This year, it happened. We needed to request a change in my child’s classroom placement. Thankfully, the change was requested in a timely manner and the transition to a new classroom was seamless.
Requesting a change in your child’s classroom placement can be tough, here are some ideas to help get started.
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Requesting a Change in Your Child’s Classroom Placement
My daughter went from dreading to looking forward to her day at school. As a parent, I ho-hummed about requesting a change in her teachers, but then realized that speaking up for her needs at school was what I had to do. Now that we are half way through the school year, I am SO glad we did.
Read How to Get the Teacher You Want for next year!
How do You Know It’s Time to Request a Change to Your Child’s Classroom?
1. Your Child Doesn’t want to Go to School
The classroom placement for this year just wasn’t working for my grade school daughter. It started out ok. The new teacher was friendly, organized and enthusiastic. My daughter seemed to get along with her, but then things never really settled after the first few weeks of school. She was coming home frazzled, didn’t want to go to school, and was having a hard time making friends. It wasn’t like her and so we sat down and talked.
Some kids do not want to go to school for a variety of reasons from feeling frustrated with academic tasks to having friend issues. Talk to your child about what is making them unhappy. If they say, “I hate my teacher,” or “My teacher is mean.” Ask for examples. Keep in mind, you are hearing the kid-version of the story. E-mail or call for the teacher version.
Because of the grade levels schedule, my daughter was seeing one teacher for home room, another for reading, another for science and yet another for math. Add in all the special teachers (library, art, PE…) and she didn’t see one teacher for more than 90 minutes in a day. Which also meant, she didn’t see the same kids either. On top of that, she had to keep all her belongings in the homeroom class and stop there – like a locker- in between all the other classes. It felt like my 9 year old had the schedule of a middle schooler. When we really analyzed it, she had MORE transitions that a middle schooler.
My book-a-holic, straight A student hated school? WHAT? This mom knew, her daughters homeroom classroom needed to change.
2. You have scheduled a conference with your child’s teacher, made a plan, and things still haven’t gotten better.
The first thing we did was talked with the teacher about our concerns. She really listened and referred me to our school counselor. Because my daughter has a 504 plan, she arranged a meeting for her education team (all the teachers and school counselor) to discuss possible solutions. Even if your child does not have an IEP, Individualized Education Plan or 504 plan, you can always ask your school’s guidance counselor, curriculum director or principal to help set up a team meeting to discuss the educational needs of your child. (After the conference, plan, and no improvement)
3. A change in your child’s classroom placement should occur if your child’s learning is affected by a relationship with another child or adult.
This not getting along with a teacher, professional in the room, or peer may be causing inner turmoil. Looking at the facts, there are just times when 2 people do not work well together. It is my opinion that if a child does not feel emotionally safe at schools then we, as parents, must speak up and insist upon a change. I have seen parents remove children from the public school setting to homeschool due to these bad connections. Changing classrooms is always an option to consider too.
Don’t miss How to Write a First Grade Teacher Request Letter
What to do when Your Child’s Classroom Placement Needs a Change
Tips for Requesting a Change in Your Child’s Classroom Placement
- Address the issue with your child. Do lots of listening.
- Address the issue with your child’s teacher via phone or e-mail.
- Schedule and in-person conference with your child’s teacher
- Make and follow a plan to solve the issue as a team (parent – child – teacher)
- Continue the dialog on a consistent basis. Do not wait weeks to let your child’s teacher know the current plan is not working.
- If the plan doesn’t work – Consider meeting with an extended education team. This team may include the guidance counselor, grade team leader, principal, curriculum director, behavior specialist, teacher, and parent.
- If it hasn’t already been brought to the table as an option, ask firmly, but kindly for a change in classroom placement. Can we consider changing my child’s classroom?
- As always, it is easier for me to sandwich the issue between positives. Say something nice about the current situation, then explain why it isn’t working and must change, then end with a positive, like how the new teacher will help your child do better in school.
