What are Good Reasons to Change your Class Schedule
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School Schedule Changes and How to Deal With Them - Episode 052
Your child has classes they hate—now what? Dealing with a school schedule in high school courses or middle school classes is annoying for both parents AND school counselors. Having experiences in both of these fields, I wanted to make this episode all about ‘how to deal with schedule changes’ from both perspectives.
It’s time to get real about schedule changes and your expectations of what classes your child should get.
As a parent, when you get the school schedule for your kid’s high school courses or middle school classes, it usually makes you think that this is a solid schedule. However, it is important to understand that there is never any guarantee that the schedule will remain the same as the first day or even two weeks in.
This is an idea that you have to get comfortable with. More so, because as parents of middle or high school kids, or even as the kids themselves, you're not entitled to much when it comes to the school schedule.
Not everyone’s school schedule can be perfect. Instead, your schedule will make sure that you graduate and get the required classes (although sometimes even that falls flat due to human error). Your required classes may not be your desired classes either but no one is entitled to the perfect school schedule!
Did you fill out AND submit the course request form your child’s school provided? Did your teenager complete the form and turn it in? This form helps the schedule makers in school to make their decision.
However, late submission of these forms or no submission at all takes you farther away from having any entitlement to an awesome schedule. And rightfully so. Before you bring out the pitchforks demanding your child’s classes be changed, make sure all the steps were taken. Even take pictures for proof if necessary but make sure that the form is actually turned in.
Respect and Responsiveness
As a school counselor with prior experience in the school setting, let me just add that scheduling is a nightmare!
If you think it's just a task for parents then that’s far from true. School Counselors aren’t actually trained to make school schedules. We didn’t take Skyward 101, or Transcript Reading 202. What school counselors are trained for, however, is to help a child through emotional, social and academic growth.
If your kid’s schedule is not what you want, you are welcome to email the school counselor or the people in charge of making the schedules. However, when you do so, remember to be respectful and polite. Always be kind to them as they are going through a lot of stress themselves. Also, know that most policies state that the only classes that may be changed are those that are legit errors (assigned to take Spanish 3 when you have only taken French 2) and related to the graduation requirements.
Rarely are schedules changed (nor should they) to accommodate teacher preference or electives. Don’t even get me started on lunch periods!
Talking to school faculty in inappropriate or rude tones will get you nowhere. However, treating them with respect might actually motivate them to help you out as much as possible in their capacity.
That being said, address your concerns clearly. Understand that it is possible that in demand of one class, your kid may have to give up another class or teacher that she was really looking forward to working with. In that case, requesting a new schedule may make things way worse.
Be Prepared and Calm
Whatever your school schedule changes are, you have to make sure to meet the graduation requirements. As a parent, you should be very clear with all the information and updated about the courses that your kid will need for graduation.
It is quite embarrassing to be demanding a different schedule only to not realize that requirements changed. Parents are equally responsible to know the course progressions in your state and graduation requirements.
If you have a question, Google it or ask a counselor. but don’t ask for a change in the school schedule without all the facts.
Finally, reach out to your school counselor and mail them regarding the problems. Be patient if they don’t respond immediately. They aren't ignoring you. Most educators have 24-48 hours to respond. Also, if you are sending emails over the summer they most likely will not have access to their email!
Understanding Points of View
To the school counselors reading this: it may be your first year or tenth year, but it is always the first time for a parent. Every parent is scared and wants the best for their kid.
If parents are asking some stupid questions then bear with them as they’re just human. If counselors are having a tough time following through, then try to understand that they’re dealing with many other parents as well as duties.
As a counselor, make sure to keep a file for every parent and save the emails. Doing so allows you to maintain a record of the conversations if required at a later stage. Try to keep the parents updated. They will be reasonable if they know that you are constantly trying to fix things and are working hard.
Finally, don’t assume that any two parents can be the same regardless of your many years of experience. As counselors, you are trained to deal with worried parents and kids, so use your training and don’t question your career choice when there’s too much on your plate.
As a former school counselor, scheduling is a brutal process - and not one I was trained for during my master’s program. As a parent, I want my child to be treated respect and have their needs met.
The combination of overworked school counselors and anxious parents is a perfect storm.
We need to remember that at the end of the day we are human. Your child’s school counselor is not your servant. They are not in charge of ensuring that each child has a perfect schedule. Treat them with respect and accept that no schedule change means no schedule change. However, I concede that just like there are bad humans, there are bad school counselors out there. Maybe your child has one. Make sure that your complaints stem from their failure to do their job AND NOT failure of them not giving you your way.
To the educators out there. Check your attitude. Every student and every parent that walks through your door is not like the one you had before. If you are starting to believe that everyone that walks through your door is acting from a place of snobbery and entitlement - maybe you need to take a moment and access yourself for burnout. Just like there are bad humans out there, there are bad parents and kiddos. However, I choose to believe that everyone is good until I am shown otherwise. A parent who might seem demanding and harsh might be scared and anxious. Maybe they need help but don’t have the words to ask. Or, maybe they are rude and demanding. But I hope you give each family a chance, and then maybe one more, and one more until you write them off the list.
Lord knows I make mistakes on a regular basis. Maybe this episode is one of them. But if we are going to have an awesome school year we need to start with the basics and that is respect.
So as you go about your day today, try to show a little kindness. Then we can all hold hands later and sing Give Peace a Chance - or whatever optimistic people do.
Listen to the full episode of School Counselor Gone Rogue for additional tips and insight. You can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Googleplay, or Iheartradio or visit http://www.schoolcounselorgonerogue.com each week for the full episode (though let’s be honest, subscribing is so much easier!)
You can also sign up for the wait list for The Organized School Year at teampasch.com/theorganizedschoolyear. It’s an intensive workshop to help your child create and implement an organization system that meets their needs.
Sign up for the waitlist here!
Class selection for high school and middle school students
Parents advocating for children at school
What parents need to know about the school scheduling process
Marni Pasch| Host of School Counselor Gone Rogue| Academic Coach | Team Pasch Academic Coaching
I work with students in grades 6th and higher, who struggle with academic confidence and motivation. I help them survive school with less stress by helping them create concrete goals, tackle procrastination and learn creative study techniques. I empower students to take charge of their education and reach their goals. I do this through individual or group coaching so students achieve success in life, school, career readiness and their social endeavors. I provided in person academic coaching in Orlando, FL, but work with students across the country through Zoom!