Lost my job, sharing my story, contract non renewal

Discussion in 'General Education' started by s0urplum, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. s0urplum

    s0urplum New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 9, 2018

    I'm just writing because I'm tired of being silent. I'm also writing in hopes that maybe someone will read this and not feel so alone or read this and be inspired to comment.

    I worked really hard to get my degree in teaching -- a master's degree from a top university in my area. I earned an outstanding GPA and was well respected by my professors and colleagues. I was lucky enough to student teach successfully in a particular district that decided to hire me as a full time teacher once I graduated- at the same school! My first half year was awesome. Kids loved me and I was given all advanced classes to teach. The following year I struggled a little with classroom management and I had all Spanish I classes and Spanish II. It was hard, but I got better throughout the year and my evaluations weren't bad (nothing to write home about, but nothing alarming). The next year I decided I wanted to try elementary EL teaching (in the same district). I was placed on the 5th grade team. This was my second year teaching. I loved the school but soon things began to change. I had to go in to other teachers' classes and co-teach, but they had a very specific way they wanted me to do that so I just did whatever the told me to do. This was a new concept for me. I felt I never could teach what I wanted. These two teachers in particular would correct me in front of the kids and if I taught an activity a certain way, they'd tell me there was one particular way to do it even though they'd never shared that with me before. I kept silent because I just figured it would be better for me to continue to pretend like they were right and make them feel important.

    One day, they both pulled me into a "meeting" during my lunch block. This would be one of the worst days of my life. They attacked me saying they didn't want to have to reteach what I taught wrong and that I should learn the content . I knew I sometimes got it wrong, but always made an effort to review the content when possible (when they'd give me notice of what they were doing). I told them I was sorry and that it was my first year teaching his so that might be why I didn't know it fully. They continued to say things like "Yes, but I had to learn it too, and I don't have to plan because I've worked here 9 years but YOU do." These were seriously their words. I excused myself and my other colleagues told me to go to the principal. When I did, she said that they had been going to her for a long time with complaints about me (behind my back)! I was furious. She then said I could learn from these teachers and that she would facilitate meetings with them. I was so mad. I wound up the behavioral health unit that night because I wanted to kill myself. I took a day off but explained to the principal in an e-mail that I was in the hospital and that I was angry (I regret this but I can't change it) and that I didn't wan to to work with these teachers in after school clubs or any additional capacity. She then replied back saying to go to HR where I went with my mom the next day, where they informed me that "the other teachers have seniority" and that "the principal would always believe them over me" and that the principal wanted to non-renew me and so that I should resign. So I took a leave and am resigning at the end of the year. After two years working for this district, I am furious, ashamed, surprised, you name it. For a long time I thought I would commit suicide. I'm in intensive therapy. They didn't even tell me I could go get my stuff from my classroom (thousands of dollars worth of resources I spent for nothing). When I think of those teachers, I just think "why?". All my other colleagues sent me flowers to my home saying they missed me. I really did work hard there-- those teachers just didn't see it at all. They thought I was lazy.

    I am going into a non-teaching job in May. I am completely turned off from teaching even though I considered it my life. I feel broken but hopeful things will get better. Months later, I'm still SO mad that I can't describe it.
     
  2.  
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,482
    Likes Received:
    2,496

    Mar 9, 2018

  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,148
    Likes Received:
    1,301

    Mar 9, 2018

    I am relieved to see you are in therapy. Trust that process and work through what has brought you to this point. Not every teacher candidate is meant to be in a classroom, but not every school is right for a good teacher candidate. Part of your therapy might be to explore which of those statements fits what has happened in your life.

    No matter what, PLEASE continue your self-care. If you're starting to feel suicidal, especially if you are starting to make plans, keep that number Caesar posted on your phone.
     
    anon55, Zelda~* and futuremathsprof like this.
  5. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    847
    Likes Received:
    511

    Mar 9, 2018

    It is so sad to hear of your plight - I wonder how many other teachers have had to endure such torment? I think the important lesson for others is to heed the warning signs of when to bail out (this applies to any job).