- In our case, my daughter’s entire team of teachers was in support of changing her homeroom classroom teacher. We were lucky in the fact our issue was not related to having a “mean teacher.” It made it so much easier to say, “Mrs. E is very sweet, welcoming, and organized, but the way my daughters’ schedule is set up, it severely affects her learning with so many transitions. I would like to propose that she moves into ___ or ___ homeroom. This change would eliminate 6 transitions and add 25 minutes to her learning day. “
Janney Marin says
Changes are very essential for growth. It helps to develop emotional, intellectual skills and make us strong. Same case with a child for developing their mind and skills, we should try to provide different environments after a regular interval of time. These kind of activities help to sharpen their skills. Most of the preschools in Manhattan are following these kind of activities. Thanks for your post.
I hope you can advise me. My daughter went from LOVING school in kindergarten (seriously, she hated weekends and even vacation and couldn’t wait to get back to school) to dreading each and every day of it after the first week of second grade. Her teacher clearly wasn’t meant to be an elementary school teacher, I won’t get into details but the minute her assistant leaves daily the teacher’s attitude changes and she becomes impatient, nasty, and sarcastic. My daughter isn’t the only child to have trouble with this teacher. Knowing my daughter would always counter people such as this in life, we have made the best of a less than ideal situation and with the promise of a nicer teacher next year for second grade, we’ve managed to get through all but the last week of first grade. And then the news broke. My daughter’s teacher will be moving on to teacher second grade this coming school year. There is talk of “looping” the class and keeping everyone together. Even if this is not the case, it’s a small school with only two teachers per grade so the odds of my daughter getting the mean teacher again are high. Do I have a right to insist she be placed in another class? Should I email the principal as well as the school board? I don’t know what to do. Please help.
Kim Vij says
I would address your concerns by scheduling an appointment with your school’s principal. Simply request that she is not placed with the same teacher for next year and state the unwanted behaviors you’re seeing in your child. I would encourage you to also have additional parents in the class reach out to the principal to address their concerns, it may just help in bringing the issue to the principal’s attention. So sorry to hear that your child had an unpleasant experience at school in 1st grade.
My son is in first grade and he says his teacher is so mean even when he does good she mean she doesn’t change it brakes my heart I have talk to her about this and it sounds like there isn’t no changing her ways my son cry’s every morning not to go back to school am going to call the principal first thing tomorrow morning!!
Kim Vij says
I’m so sorry to hear that your child is having to go through this, after connecting with the teacher, reaching out to the principal and guidance counselor can be a big help in these types of situations. Wishing you the best outcome this school year.
Ana D says
My child’s classroom is too big (too many kids) how can I request a change to a smaller classroom?
Kim Vij says
Ana, sorry to hear that you’re worried about the size of the class for your child. Typically they would start the year off with the same amount in each of the classrooms. You can look at your State’s requirements for how many students per classroom and follow up with your principal and school board if you are concerned that they are not following the regulations. The next best thing is, if you have availability, is to volunteer and see how you can be an extra set of hands and eyes to help support your child’s new teacher.
Amy Tucker says
My daughter loved 4th grade and her teachers, she didn’t want to miss school and if she had a Dr. Appointment she wanted to be checked in right after. She has been in school for 4 days now and she doesn’t want to go. The teacher’s attitude has caused 2 kids to cry 4 days in. I messaged the teacher and she told me my daughter has a very unpleasant attitude. She was so excited and enthusiastic about going to school and now she doesn’t want to go. Should I request my daughter be placed in another class?
Kim Vij says
Amy I’m so sorry to hear that your daughters beginning of 4th grade is not going as well as you both expected it to go. I’d request a meeting with the teacher as soon as possible in person to discuss your concerns and perhaps ask if the grade level team leader, guidance counselor or principal is available to sit in on the meeting with you to discuss your concerns. To be frank, no teacher should use the term “very unpleasant attitude” to describe a student on the 4th day of school or frankly ever. It raises a red flag for me as a mom and as a teacher. Go with your instincts. There can be other factors in place too with new peers to be around, discuss that as well with your daughter to ensure it’s not the environment that’s she’s finding disturbing to her learning as well. Wishing you the best, keep us updated.
