Being let go?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Greensleeve, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. Greensleeve

    Greensleeve Rookie

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    Nov 27, 2008

    Well, I recently had an official eval from the principle. The lesson went very well with my 11th grade English class. But as it turned out, my principle told me that my lesson was not "grade level appropriate" (It was on alliteration and internal rhyme, and I had the class wrote 8 lines of song lyrics for practice) He evaluated me on three standards and I passed two and failed the last one on subject mastery and planning.

    That in itself is not the bad news. You see, I have been having a TOUGH time with my tenth grade classes and many students have been requesting to transfer out of my class. On this opportunity, the principle told me that if I don't try to improve "honestly we cannot keep you."

    The situation is worsened by the fact that our school district is at a huge financial crisis due to the state's budget cut. The district is in a 10 mil deficit and will be consolidating the schools soon (school closure). In any event that schools are closed, new teachers will be gotten rid of and senior teachers will stay. I guess this doesn't really bode well with my situation now.

    I know that it's November, and I still have time to improve my teacher. But he said that he will give me another observation on January. I am kind of fearful that I will be let go because of my inexperience and my trouble with some of my classes. And I guess having a reputation as a bad teacher isn't helping one bit neither.

    Any input is welcome. I just want to hear what other people think:(
     
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  3. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Nov 28, 2008

    First, I am so sorry that happened. Your first year teaching is so tough to begin with, having all of this over your head doesn't help. My first year teaching was insane. The evals went ok, except for the one from the central office. That was my former high school princpal and I really didn't like him. It was a tough eval. Do you have a mentor teacher at the school? Or, are there other teachers that teach basically the same thing and kids that you do? Go to others, ask to observe a few and see how they handle classroom management. If you can, talk to the principal himself. Ask for specific improvements he would like to see. You can't do anything about the budget cut and the fact that you may be one that is cut, but for now, try and put that out of your mind. I can't imagine how hard that would be, but try and concentrate just on this year. What reasons are the kids giving for wanting to be transferred? Don't give up yet. Your first year is about learning and making changes. You will be a better teacher for all of this. Hugs and good luck!
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Nov 29, 2008

    I see you're in CA - do you have a BTSA consultant teacher that could help you out? Principals love to see objectives; for the rest of the year, write "today's objective is..." on the board for each of your classes. If you don't know what your objective is for the day, that's part of your problem! You need to master your material, and it takes a lot of extra hours in the first few years. Make sure you have the CA ELA standards posted in your room; tag the ones you're covering that day with little post-it flags. Is the problem with your 10s the material, or classroom management? Head over to the Power Teaching forum; you'll find help for both management and instruction.
     
  5. Greensleeve

    Greensleeve Rookie

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    Nov 29, 2008

    Thanks everyone for your inputs. I guess there's still time to improve and prove to my principal that I can make it. Regarding my problem with my tenth grade classes: I am mostly having trouble with classroom management with two of my classes, and many students feel that they are not learning anything from me because I can't control the classes. That's one thing that I have been working on for a while besides mastering my subject material.

    It really is tough situation to be in, with the thought of myself being possibly let go. It sort of either sink you or make you stronger. But I can tell you that I am not gona go out without a fight.
     
  6. Kinder Preppie

    Kinder Preppie Rookie

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    Nov 30, 2008

    I don't really have much advice to offer... I can certainly tell you as a kindergarten teacher I admire your ability to teach grade 11 - even for one day. When I think of how difficult a five year old can be... I sincerely feel for you. If you do eventually change jobs, I certainly recommend a small private school for you (if available). You sound like you have so much heart - but those older and naughty children are often uncontrollable to the police... much less their teachers. You will find your niche - there are some teachers that text all day... those are the teachers my 10th grader has....
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 30, 2008

    I think we're talking about 2 different issues here:classroom management and teaching the curriculum.

    As to the curriculum: talk to your department chair. He or she is your first line of defense. Show her the response you got from the principal and ask what you should have done to bring it up to grade level. Talk to other 10th and 11th grade teachers in your school; ask if you can observe their classes during your free periods. Observing other teachers in action is probably the best way to learn how to phrase things and organize your own lessons.

    As to the classroom management, that's a bit different. One thing you can do is work the peer pressure. You say that you have some kids who are getting discouraged because they're not learning enough. It's time to talk to them, one on one, and see if they can get the morons to cut it out. You'll be surprised at the amount of power a few influential kids can have. Talk to the atheletes--let them know that they're the class leaders and NEED to help here. Talk to the coaches if you think it will help; sometimes they have a special bond with those athletes and can help you here.

    Ask your chairman to observe your classes and offer pointers here as well. She may be able to target some particulars that will help.