    With the exception of comtemplating suicide, I can personally relate to EVERYTHING you described. My problem was that I never paid attention to the warning signs (e.g. shingles) and was always searching for the end of the rainbow. After spending tens of thousands of dollars on three graduate degrees from well-known universities, I naively went from one end of the spectrum to the other hoping to find a school (5 districts) where I could practice the trade without being hobbled at every turn. For a time, I even made the stupid mistake of going into administration! Thirty-three grueling years later and with many deep scars to show for it, I was finally able to leave it all behind by retiring. It's better that you just think of it as a terrible nightmare and move on to something better. Thank God that you survived and another door has opened. May is right around the corner!
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
    Coloteacher and futuremathsprof like this.
  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,044
    Likes Received:
    593

    Mar 9, 2018

    Please do not commit suicide! Us teachers here on AtoZ care, so please don’t think you’re all in this alone. You didn’t do anything wrong, except maybe be more tactful when you write to your principal. I’m not saying you were in the wrong, however.

    Sometimes you just get the short end of the stick — it can happen to the best of us. This does NOT mean you’re a horrible teacher. You just didn’t click with those two teachers, who, by the way, sound very unprofessional based on how you described them...

    Your career is not over. In fact, it’s just getting started. Get well and go find your own classroom and make a positive influence in students’ lives! They need teachers who are passionate like you.:)
     
  7. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,793
    Likes Received:
    276

    Mar 10, 2018

    I'm so sorry you went through this. As someone who's hopped buildings and grade levels, it can take a few tries to find a good fit. Don't give up!
     
  8. s0urplum

    s0urplum New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 10, 2018

    Thanks guys! It really means a lot that you took the time to reply!
     
  9. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,237
    Likes Received:
    258

    Mar 10, 2018

    I've had some crappy jobs that pushed me to the brink. I took some time off, and came back to teaching..actually a couple of times. In the end, we wish those who think they know it all could climb back in their caves. That was a nice way of putting it. You did the right thing by getting out before you totally lost it. Good for you to take some time for you, and look at alternate positions. When you are feeling better, try tutoring, subbing, charter schools, private schools, consulting, etc. If teaching is what you want, go for it. The school building and some insensitive human beings inside who called themselves teachers should not control your life. You can teach outside the box. Don't feel trapped.

    Get names and numbers of friends you made. Ask them for reference letters. And ask them to look around the room, grab your stuff and mail it back to you!! Offer to reimburse them mailing packages. That is your stuff and you are entitled to it. Make a detailed list and ask the principal if he/she could have it boxed up and returned to you. It's the least they can do!
     
    Coloteacher and kpa1b2 like this.
  10. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,121
    Likes Received:
    1,033

    Mar 11, 2018

    It's unfortunate that in this already stressful profession we get attacked by rotten and poisonous co-workers who in my opinion shouldn't be in the classroom anymore. And I'd like to think it's isolated to a particular school or region, but it's not. In every school, in EVERY state, there are teacher colleagues who just shouldn't be in the classroom because of their attitudes and behavior towards their colleagues. I don't care how "amazing'' you are in the classroom, if you are a piss - poor colleague, you shouldn't be there. And yet due to tenure and seniority and all of the these things, some teachers walk around like they run the show, and sadly, some do. It's my opinion that seasoned teachers should go out of their way to mentor/ guide/ support newbies understanding full well that we all start somewhere, but sadly-- and too often -- the older teachers ARE the reason why new teachers burn out and quit. If you're on a toxic team, it just seems like there's no getting away. I always suggest going around and finding "your person'' even if they don't teach in your grade level or content area. You'll always be able to find at least one teacher with whom you can share and seek support. And often times THOSE teachers are burned out and fed up with their jack - a** colleagues so by meeting YOU, it could also help them. I've had so many teachers say how "refreshing'' my passion and sense of humor is. I think there are a lot of miserable teachers in the field who just need to retire already or move on. They should lower the retirement age of teachers so that we can always make sure that there are fresh and motivated people in before they change. Or alternatively, teachers should be evaluated on their dispositions like we are in college. If you're a horrible person, you shouldn't have a job.
    In fact when I interview now I specifically ask about the team relationship because I really want to know what kind of people I'll be working with. For me that's a non - negotiable. I really want to work on a team where the people are genuinely positive and supportive of each other. Even if you have disagreements, I still want to know that there's love. On some times, however, they're all in it for themselves and are totally cut -throat. That's not my style.
    Hang in there and no matter what job you do, find your person.
    :):heart:
     
