Pigeon-holed into one grade?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by talknteach, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. talknteach

    talknteach Rookie

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    Apr 7, 2019

    Hi! Have any of you ever been pigeon-holed into one grade, and if so, how did you get out of it? I taught 2nd grade for 8 years and 3rd grade for one year at my first school. Then we moved to a new state and I taught 3rd grade for 2 years. My last year, I did a 3rd/4th split. We moved again and I applied to every job posting, K-5th but the only interviews I could get were for 4th or 5th. I joked abut it at the time, that all anyone saw on my resume was that one mention of 4th grade and they pegged me for a 4th grade teacher. I got hired to teach 4th and have just spent 3 years in 4th. I definitely want to go back to lower grades and I told my principal that. She said she sees me more as an intermediate teacher but she would remember what I said.

    Well, my school lost a position this year due to declining enrollment and I am the one who got cut, because even though I have three years there I am the newest hire. :( I am interviewing all over again, in the same district. I decided this was my opportunity to go back to primary so I am only applying for K-3 jobs. I am clearly stating in my cover letter that although I enjoyed teaching fourth grade, I really love the primary grades and want to move to one of those grades. Out of 9 posted jobs I applied for, I have only gotten 3 interviews and did not get any of those jobs. In fact, at the first interview where they were hiring both a 1st grade and a 2nd grade teacher, the principal started off by introducing the fourth grade teacher she had invited to the interview, because they also have a 4th grade opening and I'm a fourth grade teacher, right?

    Have any of you dealt with something like this? How did you convince people that you are a great match for the job you want, not what they think you are by glancing at a piece of paper?
     
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  3. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    Apr 7, 2019

    Probably not what you want to hear, but be persistent, keep interviewing, and accept the offer whenever it comes even if that means an offer coming your way right before school starts.
     
  4. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    May 18, 2019 at 12:32 PM

    I've been a special education teacher and trust me, the pigeon holing in SPED is nothing like general ed. People saw SPED only. I would go to job fairs and make sure my SPED certification wasn't on my resume or my ID.

    It took a while but I did find a principal who respected my opinion that while special education was an experience, I didn't love it and those students deserve a teacher who loves that job, not just doing it for a paycheck. I ended up in 4th. I loved 4th. 4th IMO is just right. They have the testing experience yet they're still willing to learn new ways. In 3rd they're basically Tabula Rosa, and you're painting on a blank slate trying to get them out of primary/babyland. I've taugh 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th. You will find the right principal who believes in teachers getting experience all around. They are out there, LOL. You just have to find them and keep trying. You may have to try for 3rd and play up how you can get them ready for 4th grade.

    4th is the grade no one wants because childrne today CANNOT write. We aren't dummies and have a good grasp of grammar so I don't understand why common core and whatever changes the way writing and grammar was taught when we were in school. The 80s-early 00s didn't do us wrong but mid 2000-present writing curriculum times are doing these technology based children so wrong.
     
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    May 18, 2019 at 12:57 PM

    I love fifth grade. That said, I’ve taught fifth for 11 years and am in desperate need of a change. I taught 4th for three years before I moved to fifth, and I cannot get out of fifth grade! My principal refuses to move me because it’s hard to find good fifth grade teachers.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    May 18, 2019 at 6:42 PM

    I taught 7th grade for 17 years.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 19, 2019 at 8:18 AM

    Apply for everything, regardless of grade. You can request a grade change after a few years in your new job.
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    May 19, 2019 at 11:17 AM

    :yeahthat:
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    May 19, 2019 at 1:43 PM

    Around the time when contracts are renewed at the private school where I work, we are asked if we would like additional duties next year and/or a change in our teaching schedule. And on this form, we can put if we want to teach different grade levels and/or different subjects. Obviously, if our position is difficult to fill then you have less wiggle room, but I’ve done this on multiple occasions and have taught every high school math from Advanced Pre-algebra to Calc 3. I do this because I like variety, but with my new admin position I am pigeonholed into teaching AP Calc BC and Calc 3, which I’m still totally cool to do as I absolutely love teaching math.

    So, I would just like to mirror what another respondent said and recommend for you to apply to any elementary position, really, and just wait it out until you can request a change. Considering the alternative (unemployment), I think teaching 4th grade isn’t all that bad, don’t you think?
     

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