Can't get a job because of current principal

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by crosscountryski, May 30, 2009.

  1. crosscountryski

    crosscountryski Companion

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    May 30, 2009

    Hi

    I did not have a good first year. I receivd two unsatisfactory evaluations (both happened right after knee surgery). In order to avoid non-renewal, I gave my notice and quit.

    Now, I have applied to at least 10 school districts and have been turned down by at least 4 of them. I was just turned by a school district yesterday, which hurts the most because it was so close to my parents house. I wanted to be in that school district so badly.

    I have found out that my principal is giving a bad reference. He is a jerk and have been trying to get me out from day 1.

    Any ideas on what to tell future school districts when they asked what happened at my current school district? What do I say about not getting a good reference?

    thanks
    Jennifer
     
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  3. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    May 30, 2009

    How are you being turned down by school districts? Are you going for interviews and just not being offered a job or is the district telling you that they're not going to hire you before you even go on interviews?

    This is a tough situation for you, I see. Do you think you'd be able to talk with your former principal at all about being able to come to an agreement on providing a reference that is neutral?

    If your principal was out to get you from day one, who hired you?
     
  4. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    May 30, 2009

    Do you have other people at the school that you can use as a reference instead (especially an AP or a department head)? If so I would use them and not put the principal on the list as a reference and if anyone asks, I would probably say something about it not being a good fit for you. Good luck and I'm sorry that this is happening to you.
     
  5. crosscountryski

    crosscountryski Companion

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    May 30, 2009

    Hi

    The assistant principal did a phone interview and hired me. Then about a month before I arrived, the assistant principal was transfered to a new school. The principal had no part in my interview. He should have been.

    Two of the school districts did not interview me and just told me that I was not hired. One school district said that they won't consider me since I did not have at least 1 year of successful teaching experience. The last school district did interview me at the job fair, but after checking references, they told me that they can't process my application.

    I have noticed that everyone wants at least 1 year of successful teaching experience. I did not have a successful year. I was lucky to get through this year alive. I am looking at moving back to my homestate, where I have family and alot of support.

    I asked my principal through email and he told me to include him as I see fit. He said that the reference will come from my unsatisfactory reviews.

    thanks
    Jennifer
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 30, 2009

    Jen~I'm sorry you're going through this. It's a tough situation. I was in a similiar situation, though I only had a few unsatisfactory areas in my evaluations. My principal came in late to the observation so didn't see me doing what she marked unsatifactory, and the other came from one problem parent. At the end of the year however, she gave me all satisfactory in my final observation. She was forced to retire at the end of that year so I list my mentor who came and observed me more times than the AP.
     
  7. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    May 31, 2009

    I did not list my principle as a reference either. He refused to write me a letter of rec. I came to his school mid year because of low enrollment numbers at my school, and received an unsatisfactory review 2 weeks after I got there (after spending $ and time setting up a completely bare room) and then was non-reelected before I even had a second observation. A total set up. They overhired by 20 teachers and so had to non-reelect 20 of us probationary teachers without cause.
    Use someone else as your reference contact. Good luck!
     
  8. crosscountryski

    crosscountryski Companion

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    May 31, 2009

    Hi

    I was thinking about this last night and realized that in under 4 days, school is out and my principal and assistant principal does not work until the end of August. Future employeers who try to contact will need to go through the district. The only problem is that I am not eligible for rehire and at this point, I would not work for them if they were the only school district in the country.

    I strongly believe I was set up. During the course of a year, they hid curriculum materials, told me that content standards are more important than IEP goals (illegal), and told me that I can't work on spelling even if it is on their IEP. The strange thing is that I was asked to look at the schedule for next year to get my opinion and they have spelling. The principal is allowing spelling next school year. I got into so much trouble and was told that I can't do spelling and I needed to do social studies instead. They play favorites. Also, if you have a child that goes to that school, you are more likely to work there. The teacher that is taking my position has a child that goes to school there. It makes you wonder. I know of several people that got positions because they have a child that goes there.

    My principal had it in for me from day 1. After my knee surgery, it gave him more reasons to write me up. I was wrote up because I did not do bus duty. I walked every day to the buses with crutches. On the mornings that I did not, I was doing parking lot duty or in IEP meetings. But he somehow managed to write me up.

    Several people have told me that the principal had it in for me. The previous teacher told me that he never did this to her. She was allowed to work on IEP goals first. I think that alot of the problems is that my principal assumed that I was experienced teacher. He knew very well that it was my first year. He never gave me a chance. What is worse is that the district failed to do anything or even give me a chance and my union was useless. When situations came up, they said they will do something. They did not. When I got the nonrenewal, they ended up sending me to an attorney who fought to get the nonrenewal off my record if I quit.

