Robert Winner


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Should parents get to request certain teachers for their children?

Self explanatory

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    May 21 2013: I agree with Ms. Johnson below that a popular teacher would find a crowded classroom....But each parent and student would have their own definition of popular. When I was in highschool, there were teachers that were loved by everyone, but they weren't exactly the greatest teacgers, and then there were teachers that were not well-liked (by staff or students) but did an exemplary job.

    Parents would likely want the teacher who can break down the subject matter they teach and engage their child, and a student might want a teacher who's teaching style matches their learning style, or a teacher who has similar idealogy and world views...It certainly makes learning easier and more enjoyable.

    I had my share of teachers, and I had some that I liked because they were funny, and some that I liked because they were good-looking (hey, I'm a guy, what can I say?) But the best teacher I ever had was the teacher who would always have a thought up on the blackboard for the class to debate and have deep conversations over, and he was always patient and understanding, and wouldn't let me give up even when I wanted to...If I exhausted every method for solving a problem, he would try his damndest to find 1000 more and better solutions for me.

    So yes, I think that parents should be able to request certain teachers for their children.
    • May 21 2013: obviously you are a lucky guy:)congratulation.
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    May 21 2013: sure, the worst they can say is no.
  • May 21 2013: Teach Utilization and Model it. Taking your situation, regardless of its nature, and UTILIZING IT.......

    You must be open in order to Utilize.
    The Victim State shrouds this perception
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    May 21 2013: I am reading a book by Phillip Done(a teacher). In it he describes what it is like to be the teacher who gets more students in his class than all the other teachers on his grade level.

    It is fun reading...and gives you a good perspective of what teaching little ones is like.

    In most school districts, parents are free to request certain teachers......and, the administration is free to reject the request.
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    May 21 2013: a popular teacher would find a crowded classroom.
    How about the school's administration paying closer attention and taking action to on-going complaints submitted by parents and students regarding a teachers on-going poor performance and practices? Surely it would free up space for more professionals better suited to the job.

    This does happen in private schools but, one must keep in mind a private schools reputation for quality education is their bread and butter.
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      May 21 2013: MEJ, Your right everyone wants the best. We are a small town. Small towns talk a lot. We have a church, auto repair shop, and a gas station outside of town a mile away. We have a total of approximately 600 students and some of those are from the reservation and two neighboring towns when the kids get kick out of their school. The point is that we go to church, school, shopping, play, etc together. As a rule life is pretty good if you are of the town religion ... if not then life can be pretty miserable. People still say hello but you will never be one of "THEM" and your kids are cursed with the sin of their parents not being of that religion. The teachers and administration are all members. I filed a complaint and the board said that the results were none of my business. I motioned that a open record should be available for complaints filed and it should stated founded and/or unfounded when acted upon. The actual punishment is none of my business ... if it was illegal I would have went to the police. The town suggested mental health was a good idea for me .... they are probaly right but not for this. Some where between croneyism, unions, and the tight brotherhood, poor teachers are seldom discilpined or corrected and to the best of my knowledge ... none have ever been fired.

      We have a good school ... and I like most of the teachers and administrators. The way to tell the best teachers is to see where the teachers and principals kids are placed with.

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        May 21 2013: "The way to tell the best teachers is to see where the teacher's and principals kids are placed with"

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        May 21 2013: "poor teachers are seldom disciplined.......none have ever been fired"

        Again.....good observation......and may I further add, that if a parent goes in to make a complaint about a teacher (who has a reputation for parent complaints), the administrator might even say(with a straight face and sincere voice), "Noone has ever complained about that teacher before".

        I have seen this done with my own two eyes, and heard it with my own two ears. Shameful.

        It sounds like where you live, your hands are pretty much tied behind your back.
        So sorry for this.

        [edited for spelling]
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        May 24 2013: sorry for the slow response Bob.! Mary M is correct, "seldom disciplined and never fired ".

        Bob I served on the Board of Education in our town of a student population of 3,000. As a member you hear comments, complaints and concerns from parents and even students. When I shared that I was hearing some concerning comments about a teacher, I was told that issues of this nature were handled by the school administration. I do believe that most staff know a below average teacher but, it takes a great deal to dismiss them, even tougher when they have tenure. Bob, I really believe we are blessed with a group of talented and committed professional. Excellent even great at their craft . I t would anger me if a knowing below par teacher was taking up space.
        Thanks again for your reply.

        Keep sharing the things you observe that are questionable. you never know people may be listening will start asking questions. AND...hats of to you for are a rare gem!


  • May 20 2013: Sure.

    However in public schools, the principal and teaches should decide what is best for all students first in terms of classroom demographic, then honor the requests to the extent that they see it being in the best interest of all the student.

    Perhaps the answer in private schools might be different.
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    May 20 2013: The practical issue that arises in a school setting is that a teacher cannot necessarily teach as many students as would request her class. The question then in a choice system is how one would prioritize one student over another.
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      May 21 2013: The only exception that I would honor would be if I were a 5th grade teacher and had a 5th grade son I would suggest he not be in my class. As I suggested to Robert Galway ... if all things are equal in syllabus, text, and schedule then significant test scores difference should be addressed by the administration. Random placement should never be a problem if the administration is on top of their game.