Abigail Kilburn says
I am submitting a request to discuss a change in placement for my son. He is currently assigned to a teacher who has an abrasive personality (and although that will be great for when he is older, he is only going into 1st grade). My son struggled in Kindergarten. He is a very en-touched with his emotion and often wears his heart on his sleeve for such a young age. The child I use to nanny, actually had this teacher in 5th grade. She and her parents struggled with communication. Communication is big with us. My son will be receiving continued extra help in Math and Reading from last year. So i will need to stay in the loop of what is going on.
I, myself is having a hard time addressing all of this in the letter I am drafting to the principal. He needs to be in a classroom that will facilitate a positive learning environment, that will use his strength to encourage his weakness. I am not ready to hear my 5.5 year old tell me he is stupid or dumb. I want less tears this year. HIs currently assigned teacher is not the fit for him.
Please send advice on how to word this letter-
-A momma that wants her boy to love school
Kim Vij says
I’m so sorry to hear Abigail that your concerned about your sons placement for 1st grade. He performs best in an environment with a teacher who has never ending patience and strong understanding of developmentally appropriate practices are terms that come to mind as I read through your sons needs for the school year. Positive self image is a high priority and he needs a teacher who will foster this daily with his academic and social growth and surrounding environment of classrooms peers.
I hope this helps as you put your request for change of placement letter together. Wishing you the best.
Hi, I’m currently bouncing back and fourth in a situation where my 5 year old got a male teacher for kindergarten and didnt feel to confortable to even say hi when I told her to say hi. My husband was not to pleased neither but we went ahead with the meet and greet. We talk with the asst principal if there was any way to change her to a female teacher. He said yes to him her name and he will see if another class had less kids. Now my daughter has a problem we been trying to help her with in zipping up her pants and such so she ask for help to anyone around. That is why my husband was concerned at least for this year of kindergarten until she gets it together. The principal called today and said no they can’t change my daughter because its against the law and a discrimination. It has created a problem at home my husband wanting to transfer the kids to another school. Any advice please I’m really trying to get it all together here.
Kim Vij says
There are some amazing female and male teachers in Kindergarten, and in many other grades, that have all gone through training for how to interact appropriately with young children. If they’ve been hired by the principal and school board they are qualified and there to do a good job. It usually takes a few weeks for a child to start to feel comfortable in a new environment, especially it the person in charge wasn’t what they had anticipated, including a male teacher.
I would suggest sending her in clothing that she’s able to manage herself to avoid the zipper situation, even as a female teacher I would feel uncomfortable helping students who required help with the clothing after the restroom. Shorts with elastic wastes or dresses with shorts beneath work best for this.
I’d consider having your spouse and yourself volunteer a few times in the next few weeks to be able to see how the classroom environment is with this teacher so that you can make a more educated decision about which school you’d want to enroll your child rather than just based on whether a teacher is male or female.
I am struggling with what to do about my kid first grade experience so far. The second day of school he told us in tears that the entire class had to walk laps at recess but he said he didn’t do anything wrong and he didn’t understand why he had to do it. So far in these two weeks they have walked laps 3 times in this 90+degree weather. Also, he just came an told us that the teacher throw a book at him which it hit his chair, he thinks it is because accidentally he drop some papers on the floor. He also complains that she yells all the time. We have requested a conference with her but I don’t know how much his situation will improve or perhaps make it worst since she might not like what we have to say and perhaps take it on him.
I am not sure how common it is to request a change of classroom and if our situation merit that. I doubt she will change her attitude now since she is been teaching for 30 years.
Kim Vij says
I’m so sorry to hear that your child is not having a positive experience at the beginning of the school year.
I honestly would suggest scheduling an conference with the school’s principal at this time. No teacher should be throwing anything in a classroom and needs to be brought to the school’s administration immediately. I would also mention your concerns for the class having to walk laps as well, that’s not a typical practice these days in schools. They need PLAY, which is what recess is for to be 6 and run around freely .
If your child feels unsafe and you feel they are as well these definitely qualifies for the possibility of your child changing classrooms. To be frank of this teacher no longer need to keep her position within the school if she’s unable to manage a structures classroom in a calm manner. It’s sadly not just your child experiencing these inappropriate behaviors of an adult in their school environment.
