Should I stay or should I go?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by IrishDMBF, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. IrishDMBF

    IrishDMBF Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2017

    I am in my 4th year of teaching at a private catholic high school. For the last number of years my evaluations have been good and there have been no issues with my teaching. Although in my first year I did have some classroom management issues which I worked on with the previous administration and it has not been an issue at all for over 2 years. We now have a new administration. Since they have taken over, I have felt a lack of support from administration over various small issues that arose and recently there was one issue whereby one or 2 parents in a particular class went to administration about an issue without talking to me first. My AP took the parents side without talking to me and I was reprimanded. I was also told that the parents viewed me as unstable. Nothing like this has ever come up before.
    I am also in an Ed leadership program which for the most part does not affect my job or my teaching as my work for that gets done on the weekend. I have been told by admin that I need to quit the program to focus on my job. I will say that my AP is not certified and I also applied for her job when it was vacant.
    Following that meeting I had another meeting whereby I was told that I was being put on a "Performance Improvement Plan". This is not much of a plan. It is just a very vague letter written on school letterhead and does not state how my success on the plan will be evaluated and when. Needless to say I disagree with the plan but I signed it because otherwise I was told I would be fired.
    I started looking for a new position. I interviewed with a local public school and they want to check my references with my AP. They are aware that I have been having issues with admin but say that unless my current AP says something disqualifying they want to offer me the job. I tried to get a meeting with the AP this morning to give her a heads up but her calendar is full so I just sent her an email and let her know if she wants to talk, we can do that. I also said that I haven't made any decisions. I am worried that she will say something disqualifying out of spite and that I will get a pink slip from my current job.
    I am very torn. I like where I work and my day to day colleagues. I don't want to burn bridges. Walking into a new job mid year is not going to be easy either. However, there will be a significant pay bump and my SO is pushing me towards the new job. Long term I want to get into admin and there is no opportunity where I am now.
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 6, 2017

    It seems like your bridge is being burned from the other side already. Do you have a second or third reference your interviewer could call to balance out the potential negativity? That would be my suggestion. Also hoping that you have copies of your previous year reviews that show you were in good shape before current administration.

    My thinking is that your AP may welcome the opportunity to get you out of the school.
     
    vickilyn likes this.
  4. MrTempest

    MrTempest Companion

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    Oct 6, 2017

    Can you use your previous administrators as a reference? It seems like they are collecting paperwork to potentially justify your dismissal.
     
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  5. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    Oct 6, 2017

    They don't seem to want you anyway, and are working on a paper trail to justify getting rid of you. You'll be doing them a favor if you leave. I don't think they'll say anything negative at all
     
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  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 6, 2017

    It's time to leave this school.
     
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  7. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Oct 6, 2017

    My experience is that when teachers are put on an improvement plan, no one actually wants them to improve; it is just another nail in the coffin. You need to be aggressive and get the heck out of this school as soon as possible.

    Use previous administrators as a reference. Tell the new district that you do not want your current employer to know you are looking to leave until you have a firm offer on the table—this is common enough that most people will accept it as a reasonable excuse.

    Run, do not walk away from this school!
     
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  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    Here's my perspective as an administrator: they want you outta there! :(
     
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  9. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    Oct 6, 2017

    I would say it's time, unfortunately, to start looking for a new position. I'm very sorry they took the parents side and didn't take yours. It was rather mean and passive aggressive to go the route they did. I wish sometimes principals would actually be very concrete and tell what teachers need to do to stay rather than do this behind the scene stuff. Why can't principals just meet with a teacher if something isn't right?? Be upfront, and say you need to do this or that to stay, or just plane say, "thanks for being with us and your hard work but I don't think this school is the best fit for your talents. You will have a good word put in for wherever you want to get hired to use a reference". Principals shouldn't beat around the bush but I've noticed that many seem to do so, just hoping teachers will "get the idea". It's very weak in my opinion. Unless of course, the teacher did something really drastically wrong which doesn't sound like the case here. IrishDMBF, can you elaborate on the issue that caused the principal to take the parent's side? Have there been other quarrels recently with anyone at the school? I'm just curious to see what made them think of that way, especially since you work so hard to run a group after school, this takes time and is usually highly looked upon. Thank you and sorry you have to deal with this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  10. IrishDMBF

    IrishDMBF Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2017

    I told the prospective school to go ahead and contact for a reference as it had to be my current AP, no past ones or department chairs allowed.
    For the most recent incident that happened was one day in class kids were being kids and weren't listening so I said "Ok, take out a pen and paper and lets do a pop quiz". The kids did as asked and answered the questions. Then I said to them that it was not a quiz nor would it be graded but explained again what I wanted them to do with the answers to the questions which was make a chart. Apparently the kids went home and told their parents that I gave them a pop quiz and it made them anxious about how it would affect their grade. We are an SBG school which means I can't tie a grade to behavior which I understand. There was no grade and I explained this to the students at the time. I didn't think much of the incident at that time on that day.
    When I was called into the APs office she said the parents had said I had lost my patience and threatened their kids with a pop quiz which was against school policy and that the parents viewed me as unstable. I tried to state my case but got nowhere. I asked her how I could have handled this situation better and her response was "Teach". I was and still am flabbergasted.
    This is a private school and sometimes/most times tuition money talks. Like I said I have not had classroom management issues in years. At the time I viewed what I did as a teaching strategy which allowed the kids to get done what I needed them to do. To my knowledge I have not had any other issues with parents in the last 12 months. Quite the opposite, I often get emails and phone calls from parents thanking me for my communication and how I keep them informed. I get on well with my students and am respected in the school which is part of the reason I am so torn.
    However, I did witness an interaction today between the AP and another teacher where I realized it is not only with me where she can get defensive of her position but in fact say things that are flat out wrong and just awful management/administration strategy.
     
  11. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    Oct 6, 2017

    It seems like you did lose your patience and threatened the kids but I find it rediculous to call it unstable behavior. Just move on and realize you'll be better off in public in the long run.
     
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  12. IrishDMBF

    IrishDMBF Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2017

    Agreed. In hindsight, I did lose patience and probably could have handled the situation better but I don't think it is fair to call me unstable nor when I asked how to rectify the situation was told to teach. What I was asking for was advice and ways to keep my patience in a trying situation. Also I don't think this one situation should have precipitated a performance improvement letter (I refuse to call it a plan because it is certainly not that) given that my most recent evals have been fine (I was observed by the AP) and I have not been made aware of any other issues with classroom management. It all seemed to come out of the blue.
     
  13. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    Oct 6, 2017

    I don't think it's anything worse than any one of us have done. If I thought it was, I'd have no problem telling you.
     
  14. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    Oct 7, 2017

     
  15. mrsf70

    mrsf70 Rookie

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    Oct 7, 2017

    It's definitely time for a different position. And, while changing mid-year is tough, you will be happier in the long run.
     

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