Kiddo#2 brought home a notice stating that the Angelborough Elementary School was going to be making teacher assignments soon, and that they want to know our preferences even though they will completely ignore them.
The letter states that they want — nay, they crave — our feedback on potential classroom placement for our youngsters. They go on to specify that we are not allowed to request a certain teacher for our child.
What do they want? They want input from the parents as to their child’s educational style and what type of classroom would best enhance their learning experience. Or some such garbage. If we think a certain teacher is a bad match, we should let them know
My first thought is: what do you mean we’re not allowed to request a certain teacher? What are they going to do? Come to my house and spank me? What they mean to say is that requests for specific teachers will not be honored. (And that I can agree with.)
But I’m not big on the parents being told what we are or not allowed to do with our free speech. It’s just a letter. It’s not illegal for me to send a letter requesting Mrs. Smith, just as it’s not illegal for them to then wad up my letter into a crinkly ball and lay it up into the trash can.
But all that aside, my next thought was that this was yet another chance to cement my identity as That Mom. You know, the mom whose very name makes teachers subside into a clammy sweat. The one who, when they realize I still have another child who’s going to enter the public school system, triggers three retirements and one extended leave of absence.
I said, “If we’re allowed to request our child not get a specific teacher, how is that any different from allowing us to request one? How many teachers can they possibly have per grade?”
Kiddo#2 piped up that there were four teachers per grade.
I said,”So I could request, ‘Not Mrs. A, not Mrs. B, and not Mrs. C.’ That’s not materially different from requesting Mrs.D.”
My Patient Husband said, “The trick would be to word it in such a way that you eliminate each teacher one at a time and they never realize it.”
And I burst out laughing, because he’s exactly right. Send them a detailed letter,each paragraph beginning with “Kiddo#3 would not fare well with a teacher who — ” and then ending it with “Therefore he should not be placed with a teacher that — ” and give a detail that was specific to an individual teacher.
Do that three times, and you’ve narrowed the field of possible choices to one.
We laughed. But I’m not going to do it. My quest to become That Mom will have to wait.