Can a teacher be fired before the end of the year?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by abcd, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. abcd

    abcd Rookie

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    Feb 18, 2018

    Can a teacher be fired before the end of the year? If so, for what reason? What can he or she do to avoid it? Do they have to give a notice/compensation if the teacher isn't tenured?
     
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  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Feb 18, 2018

    Yes
    Depends
    Depends on offense
    No
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Feb 19, 2018

    A teacher can be fired mid-year from a charter for no reason, since charter employees are at-will. I worked with a teacher who had been at a charter the previous year and was fired in February because some parents from her class banded together and complained about her. Public school teachers are under contract for the year, so you can't be fired mid-year unless you basically do something criminal. You could be non-renewed, but that would be effective at the end of the year. Most districts have a date which teachers who are being non-renewed must be notified by. Check your contract. I've never heard of a school giving anything like a severance package. In some places you may be able to collect unemployment if you don't get a job for the next school year.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Feb 19, 2018

    The only compensation for being fired is the access to unemployment benefits. Quit - no benefits, but let go, unemployment.
     
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  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 19, 2018

    And in some places, teachers don't even have access to that.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 19, 2018

    If you are able, can you give us a basic scenario that has you concerned? This is ONLY if you can maintain your anonymity while doing so.
     
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  8. dennfarr

    dennfarr Rookie

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    Feb 19, 2018

    Most schools in my area have till March 1 to let the teachers know if they will be rehired. I was told Thursday that it will be recommended that I not be rehired because I don't meet the expectations the new principal has for my position. I have the email stating I have the option to resign or she will send her recommendation to the board for non rehire. I plan on using this to fight for unemployment. Document anything that will help you.
     
  9. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Feb 19, 2018

    A teacher can be fired mid-year. I would imagine a tenured teacher gets due process while non-tenured can be terminated at the next board meeting. This happened to a local school teacher who was accused of handling a student too roughly.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 19, 2018

    Yes
    NT-no official reason. Most likely incompetence
    Do your job
    Read your contract
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Feb 19, 2018

    Interesting. Is it a state thing?
     
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  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Feb 20, 2018

    Accept the non-renewal if the money will be helpful. There is life after non-renewal. Most applications now ask if you resigned in lieu of non-renewal, so there is really nothing to gain unless you plan to lie.
     
  13. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Feb 20, 2018

    A teacher can be terminated at any time, but the administrator must have a valid reason to present the consideration to the board of education/superintendent.
    During the probationary period (usually 90 days), a teacher can be terminated for no valid reason.

    To my knowledge, teachers are not compensated if they get terminated for disciplinary reasons. If the teacher gets terminated for financial reasons, I believe the teacher will get compensated in time.
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Feb 20, 2018

    Define financial reasons. If this position is eliminated, that creates a RIF, or, reduction in force, which is not the same as a non-renewal. In a RIF, there is no job, so the teacher is not at fault, receives unemployment (in NJ), and does not have to call their departure a non-renewal. It is common in education, where budgets and enrollment are unpredictable.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 21, 2018

    In some districts, a RIF is an announced, district-wide event that impacts multiple positions. A single school deciding to no longer offer French because of budget reasons wouldn't qualify as a RIF around these parts.

    So much of this discussion depends on district policies and state laws.
     
  16. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Mar 3, 2018

    I second that....You can get the union involved, but they may only buy you some time with endless meetings. Start looking for another job. Save all your documents, because unemployment is very iffy for teachers. You have to show it was due to no fault of your own, (reduction in force, budget cuts) and you definitely are not returning in the fall (your building merges, classrooms reduced) Get it in writing.
     
  17. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Mar 6, 2018

    Yes,

    For breaking any part of the teaching contract. This could include things such as illegal activity, abuse, insubordination etc. It usually isn't due to poor performance although each contract is different.

    A principal has almost any reason to not renew a contract, but a principal is bound by a signed contract. Therefore the P is more limited on dismissing a teacher before a contract is up.

    An excellent point was made before that some schools (such as many charter schools) do not have "guaranteed" yearly contracts. Need to read that contract carefully.
     
