Applying without principal recommendation

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by waterfall, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Mar 2, 2013

    I hate to do this two years in a row but I have spent a lot of time thinking about it and I have to get out of my current school. I love having my own class and I'm lucky that my team is great, but my admin is awful and morale in the building is very low. People are terrified to speak up at staff meetings. After our last "pd day" I was in my teammate's room and at least ten people came in crying/upset about the principal's actions (teammate is a union rep). Sometimes I feel physically sick at the thought of going into work. I have watched good teachers being targeted. There are some big behavior problems coming up in the next class and the principal will not support me with them. I know that my admin does not like me but they have been forced to "leave me alone" because my data is so good. My teammate who has been at the school for 22 years is trying to get out too. I think that if I mention leaving my admin will "target" me next. I also do not trust her to give me a good recommendation under any circumstances. I will probably end up back in sped but hopefully in a better environment. I had thought I would stay because I wanted to remain a classroom teacher, but it is really not worth my emotional/mental health.

    How do I avoid having my principal contacted if I apply elsewhere? I am planning to e-mail my previous assistant principal and ask him if I can use his letter of rec from last year. My previous principal is no longer at the school and went back to teaching. We were each assigned an admin at that school and mine was the assistant principal, so I can honestly say he was my direct supervisor. I am using my teammate and an instructional coach from my current school. Unfortunately we don't have "department chairs" or anything like that so the only person I could list as a supervisor is the principal.

    Also, what do I say as reason for leaving? I love my new city and am hoping to get into another district around here. I feel like "not a good fit" might be a red flag, and I know you can't say anything bad about the school. I am applying to a few schools that follow the specific learning program of my old school and using the reason that I want to get back into that program. However, there are only a few schools in the city that follow the program and I'm sure they're highly competitive, so I will need to look at "regular" schools too. I'm also worried that it might look bad if I'm trying to go to my 3rd school in 4 years of teaching.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mar 2, 2013

    If you apply for sped positions, you could easily share that while regular classroom experience was enjoyable and will allow for a deeper understanding of your future students, you really desire to go back to sped.

    I don't blame you for looking elsewhere!
     
  4. teacher girl

    teacher girl Comrade

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    Mar 3, 2013

    Hugs*

    I think you are making the right decision. I wouldn't use your principal, it may ruin your chances of leaving because you get good scores.... so your principal may lie to keep you at the school because you always have good data( which is an asset to them)

    I'm sure you could get a special ed position easily. I would even go as far as to take days off and visit other schools to drop of my resume/ application in person and of course talk to their administration about any possible job openings and your situation about wanting to transfer. I wish you luck on your endeavors and i hope everything gets better. : )
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 3, 2013

    Who is asking your administration not to target you because of your data? You may want to talk with this person about a transfer to another school in the district. This would hopefully bring new administration.

    I know that many people ask potential employers not to contact their current employers until they are in the final steps of a job offer. You could also ask to be given a heads up before they contact so that you may speak with your administration first.

    As for the reason that you are looking elsewhere...I would try a little research into the new district or school so that you can mention something more specific about why you want to work there that your school didn't offer/have.

    I think that your move from special education to regular education will provide some relief from the question of moving schools once. However, If your are applying for special education jobs, I would expect to stay in that position for longer than a year before moving on.
     
  6. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Mar 3, 2013

    I would apply anyway. Administration makes such a difference at a school. When the climate is not good, it usually starts at the top of the school. Good luck! If your data is good, I certainly would use that in my resume/interviews/cover letter!
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    The superintendent told the principals that they needed to keep anyone who was getting good data due to the situation our district is in. The entire district is several years into a turnaround plan and will be taken over by the state if test scores don't improve. I currently have the best data in the school with DIBELS and MAPs. State testing doesn't come out until May with reading, but I expect my scores to be good. Unfortunately that's well into the hiring season here. I am going to try for a transfer too but they will definitely call my principal then. I also heard that my principal is the only one in the district doing non-renewals so I'm not sure how many positions would be open in other schools. As a whole the staff in the district is young and it's unlikely that there are many (if any) retirements happening. Do I have to have the principal contacted at all? Even if I wait until the final stage, I don't think she will give me a good recommendation and it would cause me to lose the job. I heard that if you don't list them as a reference the only thing they can do is state the days you worked there but if you list them as a reference they can say whatever they want.

