Discussion in 'General Education' started by abcd, Feb 18, 2018.
Mar 8, 2018
Have you donated your salary to the co-teacher?
Mar 9, 2018
No, but I might buy her a nice gift or something to show my appreciation. Donating my salary would be considered like bribery, though, plus I need at least some of that to live.
Mar 10, 2018
There are some major deal breakers that will send you flying out the door in the middle of the day. Those include, illicit drugs, and leaving class unsupervised - just for starters. You may not get to explain yourself, it's just something in the contract that you can't do. You could say you got a bad reaction from rx cold meds, and you had to run out to your car for a second because you saw your trunk is open. Well those are two examples that can get you kicked out - and the union won't be able to help you.
Most districts send out RIF letters by Spring break. So you have plenty of time to know your contract isn't being renewed. Also, if you get your review and have a lot of Needs Improvement boxes checked, you may not be invited back, and might not make it to Spring break. Superintendents and parents won't stand for poor performing teachers. They can put a long term sub in your place.
If you have doubts, ask for a meeting with your principal. Be honest about your lack of skills, abilities up front, and he/she may tell you right then and there that they agree and you aren't cutting it. Might give you extra time by handing you the letter (yes, they have them) right then and there. If so, ask if you can use them for pointers on how you can do better, and ask for a reference. You'll need it. If they smile, pat you on the shoulder and say, "Don't worry about it.", yeah time to polish off the resume. If they say, "I'm thinking maybe you can work in another area for awhile." (i.e. lunchroom aide :0 ) take it. Seriously, they are trying to help keep you employed and your dignity and pride will have to take a vacation.
My state automatically blocks unemployment claims when you mark the box - "Are you a teacher?" Yes, there is a box for that! Expect to get the reject letter, and come in or call and stay on hold to defend yourself. You have to have something in writing saying your job is not available because it was eliminated/restructured/there's lack of work. Poor performance is considered your fault. You may be denied, or have to serve a 3 month waiting period, or earn x amount of dollars at Wendy's or McDonald's and then you can submit a claim. You are only entitled to UI benefits if you are not the cause of being out of work. They seem to believe as long as kids are still on the planet, you will be called back.
Mar 11, 2018
I'm accepting penalties for poor performance, but my principal at least seems understanding. Instead of firing me, she's allowed a para professional to be in the room with me and assume most of my duties. I guess I'm basically the teacher's aide who helps plan lessons and still receives my contract salary. It was a big botch up, but I was open with my principal at the beginning, and unfortunately for me, this is not the first time something like this has happened. The last place where I worked actually apparently gave me a pretty good reference in spite of all of this, but the first place had kids with a lot of challenging behaviors. This, on the other hand, is almost an ideal teaching environment. I'm a little worried, but I'm wiling to persevere. Hang in there.
I think one thing people who constantly get low performance reviews need to do is be honest with themselves; we might be skilled in many areas, but teaching just may not be our calling. Take an honest inventory of your strengths and look for careers you can do with your degree that kind of match. For example, I don't know what it is about instructing large groups of children that makes me so bad at it, but put me with a small group of children instead, or put me with a large group of adults or really mature teens, and the problem is a lot less noticeable. I actually get a lot accomplished.
I'm giving that advice, but I know that it's difficult to take. Normally, I would rather work at a job that I'm qualified for but maybe not the best fit if the salary and benefits are good. Too bad teacher's aides get paid so little. I would be okay, however, with being a contracted tutor or working in a similar vein.
Mar 12, 2018
Maybe you can connect with a seasoned teacher, and ask them to observe you. Or get a friend to videotape you. There might be some things you aren’t doing that don’t stand out (in your mind).
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