6 interviews IN MY OWN DISTRICT

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Sarge, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    And no job.

    These are requests to TRANSFER. I've been with the district almost 20 years.

    Last year, my P. moved me to a classroom that was less than 500 square feet. Ed code says rooms in grades 1 to 6 should be at least 960 square feet or 30 square feet per student. I have barely 20 square feet per student. This is literally the worst room in the school, if not the district. Can't even open the door due to playground noise (less than 10 feet away).

    She made me move because a room was needed for a 6th grade English teacher. I have a credential, NCLB certification, and experience teaching 6th grade English. At the time I asked if I could take the 6th grade English position. Without giving a reason, she said no. I was to stay in first grade and teach in the small room.

    Fast forward to this last spring. First of all, our district offered a golden handshake, freeing up positions in K, 3,4, and 5. Our P. sent out an email if anyone was interested in changing grades. I immediately replied that I was. I got no response.

    Then she dogged me on my evaluation. An overall satisfactory but it said I wasted class time because I take my kids to the playground too much (I don't, and feel bad about it because they go crazy in such a small room). Honestly, though, it wasn't a good year.

    The small room makes me crazy - there's no way to walk around without stepping over kids. This makes me lose my focus and adversely affects my lesson delivery. The acoustics and the size of the room make everything louder. My ears now ring constantly.

    And I'm also getting burned out in first grade. That's been going on for a while. I've been teaching the same scripted curriculum for 12 years and really want to do something different.

    When I saw the open positions posted on Edjoin, I went back to the P. and asked why I can't change grades. I told her the room was making me crazy. I told her I wanted out of first grade and why. Again, she said no and told me she wanted me to "master" first grade before she moved me. I PEAKED IN FIRST GRADE LONG AGO. I told her that I did not think I could ever be a good teacher in that classroom. SHE NODDED IN AGREEMENT. But still did not let me change grades.

    So I applied for one of the open positions on Edjoin. I wanted one last chance to plead my case. By contract, she had to interview me. After the most surreal job interview in my life, I was never contacted as to whether I got the position. I found out I didn't get the position last week when the new fifth grade hire came to a planning meeting for a committee I'm on.

    Meanwhile ....

    I started to think that maybe it's time for not just a different grade, but a different school as well. So I start applying for open positions around the district. I have credentials and NCLB certification to teach elementary, English (to grade 9), history, geography, economics, and government. I have solid experience in grades 5, 6, and middle school history and English. I also taught high school social studies for a year.

    Well, I have been to six interviews. All for grades or subjects I've taught. Two schools I interviewed me for FIRST GRADE - the job I'm currently doing now and have been for 12 years. Nothing. In every case it was "Thank you for interviewing, but the team decided to go for someone who was a better fit."

    Keep in mind, these are transfers, not new jobs. There is no increase in salary, no change in status. They have to keep paying me either way. I'm a permanent, tenured employee of the district.

    All of this results from a little blurb in our contract - most contracts probably have this language - that says "The district determines the time, place, and manner of instruction." That means they decide who teaches what and where. The district has passed this power down to the principals.

    We're a small district where everybody knows someone or a lot of people at other schools. All of the principals know each other by first names. I'm starting to wonder if there's not more to what is going on than I realize.
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hugs, Sarge. The cold shoulder you're getting certainly doesn't fit with what you show here on A to Z; I think you're entirely within your rights to wonder what on earth is behind this.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm with TG--this just doesn't make any sense to me.
     
  5. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Principals are a tight-knit bunch, in my experience. Sounds like she has some sort of axe to grind. Do you have a union? They might be able to help with the issue of square feet per kid, but not your actual classroom assignment. I'm sorry you are in this situation.
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Was this principal new to your school recently? (Last year or two)

    I'm sorry you are being treated this way. It sounds like she is ruining your reputation. :(
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Are they seriously just crossing their fingers you'll quit entirely? :(
     
  8. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    That's horrible. :( I'm so sorry you're being treated like that.

