Help with "Why did you leave your last position?" Question

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by tash815, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. tash815

    tash815 New Member

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    Jan 9, 2018

    I am a special education teacher. I worked at a middle school in my home state for 4 years straight, and then back in August, I moved to another state for a better teaching salary. I was very excited for this move and the new elementary school. Everyone seemed really nice, and the principal seemed really caring. Once school started though, it became very difficult. I ended up resigning last week. The principal was a complete micro-manager and she had very unclear expectations. I swear, she would contradict herself in the same sentence. She yelled at another SpEd teacher for saying "I propose we do...." instead of "We propose..." at an IEP meeting. We had to talk to her and have meetings every time we wanted to do anything. There would be a reading program the SpEd department was willing to buy for me, and we had to clear it with her first. It was a very stressful work environment. I'm not the only one who felt this way. Many of the other teachers were just as stressed out with these conditions. One teacher was actually throwing up in the mornings before work, and sometimes, even when when she got to work. A lot of anxiety was going around, and it just was not healthy.

    I am planning to look for a different teaching position in another district, so, I am wondering if there is any advice about the best answer to give if I get asked about why I left?
     
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  3. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Connoisseur

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    Jan 9, 2018

    Well it's also going to come down to: how long did you teach at the new school and are you going to be able to get references from the school? That'll kind of dictate how you answer the question. It's just too bad we can't be brutally honest in interviews. I mean come on, we've ALL worked in places where the people were insufferable and just couldn't bear it any more, instead we have to finesse the truth. Can you do that? You could say "I was looking for a new challenge,'' or "I wanted to come to THIS school because x,y,z" (and then just kind of prop up the school that you're interviewing with so it won't really seem like you left a negative situation, but rather wanted to move to a positive one -- does that make sense?) But even still if they call and the references are less than stellar, that might be a tip off. However, you're SPED so they shouldn't hold that against you anyway. They NEED teachers! I'm pretty sure I got a Spanish teaching gig downstate NY without them even doing a reference check. They really needed me!
    Good luck.
     
  4. tash815

    tash815 New Member

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    Jan 9, 2018

    I was at the new school a few weeks shy of a semester. I'm not putting the principal down as a reference. I am going to use other teachers. A couple from this district and a couple from my last district. When I fill out the work history, I am going to ask the SpEd director if I can put her down. My hope is that my 4 years at my old school will outweigh the 4 months at this school.
    That sounds good. I'll try to be as positive as possible when interviewed. Some people have said to say "It wasn't a good fit." I'm not sure how that sounds to other principals.
    I hate that we have to finesse our way through interviews. I want to just say the administration was terrible and I didn't feel supported. :/
     
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Jan 9, 2018

    Could you put another person down for a reference such as the head of the special ed department or someone like that? You don't have to get a reference from the principal.
     
  6. tash815

    tash815 New Member

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    Jan 9, 2018

    My plan is to put down the Head of the SpEd dept as my supervisor. I'm just worried about interviews. I imagine they would see the short stint and wonder why.
     
  7. Jax123

    Jax123 Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2018

    I am kind of on the same page. I got a new special ed job this school year and hate every minute of it...it's such a negative environment. I have already applied for other jobs and will probably not go back next year even if I don't get a job. I don't think it's a problem to want to leave. I've known people to leave teaching jobs after a year and get teaching jobs else where. If the question comes up, don't talk about it...focus on why you want to work at THAT school/district. You don't have to use references from your current job. Use references from previous jobs. That's what most people do. good luck to you! I hope we get better jobs.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jan 9, 2018

    I actually committed the unforeseen sin for one job interview. I left a school much like yours and actually told the new P in my interview that I didn't like being micromanaged and with my years of experience, I shouldn't have to put up with it. I did throw in a positive comment explaining how I felt my skills would be a nice fit for the new school.

    I got the job and also received a compliment from the P for not being "just like every other candidate"

    I don't recommend that for everyone, but it worked for me.
     
  9. heatherberm

    heatherberm Comrade

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    Jan 9, 2018

    Be prepared with something about it not being a good fit but try not to stress about it either! I left a job around Thanksgiving of 2016 and I had kind of worked myself up about them asking why I was looking to leave in the middle of the year. It never even came up. They needed a teacher, they really liked me, that was that.
     
  10. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Jan 15, 2018 at 10:32 AM

    You were there for less than a semester? Why list it? Tell them your new house needed tons of work to just be habitable and you’ve been getting yourself situated these least 3 months
     
    alp123 likes this.

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