    I looked around and there are several schools with openings that are set up like my old school (expeditionary learning) but the majority of them are charters. I thought about saying I tried regular ed for a year and it didn't work out, but that's not even true...
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 3, 2013

    Most new districts will want to talk with your current principal at some point. You might ask them to contact the superintendent or another administrator in HR if possible.

    Eventually you will have to explain your situation. I wouldn't on interview one, but when you go for a later stage, you will probably need to mention something.

    I'm not sure if you ever would want to go back to regular ed, but your statement above would probably prevent that.
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Around here it's common practice to only do one interview unless it's just a 5 minute thing at a job fair or something. My old superintendent used to brag that she had to interview twice to get her job:lol:.
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 3, 2013

    Oh wow! I can't imagine only 1 interview. Even to transfer, my district requires at least 2 (sometimes 3).
     
  11. 1smarie7

    1smarie7 New Member

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    Jun 22, 2018

    I know this is an old thread but I have a similar problem. I was wondering how it went for you. Did you get a job without the principal's recommendation? I left not on good terms with my principal, so a letter is out of the question. I applied at schools with high need for credentialed teachers. I haven't heard back from any, but I also just applied on edjoin and they have not opened the application yet, so I haven't been called yet by 3 out of the 4 that I applied to. One district did open the application and I have not gotten called yet. Please let me know if you can, I am really curious.
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jun 22, 2018

    Wow, this is really old! I just finished my 5th year in the school I got hired in after this one :).

    It was very difficult, but obviously I did find another job. I went on almost 15 interviews first. I found that in my area, there is just no way to avoid having the P contacted, even if you don't use them as a reference. Every district had a policy that said they had to contact your current/most recent P before making an offer. I tried a lot of "tricks" to get around this and in the end found that the best thing was literally saying absolutely nothing about my previous school or P in interviews. I was rarely asked why I was leaving in interviews.

    My union also helped me out. They found that the P was giving bad references when other people were losing out on jobs based on her reference; for example when they had an offer pending references and then the offer was rescinded. They told the P that she needed to keep her personal opinion out of things and speak to data only or she was opening herself up to a slander lawsuit. People started getting jobs after that. I never did get a letter from that P, although at one point she had told me I could have one if I "remained an employee in good standing" through the end of the year :rolleyes:.

    I always turned in more references/letters of rec then were required so that hopefully all of my other glowing recommendations would make them think twice about whatever the P might say. I also brought my student data to interviews (last names blacked out of course) and made sure to share it. If I couldn't work it into an answer for a question they asked, I asked at the end if I could show it and the answer was always an enthusiastic yes. I think this really helped me because it was hard evidence that I was getting results in the classroom.

    After applying all spring, I finally got 2 offers within one week in the first week of summer. I was offered a gen ed job in a grade level I didn't really want and in a location I didn't really want to live in. I was also offered a sped position in the exact location I wanted to live in, and ended up taking that one. I've had two principals within my five years at my current school and thankfully have had no issues- this woman I used to work for truly was just a nutcase.

    Although many had the same difficulties I did, all of my friends from that school did eventually find other jobs. My year there was that P's first year. In her third year, all of her wrongdoings finally caught up with her and she was fired mid-year and had both her admin and teaching licenses taken away. The district leadership is also awful and that's finally been recognized in the past year or so. Unfortunately, with this being a very low SES and mostly minority community it just took a long time for people to take notice and care. The district is currently involved in several lawsuits. I'm very thankful that I got out when I did.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
  13. 1smarie7

    1smarie7 New Member

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    Jun 28, 2018

    thank you for responding, I'm kind of losing hope.
     
  14. 1smarie7

    1smarie7 New Member

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    Jun 28, 2018

    I have applied, and I have not put my old principal as a reference, although i had to put who my last principal was. I don't know what she will say if they call her. i applied to districts that i know probably get way less applicants, very poor urban neighborhoods. i have applied for several teacher "pool" positions on edjoin. i haven't gotten a call for any. my friend is looking too and she doesn't have her principal's recommendation, and she has been called 4 times. she hasn't gotten them though. i was hoping that in the recession, and my almost 16 years of experience, i would be granted an opportunity
     

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