Backing out of offer- NEW TEACHER

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Happyhappyteacher, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Happyhappyteacher

    Happyhappyteacher New Member

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    Mar 20, 2017

    I live in California, and am currently finishing up my BA and credentials. School A offered me a position, and stated that it was a preliminary offer and I was interested and accepted. It had been a month and no one from the district contacted me. I did research about their benefits, pay scale, and school and wasn't happy with what I found. I went to the district office and the hr lady told me that she was going to be calling me in soon to sign all of the paper work and that it would take upwards of an hour. At that point I let her know I wanted to withdraw my application and decline the offer. She told me that the "Preliminary Offer" I signed was binding and that I was under contract with the school district and needed to write a letter to them (which needs to be approved by the superintendent). I am now extremely worried that I have done something wrong and made a huge mistake that will affect my career before it even starts. I don't understand how I can be under contract if I never signed a contract to begin with. Can this negatively effect me?
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Mar 20, 2017

    If you didn't sign a contract but just a preliminary office, you should be okay. Do you have a copy of what you DID sign? Is it possible for you to run it past a lawyer?
     
  4. Happyhappyteacher

    Happyhappyteacher New Member

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    They didn't give me a copy because we were at a job fair. Looking back this situation seems pretty shady and I'm concerned because I thought contracts were huge packets not a single page.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 20, 2017

    Contracts can be a single page. Mine is. It lists my salary, number of contracted work days, and has some language that basically points to the negotiated agreement (big contract that is the same for all teachers).

    I seriously doubt that signing a preliminary offer at a job fair binds you to a job. I bet the HR person is probably just trying to scare you into sticking around, or else you've possibly misunderstood the situation and all they need is a formal, written withdrawal letter. Ask HR for a copy of the document you signed and go from there.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 20, 2017

    I have never signed a teaching contract longer than one page. you may very well have signed a contract. Like Cat said, go to the district and submit your resignation. It is so early in the hiring season that it shouldn't be a hassle.

    However, (to play devils advocate) since it is your first job, are you sure you want to take the chance that you may not be offered another job? Do you think the grass may be greener on the other side? It may not be so easy to get a job in a better district with no experience.
     
  7. Happyhappyteacher

    Happyhappyteacher New Member

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    I have two more offers pending, both which are much closer to home. School A is almost an hour away, and it seemed like a good choice when they talked to me about it. I wrote a letter and dropped it off today, they are a small district so I hope they are able to find someone. I'd feel awful if I put them in a bad position.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    What will you be teaching? It sounds like you have some good opportunities pending.

    Your experience is a good learning tool for other new teachers. Really study the districts who offer you jobs. Don't just hop on the first offer thinking it may be your only one.
     
    vickilyn likes this.
  9. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    Mar 20, 2017

    Ask for a copy of what you signed-I cant believe they didn't give a copy which is kinda like red flag number 1 (having someone sign something, not giving them a copy of it, and then later calling it a binding agreement that the person cannot reference seems shady).

    When going through the hiring process this year and last I can tell you that with the Ca teacher shortage several schools and districts are trying to tie down candidates early, before they might get other offers elsewhere but it generally starts with:

    - a preliminary offer (they usually cant give you an official contract at the job fair because they havent checked your references, credentials, FBI/DOJ fingerprint clearance, ect so they need to be able to back out of the contract in case you arent on the up and up and your employment often has to be approved by the school board before it is official).
    -Lots of paperwork and possibly a temporary contract (my current district starts all new hires on temp contracts for the first 90 days) or your real contract
    -Finally a real contract if you had a short term temp contract

    Go with your gut if you have multiple offers on the table and do your research. I accepted the first offer I got last year and then turned down better offers that I got later. I just wanted a a for sure job locked in so I could make the leap from private school to public education with benefits and retirement. I made a huge mistake and it was a year of hell. You can bet I did my research the next year and I didnt take the first thing offered to me that sounded good on the surface (what I ended up with at that school was no where near what they had said it would be). I am so happy with my school now, choosing a good fit school is worth its weight in gold.
     
    Peregrin5 and Happyhappyteacher like this.
  10. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Connoisseur

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    Mar 20, 2017

    Exactly! Some Districts are sketchy as f****!
    If you didn't sign a contract that says YOU MUST WORK WITH US OR PAY A FINE... Did they offer you an intent to hire and you signed that? If so, I don't believe that's a contract !
     
  11. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    BTW if you could...private message me the name of the district so I know to steer clear and if any new teachers ask me about the district I can warn them not to sign anything unless they are 100% sure.
     
  12. MsAbeja

    MsAbeja Companion

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    Yes, as a CA teacher who may or may not be job searching soon, I'm more than a little curious.
     
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Yes, a contract is often just one page, which references a huge packet (in our case a whole book) with all the details. However, I highly doubt that they had you sing a contract at a job fair. The contract is the last step and you are aware that you're signing something binding.
    When I got the preliminary offer n the phone, the job was 6 hours away) that basically meant that I have the job if everything checks out (background, credential, etc, sometimes that's when they check references, in my case they did that before the offered the job). It is not biding until you sign the contract.
     
    Peregrin5 likes this.
  14. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

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    Mar 21, 2017

    In my province, a verbal contract is binding. So when I received my first job offer over the phone, I asked for 24 hours to think about it because I was waiting for another offer. I did not accept anything until I was sure it was what I wanted, because that verbal agreement (even though I hadn't signed anything yet) made it a done deal.
     

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