Our high school has only one really good freshman math teacher. How can I be sure my daughter gets into her class this year? What steps should I take? I want her to get superior teaching so that she will not need high school tutoring to improve grades.
Choosing the best teacher for your child can be an important decision. Recent studies show that the number-one factor influencing student success--more than curriculum, technology or family income--is teacher quality.
Express concerns as early as possible by going to an administrator (usually at the elementary level), or to the counselor (at the secondary level). Making such requests before the new school year begins will prevent schedule disruptions in the fall.
Jerry Sisson, a retired administrator with over 30 years of experience in public education, advises parents to make reasonable requests and be pleasant. Be as specific as possible about the reasons for the request. Identify potential personality conflicts between student and teacher, differences in values between school and home, or in your case, the reputation of the teacher you want to teach your daughter. Be prepared to listen to the principal or counselor if their opinion differs from yours. Work together to find the best learning environment for your child. Then follow up.
Requests of this nature may be more difficult to make in smaller districts. If after your intervention your daughter is assigned to a teacher you know to be poorly skilled, consider a creative alternative, like tutoring, schools of choice, dual enrollment, home schooling or distance learning.
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