Should the school allow students to request teachers?


Throughout our high school years, it is inevitable that we may have at least one teacher that will not be completely compatible with us.  Sometimes, it is a teaching style that does not match up with our learning style.  Other times, a teacher may get the wrong impression of you.

Similarly, we have all had teachers that we grow fond of because of how they teach, their humor, or their helpfulness.  Most students would agree that, if given a choice, they would prefer teachers who they get along with well.  For this reason, if students want to request a teacher, it should be an easy and practical process.

When a student does not attain his or her full potential with a teacher, he or she may prefer to have another teacher to see if his or her performance changes.  Students can drop a class if they dislike a teacher, so students should be able to request teachers before the school year begins.

“If someone really enjoys a class and does well in it because of their teacher, they should be able to have that teacher again,” said junior Dylan Lebedin.

If students are learning and achieving more with a certain teacher, they should be able to continue with that teacher.  Teachers will often learn the strengths and weaknesses of a given student and help them to grow in certain areas.

When a student begins a new year with another teacher, it takes time for that teacher to learn the characteristics of that student and how to assist them.  The time spent learning about an individual every year could be used for further academic growth.

If a teacher and student already know that they cooperate well, they should be able to work together for multiple years.  This is beneficial for students as they have teachers work with their teaching style and is helpful for teachers who want students they already know and trust.

One may say that this would create huge demand for teachers who are popular, which would lead to excessive class sizes.  Not all students have the same learning styles, so they would not all request the same teachers.  If students could request teachers who correspond with their learning style, every student would be pleased and be able to learn more.

“Students should be able to request teachers because we should be able to get the best of our education, and what teacher we have can affect that a lot,” said junior Leonie Lerner.

Many students with older siblings also have heard great stories from certain classes that are memorable because of their teachers.  What works for one sibling often works for another, so a younger sibling should be able to request a teacher that their older brother or sister had.

Usually by the end of the school year we have formed a firm opinion of a teacher.  Just as a student can decide for themselves if they should take Global II or AP Euro, a student should be able to decide what type of learning experience they have and who teaches them.

Currently, it is supposedly possible to request a teacher, but the system is not clearly defined.  Requesting a teacher is a murky expedition because there is no uniform way to do it.

One may have to ask their guidance counselor, with varied success, and even then it is unclear.


What students will find when trying to switch classes for a teacher is that it is simply not worth the effort.

As humans, we are inherently analytical and calculating, always looking for ways to get out of potentially harmful situations.  When we talk to older friends in the summer before the school year in an attempt to scope out teachers, we are essentially trying to circumvent obstacles.  However, finding out if you like a teacher is not something that can be done second-hand.  There are people who regard your best friend as an enemy and people who regard your enemy as their best friend. In the same vein, feedback you might get from a friend about a teacher might be wholly inaccurate for yourself.

“It has happened at least a half a dozen times where I either thought that I’d be enjoying a class with a teacher someone told me was really nice and didn’t enjoy it or thought I was walking into a nightmare but ended up having fun,” said senior Jacob Steinberg.

But what if this desire to transfer comes as a result of personal contact?

The primary goals of school are for you to learn and to be ready for the real world.  The problem is that sometimes you can accomplish the former without ever coming close to accomplishing the latter.  One thing that every single person needs to learn is how to work well with others of which he or she is not particularly fond.  Sometimes, the most rewarding situation can be just sticking it out and improving your ability to work with others.

“There have been particular situations in which I stuck through a course taught by a teacher who I felt really just wasn’t nice and when I saw how proud they were of my Regents score that it felt like it was all worth it,” said senior Allegra Noto.

In addition, allowing students to choose teachers would be giving an unfair advantage to people who have older siblings, older friends, or parents who have more information about teachers. The way it currently is, nobody is able to get an unfair advantage on anyone else.

Being able to pick and choose your own teachers sounds like a dream come true to most students. Unfortunately, it never is; the student will be denied a potential chance for growth, their schedule will be flipped on its head, and all a student will end up with is a big headache.