OT: Undesirable Teacher Assignment-What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by gottaluvdis, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. gottaluvdis

    gottaluvdis DIS Veteran

    Mar 23, 2004
    I know this is OT, but this board has wonderful advice. Yesterday DD9 was assigned her teacher for 4th grade next year, and she was assigned the one teacher (out of 8) that she really didn't want. She's heard from other kids that this teacher is mean and strict. I've also heard from other parents that she's difficult to deal with and odd. Our neighbor is a teacher in the school and has said this particular teacher should have retired years ago, and that she wouldn't want her son assigned to her (her son is the same age as DD - I don't know who he has been assigned to yet). DD broke down into tears when she learned who she had. I wanted to bring her for ice cream after school to celebrate the last day, but she was too upset to go. This is unusual behavior for DD, who normally is a strong person and a leader in the classroom etc. She did, however, seem to get over it pretty quick and we haven't discussed it since yesterday.

    Now the dilemma - do my DH and I interfere? Do we see how things go once school starts? I've been told it's much easier to change assignments in the summer than once school begins, but it also nearly takes an act of God to change at all. I tend to think we should let her be and see how things go. My cousin's DD had this person and didn't like her at first, but liked her toward the end of the year. I plan to quiz my cousin and his DW about their experiences with this woman. DD has never met this teacher and doesn't even know what she looks like, so I had the talk with her about not judging people until she's met them. I also haven't spilled any of my own insecurities about this situation over to DD. I'm trying to remain neutral as far as DD's concerned.

    Has anyone else been in this situation and how did you handle it? I'd appreciate any advice anyone has. Thanks! :goodvibes
  2. Evil Queen

    Evil Queen DIS Veteran<br><font color=blue>Loved my Mrs. Beas

    Jan 28, 2005
    That's tough.

    In 3rd grade my son was assigned a teacher, who my sister (a teacher at the same school) would not be good for him. Really strict and sometimes loud, he tends to like soft spoken teachers, he has Asperger's.

    She requested a change and they said no. I told her I would wait and if he doesn't do well, I'd request the change.

    Best thing that ever happened to him. He had to learn at sometime that not all people are easy going and soft spoken. She really liked him too.

    Personally, I would wait and see what happens. Teachers sometimes get a bad wrap. There is one teacher next year, he doesn't want. He's not a bad teacher, but he really gets them prepped for 6th grade and is tough.
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  4. Cinderella Fan

    Cinderella Fan Disney Bride!! December 2006

    Sep 28, 2005
    If the teachers are still in school for "teacher workdays", then I would go to speak with her, look around her room, and get a feel of her teaching style. My second year teaching, I had several parents some to speak with me regarding their children's assignments to my room, as I was the "NEW" teacher in the school and no one really knew my classroom style.

    Then, if you choose not to have your DD in her classroom, speak with the principal to have her re-assigned. It is MUCH easier to move a student before the school year starts....

    Hope you are able to make the best decision.... And don't let it bother your summer, things always have a way of working themselves out... :wave:
  5. MommaluvsDis

    MommaluvsDis DIS Veteran

    May 19, 2001
    I had a similar stuation with my DS when he was in first grade. There was a teacher who everyone said was fantastic. So, I campaigned to get him in her room. It worked. As the first few weeks went by, I noticed that DS wasn't excited about school anymore. One weekend, he was sitting on the couch and broke out crying which was so unlike him.

    He begged me not to send him back to that class, not school, just that class. I questioned him and decided that I would parent volunteer for a week in his room so that I could see for myself what was going on.

    After that week, DH and I went to the principal and told him that if he didn't remove my son from that environment, we'd pull him out and take him to another school. At the time, we could do that if we wanted.

    I told him what I'd observed and he did, in fact, place him with another teacher. DS went from F average to the A honor roll but more importantly, back to loving school.

    This teacher is no longer in the school system and it's a really good thing.

    Change her now. If she's scared of her teacher, she won't learn.
  6. AussieAngel

    AussieAngel DIS Veteran

    Apr 26, 2006
    As a teacher myself, I have to say this is a very common problem. There are always kids who don't want to have a particular teacher, or kids who want to be in a class with their friends, or parents who have heard "bad" things about a certain teacher...

    Since you've never actually met this teacher, and your daughter hasn't either, I'd say just wait and see. Have a fun summer, and if the worst happens and she really is a horrible teacher, do something about it then. But chances are, she's not that bad. School communities have a funny way of spreading opinions amazingly quickly. Sometimes you just have to decide for yourself.