    Jennifer
     
  9. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    May 31, 2009

    Sorry you had to go through that Jennifer! May we both find schools that appreciate us next year! :)
     
  10. administrator1

    administrator1 New Member

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    Jul 4, 2009

    ;)
    You need to start over fresh - with honesty.
    Administrators are not in the business of getting rid of teachers - they are trained to build teachers.
    My suggestion: seek out a private school - are you early education? Serve as a PK or K teacher for a year or so - this gives you the 'experience'. Then move on to public.

    Also - you can sub - this is a great way to show what you are capable of doing.
    Good luck
     
  11. crosscountryski

    crosscountryski Companion

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    Jul 4, 2009

    Hi

    I am a special education teacher, still without a job. Districts won't hire me or even interview me. I financially can't sub. I need something more stable.

    thanks
    Jennifer
     
  12. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 4, 2009

    Jennifer,
    I"m sorry you had a tough first year. I'm sure you can understand that in this job market, with so many experience teachers out there looking for jobs, districts do prefer to hire someone with at least one year of successful experience behind them. It is unpleasant for you, I understand that -- but it is reality.

    Second, your principal felt you did not do a good job -- whether you agree with him or not -- so of course he isn't going to give you a good reference. References are supposed to be your former employer's honest opinion of your job performance. You are in a tough situation that many new teachers face. However, in this tough economy, if you have 20, or 100, or 200 applicants -- which would you consider? THe ones with excellent references who finished the entire year, or the ones with lukewarm or negative references who didn't complete the year? Any prinicpal worth his salt is going to go with the person with raving reviews, and a year's worth of successful experience.

    In the past, when there was a teacher shortage, you could still get a job in teacher with poor first year references, because they simply needed bodies to fill the positions. You could get a second chance if the first year didn't go well. But that isn't the case right now. There are dozens (even hundreds) of qualified applicants for each open position who do have excellent references.

    Now, you are in the position of doing damage control. You basically have a couple of options. None of them are wonderful, but there are, at least, some options.

    1. Apply for a really tough inner city school that doesn't keep a lot of their teachers. I strongly advise you against this option. If you had a rough time in a "regular" school, you may get eaten alive in this type of environment. As bad as you think it was last year, "you ain't seen nothing yet!" as they say.

    2. Apply for a private school that, because they pay quite a bit less, may not get as many certified applicants. They may be more willing to get to know you before they do reference checks, which would work in your favor.

    3. Take a year to work another kind of job evenings and weekends, and volunteer in a fabulous school setting -- get that positive experience and glowing recommendations -- and let that be your stepping stone to a full-time teaching position the following year. I know this is a hard one to consider, but it is the option with the most potential.

    4. Keep applying and hoping, but have something outside of teaching (or subbing) lined up in case it doesn't pan out.

    Personally, I think that teacher education programs carry quite a bit of the blame for 1st year teacher problems in this area. Right before student teaching, there should be a required course in how important it is to get a good evaluation, how to meet with your principal at the first sign of trouble, and , unfortunately, there are many young people out there who just don't realize that the long term results of poor evaluations can ruin a career...forever, and are to be avoided at all costs.

    I wish you all the luck in the world. I hope you find what you are looking for.
     
  13. darlibby

    darlibby Companion

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    Jul 4, 2009

    Just don't use your principal as a reference, I am not using mine. I don't think I would get a good reference from her either.
     
  14. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 4, 2009

    Jennifer,
    Always remember to go into any application process or interview situation, not from the point of view of "what you need" but of "what do they need and how can I be the best one to provide it."

    --Successful experience as evidence by a superior evaluation and glowing reference.
    --Training above the call of duty to learn new skills that are "in demand" right now.
    --Superior education as evidenced by a high grade point average, acceptance into honor societies, graduating with high honors, awards, and exclusive memberships that are only granted to to 1% or top 5%.
    --Years of experience that gives you a depth of knowledge that other applicants will not have had time to develop.
    --Published work or speaking engagements that show your experitise and dedication to your field.
    --Positive letters from parents.
    --Positive letters from department heads, grade level chairs, and even grade level colleagues (although these don't replace employer evaluations)
    --Assessment results that show your teaching was successful in various areas, in a measurable, quantifiable way.
    --Substantial volunteer work within your field to obtain broader educational experiences within your specialty area.


    These the best ways to get noticed. If you are lacking in one area, you need to build up the other areas in order to get your foot in the door.

    Remember -- in a job hunt, the potential employer needs to hear about how you will meet his needs -- not how your needs will be met through him. He can meet anyone's needs. He needs to know how you will become an invaluable part of that district or organization.
     
