Ask the Expert: How Often Should I Talk with My Child's Teacher?
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What should parents do if they feel a certain teacher isn't the right fit for their child?
A: If a parent feels that there’s a problem in the relationship between the teacher and the child, then the parent needs to speak with the principal. At that point, as a parent, I would encourage the parent to come to the school, speak to the teacher, and see what can be done to better support the relationship.
It’s going to be different with everyone. There are many factors: the age of the child, what the situation is, what the concerns for the parents are. Each situation is different and I never say that I'm not going to change classes. It's going to be on a case by case basis. If I’m a parent, what I want is for my child to be happy and successful, and I think that’s what any administrator wants too. Parents and educators want children happy in school and they want them safe and successful. In my building I always leave the option open to changing the child's class, but I usually try to meet with the teacher and parents first. I like to get a feel for what the problem is and see if it can be worked out where the child is happy and successful in the classroom. If not, then I'm always open to change.
Christopher Ogno is the principal of P.S. 247, The New York City College Partnership Elementary School in Brooklyn, which recently received the National Title I Distinguished Schools Award. Ogno received his Masters in Education and a six-year certificate in administrative supervision from Staten Island College. He lives in Staten Island and has two children (ages 9 and 13) who attend public school.