Reader Question: Switching Private Elementary Schools- How Do I Deal With Negative Teacher Report Card?

Reader Question: I’m trying to change schools (from private to private). What about the child who gets an “improvement required” on classroom behavior? My daughter will be going into the 3rd grade, and although she is currently in a private school, the teacher has extremely poor classroom management skills, and any child who has any energy, or gets bored with the “routine” gets this comment. How do I mitigate this comment during the interviews as I apply to other private schools for 2012-13?

Anne Simon’s Answer: If the comments are on the written report card and the schools you are applying to read the complete report, you will have to hit the issue head on in the interview and answer any questions honestly. It will be important to try to find another teacher who understands your child’s learning style and ask him/her to write a recommendation letter to accompany the transcript. It might be an art teacher, a P.E. or music teacher. I believe that admissions directors can read a lot between the lines and might be perceptive enough to see the teacher’s anxiety showing through. Don’t assume that they will read every teacher comment. If they ask, tell them your honest experience and try to get someone to validate your perception, perhaps in a note. It is a tough one, but moving a child at this point is usually accompanied by some kind of dissatisfaction (if it is not about a family move) and admissions directors are familiar with these situations.

Good luck!

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