by KATE HUNTER
It’s that time of year when we mums put aside petty differences and first world problems to think about what’s really important: like making sure our child gets the best teacher in the school and is not separated from her friends.
But school principals can be real arsehats these days, can’t they? Some of them just don’t get it; and even though you gave her that jumbo box of Ferrero Rocher at Easter, you’re not feeling confident are you?
Who knows what class your child will end up in? What if she’s separated from her BFF? It’s not the end of the world, but it could be the start of a slippery slope towards it. She could become friends with anyone! It takes all types, but that doesn’t mean you have to go to their parties.
So here’s early an Christmas present. Just copy and paste into a word document and adjust to suit:
Dear [Insert princpal’s name],
Just a quick note to say a heartfelt thank you for what has been an excellent year academically, socially and on the sports field for our [insert your child’s first name]. It’s been a joy to watch her flourish as she has. The nurturing school environment you’ve created has been exactly what she’s needed.
[Insert principal’s first name only], you know I’m rarely one to make a fuss, or question your decisions – frankly I’m too busy with tuck-shop, running the craft stall at the fete and the P&C sausage sizzle on election day – but I feel compelled to ask that you take a few things into consideration when drawing up the class lists for 2013.
i) I know everyone thinks their child is gifted. And no doubt they are all gifted in something. But (without being boastful), we believe [Insert your child’s first name] to be more gifted than her contemporaries in most areas. I realise her NAPLAN didn’t entirely reflect that, but it’s well known that [Insert Year 3 teacher’s name], while being a wonderful person, did not prepare the class adequately for the test. It’s ridiculous to believe that [Insert your child’s first name] is below average in comprehension when she read the entire Twilight series unassisted at age eight.
It would be great if [insert your child’s first name] could be in [insert preferred teacher’s name]’s class for Year 4 as [insert Year 4 teacher’s first name only] is well known for fostering measurable academic results and welcoming parental feedback. Sadly, [insert Year 3 teacher’s name] was not so receptive to constructive comments.
ii) [Insert your child’s first name] is a confident, sociable girl, but like many gifted people, she’s also extremely sensitive. It would be a shame if her enjoyment of school life next year was adversely affected by being separated from [insert best friend’s name]. They have been close since kindergarten and are a tremendous support for each other and although I’m the last person to make a big deal of these things, I think keeping them together is optimal. That [insert best friend’s mother’s name] and I are dear friends is also relevant. It makes school life more convenient for both families, giving us more time to assist with reading rosters, attend assemblies etc. A small point perhaps, but I feel it is one worth mentioning.
iii) Being an involved parent, I like to know what’s going on in the classroom on a day-to-day basis. [Insert your child’s first name], being an articulate, insightful girl has told me of troubling behaviours from particular students I’d prefer her not to be exposed to next year. I realise some of these children have unstable homes and/or learning difficulties, but I would like [insert names of undesirable students] to be in a class other than [insert your child’s first name]’s. If this isn’t possible, could you let [preferred teacher] know to seat them apart from [insert your child’s name], as she finds them distracting and it would be a pity if her learning was compromised.
[Insert principal’s first name], you have so much on your plate at this frantic time of year – signing reports, organising classroom clean-ups and attending Christmas concerts before your lovely long holiday; but it would be a weight off my mind to know that [insert your child’s first name]’s teacher and class is settled for next year.
I realise you don’t release the lists until the final week of term, but an assurance from you that all will be well would be much appreciated. Of course, I wouldn’t breathe a word to anyone. I know how uptight some parents can be! [Insert smiley face or similar emoticon.]
[Insert your name]
Have you ever questioned the class your child was placed in or the teacher they were assigned? How did you approach the subject?