    Your principal sounds like a real piece of work.
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I can't believe that! It definitely does sound like there is more to the story than what you are being told. You would think that for the amount of years you have been with them they would be a little more accommodating, but apparently not. Keep us updated if anything changes.
     
  10. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I agree :thumb:

    Seems like your P wants to keep you in your place and is being spiteful. :(

    I hope you can find a great position in a different district for your (mental and emotional) sake. :love:
     
  11. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    They probably are worried they couldn't get someone else to work in that room! ;)

    When you interview, what reason do you give for looking for another position (I'm just curious, I think it's a very awkward situation all-around)? It definitely does sound like maybe this P is talking to the other P's. There's no other explanation-especially for someone with your experience.
     
  12. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Often times it means they had someone in mind BEFORE they even POSTED the opening.

    A guy in my building applied for an administrative opening had his principal certificate, etc.. One of the questions they asked him was, "Have you done any grant writing?" His answer was "No." The position never required any grant writing, but they had a reason to reject him. And, although he had his principal license in hand, they hired a woman who was still working on her principal's certificate and they got an "Emergency certificate" for her from the state.

    They knew who they wanted before they even started the interviews.


    :confused:
     
  13. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    It almost sounds they are trying to force you out. Are they hoping if they make you miserable enough, you will leave? It sounds like you may need to look in another district, unfortunately.
     
  14. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    My principal has admitted to calling other principals and asking them not to take one of our teachers as a transfer. In that case, the principal wanted to keep her. Same thing could easily be happening to you.
     
  15. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Sarge,

    I am sorry that you are going through this. I can't believe you are still teaching the same programs after 12 years. Things become monotonous after several years. I think that I would ask for qn explanation from my P.
     
  16. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I would hope this is the case...but they're making things so miserable for him. Why? It seems you, Sarge, are a fantastic teacher!
     
  17. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Our contract and its interpretations are such that unless it involves hours, pay, or specific language, you're are on your own. If they want you to be miserable by making it impossible to do your job, they're fine with that.

    Conspiracy theories abound. That's one of them. What's interesting are some inconsistencies. A second grade teacher also teaches in one of the tiny rooms. Last year, they offered to let her change grades in order to get a big room. A 5th grade teacher was told she had low test scores after being in that grade one year. Our P. told her that she would be moved to another grade if they didn't go up. That's the exact opposite of what I was told when my performance was deemed below par.

    The problem is that I don't really know what, if anything, I did. We have always gotten along very well. I've defended her from critics, and done many favors for her. We have a handful of union hotheads who file grievances left and right, but I'm not one of them. I am, however, friends with most of them and often seen talking to them before and after school.

    And I'd take a pretty big pay cut if I went to another district. I wouldn't have a problem with that unless it affected my retirement.

    They probably couldn't get anyone from the district who already had a job. But they just hired a new third grade teacher who student taught first grade. She would have gladly taught first grade in my room. In fact, she probably would have preferred that. Our new fifth grade teacher spent all of last year as a long term sub in third grade. It's almost like she's not just wanting to keep me in my unpleasant situation, but going to a lot of trouble to do so.

    I say that I've been in first grade for a long time, and talk about going to the high school graduation and watching my first class graduate. Then I say that I feel it's time for a change and that I want to go back to upper or middle grades. When I was interviewing for a first grade position, I said that I knew many of the staff from a previous school and wanted to work with them because I thought highly of them. At another school I said that I wanted to work there because the school has a strong sense of community (it really does) and a population with strong parental support.

    But if my P. wants to be rid of me, then she should do more to help me transfer. She could start with not slamming me on my evaluation. As much as they might like me to quit the district, it's unreasonable for them to think I'd do so willingly. As I said, I'd take a pay cut.

    As I said, she would have been nicer to me in my evaluation if that were the case. The funny thing is that if I really am as bad in first grade as she says I am, then why keep me there? First grade is pretty critical and if you ask me, a bad teacher in first grade does a lot more damage than a bad teacher in upper or middle grades.

