Quit rather than be non-renewed--what now?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Kenz501, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I put in my letter of resignation, like I was advised to do, after the principal said that she was not renewing my contract. I guess it wouldn't bother me that much, except I've been more or less unemployed since last school year. I have a tiny freelance writing business, but if I had to depend on only that, I probably wouldn't be able to pay the bills. I applied for unemployment but was denied because I "quit my job." I didn't really have a choice; a non-renewal would have destroyed my teaching reputation; at least that's what I was warned about--being non-renewed is almost like committing some kind of crime; it's very hard to find another teaching position after that. It's not like a regular lay-off. I don't really understand why the unemployment people don't take that into consideration.

    To be fair. I realize that perhaps teaching isn't for me. I was completely upfront with my employer about having a disability, and the training still went by in a blur. I was still put in a position where I didn't know where to turn to get help with what I didn't understand, and I basically struggled blindly through the school year. I feel like they treated me unfairly, but I probably couldn't win a court case, so why not just move on?

    I signed up for help from vocational rehabilitation, but I wonder if I'm really going to get any help from them in a timely fashion. It's already been six months or more, and I still don't have another job, except for the freelance writing gigs I find on the internet. My savings are pretty much spent.

    I'm really discouraged. I didn't get a teaching degree just to sit around my house and look for work any high school student could do. Not to say I wouldn't be happy to have it, and pretty much any job right now, but I would prefer something I can do. I think I did what I was supposed to do. I registered with employment services, joined a teacher's union, and even signed up with vocational rehab. I don't know what other steps to take.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    What about one on one tutoring? A school setting did not suit but perhaps one on one tutoring could be an option, if you think content is not an issue.
    Or better yet, go a totally different career path, out of education. Perhaps a site like air tasker would help you in the interim.
     
  4. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Content's not an issue, really, but getting set up is. I have no idea how to advertise to the students around here, and the online market is hard to get into, too. I wouldn't mind, but so far I haven't had a lot of luck.

    At this point, I'm open to almost anything, but I haven't really proven my reputation as an educator around here.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I remember your previous posts, and I’d say you definitely couldn’t win a court case. While I understand that people do need assistance from time to time, there is also an expectation from the employer that you are mostly autonomous.

    What about other writing jobs? Newspaper reporter? Copy editor? Textbook or testing company?

    Whatever you try, remember that (disability or not) any employer is going to expect you to do your job without the need for constant assistance. The “you aren’t helping me enough” blame game won’t fly, and you will find yourself in the exact same position as now. I can already see that starting in the complaint that the vocational rehabilitation place isn’t helping fast enough.
     
  6. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Perhaps getting started through an agency that can pair you with students. I’m sure if you did a google search of tutors for your content area in your geographical area, you’ll have an idea of where these tutors are advertising themselves. You could even search Facebook groups for tutors, set up your own Facebook page, put up posters or pamphlets on community boards, air tasker type sites etc.
     
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  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    This.

    It is unrealistic to think *other* people will do the job for you and that you can just show up and deliver content while reading a script. Teaching is just one of many duties we are expected to do as an educator and WE have to take charge of our classrooms in virtually all aspects, which includes, but is not limited to, lesson planning and behavior management.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  8. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I signed up for vocational rehabilitation services before or around the same time that I put in my letter of resignation. It's been nearly six months, and they still haven't found me a job. I think I can claim that they aren't helping fast enough at this point, right?

    Two professionals, one my counselor at the employment office, told me that it wouldn't hurt for me to apply for disability benefits while I'm trying to get back on my feet, so I think it's pretty well documented, or at least will be, that I have a bona fide disability that does sometimes impede me in my day-to-day activities.

    I've continued to claim that having an autism spectrum disorder, or being mildly autistic, hasn't been a factor impeding me, but after three failed jobs after college, I'm beginning to think otherwise. Yes, I guess I have come off as needy to my employers or maybe co-workers. I have a habit of asking the same question again and again because I don't know how to word my questions sort of. It's a little more complicated than that; I'm not always sure how to show interest and things like that. I guess this isn't a common problem because no one at the places I've worked seems to be responsive to it after the first couple of tries.