  15. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 4, 2009

    darlibby,
    In most areas of the country, public schools will not even process your application without a reference from your most recent principal. It isn't an option.

    No matter who or how many other references you have, they are most concerned with what your last supervisor (the principal) has to say.

    This is the harsh reality in teaching.

    I live in a large metropolotian area. There are 8 large school districts withing driving distance. Not one of them will even put you on the interview list until you sign the "permissiont to contact your most recent principal" form. No reference from your prior principal (it can't even be a previous one -- it must be the last one) then there is absolutely no chance of being added to the interview list. It is district policy. This is becoming more and more common, and while there probably are still some smaller districts out there that don't have this -- the majority do.

    Whether you want to use him or not, you won't get interviews in most districts without that reference.
     
  16. crosscountryski

    crosscountryski Companion

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    Jul 4, 2009

    Hi

    Thanks for the ideas. I can understand what is going on in this job market but I am a special education teacher. There is a shortage in this area and yet I can't get a job. I know that everyone is competing for general education positions but not so much in special ed.

    I graduated with honors and high gpa and I still can't find a job because of this principal. Something just doesn't seem right or fair. We all have a bad year, why won't anyone give me a second chance.

    thanks
    Jennifer
     
  17. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Crosscountryski- Hopefully things will look up :rolleyes: and you will be able to use a teacher, assistant principal, and/or a college professor that had seen you teach during student teaching. I wish you all the best!:hugs:
     
  18. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Also, maybe a parent that was particularly close to you will vouch for you! I know most applications ask for a supervisor or administrator specifically. If you can think of anyone in a supervisory role that can help you out, that is your best bet!
     
  19. cjven

    cjven Rookie

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    Jul 5, 2009

    I understand the issues you are having with your principal. I work at a private school and attempted to move into a public school, no success this year. My principal wrote me a nice recommendation letter (although he speculated that the reason I was leaving is more money; yes he wrote that in the letter) and gave me great reviews. I was unable to find a job before my contract was due so I signed it. My P likes to have an end of the year meeting to discuss the year. In my meeting, he totally tore me apart. He said that the middle school boys in my class don't respect me and since I sometimes have to make copies in the morning he said I was unprepared for class (I have six preps). He also said that I should keep the kids guessing because he walked in one day when I was telling the 8th graders the plan for the last two weeks of school, when their last test is, etc (his advice goes against everything I heard in college). Our 8th graders have alot of activities that last week which seemed to fall in the afternoon, during my period. He said I should have worked something out with the other teachers so I could have seen them more. I felt that he basically called me lazy.

    All of these complaints were stupid things that he never once mentioned in any other observation. After talking to other teachers I realized that he was just angry at me because I tried to leave. He takes everything so personally. I am going back this school year but I plan on resigning, new job or not.

    I'm glad I am not the only one who has a problem with their principal.
     
  20. darlibby

    darlibby Companion

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    Jul 5, 2009

    Sometimes principals just aren't reasonable people. This year I worked with a principal that oversaw unlawful practices. I luckily have other references.
     
  21. CityESLTeacher

    CityESLTeacher Rookie

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    Jul 5, 2009

    If you are a sped teacher have you thought about doing in home early intervention services? Sometimes private agencies can be easier to get a job with and you could get some good references. Also in my area there are lots of ads for hospital teachers. You need to be sped certified and it might be an easier job to get. Here education inc. does the hiring.
     
  22. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Jul 5, 2009

    My current employer (I switched schools last summer) thankfully did not even call my past principal. I was honest with him that our personalities had clashed and basically she did not like me and I did not like her. I had stood here constantly picking on me for little things for 4 years. I had gotten caught in the middle of an administration change and she had not hired me. In our end of the year conference, my new principal commented that he was glad that he went with his gut and did not contact my previous principal because he might not have hired me and would have lost out on a great teacher. I do teach in a private school but I am in an area where sometimes it is harder to get a job in private school than in public schools. Other references and other skills (I present for various organizations in the area and have done several PD's for schools) can often take the place of a bad principal evaluation. When I quit my old job last summer, I just told her that I was quitting and did not tell her that I already had another job. She told me if I went for a job outside of the classroom she could give me a good evaluation but not for inside the classroom. She did not know that I had already negoiated and signed a contract for better pay and benefits than she had offered me for the year. She was ticked off when she found that out.
     
  23. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jul 5, 2009

    I continue praying you find a job for this year, Jennifer. It is tough, even in special ed because so many general ed teachers who are having trouble getting into a reg. classroom are starting to get certification in special ed to have an easier time finding a job. So your AP isn't there anymore, what about a special ed director or diagnostician?
     

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