or participate. Also more behavior problems from my experience. Parents get everything they want these days.....
     
  17. lexilla

    lexilla Rookie

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    In my sons school, they are doing away with teacher requests for the upcoming school year. Many parents are upset but I don't have a problem with it. I don't request teachers and its not because I'm not involved or don't care. I just think my kids need to learn how to cope with different types of teachers, they'll learn how to deal with hard teachers, soft teachers, teachers who can't teach at all and teachers who are very good teachers, hands on teachers, strictly book teachers, and with my help at home, they will succeed. If I see a major problem between teacher and my children along the road somewhere, then I may step in and request a move but I strongly feel kids need to be able to learn how to cope with different situations. Last year my son didn't have the "best" teacher and had a kid in his class who he was always cutting up with. My son had to learn how to work a little bit harder (with my help at home) to understand the material being taught and also had to learn the hard way (recess detentions) how to control his behavior in a classroom. Although I want my kids to succeed and make the grade, I can't and won't go throughout my kids lives trying to pick and choose only successful situations for them. To me, thats possibly setting them up for failure as they get older. Life isn't always peaches and cream, they've got to learn how to handle the nastier stuff also when served it.
     
  18. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Right about now we have parents asking so who is my child getting. They start walking around getting to know the other teachers so they can request but my adminstrators are not allowing requests even though people are writing them. Our adminstrators feel as though as all the teachers are good and parents should not be choosy and in my mind he is right.
     
  19. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    What a perfectly sane parent you sound like, lexilla!
     
  20. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    One of the schools in our district does it perfectly. I wish my school would do the same. Teachers turn in students ranked according to test scores. They list students who shouldn't be in classes together and a list of behavior problems. They make their lists off of this. The difference is, there is no teacher name. They make the lists and then call the teachers in. They put the teachers' name in a cup, pick up a list, and then draw a teacher's name. That's her class. That way there is no concern about a certain teacher being given preference. They work hard to make sure that no class is overloaded on behavior issues, etc. It works!
     
  21. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Our school does requests. The principal states that it will be taken into consideration, but they do take into account the other teachers, placement in sped classes, & kids in the class (behavior type things), and boy vs. girl ratio. Most of the time it isn't a big deal & parents are given the request and have to return it in a week.

    I know when I was up for the position I had parents request me if I got the position..which was VERY flattering.

    I think the worst part is because I worked in a small school the next yr. teachers were almost worse to see who requested who.
     
  22. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    At my son's school this past fall we had a parent who got a teacher she didn't want (I think they moved in after the teacher request deadline), she requested that her son be moved. The principal refused. The mother went to the school board & got her way!!!

    It really made me mad, as she is a parent that willingly & happily admits that she will complain & will continuing complaining as high as she needs to go to get what she wants!!

    Hmm, must be why she doesn't like that I'm her son's Cub Scout leader, as I won't give in to her!
     
  23. Teacheskidz

    Teacheskidz Rookie

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    That is not teaching the child anything! I had 2 boys removed from my class this year because they just didn't like me. The parents kept complaining and got their way. Kids need to know that there are people you aren't going to like in life and mommy and daddy can't always bail them out. How are they going to work in the real world??? I'm tired of these parents getting their way with everything!
     
  24. DaTeach

    DaTeach Comrade

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    It is the same at our school, Teacherskidz! Only this year, in my grade, there are so few kids, they will all be lumped in one classroom! I would like to see parents' faces when they make a request only to find there will be only one teacher next year!
     
  25. lowrie

    lowrie Companion

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    I agree!!!

    The schools my sons attend do not take teacher requests. The "party line" is that all staff are equally talented teachers and they teach as a team.

    While I do feel that some of the teachers are better teachers than others, I also accept that it is a single school year, and who knows, perhaps the teacher I'm unsure of will really work well for my kid!

    I can't imagine the nightmare trying to accommodate parent requests!!
     
  26. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    This is the first year we are not honoring parent requests so it will prove to be interesting. In life, we need to be exposed to all personalities, styles, types, etc. of people, and what better place to start teaching children about this than in the elem. school level? Will a parent be there in the working world when their child comes home and says "Mom, I don't like my boss, can you change it for me?" I am sure, as I teach in a quite affluent school district, that the more vocal parents will petition the Board and get what they want but this is just how it goes.
     
  27. latybug

    latybug Rookie

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    Request in my opinion are not always a good thing. As a teacher who is well like I get tons of request every year. At least half of my class is from request. At first I thought it was flattering. Then as time went on and I was known as a teacher who had good classroom control, I began to get the disipline problems. I was looking forward to the start of next school year. Then on our last teacher day one of the third grade teacher let me know that she told a parent to request me for her behavior problem child. I just hate that!! I had one of those students this year. He was suspended at least 4 times, sent to ISR 3 times and I had to contantly be after him. Days without him there were wonderful. It really isn't fair to the teachers all the way around!! We have also had problems with some parents who requested and then found out that that teacher wasn't what they thought they wanted so there were moves made anyways. About two years ago they finally put a stop to moving if you requested. I like the way someone mentioned that parents should list what qualities they want in a teacher. I as a parent have a shy child and like having a teacher who is understanding and not too pushy with her. My child is also gifted and needs to be pushed to reach her full potential. There has to be some way to let the parents request and still be fair to all the teachers. Hope someone finds a good solution to this. I'm glad I'm not a principal!!
     
  28. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    That's one of the rewards of being a good teacher - many times you get the most challenging! As a parent and a teacher, I would never request a specific teacher for my child and am always amazed at some of the reasons our administrators have been given in the past (she's too young, she's too old, I hear all children who have her don't do well in the middle school, he's a man and my child does not do well with men).
     
  29. lowrie

    lowrie Companion

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    Well put! That's sort of what I was trying to say with my babbly post earlier :)
     

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