    I remember when I was in Grade 3, I had the nastiest teacher ever. Mrs Saunders. *shudder* She had a big mole on her cheek which grew hairs out of it, and she was just old and frightening. But you know what? That teacher loved me and I ended up having a great year! Yes, she was strict, but sometimes a bit of strictness doesn't hurt!

    I think it's nice to have a variety of types of teachers. Some men, some women, some laid-back, some strict, some wacky, some boring... That's what school's about!! Don't we all look back and laugh at some of our teachers!?
  7. patsal

    patsal <font color=FF3399>I've discovered I don't need to

    Jul 10, 2001
    I guess it is a tough decision, but things to consider include that change can be good, we learn how to deal with people we may not like when we are forced to deal with people we may not like. IF you feel your child is not learning in the environment then you would have the recourse to request a change. Though it is easier for both teachers (for organization purposes) and students (for the routine) to make the change before the school year at least you know you gave it a try and have a real concern before making the switch not just basing the switch on hearsay or others experiences, but on your own.
  8. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 1999
    I just dealt with a horrible first grade teacher. I would ask to have her moved now. Don't even bother giving the teacher the benefit of the doubt since it will be much, much harder to get your DD moved after class starts. I wish I had followed my instincts and had my DD moved. Instead I kept on hoping that things would get better and that having some good "buddies" in her class would help. It didn't. My DD had a lousy first grade and has a lot of catching up to do :(.
  9. pweyl36

    pweyl36 <font color=green>Now if I can only get them into

    Feb 4, 2005
    This should be a learning lesson for your dd. Sometimes there are people that
    are not nice,but thats life. I had some mean teachers when I was in school and I turned out fine. She will always have a mean teacher,you as a parent can not always be there to make sure every thing is perfect for your child. You do not want to be a helicopter parent? :rotfl:
  10. kizmac

    kizmac DIS Veteran

    Jul 4, 2005
    I would do nothing and just see how it goes. It has been my experience that most of the time, the so called "bad teacher" that no one wants and says is so mean or hard turns out to be just fine. I've even really liked some of the teachers that others said were a nightmare. My kids seem to always get the one they didn't want but I have never requested a change. My bet is that it will be just fine for your daughter. :goodvibes
  11. GillieRose

    GillieRose DIS Veteran

    Jan 26, 2005
    Next year I have the same fear. My daughter is going into the 1 st grade and she has 1 out of 13 chance of getting this one teacher I can not stand. My nieces both had her. But at this point there is nothing I can do. I have to wait untill August to find out if she gets her. She had the best teacher this year for Kindergarten. I hoping for the same next year.
  12. mrsboz

    mrsboz DIS Veteran

    Jul 27, 2003
    GillieRose: Maybe you could send a letter of suggestion to the principal. Saying something liker her teaching style would not benefit your child and to ask her to consider this when placing your child. I heard from a teacher that if you are asking not to have someone it is not so bad as asking for someone???

    It is never easy. My sisters son had a teacher in kindergarten that no one wanted. She and he hated her. In first grade she got the teacher again that no one wanted but this time he and she loved her. You just never know.
  13. Tamarap

    Tamarap DIS Veteran

    Apr 19, 2006
    Thats a tough one, but I personally would make the child at least start in the assigned class. The same thing happened to us. It was 2nd grade. When my DS found out who he had he was horrified. I told him he had to at least give the teacher a chance. Well after Christmas break his whole demeanor changed. He was visibly depressed when I picked him up from school, didn't want to do his homework and didn't care about the consequences. After a couple of week or so of this I went to the Vice-Principal and shared my concerns and he agreed that my son needed an "environmental change" (class change LOL). He was switched to another class within the week and back to his old happy self again. This happened again in the 5th grade and I did not change move him. It was a tougher year for him, but he made it through okay, although things never got as bad as they did in 2nd grade.
  14. La2kw

    La2kw DIS Veteran

    May 31, 2003
    I wouldn't base my decision on what your daughter says about the teacher. She doesn't even know what the teacher looks like, she's just basing her opinion on what other kids say. Most kids don't like the idea of "strict" teachers. :confused3 Being a "strict" teacher myself, I can't tell you the number of compliments I get from parents thanking me for having clear expectations and rules in my classroom, even though their kids may not like it at first. ::yes:: You are the adult and you seem to understand that we shouldn't always judge people. My suggestion is to see how the year starts. Observe the teacher in action for yourself. If you see a problem that concerns you, then definitely ask for her to be moved at that point.
  15. FergieTCat

    FergieTCat <font color=green>No, I'm serious. And don't call

    Jun 10, 2000
    Not a very helpful comment, I guess, but ...