    I honestly don't think keeping me in first grade is doing the kids any favors. I also should mention that I know most of the kids who will be in fifth grade next year, I know many of their parents, and which ones a phone call home works and which one it doesn't. Both of the other two fifth grade teachers said they'd prefer me to someone off the street for that very reason. Yet, one of the reasons the P. gave for not moving me was that she doesn't think I could handle the behavior in upper grades. I taught 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades for six years in schools far rougher than ours!

    And the other four first grade teachers wouldn't mind at all if I changed grades because they know as well as I do that I'm pretty burned out there.
     
  18. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Hmmm...so many things about this story don't sit well with me.

    Hope this doesn't offend you, but do you think your grade-level team is telling your principal that you're worn out and need to retire? Are you eligible for a golden handshake? Maybe they're trying everything possible to push you out?
     
  19. bison

    bison Habitué

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    What an unfortunate, bizarre situation. Hope you're able to figure it out. I agree that it sounds like they're trying to push you out. I can't really think of another explanation. Are there other districts that would start you at the same or almost the same salary step you're on? I'd do everything possibly to switch out of such a miserable situation, unless you think the P might leave soon.
     
  20. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I think you may have a fight available. The principal has implied that first is not a good fit for you. You have agreed and asked for a new placement. New placements are available. She refuses to place you in one of the other grades. I would go an talk to the union and see if there is a way to fight that. It is amazing how many ways you can interpret contracts. If she tries to put you on PAR you will have a fight then because you can then claim you requested a new placement and she refused and you have explained that you think you will do better in the upper grades. In order to follow through with PAR (as far as I know) she would need to comply and then prove you are not improving in a new grade level.
     
  21. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Yes, an anonymous message to the fire marshal might solve a lot of problems for you.
     
  22. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    :hugs: Oh, Sarge - I wish I knew something (besides contacting your union) that would help! My prayers are with you!
     
  23. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    We have one principal in our district who is well-known for holding grudges. There are several people in her building whom she cannot stand, but she does everything in her power to keep them there; you would think she would help them leave, but it is like she would rather make them miserable by keeping them there and treating them as poorly as she can get away with. When I was union president several years ago, I wanted them to file a hostile workplace environment claim, but none of them would take the chance.
     
  24. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    This is my :2cents:, but have you just come out and asked your P what the deal is? By that I mean, call him/her out and lay it all out on the table from your perspective. I know this isn't necessarily easy, I've been there and done it before! It, clearly, seems like you have done everything you are supposed to, but there clearly is an underlying reason that they are not telling. I'd make sure, if you haven't already, to document all your conversations with the P so, if needed, you have proof of the inconsistencies.

    Have you gone to your superintendent? When I wanted out I had to place a letter on file stating that I wanted to be transfered. This would also give you a chance to talk to the superintendent about your situation. You have definitely tried at the first level (your principal), it may be time to move up the chain a bit.
     
  25. MATgrad

    MATgrad Groupie

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    Hugs Sarge. They want you out. Don't give in and definitely push the square footage issue. Your working conditions are your students learning conditions.
     
  26. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I second this. My principal was doing the same thing this year. She obviously didn't like certain people and you'd think she'd be happy to get them transfers or other jobs so they'd be out of her way, but it was just the opposite. It was like she enjoyed making them miserable instead. A few people confronted her directly and asked what they needed to do to get a good recommendation. One person who'd had an offer rescinded because of the P's recommendation was able to get another job shortly after this conversation. A couple of others filed grievances with the union and once she knew she was "on the radar" she quit giving bad references. None of us were finding jobs in the Spring and once all of this was over, several of us had multiple offers within the next two weeks.
     
  27. bison

    bison Habitué

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    This is not legal in California.
     
  28. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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    Do you have a teachers union? It might be time to get them involved.
     
  29. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Depends on your state! This could do nothing and actually end really badly if it's not allowed!
     
  30. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I'm not offended, and no, I don't think they'd do that. One of the first grade teachers had a really good student teacher last year. We all wanted the student teacher to get hired. When I first said I wanted to move to 5th grade, everyone got excited because that created the possibility of an open position in first grade. At the time, we did not think that I would be stonewalled from leaving my current situation.
     

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