When I first had children, I figured that when it came to things like requesting a specific teacher, I wouldn’t do any requesting. I would let the cards fall where they may and we would all adjust and deal with it. In all of my elementary on through to high school years, I never had any input into who my teacher was. I came out of it just fine. In college, however, I was able to at times choose which professor I wanted. I found I really learned well from certain professors and I sought to take classes from those professors in future classes. Despite my positive experience in choosing professors in college, I stuck to not requesting for several years.
Then came time for Kaitlyn to go to first grade. Now, the other first grade teachers are fabulous at my school. Really, all of the teachers seem great. We are very fortunate at our school. But the teacher Brayden had for first grade is, in my very strong opinion, totally amazing. Totally. You should see the letter I wrote last year recommending her for an award. I really hoped Kaitlyn would get that teacher.
I was talking to one friend who shared that she had felt like she should request a certain teacher and didn’t and her daughter got a different teacher. That year ended up being a bad year for her daughter–it wasn’t necessarily with the teacher, but with the dynamics of the class. She had previously had the opinion to not request, but then realized that as her mother, she should be doing things that she felt are best for her daughter. With that in mind, I requested the teacher for Kaitlyn for first grade.
On the flip side of that, if I had requested for Brayden for first grade, I would have requested a different teacher than the one he got–the amazing one. So there have been many times things have not been as I thought they should and they turned out better.
There are pros and cons that I see to requesting a teacher.
- You can potentially hurt the feelings of other teachers if they find out you requested a certain teacher.
- You might miss out on growing opportunities.
- You might miss out on getting to know a great teacher.
- Administration might find you burdensome.
- You can make the wrong choice!
- You are being an advocate for your child.
- You know individual needs of your child and can assess what you think is best.
- You can choose a teacher who you know will work well with your student and with you.
I used to just pray that the Lord would make sure my child was where he/she should be. This is definitely a good practice, but I realized simply praying about it is kind of like sitting in your car with a flat tire and praying the flat will be fixed. Sometimes we need to do some work and get our hands dirty.
Now I pray to know if I should request or not. If I feel I should, then I pray to know who I should request. I still try to primarily leave it up to the administration to decide where they think things would be best. I stay prayerful so that I can know if I do need to step in and make a request. That way, we can benefit from the pros when we need to request and can take advantage of the benefits of not requesting when we do not.