Got the job!!! Now I have some questions!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Birdie86, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. Birdie86

    Birdie86 Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2015

    If you had read my previous posts about my job search and my most recent kinder interview...well...I got the job!!! It's at a public elementary school here in Texas. I'm SO exciting to be teaching kinder! I student taught kinder a several years back and I've been subbing and teaching prek at a private center since. I got the call offer from HR and I'm still waiting to hear what I need to do next, but I have some questions I need some assistance with so I'm prepared to appropriately address (or not) when I go into sign my papers or whenever I get to see the principal. Btw I understand the answers to these questions are different for every school and every district.
    I'm just trying to get an "idea"!

    - My fiancé and I have had a vacation planned since March for November. Eberything is set and I'm even in a wedding that is taking place during this trip. In your district, would it be feasible to take 4 days in a row off work being a new employee? Do you have personal days right away you can combine? I hate to think about this just upon getting a position, but if I HAVE to (because I want to go but refuse to lose a job over it) reschedule the trip we want to know as far as in advance as possible! I know every district is different and I'll find out mine when I get my contact but id like to just get a general consensus on this. Would this be something I could bring up to them? Do teachers usually get days even with all the breaks we have?

    - What was provided for you in your classroom? I have no idea when I'll get to see mine yet! I'm already thinking of all the things I may need to buy! Recalling back to the classroom I student taught in...she had TONS of stuff. Overwhelming for a new teacher with not much at all right now! How were you prepared your first year with materials??

    - Any kinder teacher have any advice for me going into my first year of my own kinder classroom?!?
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    In my district, and the former district I worked in, this would be a "no go." We are given 2 days personal time (which must be approved in advance.) All the rest is sick leave, and we aren't allowed to use sick leave for anything other than being sick.
     
  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    The vacation wouldn't fly in my district regardless of time in. You may have a more lenient district. I'd ask someone on your team for his/her opinion before going to admin with this request to see what the climate is. Some admin hold grudges. I've never been a victim of one, but I've certainly witnessed it!
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I agree. I wouldn't even ask about it. I would find a way to be in the wedding, assuming the person who is getting married is really important to you, but I wouldn't extend the trip any longer than that takes. It really doesn't even have anything to do with being a new teacher. Teachers just don't get vacation days. You'll probably have a couple personal days (that you could use to be in the wedding), but you likely won't have vacation days. I'm all for using sick days for personal reasons, but I wouldn't combine them with the personal days you'll use to be in the wedding. That would just look too suspicious. To be clear, you can and should ask to use your personal days for the wedding (those should be good early on in your contract), after you are already fully hired (you'll need to ask your principal first, not HR, most likely), but you should cancel the remainder of your vacation and plan something for one of the breaks you'll get. Even if you had 20 years in, I don't think you'd get away with taking a vacation in the middle of a school year.

    It's hard to say what the school will provide for you. Schools are so different in this respect. Are you taking over for another teacher who is leaving, or is this a newly-created position? You're more likely to have things already in the classroom if you are taking over for someone, especially if they've retired. Regardless, you should wait to buy things until you've had a chance to check out your room and talk to your colleagues about what the school provides. Some schools will give you a set dollar amount and require receipts, others will give you the money with no receipts required, others will order things for you directly, others will give you nothing. Just wait and see and/or get in touch with your principal or teammates to ask about this.
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jul 7, 2015

    We get 3 personal days; if you take "sick " days before or after you would get a letter of reprimand without a doctor's note.

    Ask to see your classroom as soon as possible. You will almost certainly need books, bulletin board items and storage items, but some schools supply a lot of other things and some have little.

    Congratulations on the job!
     
  7. Birdie86

    Birdie86 Rookie

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    Okay thanks for the input guys. So...for example, if I find that I'm allowed 2 personal days, do y'all think it would be okay to ask to use them for the last two days of that week, rather than all 4 (which I likely see I won't be able to do)? That way with flights and all I can get to where I need to be for the wedding. I don't want to leave a bad taste in anyone's mouth so I'm glad to get y'all's opinions who know this area more than I do at this point! I'll hopefully get to see my contract this week and figure it out.
     
  8. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    Jul 7, 2015

    You could always ask to get them approved and take the 2 extra days as "non paid" leave days. I've had team mates take 4 days off for a vacation outside of our scheduled breaks. They just had to have it approved in advance.
     
  9. Birdie86

    Birdie86 Rookie

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    Would that leave a bad impression on me if I presented that to the principal? I definitely do not want to be on anyone's bad side! If we have "non paid" leave days will it be outlined in your contract?
     
  10. Birdie86

    Birdie86 Rookie

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    Also what about "staff development days"? Are you guys able to miss those more freely or do the same rules apply? Fiancé and I are already trying to find backup dates just in case but one option we are looking at has 2 sd days and the rest of the wk is off.
     
