IMG_7779Request the Right Teacher for Your Child

By Laurie Hunter

Updated Friday, May 3, 2019

Do you feel your child would excel, if only he or she had the “right” teacher?

You can write a letter to request a teacher with specific qualities and characteristics that match your child’s learning and motivational styles. A few schools may say they do not accept teacher requests. Give them one anyway. Just make sure your letter is written in the manner outlined below and deliver it one month before school ends.

Why Should Parents Submit Teacher Requests?

Requesting a specific type of teacher can increase the likelihood your child will be placed in the “right” environment for your child.

When Should Parents Submit Teacher Requests?

The sooner, the better. Every year, aim to deliver it by May 1st. If you have not submitted a request for 2018-2019, you can still turn one in for consideration. Just do it as soon as possible.

Who Do Parents Send Teacher Requests to?

Write your letter to the school’s principal. You can also give a copy to your current teacher.

How Do Parents Write a Teacher Request?

First, request a teacher who has a teaching style that can bring out the best in your child. A principal is more likely to heed your request if you state specific desired characteristics that are most important to your child’s development. For example, in your letter you may want to ask for a teacher who has some of these qualities:

  • Encouraging, Energetic, Imaginative, Creative, Patient, Cheerful, Bright, Humorous, Animated, Structured & Organized, Flexible, Interactive, Experienced, Fresh, etc.
  • Experienced in Dyslexia, Math Disabilities, Autism, Speech/Hearing Impairments, etc.
  • Keeps Students Active, Calm, Structured, Curious, Accountable, Organized, etc.
  • Promotes Hands-On Learning, Independence, Community, Creativity, etc.
  • Promotes a Love of Reading, Math, Science, Writing, etc.
  • Provides Consequences of Misbehavior that are Educative, Redemptive, Swift, Include Reflection, etc.

Next, connect each teacher characteristic to how it can develop your child’s academic success, motivation, well-being, learning style, or work ethic.

Use words like:

My son/daughter strives to work harder with a teacher that is ____ (i.e. creative and imaginative).

Because of my child’s learning style, he/she requires a teacher that is ____ (i.e. patient, energetic).

A teacher that is ____ (i.e. encouraging) will ____ (i.e. help improve my son/daughter’s fragile self-confidence).

Last year my son/daughter would perform better when ____ (i.e. his/her teacher kept the students active and structured with hands-on learning activities).

A teacher that is ____ (i.e. cheerful and animated) will ____ (i.e. offset my son’s/daughter’s serious disposition).

Teacher Requests for Middle and High School Students

Because scheduling is complex for middle and high schools, pick only one or two subjects that are most important. For example, if math is a weakness you may request the type of teacher that can help strengthen math skills. And if science is a strength you want to foster, then explain that as well.

Samples of Teacher Request Letters from Parents

Sample 1:

Dear _____,

The following is a teacher request for my daughter, _____ for 4th grade.

Each year you have placed _____ in a classroom environment that matches her needs and I attribute much of her academic and behavioral successes to that. Thank you for giving me another opportunity to request a certain type of teacher for continued success.

Recently, _____ was assessed. The results show a positive diagnosis of Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, and ADHD.

_____’s dysgraphia may present challenges with the upcoming 4th Grade Writing STAAR. I feel that _____ will strive to work harder, in spite of her difficulties with written expression, if she has a teacher who is enthusiastic about the writing process and encourages students to compose thoughtful, creative, and imaginative work. _____ needs a teacher who will give her extra time on lengthy written assignments.

To help _____ overcome her challenges with Dyscalculia, she would benefit most from a teacher whose Math instruction is visual, breaks down math processes into clear individual steps, and includes mnemonics, and examples. The ideal teacher will help _____ relate math to her experiences and background knowledge.

Due to her challenges related to ADHD, she needs a teacher who is willing to allow her to self-monitor her behavior and use a behavioral contract to increase her on-task behavior. _____ responds well to teachers who are encouraging, use positive reinforcement, and also provide consequences for misbehavior that are educational and redemptive.

Thank you for your time in reading and taking into consideration these recommendations for a teacher for my daughter.

Sample 2:

Dear _____,

Because of _____’s difficulty with written expression, I feel that he would strive to work harder in this weak area if he has a teacher who enthusiastically excites students about the writing process and encourages them to create thoughtfully written work.

Because of _____ difficulty with rote memory, he struggles with retaining and recalling vocabulary specifically in Math and Language Arts. I feel that he would benefit from having a teacher who uses a lot of visuals, pictures, diagrams, and provides students with memory strategies.

_____ is a conscientious student, but his auditory memory is still a work in progress and I think that he would do a better job at retaining and recalling information for tests with a teacher who engages students with hands-on activities, uses visuals, and frequently checks for understanding with questioning.

Sample 3:

Dear _____,

I am excited that my son will be an incoming 6th grader. I would like to request a teacher, or team of teachers, that can bring out the best in _____.

_____ is active and has difficulty focusing and would benefit from teachers who are clear, calm, experienced with restless boys. Historically, he has been more cooperative with teachers that are clear on the consequences of both good and bad behavior with guidance that is both educative and redemptive.

I’ve noticed that when _____ is with someone who is loud and busy, he tends to shut down and tune out. By contrast, a teacher who is calm and focused can help _____ be calmer and more focused.

_____ struggles with writing – but someone who can set good goals and teach him how to work in parts toward the larger project deadline would be great. _____ writes clearly, and he writes in short sentences.  Getting started and staying the course are the challenges.

In elementary school,  _____ excelled with mature teachers who had clear rules, and who broke assignments into smaller pieces showing the kids how to complete a larger project.  In contrast, he frequently shut down and had a hard time with a teacher who was very energetic and whose class was a riot of colors and information.

A teacher or team of teachers who can use this information to encourage _____ will find a thoughtful and excited learner in their class.