    I was terrified of my teacher in 6th grade. He was strict, he made us sit in rows, and learn by memorization. 30 years later, and I can still recite the preamble to the Constitution.

    But he was an excellent teacher and one of the few that I still remember. If there were a way to contact him, I would and thank him.

    So ... she might not be that bad. Is there anyway you can meet with her before school starts so you can get a sense of what she's like.
  16. Cindy B

    Cindy B <font color=blue>Have taken some furniture polish

    Oct 8, 2000
    Tricky call.

    I was not fond of my sons placement this year. (today is the last day of school).

    I wound up speaking to the principal and the superintendent about this teacher. However, I did not allow a switch to occur. I wanted my son to learn that in some situations you will have someone that you don't like.. whether its a boss, coworker or a professor that you have to get along with, like it or not.

    I did get his math teacher switched due to the fact that the math course he was assigned to was not challenging enough.

    I had enough evidence to support a move from this teachers class. However, I did want him to learn something from it.

    Due to my complaints of the teacher to the principal and superintendent, the teacher got more training and has some development scheduled. She is a veteran tenured teacher so she could not be removed. However, my problems with her have been documented.

    Go with the teacher. If all you hear is that she is mean, honestly, thats really nothing. We got verbal abuse and comments. We got unethical comments, and unprofessional behavior. We got threats.

    See how it goes, it might be fine.
  17. gottaluvdis

    gottaluvdis DIS Veteran

    Mar 23, 2004
    Thank you all for the quick replies and advice. DD said she doesn't want DH and I to interfere, and I think she really wouldn't want to be moved once school starts. I definitely don't want to be a helicopter parent, as someone said, but I also don't want her to have a bad experience. She seems to have resigned herself to the fact that she got that teacher. I like the suggestion for me to go in on a workshop day and meet the teacher myself. DD has already said she doesn't want to meet her prior to the start of school. At least I can get a feel for her myself. I'll check to see when the teachers will be there. DD will also be in an advanced class nearly every day (taught by the same gifted teacher she's had since 1st grade), so at least she'll get a respite from the regular classroom each day. I agree with those who said they had some not so great teachers - I had some doosies myself! It's good for her to be exposed to different personalities, as long as she can get over being initially upset and not hate school for the entire year.
  18. gottaluvdis

    gottaluvdis DIS Veteran

    Mar 23, 2004
    Wow, my situation doesn't seem nearly this bad. I did have one parent tell me this teacher asked her "what's wrong with your son" when he couldn't sit still in class. She told the parent that he must be ADHD, but he was tested and found not to be ADHD although he does have a learning disability. Her son had this teacher for 2nd grade and he just ended 6th grade and is apparently still jaded by this teacher. It's that kind of thing I'm hoping to avoid with DD, but then again she's not in the same situation as the other boy. I'm going to keep my eyes and ears open for inappropriate or unprofessional comments. If she's just strict and runs a tight ship, I'm all for it!

    ETA: It is my understanding that this teacher is tenured as well, and despite complaints in the past, the administration's hands are tied until she decides to retire.
  19. PA Princess

    PA Princess DIS Veteran

    Oct 28, 2002
    Sounds like you have a great perspective on how to handle this. Hopefully, it will all work out in the long run for your daughter!!

    Though, I have to say as a former public school teacher, it is situations like this (or perhaps like this, since this teacher's inadequacies are not confirmed officially) that really upset me....an obviously poor teacher and the hands of the "boss" are tied due to tenure. You wonder in situations like this, who are the schools for...the students or the teacher???
  20. J&D

    J&D <font color=red>Tag Fairy's Tag Assistant!<br><fon

    Jul 3, 2000
    Same here.
  21. daisax

    daisax DIS Veteran

    May 26, 2003
    My 6th grade nephew is smart and all the teachers have always loved him... until this year. His teacher isn't just strict, but genuinely doesn't like him, according to my sister, who works in the same school. Their parent-teacher conferences have been peculiar, to say the least, with the teacher giving feedback that sounds like she's talking about another child all together (fortunately the teachers he has for other subjects adore him so it's purely a personality conflict).

    The plus side? He IS intellectually lazy so things come easy to him, and he IS learning that some people cannot be pleased, but may still have constructive criticism that can be honestly accepted and turned to good use. He has been used to coasting, and this year he hasn't been able to.

    Also, all bad things come to an end, and next year as he switches to more of a Jr. High atmosphere he should be back in his teachers' good graces.

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