Parents should be allowed to pick their kids’ teachers, writes Andrew Rotherham in Time. It’s not enough to pick a high-scoring school, he writes.
Other parents are usually quick to share their perspectives and experiences. Pay close attention to what families with older siblings do with their younger ones — what teachers do they insist on or avoid? You can also ask to drop in and observe a lesson or two. You don’t need to be an expert to get a sense of whether a classroom is a place where there is learning going on and where you’d want your child to spend a lot of time. If you’re not crazy about your kid’s teacher, ask to observe another.
Don’t be shy about telling school officials well in advance of class assignments if you have a strong preference or concerns — there’s no guarantee they will accommodate you, but at the same time, they won’t even think about reassigning your kid to a different teacher unless you push for it. And squeaky wheels do get the grease.
Of course, if all parents investigate teachers’ reputations and request whoever’s considered best, this doesn’t work.