A to Z Teacher Stuff ~ Teacher Resources, Lesson Plans, Themes, Tips, Printables, and more
advertise
Go Back   A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums > TeacherChat Forums > Special Interests > Student & Preservice Teachers



Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #11  
Old 11-29-2012, 01:27 AM
hbcaligirl1985's Avatar
hbcaligirl1985 hbcaligirl1985 is offline
Cohort
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 631
Huntington Beach, CA
Substitute Teacher
I urge you to think strongly about this. I know you feel you've been wronged, and you know what? Maybe you have. There are some people who should not be CTs. They may be fabulous teachers but horrible mentors and CTs.

I had a horrible experience in two districts. In one district I had a CT who let the students call me a c**t and would not stand by my disciplinary actions. My supervisor pulled me from the school and from another CT who was a dream and I would have been happy to work with. She got me in another district, but things got bad at home with my ailing grandparents and as such I was required to finish my student teaching at a year-round school in the summer in a different district. I've been to THREE different districts. Three. And the first two I feel I could never go back to. I could never face those ladies again. Part of it was me, part of it was them. I was lucky that my chances to be a teacher are not ruined forever.

YOU still have a chance. If you want to be a teacher, I implore you to take the high road. Teachers and people in power have the ability to make or break your career. It would be in your best interest to keep quiet and move on.

You may not like to hear it and you may think we are against you, but we have your best interest in mind. *I* have your best interest in mind. I understand the desire to be a teacher. I want you to be able to get a job when it's over. Let it go.
Reply With Quote

 
  #12  
Old 11-29-2012, 12:59 PM
Teacher41 Teacher41 is offline
Novice
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 60
Bros and hbcaligirl: Wow! Thanks for sharing your experiences with me. I'm so sorry that you had to go through all of that stress. It confirms my belief that those who work in higher education seem to their they should be immune from being held accountable for their actions. Unbelievable. I'm glad you both made it to the other side though. That gives me hope about my situation.

What happened does directly apply to me and obstructs my ability to complete my graduate program if not dealt with by human resources and possibly the general counsel representative.

I did email the dean to reiterate what happened and share my concerns that further action needs to be taken to ensure I can complete my grad program this spring - especially since I applied for graduation already.

I have already filled out all the required paperwork for a formal complaint. However, I will only file it once I'm sure that it's my last option to advocate for myself.

I do want to take the high road as you suggested, hbcaligirl. I also want to make sure that I can finish my grad program without any more issues. If I'm forced to file the formal complaint before the spring, then I will.

As for now, I will hold off filing the formal complaint. I have no desire to get a letter of recommendation from the department chair - and once I get my masters in education I won't need it anyway. I have great relationships with all of my graduate professors who have expressed interest in writing me a letter of recommendation when the time comes. Even my supervising teacher - who will supervise me again this spring when I finish the second half of my clinical practice - said she will write me a letter of recommendation if all goes well this spring.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-02-2012, 06:02 PM
Teacher41 Teacher41 is offline
Novice
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlottesome View Post
I would say that if you feel like you need to do this, than do it. However, you just need to weigh out how long this would slow up the process of you getting your Master's degree and being able to teach.
When I was a senior in college, the professor mistakenly gave me an 'F' in gym. I almost didn't graduate because of it, and the hoops I had to jump through to correct a mistake I didn't make were ridiculous and it was a very slow process. In higher education, as I'm sure you know, there are committees for everything! Trying to get all of these committees and hearings together, especially this time of year will yield very, very slow results. You need to decide if you're okay with that, and the possibility that this will affect your future as an educator. Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck.
HI charlottesome. I agree with you that everything in higher education is about committees and moves slower-than-a-snail's-pace. If I were to file my formal complaint now, it would most likely post-pone my student teaching until the fall of 2013 - something that I can't financially afford to wait for.

I can't believe that you had to go through all that for an accidental "f" for a gym class. That's just ridiculous.

I'm supposed to meet this week with two staff members (one still has not committed to the date and time suggested) to discuss my spring student teaching. But I don't know if that meeting will even happen.

I asked for a meeting agenda and specific details as to what the meeting will be about. One of the staff emailed me back a vague agenda but would not elaborate on the specifics which I find insulting and a bit manipulative as it's my academic right to know ahead of time what kind of meeting I'm preparing for.

One of the specific questions that I asked was, "Will I be continuing my student teaching as a normal student teacher or will there be punitive measures set in place that I need to be made aware of and follow, to complete my student teaching?" I think that's a totally reasonable question.

I asked for specifics so that they can't switch agendas on me at the last minute, and blind-side me with a completely different meeting agenda. I have a right to know if I'm going to be punished for making typical student teacher mistakes vs. given the opportunity for growth.