    Coloteacher and Been There like this.
  11. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    50

    Mar 11, 2018

    I hope you realize that not all teachers nearing retirement are Jack "rabbit" colleagues! These teachers near retirement can also be positive and supportive and still have the passion. Please realize that many "new" teachers come in and think they know more than anyone else!
     
  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,121
    Likes Received:
    1,033

    Mar 11, 2018

    I agree. It's never "all.'' I'm just saying it happens. And a lot of us newbies come in all fresh and enthusiastic -- with great ideas as we've just learned about the latest trends and instructional practices -- but then are quickly met with a lot of negativity and opposition. I've worked with so many teachers who basically shut the new teachers down by saying "Oh, that'll never work'' or "You can't do that.'' It's very discouraging. There are definitely veteran teachers who are just as passionate and enthusiastic now after 20 + years as they were the first day. In fact when I sub I hang out with my old teachers and just chit - chat, it's nice to see them now as colleagues and I constantly tell them how awesome they are and how lucky all of the students are to have them. But there are also just as many who shouldn't be teaching any more as well.
    It's just a reality of this profession. It's unfortunate but the OP just happened to encounter ''those'' types of teachers.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,482
    Likes Received:
    2,496

    Mar 11, 2018

    You were evaluated on your disposition in college? That seems weird.

    Mostly what I think it boils down to is that, as in other jobs and in life in general, you need to seek out the kinds of people who make you feel empowered to do your best work. If you aren’t getting what you need from the people in your circle, expand your circle. Keep expanding until you find what you are looking for.

    You may not agree with this position, but it’s not the responsibility of other teachers to teach, guide, or mentor other teachers. That sort of thing is nice when it happens, but it’s not the focus of our job, unless we are designated mentors. It can be exhausting and draining to teach a new person how to do his job, and this can be made ten times harder when the new person comes in without certain requisite skills. (This doesn’t necessarily seem to be the situation in OP’s case, which seems to me more like a bad fit in terms of school, grade level, team, and/or content.)

    As for myself, I love to guide new teachers and offer support and advice. I don’t love doing this when I encounter a new teacher who knows everything about everything already or who carries an attitude that seasoned teachers are old and therefore out of touch. While it may not feel good to have an idea shot down, sometimes veteran teachers really do know a little something, probably because we have tried the same thing and had to deal with the fallout of a spectacular failure, one that we want you to avoid.

    I used to be very idealistic. In many ways I still am. In other ways, especially when it comes to factors far beyond my control, I accept that some things are what they are and I don’t burn myself out trying to change them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  14. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,237
    Likes Received:
    258

    Mar 12, 2018

    What I’ve seen in preschool are some TA’s who are manic-depressive or straight up bullies. Or one teacher who likes to boss everyone around. Everyone except the newbies knows the madness goes on. Admin either is too scared or too dumb to get rid of these toxic people. Seriously - they must fear them because nepotism runs rampant in the school systems or worse - the admin needs this person to stay alive. An adminstrstor who can’t do her job depends on this bully. She’s been there from day 1, knows the program, and friends to all parents. They are the worse.

    These people go out of their way to intimidate new teachers. Will never be lead teacher because they think they don’t need a degree! So they make every lead teacher who enters THEIR room miserable.
     
  15. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    847
    Likes Received:
    511

    Mar 12, 2018

    I'm sooo glad you landed a non-teaching job! Maybe it was my bad luck, but I had to work in highly toxic schools for over 30 years even up until my last day of work. Been there, done that.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Lisabobisa,
  2. czacza,
  3. TrademarkTer,
  4. MrsC
Total: 499 (members: 6, guests: 452, robots: 41)
test