J Simens.com

When your child doesn’t get the teacher you want!


“My perception is the best perception”

This is what most parents must overcome when it comes to evaluating a child’s upcoming teacher.

I have worked on five continents and the worry about the new teacher is world-wide. Having worked with 8000+ families, I do have a few tips on how to make the best of this situation. This is a topic I can talk about for hours so I will answer some of the questions and stay on your target.

How do most schools make classroom assignments?

This is totally up to a school district or private school. It runs the gamut from random to sophisticated sociograms based on good academic and social working pods. Some schools try to balance out gender, nationalities, academic abilities and needs (Language, Learning support, Behavioral). Other schools start with parental requests of teachers and allowing children to pick one or two ‘friends’. One school I worked with gave each child from the same family with the same teacher so the teacher and parent connection would grow with each child.

When a parent requests a ‘certain teacher’ sometimes it is for all the wrong reasons.

Some teachers are very good with PR but not so good at teaching, other teachers might be the one who connects the best with the kids causing more educational progress for the child, but these same teachers might find the adult interactions, not their strength. Guess which teacher will have the best reputation of being the better teacher?

When parents don’t get their ‘first choice’ they must trust in the educational process and believe that the school has their child’s best interest at heart. Every school wants what is best for the student. I always tell parents to take care of the “kid” and let the school take care of the “student”.¬† Subtle different but helps gets the point across that sometimes what we see as a parent that might be good for our ‘kid’ might not be in their best interest as a “student”.

The best way to start any school year is to stop thinking and talking about this new year -the unknown.

Instead, start talking about your child’s strengths and successes from other school years. All children approach things feeling stronger if they are reminded of past successes. When a child comes into my office upset about moving to our new school, I always ask them what they did really well at their old school. We chat about what things they were successful with and what things they did to make and keep friends. This focus on their strengths is what makes them feel good about themselves, parents should do this also.

Focus on your child’s strengths not the unknown interactions with a new teacher or a new situation.

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