    There's still time to turn this around!!! HAng in there!
     
  8. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Nov 30, 2008

    Also, take a look at Power Teaching. I teach seniors, and if I pull out the scoreboard, they'll shape up. My fifth period is my squirreliest because it's right before lunch, and I lost my temper with them a couple of weeks ago. The next day I pulled out the scoreboard (which I keep on a separate small whiteboard) and told them they were playing for the opportunity to take a test on Tuesday after having a review day on Monday. If they lost, I was perfectly willing to give them the test on Monday with no review. They won, by the way, which was what I wanted.
     
  9. ifightaliens

    ifightaliens Rookie

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    Dec 12, 2008

    I just had my evaluation, which was spur of the moment and during a test. So my principal didn't see me do anything. She told me I was boring and needed to work harder to differentiate instruction. Also, she said my room was a mess. Well, f*** me, my closets are all locked up and I'm not allowed in any of them!
     
  10. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Dec 13, 2008

    If you are in a public school in California you are doing BTSA. Talk to your BTSA mentor about them observing the tenth grade classes and giving you constructive critisim on the behavior management you are currently doing. If you are not in BTSA then ask other experienced teachers to come and observe and give constructive feedback.
     
  11. succeed

    succeed Rookie

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    Dec 14, 2008

    I am lucky. I don't think my principal would ever insult me! I love my team. However, I will see what happens during evaluation.
     
  12. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Dec 14, 2008

    Isn't it amazing how hard some principals work to try and catch you doing something wrong,but don't work very hard at getting you ways to improve your teaching.Teaching is a difficult job,especially the first few years and needs all the help you can get. Speak to other teachers in your department about how you can improve your lesson plans and classroom management ideas. Show your lesson plan to a mentor or fellow staff member before your next observation and let them critique it. Good Luck Don't give up. Keep trying hard.
     
  13. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Dec 14, 2008

    Why are your closets all locked up?
    R1
     
  14. ifightaliens

    ifightaliens Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2008

    I'm an LTI, and the teacher I'm in for has all of her things locked up. I asked for a key and was told that I can't go into them. That's all well and good, but apparently the teacher I'm in for has a lot of stuff (books, films, materials, etc.) that a number of other teachers want! So, my desk is cluttered, I have teachers coming in to borrow things (and get angry with me when I tell them I can't open them) and now the principal thinks I'm a slob!:dizzy:
     
  15. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Dec 15, 2008

    I'm sorry you're in that position. I've been in schools where I was the "fair-haired child", then in a couple where I could do nothing right in admin's eyes. I hate to say it, but go to your prin. and ask what they are looking for. Polish the old apple, you know! Aim for what they want to see. It will change from school to school, admin to admin, but I think the best thing you can do for now is try to hone in on what this particular prin. is looking for. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out!
     
  16. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Dec 17, 2008

    I just went through my first evaluation with my dept supervisor and it went alot better than I thought it was going to :) But then again, she's a good person, who's been very supportive of me since I'm new to the school and to teaching.

    One thing my supervisor asked me was what questions I wanted her to answer. I asked her to focus on how I questioned my students and how I explain concepts to the students--- two things I feel that I need to improve on. And she did a wonderful job of assessing how I worked on those two things and also provided some suggestions that I can do to help improve on my lesson. It honestly is how an evaluation is suppose to go--- help the new teacher learn to be a better teacher.

    For your situation, know this: you could probably improve to become the best teacher ever and still be fired from the school because of your school's situation. So don't beat yourself if you end up losing the job--- it probably won't be because you're a bad educator. And honestly that school owes you a better support system than what they're doing it seems.

    For your lessons, perhaps you could work with a teacher who's been at your dept for a few years. Plan some lessons together and also do some observing in their class. If anything, it should help you improve as an educator and its something that you can take with yourself no matter where you work.

    And I'm sure the teachers here will be willing to help you out with ideas and suggestions :)
     
  17. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Dec 27, 2008

    HAHA! I had one like that once... I was doing a computer lesson (formatting in Word for their research papers, 11th grade, 1st period, 7AM)... and half of the computers - which worked the day before - wouldn't turn on! So we split the lesson - 1/2 working, 1/2 watching, then switch. My AP told me I really needed to plan better because my college-level formatting requirements were "too difficult for high school" (use this font. use this font size. click here to double space in one easy step) and make sure all of the equipment was working.

    The sad part is, she TOLD me she wanted to see a lesson where I integrated technology into the lesson and the kids received hands-on experience.
     
  18. boogaboo214

    boogaboo214 Companion

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    Dec 28, 2008

    have you read harry wong's book there are a lot of great tips in there im sure you could use and you can get the book online for less than 10 bucks. I love his classroom management techniques.
     

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