My previous evaluation scores, on a scale of 1-4 (with 1 being low) were all 2s and 3s. I even have an email from my former teaching supervisor who observed me, where she writes, "you are one of the strongest student teachers I've seen in this program." I plan to bring that email with me to the meeting, along with other email evidence and the 3-ring binder I filled up with lesson plans, student comment cards, and examples of rubric that I created for assignments to argue against any criticism of my teaching performance in the classroom.

This whole experience has left a sour taste in my mouth. There will always be conflict in any workplace environment, so it's not that I don't want to pursue a career in education as a teacher. It's just made me aware of what the politics are in the education field, how slow the process for conflict-resolution is, and how to protect oneself (document everything via email or in writing).
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-09-2012, 12:41 AM
pete2770's Avatar
pete2770 pete2770 is offline
Comrade
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 495
No.

In my opinion, it most certainly will hurt your job hunt. Whether you use people or not for references, as has been said in this thread, education is a small world.

You will be vetted thoroughly when you apply for jobs. Whether or not this or that is stated as a factor in the hire/interview decision, it will be.

Tread forward at your own risk.

I'm glad you patched this up with your supervising teacher (if I remember correctly, she threw you to the wolves at one point to save her own skin).
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-09-2012, 04:53 AM
hbcaligirl1985's Avatar
hbcaligirl1985 hbcaligirl1985 is offline
Cohort
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 631
Huntington Beach, CA
Substitute Teacher
I'm interested in hearing an update on how this meeting turned out. Teacher41 can you tell us anything?
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-18-2012, 01:05 PM
Teacher41 Teacher41 is offline
Novice
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 60
Update (conclusion pending...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbcaligirl1985 View Post
I'm interested in hearing an update on how this meeting turned out. Teacher41 can you tell us anything?
The deadline in early December for spring placements has passed. When I contacted the program director and dean to ask why I still haven't been placed for spring yet, the responses were evasive;

"hang in there"

"your request to contact schools yourself to find a placement is troubling as its already been explained to you that students are not allowed to secure their own placements."

Neither response answered my direct question, which makes me believe that, no, I will not have a spring placement after all. I'm very frustrated because I've already applied for spring graduation since I have completed all of my required coursework and only have the last half of student teaching to finish, which is only 7 weeks.

7 weeks!

And the program director can't find a teacher who would observe me for 7 weeks? I'd think any teacher would prefer a shorter clinical practice (the standard one for my university is 14 weeks).

In my previous meeting with the dept. chair and academic dean, I got the dept chair to admit she switched meeting agendas regarding her meeting with me and admit that her negative comments to me were intentional, unfair and inappropriate. However, the dept. chair did not admit to intentionally interfering with my spring placement; all she would admit to was that she told the program director not to find me a placement until I met with him, and yet when I tried to schedule a meeting with him, he refused to meet with me using the excuse that I had to meet with the dept chair first. This game went on for 7 weeks, wasting time it takes to contact schools to find teachers interested in hosting student teachers.

So I feel like I've been duped by the dept. chair and program director, who know how the academic system works. There was no academic reason to defer securing my spring placement as both knew I plan to graduate in the spring of 2013, and that they can delay my spring graduation by delaying my spring placement until the fall, citing that they just couldn't secure a placement for me at the last minute, which would be a blatant lie on both their part.

I have a meeting with the program director and my student teaching advisor this week to finally discuss my fall student teaching experience....7 weeks after the fact. Had this meeting taken place a week after my fall student teaching ended, I'm sure I'd have a spring placement by now. That is in the ideal world, of course, where students are treated with fairness. Clearly that is not the case with my university's MAT program staff. I passed my student teaching this fall with high scores, with the exception of the parent-teacher conference and a badly edited test being the reasons my mentor teacher ended my student teaching experience with her.



As a result of being misled and lied to about why the program director hasn't found a spring placement for me two weeks past the required deadline, I've decided to file a formal complaint with the university's general counsel which is at the top of the complaint pyramid, so to speak.

I will file my formal complaint tomorrow after my meeting with the program director and advisor. I emailed the dean asking him to meet this week before Christmas, as he's frustrated that I asked for permission to find my own placement since I complained to him via email that his staff - the program director and dept chair - have given me the run-around for the past 7 weeks, and that I would like to contact schools myself to secure my spring placement so that I can graduate in the spring and not delay my teaching career, etc. But he has not responded. So even more reason for me to include him in my formal complaint.

This is not the end result I expected when I applied to this MAT program 3 years ago. However, based on how I've been treated, it's my last ditch effort to self-advocate fair treatment from the staff in my program who have been dishonest and un-supportive which goes against the MAT and university's policies, obviously, with regards to the treatment of students. It should have been priority #1 to find me a 7 week spring placement as soon as my fall student teaching ended.

But the MAT staff's agenda has been to defer my spring placement which delays my completion of the program, for no logical reason as I have high evaluation scores, and a high GPA and good reputation with my MAT professors. The program director and dept chair may not like me personally but that's not an acceptable reason to delay my completion of the MAT program at my university. And that is exactly what they are attempting to do, in my humble opinion.

