Advice please!

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by teach2heart, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. teach2heart

    teach2heart Rookie

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    Apr 30, 2007

    Hello,

    I am a new teacher this year and was teaching in a long-term leave-replacement position. I have resigned from this position recently due to various reasons. To start with I had very little support, no curriculum training, little mentor or new teacher support, and a class with extreme behavior problems where these students were receiving insufficient support related to their behavior plans, etc. with the special services teacher. I could go on, but the primary problem was that I was becoming continuously sick due to burnout and stress. It was very difficult to leave the students at this point in the year (we go until the end of June), however, at this point I needed to take care of my health.

    My question is this: I still want to be a teacher and am not sure how best to continue. I would like to apply for a teaching job for next school year, probably with different school districts. I left the school on good terms, however, can my principal technically be a reference or should I not include this information on my application? I am stuck as what to do next. I have also considered subbing next year. I am looking for advice from anyone who has been in this same situation or knows of anyone who has experienced this. I truly appreciate your advice and suggestions!

    Thank you :)
     
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  3. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Apr 30, 2007

    I'm sorry that you were unable to finish out the year with your class.

    I'll be brutally honest here. What you've described sounds like many, many first years to me. As my husband says, teaching is like Darwin's Theory come alive--either you survive, or you get eaten.

    As a hiring administrator, I feel like I have to tell you--we don't look highly on teachers who leave before the end of the year. If you put this on your resume, my first question will be "Why did you leave" and if you said what you just told us, I would think, "She'll think the same of us, and won't fulfill her committment."

    Teaching is tough--there will be many, many days that you feel "alone" in the classroom. New teacher programs will get cancelled because your mentor is out sick, or someone had a baby, or the kids all have lice, etc., etc., etc. There will always be a challenging child (or children). If you feel lost with curriculum, it's up to you to work on it. Would the situation have been any different if you were fully part of a "team" and not a long-term sub?

    I'm sorry if I sound harsh--I'm trying to be honest & helpful here. It's up to you to put some positive spin on this experience if you want to find a teaching job. It's time for some serious reflection. What would you do differently?
     
  4. teach2heart

    teach2heart Rookie

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    May 1, 2007

    Thank you for your reply, MsWK, I appreciate your insight and advice. I completely understand all of your reasoning behind why my application may not be looked upon highly. I would think the same thing if I were reviewing an application such as mine. I do believe the situation would have been different if I would have truly had a mentor and a team, as well as a clear curriculum. It was not so much that I didn't receive the class training on the curriculum, but that the curriculum is primarily up to the teacher! I also wonder if it may have helped had I been the one to start off the school year with the children. In any case, I wish that I could have made it until the end of the year but what's done is done. My initial thinking is that subbing next year would provide me with the opportunity to prove myself as a teacher, gain experience & confidence, and make important contacts. I feel that I have much to learn and would love this opportunity to see different schools (and districts) as well as grade levels. Teaching is definitely tough but I want to make a difference and put in the effort required to be a positive teacher! Thanks so much for your suggestions. :)
     
  5. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    May 1, 2007

    I'm glad you've taken my post in the way it was intended.

    In your quest to continue working as a teacher, I urge you to find yourself a mentor who can help you along this path. Although I was assigned a mentor for my first year, I found her to be pretty worthless, as she was about double my age and ready to retire, so had no sense of the urgency I felt in my first year (and whose guidance style I felt uncomfortable about). My "assigned" mentor was much less help than the "mentor" who I came to view as my real source of expertise--a 3rd year teacher whose ideals I really admired. Sometimes informal mentoring relationships are the most valuable.

    One of the most valuable assignments I ever had to complete for grad. school was a year-long curriculum map. I chose a grade, and had to map out the curriculum for every subject for the entire year. I based this off the Virginia SOLs and what I knew about children in that particular grade. It was tough, but really helped me see the "big picture" for curriculum. You should never begin the year without a map of where you want to end up! Does your state have curriculum standards? That's a starting point for you. Remember, it's up to you, so do the best you can! Nobody else will lay it all out for you.

    For someone in your position, I think subbing is a wonderful idea. It really will give you a broad sense of many different grade levels, and you won't have the responsibility for coming up with curriculum plans, behavior plans, etc. In my opinion, subbing is MUCH harder than having your own class, but I know there are differences in opinion on this, and the Subbing board can probably help you out there.

    In any case, good luck, and remember... nobody else can make you a better teacher--only YOU can!
     
  6. njeledteacher

    njeledteacher Cohort

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    May 11, 2007

    I agree, subbing is a lot tougher than having your own class. I was in a similar situation this year. I have subbed for a couple of years, but was hired as a maternity leave replacement in the fall. I started the year off with 4th grade and things went fairly smoothly. BUt, I had a wonderful mentor who cared, and the 4th grade team was fabulous. The teacher I was in for came back in January and I went in for a 5th grade teacher who just had a baby. This situation was totally different. The kids had a million subs prior to me coming into the classroom due to the teacher having an early delivery and the special ed teacher also having a baby at the same time. By the time I got there it was chaotic. Plus, a new special ed teacher had just been hired to replace the old one. I had no idea what the routines were and the class didn't run the way I had set up my 4th grade class. There were 8 special ed kids in the class, and many of the students had behavioral problems/home problems, which made the changes even harder for them. Things were so hectic that I was exhausted every day and wound up getting mono. I was out of work for 3 weeks with it. After I started feeling better, I returned because I only had another 3 weeks left, but it was just as exhausting as before, if not more.

    I will say that subbing and even maternity leaves aren't a piece of cake at all. You do a heck of a lot of work, and usually aren't viewed as a "regular teacher". In my case, I had a wonderful team, but the administration left much to be desired. It really does make a difference when you have support and feel like everyone is playing on the same team. Unfortunately, all of my hard work hasn't lead to a permanent position. I have a feeling it's just the personality of the administrator, because everyone else seems to think that I should be hired.

    I am now out of a job because the regular teacher came back...she had to in order to keep her benefits. Does that make me look bad since I didn't finish out the year in the district? I plan on subbing there through June, but need a regular job in the fall...in any district.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 11, 2007


    NOt at all!! You finished the job you were hired to do.
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    May 12, 2007

    Have you considered other options to ease back into teaching? Maybe you could try a different grade level, a different school, or a different type of position.

    I subbed and worked as a home-hospital teacher. Both were great for experience without having the additional stress of being the "real" teacher the whole year. I work with several teachers who were aides before they got into teaching. I didn't choose that route because I'm NOT a little kid person and the aide positions were all in the elementary schools at that time.
     

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