    I also agree that it sounds like I'm making excuses. I've put off applying for disability because I didn't think I qualified for it. I'm an otherwise able-bodied person. I just have trouble communicating with people sometimes. Unfortunately, that's enough to take teaching off of my potential career list.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 9, 2019

    "I signed up for vocational rehabilitation services before or around the same time that I put in my letter of resignation. It's been nearly six months, and they still haven't found me a job. I think I can claim that they aren't helping fast enough at this point, right?"

    Just to put things in perspective for you, in my state there is a 10 year wait list once you sign up for vocational rehabilitation. So, 6 months waiting is a drop in the bucket.
     
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  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    My ex-husband has an ASD with comorbid OCD. He, too, denies that it interferes with his ability to work. However, his inability to hold a job long term says otherwise. The combination of his ASD and OCD progressed to the point where his daily life was affected severely. The two of us fell into a viscous cycle of me stressing that he needed professional help and him claiming that absolutely nobody did enough, ever.

    He only wanted jobs that he was unable to do because of the disability. He is an amazingly talented musician. People know this, and they honestly did want his services. Eventually people stopped hiring him because he had the reputation for being difficult to work with. For awhile, people were willing to help him be successful, but it never worked. Leave him alone, and he feels abandoned. Offer help, and he doesn’t know how to apply the help. Offer help with learning to apply the suggestions, and he asks why everyone can’t just help. When he is offered jobs that he can do with his issues, he doesn’t like them because they are beneath him. He feels he is wasting his training and talent as a musician by working a factory assembly line. He knows he could be successful as a musician, but nobody will help him.

    :banghead: :beatdeadhorse:

    Accommodations are fantastic, but at some point there absolutely has to be ownership from the recipient. I know this is more difficult for those with ASD, but eventually it has to happen. I work with a lot of students with ASD. Some work really hard and end up in successful careers where their limitations pose less of an issue. Other do not.

    As far as disability benefits, that is a really tough one. The issue EX faced is that he did not qualify for regular Social Security disability benefits because he did not have enough Social Security work credits to qualify. He did not qualify for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) because he was over the income limit. (My income was taken into account when we were married. Then he lived with his mother, so her Social Security was counted.) He is still working with disability lawyers to see if anything can be done. It has been eight years. EIGHT YEARS.

    I really wish I had answers for you. I know it is frustrating.
     
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  11. Kenz501

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    Wow, I did not know that. Well, they at least tested me and assigned me to a counselor, so that is something. I do still need a job, though, if for no other reason to keep my car so I can attend the vocational rehab meetings. I wish I wasn't so terrible at interviews. I could probably get enough confidence to apply for something like VIP Kid then.

    Yeah, that sounds a lot like me, down to the combination ASD and OCD. I have the advantage of being single, though, so hopefully I won't be considered as "over the line" for SSI, although my dad lives with me, or I live with him, as he currently pays most of the bills since my job will not even cover my car payments. (Of course I feel really bad about that; it's one of the reasons I want another job so badly)I was told the process won't happen overnight, though, and can take a few months before benefits are granted.

    I really do want to work, though, and it's just really frustrating when people "get in the way" and refuse to help me. I guess that's not really what's happening, but it's the way I see it. If I wanted to play devil's advocate, though, I could say that maybe I don't communicate my intentions well enough for anyone to know how to handle me. Yeah, that's a possibility. I don't realize it, though, and I don't like working with other people, usually, because of all of the communication problems I encounter, maybe they're on my end, but still you would think people would learn to listen. I wish I could just tell them, "no, I'm not some lazy jerk, dear coworker. I don't even know you, so how are you even making that assessment?" People are too quick to judge, IMO.

    I don't want to bug vocational rehabilitation so much, but maybe they would try a little bit harder to help me if they knew the whole story. I wonder if I should just tell them this is kind of an emergency?

    See? I don't think I would have ever thought of that on my own. I just automatically assumed that the people around here who tutor for a living are friends with the families they work for.

    I did a quick search. It seems like only the big tutoring companies have a presence online here, so I think they are more word-of-mouth around here. I don't know how to do that. Not that I'm not willing to learn, but I don't even know where to start with face-to-face networking.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  12. Unetheladyteacher

    Unetheladyteacher Rookie

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    Feb 9, 2019

    The big thing with having a disability is you need to learn to work with it. I have autism (mild) and anxiety and I learned to really be proactive in tackling my problems. I am organized, but it takes effort to do so, so I often set aside days where I have to tackle organization, that way I am not overwhelmed. I know a retired teacher in my family who is super organized, and she has taught me everything I know to stay organized. In addition, I tell the teachers I work with that I prefer email communication when things get busy, that way I have a hot minute to interpert what people say. I am also the list queen, lol.