I need to advocate for myself and get the higher ups to hold these people accountable for their actions, and ensure that they follow the university's policy which is to find me a 7 week spring placement so that I can graduate in the spring.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-19-2012, 05:04 AM
pete2770's Avatar
pete2770 pete2770 is offline
Comrade
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 495
I sincerely hope everything works out for you Teacher41.

I don't envy what you've been put through. Be strong and keep us informed.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-19-2012, 08:45 AM
catnfiddle's Avatar
catnfiddle catnfiddle is offline
Maven
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 5,096
Central Ohio
Online English Teacher
I don't understand why they would delay you. If they don't like you, they would probably want to get you out of the program as quickly as possible. Now they've made it much worse for themselves. So sorry you're caught in all this muckery.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-19-2012, 07:07 PM
Teacher41 Teacher41 is offline
Novice
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by pete2770 View Post
I sincerely hope everything works out for you Teacher41.

I don't envy what you've been put through. Be strong and keep us informed.
Thanks pete2770.

Quote:
Originally Posted by catnfiddle View Post
I don't understand why they would delay you. If they don't like you, they would probably want to get you out of the program as quickly as possible. Now they've made it much worse for themselves. So sorry you're caught in all this muckery.
I don't understand why they would delay me either, catnfiddle. A few of my teacher friends suggested it has to do with politics related to me being a strong advocate for myself, and thus challenging the b.s. I've experienced first-hand with the dept. chair and program director.

I have even more material to add to my formal complaint letter after the meeting today. Prior to this new program director, the previous program director had been in her position for 35 years and gave students a lot of leeway as far as choosing the type of school and school district where they'd like to teach. She retired this summer, after she let me choose the private school in the school district that I wanted as she did for all student teachers.

As soon as I advocate for myself, (holding the dept chair accountable for her actions by getting her to admit she intentionally did things to undermine my progress to finish student teaching), that's when things started to happen; they delay my meeting for 7 weeks, give me the run around via email, then at the meeting I'm told I will be placed in a public school not a private one, in one of three districts that get a 5/10 rating (which isn't good, by the way) .This of course violates the previous program director's policies and I'll have to look in my grad school handbook to see if these placement policies are formal, or were just the informal "nice gesture" kind of the previous program director.

What should have been a cut and dry case of placing me in another private school in a good school district (otherwise why am I paying $20K a year for the past 3 years?!) for the remaining portion of my student teaching which is just 7 weeks. But no. They extended it to 8 weeks, and said that they could further extend it if I don't pass my TPA (the dept chair and program director are on the committee as our TPA videos aren't sent to our state's board of education for review, just to an anonymous committee of our grad school of education which is so small we (grad students) all know whose on the committee via word of mouth. It's pathetic because even if I do a superb job of the TPA, I assume I'll be failed out of spite on the dept chair's part. I'm probably jumping to conclusions, but so far I've learned that in higher education, politics and egos rule, school policies are disregarded, and students' rights (esp. those who advocate for themselves) are ignored, even when students go through the proper channels. That's what I've learned as a graduate education student in the past 7 weeks from my university's MAT program. I will NEVER recommend my university to anyone after this experience and when I get my license, I will probably move to another state to teach. I'm totally disgusted with the way I've been treated and can only hope by some miracle, I'm able to successfully complete my student teaching and pass the TPA this spring and graduate. Getting out of graduate school is just as hard as getting in.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-19-2012, 09:37 PM
EMonkey EMonkey is offline
Connoisseur
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,581
CA.
1st Grade Teacher
One thing you might consider is that schools which have a 5/10 score does not necessarily mean the teachers of the school are low quality. I have found that working in a more "inner city" school taught me incredibly valuable lessons about behavior management, differentiation, planning, working with a diverse population and many more things which can not be replicated with ease in a wealthy neighborhood. I also found working in some of the more challenging schools makes a teacher wanted in the the more affluent areas because the teacher will have those valuable experiences.

Also are you positive you will not want to or need to get a job in a public school? Having student taught in one will help you get one.

I am sorry you find it frustrating they are placing you in a public school; but is there a formal agreement they will place you in private schools?

My advise would be let it go and go to the school they have placed you at. My guess is the squeaking you are doing will not work out in a positive way. There is a new program director. The school, unless it is written in the agreement for the degree, do not have to make the new program director follow the ways of the retired program director. Maybe your intent is different; but the way you feel it is so unfair that you would have to be placed in a public school and the implication you give that the teacher you will be working with is poor quality based on the rating system makes you appear snobbish and not very knowledgeable about public schools. It also makes you seem unwilling to learn from the diverse people and incomes who attend the public school system. Not something that will come across well in reference letters.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
complaint, file, formal

Thread Tools

Forum Jump

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:43 PM.


Copyright © 1997-2010 A to Z Teacher Stuff, L.L.C.  All Rights Reserved.
Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.
Questions, comments, and suggestions: Contact Us
Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.