Wishing the best for you and you find a solution for your child in their classroom placement.
I am currently in a situation where my son started 4th grade and within the first week of school the teacher resigned. He was assigned a new teacher but she is around 68 years old and has no experience or knowledge teaching a 4th grade class. She was a director and a teacher in Canada for 22 years but become a sub here in the United States from what I can see on the Florida education website she isn’t even certified to be a teacher in Florida. I am assuming she maybe has a temporary certificate. Now her class has 22 students and the classroom is bare, nothing on the walls and a tiny room. The teacher is so new and inexperienced with 4th grade curriculum that on parent night that the assistant principle had her class meet in another 4th grade classroom and that 4th grade teachers did all the talking and the new teacher my son was assigned too said nothing the entire hour. This was also my first time as parents meeting her. Now I was worried my childs education would suffer as he is very bright Straight A student who loves learning. But he seems very upset in his situation and I am not confident that this teacher can do the job. I requested that my child be put in another 4th grade class and the assistant principle told me ” we are not currently switching students right now” that all of the other 4th grade classes were already filled up and that his new teacher was a long term sub for 5th grade last year and the 4th grade teachers will support her. I even wrote a formal letter expressing why I full heartedly believed he needed to be with an experienced 4th grade teacher to further enrich and challenge him so that he doesn’t get bored and his academic success continues. She honestly looked like she was pretending to read the letter and already had a giant speech about why the school promotes community learning and that he won’t be moved. I felt like after talking to the assistant principle and doing and saying everything I could and still getting a NO that I just had to make the best out of this situation. But after going to 4th grade parent night and not to be rude but seeing how old his teacher is or should I say “long term sub” and the fact that she has no knowledge of 4th grade curriculum or teaching 4th graders…and made no attempt to speak to the parents or join the other teacher in conversation, she didn’t even stand in the front of the classroom she stood to the side by the wall….moreover, I am feeling really stressed out and not confident at all about her ability to challenge and enrich my sons education. I am so confused on what I should do. My son also goes to a lottery school. So I haven’t wanted to pick a fight or get on anyone’s bad side because I don’t want him kicked out, the school is an A school, it’s just this situation is not settling with me or my son.
School starts next week and we are not happy with the placement.
My daughter’s old classmates and best friends ended up together but not her. She is 6 and will be devastated as she is very sensitive. Any suggestions
Claudia Silver says
My daughter started grade 8 today. She came home crying and said she got a teacher she didn’t want. She’s been talking about being with her previous 7/8 teacher again for a while but that didn’t happen. She wants to move classes and I want that for her. She goes through a lot and takes therapy for it. She doesn’t open up much but she was able to open up with her previous teacher. Her new teacher is very hard on her students and my daughter feels she already has enough pressure on her. My daughter doesn’t feel comfortable in her new classroom. I don’t want this to affect her mental health and education more than it already has. She talked with her principal this morning and she asked to transfer back to her old teacher but her principal said she’s only gonna be with her teacher for one year and then she’s leaving so she should just work it out. She talked with her previous teacher and she said that teachers and students can’t request to change classes but parents can. I don’t want my child feeling uncomfortable and upset the whole year so I decided I want to request her to be moved to her previous teacher but I don’t know how to. Can you help me?
My daughter went from starting 3rd grade with such excitement to now near meltdowns at the thought of going to school. We tried asking her as many open ended questions as we could. She revealed to us that she cried one day in class when she couldn’t find one of her spelling letters and her teacher told her to keep going. She’s also said “no one cares about me here” and “I don’t want to be in class for one second”. A happy, empathetic girl who loves her friends to a fear of school. Both the principal and guidance counselor had to assist bringing her into school on 2 mornings. After meeting with them the principal did say she is probably one of the toughest teachers he has. I made sure to start with saying I have the utmost respect for teachers, which I do, and that I’m not pointing fingers. It’s such a delicate balance but at the same time I have to advocate for my child. Right now they shortened her day to just her specials and some classroom time and she seems okay. I think I want to explore switching her to another teacher who may be a better fit. Why is this so tough to approach? At a loss and I feel like I’m letting my daughter down. Sorry so long!