  18. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Mar 7, 2018

    I worked at a place where I was basically an at-will employee. Now, I'm under contract, and I neglected to read my contract, but it looks like I'm safe for the year, seeing as I refused to learn how to correctly do my job, didn't do much about my students being way behind where they were supposed to be, and didn't handle the classroom competently, and I'm still working there. For those of you who are concerned, there is a co-teacher in the room with me now, and even though that sounds pretty bad, I have an explanation that makes me sound perhaps a little less incompetent, even though I would be really surprised if they renew my contract.

    I'm kind of freaked out, too. It seems my co-teacher knows everyone of influence, including the superintendent. Honestly, I think she is probably the one who got me this job! That's irony for you...
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Mar 8, 2018

    :confused:o_O:dizzy:
     
  20. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Mar 8, 2018

    Have you donated your salary to the co-teacher?
     
  21. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Mar 9, 2018

    No, but I might buy her a nice gift or something to show my appreciation. Donating my salary would be considered like bribery, though, plus I need at least some of that to live.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  22. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Mar 10, 2018

    There are some major deal breakers that will send you flying out the door in the middle of the day. Those include, illicit drugs, and leaving class unsupervised - just for starters. You may not get to explain yourself, it's just something in the contract that you can't do. You could say you got a bad reaction from rx cold meds, and you had to run out to your car for a second because you saw your trunk is open. Well those are two examples that can get you kicked out - and the union won't be able to help you.

    Most districts send out RIF letters by Spring break. So you have plenty of time to know your contract isn't being renewed. Also, if you get your review and have a lot of Needs Improvement boxes checked, you may not be invited back, and might not make it to Spring break. Superintendents and parents won't stand for poor performing teachers. They can put a long term sub in your place.

    If you have doubts, ask for a meeting with your principal. Be honest about your lack of skills, abilities up front, and he/she may tell you right then and there that they agree and you aren't cutting it. Might give you extra time by handing you the letter (yes, they have them) right then and there. If so, ask if you can use them for pointers on how you can do better, and ask for a reference. You'll need it. If they smile, pat you on the shoulder and say, "Don't worry about it.", yeah time to polish off the resume. If they say, "I'm thinking maybe you can work in another area for awhile." (i.e. lunchroom aide :0 ) take it. Seriously, they are trying to help keep you employed and your dignity and pride will have to take a vacation.
     
  23. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Mar 10, 2018

    My state :unamused: automatically blocks unemployment claims when you mark the box - "Are you a teacher?" Yes, there is a box for that! Expect to get the reject letter, and come in or call and stay on hold to defend yourself. You have to have something in writing saying your job is not available because it was eliminated/restructured/there's lack of work. Poor performance is considered your fault. You may be denied, or have to serve a 3 month waiting period, or earn x amount of dollars at Wendy's or McDonald's and then you can submit a claim. You are only entitled to UI benefits if you are not the cause of being out of work. They seem to believe as long as kids are still on the planet, you will be called back.
     
  24. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Mar 11, 2018

    I'm accepting penalties for poor performance, but my principal at least seems understanding. Instead of firing me, she's allowed a para professional to be in the room with me and assume most of my duties. I guess I'm basically the teacher's aide who helps plan lessons and still receives my contract salary. It was a big botch up, but I was open with my principal at the beginning, and unfortunately for me, this is not the first time something like this has happened. The last place where I worked actually apparently gave me a pretty good reference in spite of all of this, but the first place had kids with a lot of challenging behaviors. This, on the other hand, is almost an ideal teaching environment. I'm a little worried, but I'm wiling to persevere. Hang in there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  25. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Mar 11, 2018

    I think one thing people who constantly get low performance reviews need to do is be honest with themselves; we might be skilled in many areas, but teaching just may not be our calling. Take an honest inventory of your strengths and look for careers you can do with your degree that kind of match. For example, I don't know what it is about instructing large groups of children that makes me so bad at it, but put me with a small group of children instead, or put me with a large group of adults or really mature teens, and the problem is a lot less noticeable. I actually get a lot accomplished.

    I'm giving that advice, but I know that it's difficult to take. Normally, I would rather work at a job that I'm qualified for but maybe not the best fit if the salary and benefits are good. Too bad teacher's aides get paid so little. I would be okay, however, with being a contracted tutor or working in a similar vein.
     
  26. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Mar 12, 2018

    Maybe you can connect with a seasoned teacher, and ask them to observe you. Or get a friend to videotape you. There might be some things you aren’t doing that don’t stand out (in your mind).
     

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