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Old 12-14-2012, 03:27 PM
Culturanta Culturanta is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 9
Merry Christmas! - You're Fired

Looks like the above scenario may be about to happen to me. I teach in a charter school that lays off teachers mid year. I came to the position with mostly co-teaching experience (I am a special education teacher). In my last school I was a rock star. I left because the principal who brought me in was fired and I got an opportunity to teach at a much more prestigious school.

I was given four sections of self contained students plus two additional co teaching sections. To say I have struggled would be an understatement.....a HUGE understatement. Managing my own classroom by myself has been extremely difficult. I had no curriculum so "class" was whatever I pulled off the Internet. I spent tons of my own money on supplies and whatnot as well, as all teachers do. My students were bored and disengaged most of the time...not all of the time, but most. I did not do a good job at all. On the plus side, I had a beautifully decorated classroom, did my hall monitoring as required and never had any negative interactions with administration. I was a very positive and friendly teacher and many of our students, who do not even have me as a teacher, feel close to me.

I have been observed once where I was dinged on procedures. It was supposed to be a formal observation but no paperwork was done. I also had a formal observation of my co teaching class which was not great, but OK.

This week I learned that I make about 10K per year more than many of my colleagues. I am also middle aged, being a career switcher.

So a week or so ago my immediate supervisor calls me in for what she calls a chat. No paperwork or anything, just a chat. She tells me that she "doesn't know what the students are doing in my room" and that she "has to think carefully about who to place in the room" with the students. She also mentioned enrollment going down and as an aside said "even though you're doing (name of club)....." then went on to say, in not so many words, that my teaching practice sucked.

Then this morning my first period students told me they were informed that I would not be their teacher second semester. To be fair, I am aware that the department is planning to redistribute the teaching assignments so it is POSSIBLE that is all it is.

Still, layoff day is next week, and I think I am going to be getting a pink slip.

Does anyone see a ray of hope here?
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:29 PM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 11,497
Based on what you've written here, it sounds like you're probably right. Having a pretty classroom full of disengaged students is obviously a problem.

I would recommend that you dust off your resume and start applying elsewhere. You might also consider taking some additional classes and picking up a few books on pedagogy.

Whatever happens, good luck to you. It seems like the worst time possible to be laid off before the holidays. I hope you have luck in securing a more appropriate placement.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:49 AM
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kpa1b2 kpa1b2 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,092
From what you've said I agree with Caesar. Having a beautifully decorated classroom is nice, but having disengaged students is a major concern.

You said that you have no curriculum, so "class" is whatever you pulled off of the internet. A textbook is a guide, not the curriculum. What are you suppose to be teaching? What are the state standards?

If you stay in this position, look at what your standards are and find ways to engage the students. Good luck in whatever happens.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:04 PM
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readingrules12 readingrules12 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,966
5th Grade Teacher
I think you are very honest and reflective. It is great that you can see the things that you did well, and things you need to work on to improve in teaching. Those are excellent traits to have as a teacher.

I agree with Caesar that dusting off your resume and getting some good books on pedagogy would be good. I would suggest Tools For Teaching by Fred Jones as a start. Also observing as many teachers as you can would be good. Possibly you can shock the P when the pink slip arrives and ask if you could still stay and observe some teachers as you'd really like to be the best teacher you can be.

Possibly the pink slip won't happen, but there is a good enough chance that I'd get yourself prepared for that moment.

Good luck to you.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:04 AM
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Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,929
Central Valley of California
High School English (Alt. Ed.)
I'm a little confused: would you be fired on the spot? Or the pink slip means you're done after the end of the school year in June?
Either way, all I can say is good luck, and I hope that you're worrying for nothing.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:36 PM
ecteach ecteach is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 923
God, this is terrible! Keep us posted. I will tell you I have a friend who I teach with now who was fired from a charter school. She loves her job at our school, and has fit in well. She really is a good teacher. So, that might be your ray of hope.
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:00 PM
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czacza czacza is online now
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 20,704
New Jersey
Grade 3
Given that you've had suspicions that admin was not happy with you as far back as September 25, you should probably prepare for the worst.

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Old 12-17-2012, 05:25 PM
Culturanta Culturanta is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 9
I will know for sure on Thursday or Friday. In the meantime, there is one small update. I finally broke down and actually asked my immediate supervisor (who is a dept chair, not an admin) if I was going to be let go. She didn't directly state No but did say that she would be "highly surprised" if that was the case and that she "did not know where that thought came from."

After our chat where she was critical of my practice, I sent her a thank you email to tell her I appreciated her candor and also to enumerate the things I am doing differently in my classroom to try to engage the students more, improve my classroom management, etc. She replied telling me to "hang in there," that I was doing a good job and that my commitment was evident every day.

She also said she had no idea who would have told my students that I was not going to be their teacher next semester and that I should not listen to them.

I am not sure I trust her. She never came out and directly stated that I was NOT going to get pink slipped.

And Linguist, FYI, this would be a "don't let the door hit you; don't come back in January" type of thing.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:38 PM
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czacza czacza is online now
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 20,704
New Jersey
Grade 3
So what are you prepared for?
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:42 PM
Culturanta Culturanta is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 9
I am prepared to lose my job at the end of the week. I just wanted to know whether I should be reassured by the response or not.
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christmas, fired, merry

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