I have a 6 year old in the first grade
He teacher is nice but strict…We work with my daughter at home and she know how to read, knows her sight words, knows her words for her spelling test she takes at school
When she gets to school she doesnt do her independent work she either colors, plays or just sits and only puts her name on her paper
The teacher has an accent and its sometimes hard for me to understand and not very organized
Im thinking of having my child changed to a different class because she has never behaved like this in Kindergarten or Preschool
Margarita Mendoza says
My daughter loves school and has always loved her teachers, she didn’t want to miss school at all. Since the beginning of school the first few days she didn‘t want to go. The teacher’s attitude has caused her to cry almost every day. She worries every night and morning that her teacher is going to call her out again on something she doesn’t know. I messaged the teacher and explained that my daughter is very shy and is actually seeing a therapist for possible social anxiety and i asked for her to please have a little more patience with my daughter but her teacher she told me my daughter is very pleasant but just needs to grow out of her shell. Her teacher also told me she is used to dealing with boys so her tone in voice is very mean but doesn’t really mean to be so hard ok the girls. ?? Every time my daughter is scared to ask her teacher for help or questions as it is because her teachers answer is you should already know this i just need you to try your best. And when she tries to ask her little friends or the student teacher she gets in trouble by her teacher. She was so excited and so happy about going to school and now she doesn’t want to go. Should I request my daughter be placed in another class?
Hello – we are new to our school and my son is in 2nd grade. We too are having difficulty with his teacher. The 1st week was rough and he was disciplined for being too chatty and missed 5 minutes of recess and had his desk moved – he was overwhelmed with being at such a big school with so many kids – but I understand the teacher had to nip it in then butt right away and she let me know what happened. Needless to say he was crushed, embarrassed and sobbed – didn’t want to go back etc. We pushed thru and hoped that would hopefully be a small hiccup. Although the teacher & I have emailed & texted (REMIND app) back & forth quite a few times, I have provided my cell # & asked on 2 separate occasions to talk. She has neglected to do this but seems to want to his behind the computer. Our school uses the iPad quite a lot for learning, homework & tests. It is difficult to navigate on Showbie and her layout of her folders are uncanny (I have a degree in computer mgmnt & well versed in software). Recently they took a test that glitched and lost over have the class’s results…the teacher (after the weekend + 2 days into the week + starting a new story, new spelling, new vocabulary, new grammar) is calling each child to retest. We still don’t have the grades and she gets irritated if you ask. The week before she entered an F & D grade for him. I was shocked and long story short she made a typo and then realized she also marked a question wrong when it was correct. I asked her a question about math thinking it might have been written incorrectly by the book and she took great offense and told me to dialogue with the book company and gave me their contact info in Washington DC. Sometimes she texts (REMIND app) their daily assignments but skips many days in between. The children don’t have planner books like we’re used to. Her website has broken links that when brought to her attention she made an excuse and they are now deleted although another 2nd grade teacher has them working on her website. Things just keep adding up since the 1st week of school & I’ve had a gut feeling she is not organized, qualified & very defensive. I think my son would do better in a different class, does this sound like I could have grounds to make this move?
Kim Vij says
Sorry to hear that the school year didn’t get off to a great start. It can feel so challenging and discouraging. We’d suggest scheduling an appointment with the teacher to discuss your concerns. If your gut feeling tells you your child would do better in a different setting you can schedule an appointment with the principal or write a letter to discuss your concerns. It’s important to be an advocate for your child’s learning and well being at school.
My daughter is going into grade 2 and I just found out she will be in a grade 1-2 split mostly grade 1s I am very unhappy with this idea as she is a smart 7 year old. She will be almost 2 years older then some of the kids in her class and she is very mature for her age. Not to mention Covid took a toll on all kids but I have gotten my daughter a tutor over the last 9 months to cover what was missed. This is my main reason I want her in a straight 2 class or a 2-3 class
Any suggestions to get this switched
Kim Vij says
This tends to happen due to numbers in student enrollment, unfortunately. I’d suggest following the tips in this article and contacting your school’s administration to address your concerns that this placement would not be a good fit academically and environmentally for your child and her learning success. Wishing you the best this school year.
