Who's teaching your child next year?

Who's teaching your child next year?

Parents tend to get a little nervous at this time of year.

At least I do.

On the last day of school, I find out what classes my kids have been assigned to for next year. It’s an anxious time and rumours whirl. We’ve heard there will be a big shake up, with different teachers being assigned to grades they haven’t taught before. Will my boys be assigned to a teacher they like? Will they be in a split class or end up with any of their friends?

Apparently I’m lucky to find out on the last day. In other schools, parents don’t find out until the end of the summer. Others find out on the first day of school in September.

It feels suspiciously like a ploy to prevent parents from having the opportunity complain to the principal about their child’s class for next year.

Teachers and principals insist it’s not that at all. Things tend to be in flux over the summer. Teachers can leave. New students can enrol. It’s a numbers game and sometimes careful juggling is required. If a school announces the class lists too soon and things change, it could anger parents more than not announcing the classes at all.

I’m sure it’s true—that holding off on giving class assignments until the last possible moment—is actually better for everyone, but it still doesn’t feel that way to me. As the last day of school gets nearer by the day, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll be pleasantly surprised, or angry with no recourse until September.

When do you find out your child’s class assignment? Do you like your school’s policy? Are you a teacher who wants to weigh in?


Reply to
  • Noahsmum

    I have friends who are teachers and most are assigned close to the end of summer.

    But in a way I think it's fair.  When most people go into that workplace or even in post secondary you may not get a choice with who you work with which many don't get a choice.  It's kind of what worklife will be.

    As parents we need to be able to let them be able to think for themselves as well.  Of course guidance (teacher) is always key but we are also their first teacher as a parent.

    • Anjum K.

      We release teacher's names/class lists on the first day of school. Even teachers get grade changes until mid-October. It all depends on numbers. Class sizes have to be a certain number so if too many students come/go then everything changes. Also most classes in my schools are splits (I would say over 80%) again due to the fact that splits provide the most flexibility in terms of meeting requirements. It is not a perfect situation for anyone (especially for a teacher who has to suddenly change grades) but there is not really much anyone can do. The key is patience, flexibility and understanding. All great life skills we are teaching our students.

      • PGordon

        Are anger and complaining and pleasantly surprised the only two options?

        I know what Grade I am slated to teach for the fall. Even late in Sept. that can change. If we have additional enrolment, I may end up anywhere in the school as I can teach all but French. I may begin with a straight grade and end up a split. If we have new staff with less experience or qualifications, the principal might ask me to switch. In recent years, where there are new subdivisions, teachers have been reassigned to different classes mid-year! 

        If we tell parents who is teaching what, there are people who will complain about what they get or any needed changes. Worse still, kids get their hopes up, believing they will have one teacher, and end up with another. Not fair to kid or second teacher. It is also impossible to guarantee that a teacher will not find a different job and move over the summer. In our board, staff can move whenever there is a vacancy elsewhere. We also may fill vacancies in our school after school lets out.

        My advice to other parents would be to create an environment with whatever teacher your child gets that fosters open communication and support. Though my kids are now both in high school, I have made a point of never being "that parent" who is at odds with teachers. Being a teacher, I want teachers to fight over who will get to teach my kid, not fight over who has to teach them. Sometimes parent reputations are what makes the distinction between the two attitudes. I have made it a point to never be the person who ticks off a person who spends more than 25 hours a week with my kid without me there. Teachers are both people and professionals. Anger will not benefit your kid. 

        This does not mean I have never been at odds with a teacher. I deal with the problem, not the person. I am respectful and calm ...or I send in my husband who has the patience of a saint.

        We will soon be organizing classes for next year. If you have requests, make them known to the principal in advance, and for positive reasons, as negative talk has a way of getting around. No teacher wants to teach a kid whose parent is  not supportive,

        But be prepared that your request may have fall out for your child. They may get the teacher you want, but be separated from particular friends.They may end up with a kid they hate? Or in a portable? Or in a downward split? Or ... your child may have to be in class with a teacher who knows you have said things in anger about them or complained before they have had a chance to teach your kid. There are many moving parts in this that you will not be able to control.