School Issues: Submit Letters Requesting a Teacher

By EduGuide Staff

While public school policy often discourages parents from requesting specific teachers, it is possible to have a request heard and responded do. Parent Diane Ruiz used this letter to ask the school principal to help in finding the right teacher. First, though, she drew on the already strong parent-teacher communication she'd established and got advice from her son's current teacher. Want to try a "teacher request letter" on your own? Use the sample letter of request for a particular teacher, offered below, to get started.

Dear Principal Richards,

I am writing on behalf of my son, Robert Ruiz*, who will be attending Scott School in the 2004-05 academic year as a fourth grader. My husband, Carlos, and I strongly believe that the experiences a child has in elementary school set the foundation for his or her educational career.

While Carlos and I both work outside the home (Carlos is a bus driver for Sault Ste. Marie Schools and I work for the State of Michigan), we are very involved in Rob's academic pursuits. We have been very pleased with his development while in Sue Lane's class and would like to see this progress continue. He has learned to take more risks, both academically and socially.

Rob is an exceptionally bright child and avid reader, but he needs to be motivated to pursue activities that seem more like "work" to him. In discussing his strengths and weaknesses with Mrs. Lane, we feel that Rob would benefit from a teacher who would be able to challenge him and keep him on task, while responding to his sharing of his knowledge. Based on all of this, I am asking that for a teacher next year, Rob be placed with Mrs. Taylor, with a second choice of Mrs. Fabian.

Thank you for your time in this matter. If you would like to speak with Mrs. Lane or me regarding this letter or have other ideas for things that would help Rob, please feel free to do so.


Diane Ruiz

*Names have been changed in this letter to protect privacy.

Your Turn: Parents' Stories and Examples Bolster Case

Write your own letter with our quick outline for requesting a teacher. Most schools don't require anything fancy. They just want your request in writing as early as possible. Here are some extra issues to cover if you want to write a letter that may get better results.

Outline: Letter Can Include Academic Concerns and Social Strategies

1. Beginning. Say who you and your child are, including what grade your child will be in next year. You don't need to, but you may strengthen your relationship with the principal by saying something about how you show your commitment to your child's education or what you like about the school. Showing a readiness to give often makes asking easier.

2. Middle. Tell what learning or discipline needs you feel your child has. You don't need to, but it will clarify your request if you say something about how you've determined those needs. Give examples of what has worked or hasn't worked with your son or share advice that you've received from the teacher.

3. End. Provide a first and, if possible, second choice of which teacher you think would be the best fit for your child. Avoid saying anything bad about someone you don't want. Also consider asking the principal's advice on the best fit either in person or as part of the letter.