Brand New and Already Need Help

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by ATXMusic, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. ATXMusic

    ATXMusic Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2012

    Hi!

    I was finally hired as a teacher this year and I'm pretty excited. It's at a charter school with no music program, but in this job market I wasn't going to refuse any offer.

    They want me to start music classes for the first time at the school. In order to do that, I need to have started working and planning already. Lots of information that I need, but I can't get hold of my principal. I'm also enrolled in an ACP, so I need him to send my paperwork off to my program.

    I've been trying to get in touch with him since the 5th so that I can gather information, get curriculum, get keys to my room, or even see my room, and learn my budget/class size/schedule.

    So far he hasn't returned any emails I've sent. He hasn't returned my ACP papers. When I call the school, he is either unavailable or not on campus. I've left my name and number several times, but no one calls back.

    Yesterday morning I decided to drive to the school and wait to see him. He wasn't on campus and wouldn't be all day. I was told I could only see him by appointment, but no one could schedule an appointment for me. I left my name and number, again, so that he could get with me the next day. I made sure to emphasize that I was the new music teacher and that I was seeking information to help plan the year.

    It's 5:00 and I didn't get a phone call or email from him or anyone today.

    At what point does my persistence in communication stop coming off as eager and start coming off as confrontational? Is the summer schedule of a principal so hectic that he can't email me? Is it normal for administration to take well over a week to respond to teachers? What can I do to make sure I get hold of him without coming across as mean and confrontational? Driving down there every day is possible, but it's a 45 minute drive and that's a lot of gas to burn just hoping to catch him in the office.

    Sorry for all the questions and frustration. I'm very new and worried I may not be given enough to start a program and my class will suffer for it.

    Thank you.
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 15, 2012

    Has school ended there? Have you signed a contract?
     
  4. ATXMusic

    ATXMusic Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2012

    School there ended on the 31st. I signed a contract, but it looked more like an at-will contract than I was expecting.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 15, 2012

    I'm sorry you are being ignored. I would send one more e-mail with a return receipt requested so that you know he is receiving your e-mails.

    Sometimes P have a lot to do when school ends that goes beyond hiring. This P may be working on selling the program to other parents and looking at data. Plus there is class building finishing up with teachers, checking the building, ensuring that there is the right curriculum materials and maybe a vacation or two.
     
  6. ATXMusic

    ATXMusic Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2012

    I do understand things get busy, but I'm not just walking into an existing music room class to take over. I need to know what materials I have, what materials I need to buy, my budget for the purchase of these materials, when the first day of school is, the summer training schedule, my class sizes, etc. I need as much time as possible to create a program from scratch.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 15, 2012

    To only see him by appointment and no one being able to schedule one for you...that's just crazy, in my opinion. I would give him the weekend to perhaps catch up on some things and even Monday if you're concerned about being pushy (which I understand), but Tuesday I would drive to the school again.
     
  8. ATXMusic

    ATXMusic Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2012

    I just waited in the lobby one day until he had time. Didn't learn everything I wanted to and found out some things that I'm not pleased about, but I got to him at least.

    I found a lady in the office to make friends with and she's been helpful. While the principal is still very difficult to get to, she's been able to at least get me a handful of answers.

    Thanks, guys.
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 19, 2012

    Keep it up! Eventually you will get the answers you need and at least you have some information.

    Did the principal offer any reason for not contacting you back in a timely manner?
     
  10. ATXMusic

    ATXMusic Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2012

    He said they got a new ISP and so now his email ends up in people's Spam Folders. I usually do a pretty good job of checking mine and saw nothing from him. I'm thinking lame excuse, but at least he knows I've been looking for him!
     
  11. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 21, 2012

    Sounds like you're going to have a very interesting year. In some buildings, sadly, the principal acts more like a figure head and doesn't really communicate with teachers at all. Is there an assistant principal or curriculum director you can speak with? Are there other fine arts teachers (art, theater, journalism)? They may be your best bet to get basic information.
     
  12. ATXMusic

    ATXMusic Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2012

    I was introduced to an assistant principal in my interview, however, I haven't seen him since that time and I have no contact information for him. To my knowledge, there is no curriculum director or counselor at the school. I think there's an art teacher, but teachers don't report until August 20th and I don't have a name or contact for this person either.

    You're right. Very interesting year.
     
  13. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 24, 2012

    I bet if you call your new friend in the front office, she will be able to get you the contact information for the art teacher. That's who I would call next. :)
     
  14. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    Jun 24, 2012

    Sounds frustrating! I also just got hired on at a charter school and it took them almost 4 weeks to get back to me with my grade/subject assignment.

    I would keep at it and be persistent. Try to get someone else's contact information if you can.
     
  15. kassrose

    kassrose Companion

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    Jul 2, 2012

    Sounds like you're on the right track - make best friends with the secretary!
     

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