  11. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Yes, I think that would be ok. I wouldn't ask at the time of signing your contract though. I'd keep it a separate conversation. Also, I know it's different everywhere, but my last district doesn't lay this all out in the contract. Our contract is very short and basically states our position, salary, and that we agree to all board policy. The info you are looking for (number of personal, sick, and vacation days) would be found in the Board policy posted online for the general public to see. So you might be able to find this info right now. Also, your request will need to be a conversation with your principal, as he/she will likely need to approve it before it goes to HR for approval. I think you could have this conversation anytime. Just keep it limited to the wedding and not a longer vacation.

    This would technically be an option at my district too, but I've never known anyone to do it. I certainly wouldn't do it as a new teacher, as I don't think it would make you look very good.
     
  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    We have even more strict rules for those days. Those days absolutely will not be approved for personal days in my last district. Sometimes sick days are acceptable, and other times we are required to attend a "make-up" session or lose pay. Don't plan on missing one of those days.
     
  13. Birdie86

    Birdie86 Rookie

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    Hmm okay I have some thinking to do. Again what about taking staff development days? Do the same rules apply? This week my trip is already scheduled for is the week before thanksgiving, but the week during...we have off but the first two days are staff devel. So I'm wondering if we attend the wedding but make our trip portion that thanksgiving week instead of the week prior. Any thoughts?
     
  14. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I think it would leave a bad impression, yes. Also, non paid days a typically not outlined in terms of a certain number of days, as they are generally for emergencies (e.g. Like a teacher who gets really sick but has no sick days left).
     
  15. Birdie86

    Birdie86 Rookie

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    Ah okay. Wow I'm glad I'm learning all this ahead of time before I act on anything! So what about going back to one of my original questions about asking to take my 2 personal days back to back (if I even get those) and shortening my trip to only be for the wedding I'm in? Would that be acceptable to ask?
     
  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Even worse for your situation... Most districts don't allow tacking on extra days off to an already planned break, as in they won't allow you to extend fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or spring break by taking off extra days at the beginning or end of one of those breaks. My last district wouldn't even allow that for something like Memorial Day weekend. Policy states that personal days will not be approved on the ends of breaks except in rare cases and with docked pay.
     
  17. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Yes, I think that's totally fine, particularly because the reason is that you are in a wedding. Just explain that to your principal and ask how you can go about being approved to use your personal days for that event.

    I'm only one person with my own experiences, so others may have different experiences to share. I will say though that I am coming from a district with very teacher-friendly policies, and an extended vacation would not be allowed. This is one reason I always argue with those outside of education who complain that teachers get so much time off. We do, but it's unpaid, and we have very little flexibility in when we use it.
     
  18. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Jul 7, 2015

    First, congrats on the new job! I am sure you are super excited! I think for me, I've always worked in places that I felt comfortable with my principal. I would just go see him/her and explain about this vacation that was booked prior to getting the job. Ask him/her what they advise you to do. Go in like, "Hi Dr. Smith, I was hoping to talk to you. I love this job and I am so excited to get to work here. My fiancé and I were invited to a wedding that we are both in and it falls on non-vacation days. I am not exactly sure what I need to do."

    IF you take this strategy, but prepared that he/she may say you need to cancel or your plans. But hopefully, your principal will help you find the right solution.
     
  19. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 7, 2015

    In my area, you only miss staff development days of you are seriously ill, and then you must make them up. They are not only contract days, but days required to keep your teaching license.

    As far as taking two personal days right before Thanksgiving? Not extremely likely, but you could always ask. On rare occasions at my school, it has been approved to take more time off than the 2 personal days, but the extra days are not paid, meaning they deduct your daily rate of pay for each day missed. We once had a teacher miss the first week of school because her son was playing in the Little League World Series. She was a veteran teacher, and if was an exceptional experience.
     
  20. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I think it is important to remember that although you have the job, you are still on probation and everything you do will influence whether you have a job next year. Nobody needs staff development more than a new teacher. No one needs to impress the principal more than a new teacher. I would be very reticent to ask for time off.
     
  21. Birdie86

    Birdie86 Rookie

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    Thanks this is exactly what I want to do and feel like it would be okay but then seeing what everyone else is writing terrifies me! I guess what I'm not fully getting is why going in with this exact approach would be risking giving me a bad name? Especially if I'm willing to cancel the plans in order to keep my job. And it was something planned before I got the job, not after. Forget the staff development days I understand I can't miss those, but my original 4 day trip or 2 if I use personal days I'm still wanting to at least try for but go about it in the right way...yet I don't know what that is.
     

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