1st year not renewed -- what next?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by idiotprogrammer, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. idiotprogrammer

    idiotprogrammer Rookie

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    Mar 9, 2015

    I'm a first year teacher who was told informally that my contract would not be renewed.

    I have been scheduled for a formal meeting (a "conference of record") to make this nonrenewal official where it was recommended to have a union rep present. Shucks, I forgot to sign up for a union, so I'm flying blind.

    I'm in a big school district, and I'm concerned that a bad first year would jeopardize having any future with that school district. On the other hand, I had many of the typical first year issues and the ostensible reason for nonrenewal (being behind on paperwork and classroom management) don't seem that unusual or even surprising for someone in my position. I don't believe I have any aggravating circumstances for the school's decision -- though I thought one of my evaluations by my evaluator was overly harsh.

    (Let me say that this school year was unusually rough -- probably even by 1st year teacher standards; but that doesn't negate the core fact that the administration doesn't think I'm ready for their school). I think I have shown improvement, but just not fast enough, and the paper trail of evaluations/walkthroughs/etc is definitely dispiriting. I have worked a ton of hours and had no social life, but I also feel that administrative support was not as strong as it should have been.

    Do you have any recommendations for how to handle the rest of the year and the struggle to pursue another job? What should I look forward to at this meeting? I'm a middle age career changer, so I know a lot about the job market and private sector, but I confess I know little about a bureaucracy which is bound by layers of regulations.

    Let me say as an aside that despite the unreasonable workload in the first year I generally enjoyed my students; I just found the administration's demands unreasonable and unrelenting -- often to the point where it suffocated my ability to write lessons and organize classes. I suspect that my sentiment is not that unusual.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 9, 2015

    Was it necessary for you to opt-in to your union? Some unions are opt-out only, where everyone is a member by default unless they expressly withdraw.

    What specific reasons did they give for not renewing your contract? What areas for improvement were listed in your evals?
     
  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Mar 9, 2015

    A district in Texas recommended you have a union rep present at the meeting? I've never heard of that in Texas. I only know it happens because of this board. I've heard of people being advised to call their organization's lawyer though.

    What do you consider an unreasonable workload?
     
  5. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Mar 9, 2015

    How behind were you / what were the main complaints about the classroom management (or, I guess, what were your struggles, and what changes did you try to make)? - since those were the reasons you were saying they non-renewed you?
     
  6. msleep

    msleep Rookie

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    Mar 10, 2015

    They do not even have to give you a reason for non-renewal.
     
  7. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    Mar 10, 2015

    This is not the case in my district. Here, at least with teachers, the employee has the responsibility to join the union and give them permission to make payroll deductions. I was never an automatic member, I signed up at a new teacher conference given by my district.

    idiotprogrammer - May be you can still join the union. This happened to a friend a few years ago. She went to the union who refused to help until she joined. Maybe you can see if they will assist you if you join now.
     
  8. idiotprogrammer

    idiotprogrammer Rookie

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    May 14, 2016

    I'm the original poster, and I wanted to answer a question about what I considered to be an "unreasonable workload."

    I worked an average of 60 hours per week, and that was not enough to turn grades in on time. It was due to a combination of factors -- the subject matter, the larger than average class sizes, the first year problems. I don't mean to beat a dead horse; I'll just say that I recognize that the school was pretty dysfunctional, and I have made my peace with the fact that I did the best I could under the circumstances.

    By second semester I had caught up, but it didn't really matter.

    In retrospect, not joining a union was a mistake. The most interesting thing about that meeting that I alluded to was that nonrenewal meant being ineligible for other jobs in the same school district.
     
  9. NewTeacher2016

    NewTeacher2016 Companion

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    Jun 18, 2016

    .
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017

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