    Point is, you need to use strategies to help yourself to see if you can make progress on your own. Every disability is different given the individual with the disability.
     
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  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    This person went to a restaurant every day. Every day he told the waitress he wanted pancakes. Every day the waitress brought these round, fluffy, cake like food with butter and syrup. Every day he would send it back complaining the waitress brought the wrong thing. He would pay his bill and leave in a huff because the waitress kept saying that she brought what he ordered. He would complain the waitress never listened to his order. Yet every day he ordered pancakes and kept getting the same thing.

    You keep framing your problem as the diner rather than understanding how to frame it as the waitress which is a problem with ASD. How can the waitress know you really wanted eggs if every day you tell her you want pancakes?
     
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  14. Kenz501

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    It's probably not just having autism. I could deal with that if I knew how to make up for my disability-related shortcomings I think it's more not really knowing how to work around it so well. I was diagnosed as an adult when I was getting my master's in Education; I was having trouble figuring out why I couldn't always keep up with deadlines and frequently misunderstood people when they told me something (well, it was more like I couldn't imagine the subtext of whatever they were saying; I just took it as they said it or imagined my own subtext, usually something to the effect of "this person doesn't like me, and that's just a way for them to be rude to me without me knowing.")

    I was relieved when I was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, as it answered a lot of questions. Of course, how to get real help, and to what extent this problem really affects me, are still unknown to me. It seems like I have to fail spectacularly just to figure out where I'm misunderstanding things.

    My latest teaching job, for example, the other teachers did try to help me, but I felt like if I was honest with them and told them I didn't really know what I was doing (I understand that's pretty vague, but I really didn't know how else to frame it at the time--what I was really having trouble with was I didn't know how to use the website that helps new teachers plan their lessons, but it took me months just figuring out (a) what was wrong, and (b) how to properly ask for help). I was under so much stress that I went home and cried. I understand now that what I thought I was asking and what I was actually asking were pretty different things, but at the time I was just too frustrated. I felt like I was given an impossible situation and I had nowhere to turn for help.

    I felt like it would be frowned upon by my boss and coworkers if I kept saying that "I didn't know what I was doing," so I just pretended to understand and tried to cope with not knowing how to do the job. No wonder I was let go at the end of the year, but I'm still not too happy, because all they would have had to have done was communicate with me a little more openly, give me a "safe" person to talk to when I didn't understand my job, and give me some feedback about my progress that wasn't related to state evaluations. I'm extremely self-conscious, and I don't like to do things when I don't know if they are the right things or not. I guess maybe that was asking for too much, though. Maybe that's why I never mentioned it and just tried to deal with all of the confusion.

    It is true that they didn't train me, but maybe they didn't expect that they needed to train me, or maybe they expected me to at least be able to communicate the problems I was having coherently.

    I did tell my boss I had an autism spectrum disorder, though. I guess expecting people to "read my mind" is a problem I have. I don't always realize I'm doing it, and when I was younger, I thought people were just being mean to me when they didn't see it my way. I'm beginning to accept now that it was probably at least partially me, though. I'm not sure if I'm going to improve much, though, because when people start throwing around words like "entitled" and "coddled" and such, I shut up. They aren't going to even try to understand, so why even bother explaining?

    I get it, but I really was not aware of how much "mind reading" I was expecting people to do until recently. I guess that's partially from keeping myself sheltered and saving most of my interaction for the people I think understand me.

    It's important for me to remember, though, that the waitress isn't being mean to the customer because she's giving him what he ordered, even though he probably wants some meal with the word "pancake" in the title, but just doesn't know what it's called. I get the point, though. I also get how frustrating it is to think you've asked for something only to get a reaction you didn't expect, but since it's happened to me enough, maybe I should try to find out what's causing the miscommunication on my end. After all, I'm fairly sure everyone I meet doesn't just automatically hate me, at least I hope not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    You are falling back into the blame cycle again. Stop it. I don’t know why you keep coming on here to vent the same thing again and again. You just aren’t an effective teacher. Teaching isn’t cut out for everyone and that’s okay. Move on and stop blaming your ex-coworkers. Ima Teacher’s situation very closely parallels yours and you sound exactly like her ex. You were offered plenty of help. The only difference is that you STILL expect other people to do the work for you and that is the only thing that you consider help.

