My prinicipal got fired. Is it tacky to ask for a letter of rec?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by waterfall, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jan 8, 2017

    First of all, I am devastated. My P is great. My district got a lot of "new leadership" at the district level starting last school year. They are coming very nearby very wealthy school districts and think they can "fix" us based on things that worked with their totally different population. My P has been in the district for 20 years and is very dedicated to our community; she really advocates for kids without getting caught up in political nonsense or "selling out" IMO. She's been pushing back on a lot of district level initiatives so the district decided they wanted someone that "sees their vision."

    I worked for an absolutely horrible P before this and I am worried about the future. I don't agree with the direction my district is going with SPED. My P has been protecting our team big time. I actually thought about leaving at the end of last year when I heard about all of the changes and changed my mind when she promised she would make sure I was still teaching (rather than spending my day in "collaborative meetings" like the district wants), and she has. Even if the new P is good, of course they're going to go along with what the district wants. My concern with leaving is that I think everyone in the area is starting to do SPED the way my district wants to, and I'm finally non-probationary so I don't want to lose that. I'm afraid even if I found another resource position it wouldn't stay that way for long. I only taught gen ed for one year and that was many years ago, so I think it'd be very hard to get hired for that.

    Even though I haven't fully decided anything yet I would still like to have a recommendation just in case. Even if I stay, what if the new person hates me and I have no recommendation for the following year? It's just something I think would be good to have. On the other hand, I don't want to be tacky...my P is very well liked by teachers and families and I think this was quite a shock for her. I'm not sure how much of a chance a fired principal has for getting a job elsewhere, so I know she is having a very hard time right now. I have a prearranged mid-year meeting with her on Monday. I feel like that's too soon to ask/would be insensitive, but "job hunting" season starts in February here so I don't want to wait long. How would you approach this?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 8, 2017

    I think I'd give the new admin a chance. There are no guarantees that leaving will land you in a better spot (the proverbial frying pan to fire jump) Change is everywhere and we either adapt or are left behind.
     
  4. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Comrade

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    Jan 8, 2017

    She's been fired but you still have this meeting tomorrow? When does she leave? I would focus on offering support to her and getting advice on how to manage the change in leadership. Make sure you have contact info, then if you decide you want to look for a new position, you can contact her in about a month asking about a letter.
     
    czacza and Peregrin5 like this.
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Enthusiast

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    Jan 8, 2017

    I agree with waiting to ask for a letter. I don't think she would mind, but I think the timing is poor right now.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 8, 2017

    Your P described my previous P exactly, except for she was only here for 10 or so and she quit, she wasn't fired. I heard all kinds of horrible things about our new P and the school we were merging with and guess what? None of it was true for me. My new P is awesome and supportive. I was told she's a micromanager, and has favorites, and I haven't seen that at all, I know I proved myself to her, she likes my teaching and my approach to kids (she said) but I wouldn't say I'm a favorite. The new school turned out to be so much better than my old one, the kids, the atmosphere, the location, everything.
    So give the new P a chance, you never know. If you have been teaching a long time (and sounds like you have), I'm sure you know how to go with the flow. I wouldn't give up a tenured position with seniority for another job elsewhere that might end up much worse: no tenure, no seniority, the P could be much worse, things can change drastically and then you'd be job hunting again.

    I would wait on asking for the letter, if you have her contact info, you can ask in a month or so.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jan 8, 2017

    She's staying through the end of the year. It's basically like non-renewal for a teacher.

    I guess people who haven't had this experience wouldn't understand, but I worked for an absolutely horrible P and I'm afraid that will happen again. It's not necessarily just "change." I had literally the best test scores in the district, specialists and subs raved about my classroom management, had lots of parent requests, etc. and this person still absolutely hated me with a passion and did everything in her power to target me. Our new district leadership is coming from nearby districts that have become highly "political" and basically have been run into the ground. It's naïve to think they'll hire someone that isn't a match with their ideologies. If I end up with someone like that again, it's not just a matter of finding a new job the following year. A reference call with your current principal is a requirement to be hired in every district in my area. It was extremely hard to get hired because of this last time, and basically the only way it happened for me (and all of the others she hated) was because the union had her on something else and threatened legal trouble if she didn't give references that reflected the person's actual teaching ability and not her personal opinion of them.

    Of course I wouldn't leave unless I was sure the new situation was going to be good, but I would like to have that option. I don't want something to come up and not be able to apply because I have no letters. I have absolutely no interest in doing SPED the way the district wants, and the only reason we're not doing it this year is because my P has been protecting me at the district level (part of why she was let go, IMO). Every other school is doing it. We do our services that way the first couple of weeks of school, since we're not allowed to pull out right away and I absolutely hate it. My student teaching position for sped was in full inclusion too and I hated every minute of that as well. I dread the beginning of the school year because of this and count down the days until I can actually start teaching. I can't imagine having to do that job for an entire year! Even if the new P is absolutely fantastic, it doesn't really matter to me because I don't want to do this job. I've only been able to do the job the way I want to because of my current P. I've considered possibly trying to get into an interventionist position somewhere else in my own district.

    I guess I will wait a bit and see what happens. The district wants someone hired by Feb. (I'm guessing this means they already have someone in mind) so at least I'll meet them and I can do some research on their history. I do have my P's cell number so I guess I could contact her next year if necessary, it just wouldn't have as much weight because she won't be my current P then.
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Phenom

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    Jan 8, 2017

    It wouldn't hurt to get a letter from her now (and by now, I mean this school year). You can always just put in a file just in case.

    I cringed when I read that your higher ups brought in people from a different kind of population. Some folks can transfer over, but what works for one population does not always work for another.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jan 8, 2017

    If she'll be here through the end of the year, wait until February. That will still give you plenty of time to get that letter, and it will give her time to get her own emotions relatively in check. She'll certainly understand that you're looking out for yourself, and she's going to be doing the exact same thing with any of her superiors that she trusts.
     
  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    Jan 8, 2017

    How utterly devastating for your principal!

    Thankfully, since I taught in the same district where I was promoted to VP, they wouldn't be able to completely get rid of me. The harshest consequence they could give is to place me back in the classroom.
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jan 8, 2017

    They do have to offer her a teaching position (I think it's a union rule, a previous district had that too), but I'm not sure she'll take it. She's been principal for 8 years. Going back to teaching after that seems like it would be very awkward and embarrassing, especially since everyone knows her and knows the district fired her (TINY district, everyone knows everyone else). If she did take it, I can't imagine how awkward her new teammates would feel! I assume they'd put her in another school, but if a previous principal from another school suddenly became my teammate, I don't know that I'd ever truly feel comfortable with them. I think it would also be really hard for her to go from having a big influence at the district level and having a bit more control over policy to just being a "regular employee." I also don't know how plausible it is for a fired principal to get employed as a principal elsewhere. Our previous superintendent, who was absolutely fantastic and would have never have let this nonsense happen, is now super in a nearby district. I think he would hire her but that's also a smaller district and there are no current openings. I do hope things work out for her.
     

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