We teach for our students. We want to make a difference. But what happens when the parents of a child in your class doesn’t see it the same way? Parents may request a change of classroom for many reasons. Whether it’s another child in the class, your expectations, or a personal conflict, it can be hard to understand why a parent would want their child to leave your classroom when you know you have the best of intentions. The following tips will help you know what do to when parents want to remove their child from your class.
What to Do When Parents Want to Remove Their Child From Your Class
Start with an in-person meeting.
Sometimes requests from parents are initiated via email. Before you find yourself responding, ask the parent to set up a time to meet with you at the school. Request that administration and possibly counseling be present. Tone and words can be misinterpreted via email, so you may receive a more positive response from parents when you meet with them in person. Depending on the student’s age, it may be appropriate to bring them into the meeting. If the parent insists on communicating via email, make sure to include your building administrator in all correspondence by blind copying them on the email.
Only have conversations with the student regarding the transfer when parents are present.
Do not initiate conversations (whether positive or negative) regarding any kind of classroom change without parents involved in the dialogue. Students may not be aware of the request or conversations may be misconstrued. If the student initiates the conversation, tell them that you are happy to speak with their parents.
Offer alternate solutions.
Work with your building administration to brainstorm possible alternatives to making a classroom change. If it’s a conflict with another student, perhaps a new seating arrangement can solve a problem. If the student thinks you don’t like or respect them, consider bringing in the student to the meeting to have them share their feelings. In secondary classrooms where students switch classes, it may be as simple as putting the student in a different class period rather than having them switch teachers.
Be prepared to have the student removed.
Even if it is not the best solution in your eyes, sometimes parents will insist on having a student removed from your classroom. Do not take this personally. See it as an opportunity for the student to have a fresh start with another teacher. Keep working to make your classroom community strong, and when you see the child in the hall, give them a smile and ask how things are going.
Having a parent request to remove a child from your room can bring up all sorts of emotions. The most important thing is to remain calm and involve your administration every step of the way. Keep communication open. These tips regarding what do to when parents want to remove their child from your class will help you and the child move forward successfully.
Here are some additional tips to follow when you meet with parents of a child with behavior issues.