    As we have ALL explained to you before, that is not how teaching is supposed to work. There is a certain degree of autonomy to the job. No one is going to hold your hand all the way through. You can’t keep using your autism as a crutch. One of my best teachers in high school was autistic and wheelchair bound due to his being a paraplegic. Guess what, he didn’t let either of his afflictions stop him from being one of the best teachers in the entire school district. He was that good and he always would say, “If you tell yourself that you can’t do it, then you won’t, so don’t tell yourself that because you are your own worst enemy.”

    And you said it yourself: You didn’t think the other teachers were helping — they were.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  16. Kenz501

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    I give up, okay? That's the way I feel, really; I have no excuse. There's still something wrong, though.

    I don't understand the people who think I failed on purpose, who think I didn't try, who think it's somehow still my fault even though I tried almost everything I knew how to do.

    I'm done. I give up. Close this thread already if it's going to become a situation where people claim "you "have no excuse" because so-and-so's autistic, and s/he functions just fine." I don't know what's wrong with me, okay? Autism spectrum disorder was a diagnosis. I just don't know how to do certain things, and it's really frustrating when people tell me over and over that I should just know how to do them anyway.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I am not happy that you are giving up. I just want you to acknowledge that YOU have to largely take charge of YOUR own destiny. You can’t go through life with the defeatist mindset that you currently have. Do you think rich people who started from nothing said to themselves, “I can’t do it,” all the time? No, they encountered failure after a failure, but they learned each time before they became very successful.

    It will only make you miserable if you continue what you are presently doing. My goal is for you to eventually say to yourself, “This is temporary. I know I’m in a slump now, but I’M going to get myself out of this mess. I’m smart and have college degrees, so I’m obviously capable. Now, all I have to do is apply my knowledge and find the right niche.”

    You don’t have to be a lead teacher to work in education. You can tutor, you can make tests for a testing agency, you can sub (no lesson planning needed unless you take on a long-term subbing position), you can be a teacher’s aide, etc. Why not try to go into special education to help other kids just like you (who have Autism)?

    YOU have options. All is not lost.

    Register at a temp agency and see what jobs they can line you up with.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  18. Kenz501

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    Oh, okay. Sorry for the initial reaction. I thought this was going more in the direction of, "stop whining and making excuses and go get a job you lazy pathetic good-for-nothing." I think I was mistaken, though. It could have been interpreted that way earlier, but not now.

    I'm totally open to registering at a temp agency, but shouldn't the employment office take care of all of that? Isn't that what they're for? I've gone to the employment office a few times, but a lot of their postings are a few months old and no longer hiring.

    It was recommended I try sites like Indeed.com, and so that's what I've been doing.
     
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  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    It’s okay! And please don’t go, you are welcome on these forums just like everybody else. I just don’t want you to prevent yourself from being successful. :)

    Have you thought about getting a special education authorization to work with students with special needs? I think you would be a positive role model to students with autism, in particular.
     
  20. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I've thought about it, but I'm beginning to just not trust the public schools. They're underfunded and apparently happy to overburden a new teacher. The last thing I need is to be so busy I don't know what to do with myself. I think I need to be pickier about the jobs I take, really. That was the whole idea behind resigning and signing up with vocational rehabilitation. I thought I was doing the right thing. The stress of not having a full-time job is getting to me, though.

    At this point, I'm just looking for a little "Plan B" or "survival" job to get me though the rest of the year and hopefully help me get through vocational rehabilitation training. Staffing agencies are a good idea, I guess. I just hope they keep their job postings up to date.

    Another problem I'm not sure I mentioned is that I live in a pretty small town. I moved here to teach at the local school, but now that I'm not doing that anymore, this is a bit of a hindrance to finding a decent job maybe.

    I just feel like I constantly keep undermining myself as a professional. It would probably be easier to find work if I didn't keep sabotaging myself.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Agreed, jobsearching is rarely fun. Why not try applying at private schools?
     

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