My son is a 3rd grader this year. He was doing well with the previous grades but for some reasons he failed 3 tests in a row at the beginning of this year. I contacted the teacher thru email, class Dojo and Parentsquare to express my concerns but didn’t get response from the teacher after a week. My husband talked to the teacher after school one day and she said he was doing good. How can he be doing good when he failed 3 tests in a row. A week after he took the standardized test and did poorly on it. I then emailed her and sent her the message again on ClassDojo. This time I got a response. She then scheduled us for a parent conference and asked the principal to sign the progress report to show that she did her job by notifying us about ours son performance. I felt like she was doing things just to cover for herself and not helping my son learn. Recently, she pulled my son outside in the middle of class and told him he has a dishonesty issue and later apologized to him after she found out it wasn’t his fault. My cried so much when she told him that. He was traumatized being called dishonest. He son told us she yelled a lot in class and didn’t have the patient when he asked her questions. He also said that she talked super nice to adults but not the kids. What should I do to help my son? Should I change school or classroom for him? I feel like teachers talk to each other and they might take side and treat him poorly.
Kim Vij says
So sorry to hear that your son is experiencing this in his 3rd grade class. I’d encourage you to schedule a meeting with his principal to discuss your concerns and see what options are available to you at this time. Your child needs to be in a classroom that they feel supported and monitored with an active academic plan to support his needs.
My daughter is starting grade 6th grade in Australia. She moved to this class in grade 2 and struggled to make friends straight away. From going to a school where she had multiple best friends was hard at first. Finally she made a few besties and they formed a tight bond. My daughter has social anxiety and lacks confidence… which as a parent is sad to see in your tween daughter. She has one friend whom she has been with for 4 years. They are both shining together in their learning. She has had a few bullies this year which took her confidence down even more. Nor they are not in the same class for grade 6. She is so distraught and doesn’t want to even go. How would I go about moving her back with her friend?
Please help us. My 6 yr old 1st grade grandson has been move all the to the back right of the classroom. At the beginning of school he was right next to the teachers desk. He is the only student singled out. All the other students are in groups of 4. He is one of the smallest students in the class. I have repeatedly 4 times asked her to move him she refuses to. She says he acts out. We took him to his pediatrician and he gave us a letter to give his school stating he has a diagnosis of ADHD and is currently being treated, the Dr recommended that the school further support through IEP, 504 and other specialized learning plan. When I mentioned it to the counselor she said with six weeks left of school that won’t happen until next year. My grandson remains singled out and separated from the whole class as a trouble maker and a bad kid. I find this unjust to him and inbarrassing.. I don’t know why his teacher did not recommend these actions earlier or try to help him. What can I do to help his last 6 weeks be better than his whole year? His dr said there’s no way he should be singled out and have to try to focus through all the other 18 kids. He is the only child all year to be separated and put at the back of the class.
Thank you for your suggestions
Kim Vij says
This has to be so hard to experience as a grandparent Marianne for your grandson. We want school to feel supportive and safe for our children. Keep up with the guidance counselor and include the principal to ensure that you have a meeting to discuss his diagnosis from the Doctor to see how he can be placed on a specialized learning plan for his specific needs. Counselors work a short period during the summers as well.
To make the last 6 weeks go smoothly for your grandson, work with him to set goals that the teachers has provided that are tanglable for him. Discuss times he is included like whole group time, playground time and specials more than just work time. Focus on this final report card period and what he needs to do personally to learn and receive high scores on his work, if at all possible. Sometimes talking about who he’s maturing for the next grade and starting to show those behaviors can feel like encouragement for a child.
Wishing you the best for next year, be sure to write a placement letter to provide to the principal for next year so he’s placed into a classroom setting that best supports his learning style. Here’s our sample letter: https://theeducatorsspinonit.com/how-to-write-placement-letter-for/