Contract Not Being Renewed

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by tigger88, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. tigger88

    tigger88 Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2015

    Hey Everybody,

    I am a first year teacher and I was called into the office at the end of the day today and was told my contract is not being renewed. All my P would say was that it wasn't the "right fit." I know that I made several mistakes with being a new teacher BUT I didn't think that it would be bad enough not to be renewed.

    I am not as upset about it as I thought I would be (although it could just be I'm still in shock and it hasn't really sunk in yet!). I work with six other 2nd grade teachers and we all get along great. I am really going to miss working with them!

    Not really looking forward to getting back out there trying to get a teaching job BUT I guess I will have to :(


    I guess I don't really want any advice just wanted to vent my frustration. I am glad they let me know early enough I can start looking for another open position!!
     
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  3. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Jan 16, 2015

    I'm so sorry. It is good that they let you know early, and since the reason is the "fit", I wouldn't hesitate to ask for a letter of recommendation.

    I wish you much luck in your job search!
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jan 16, 2015

    See if you can get your principal to let you resign without prejudice. That will make your life easier when applying for jobs.
     
  5. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Jan 16, 2015

    Resigning without prejudice is your best best, can't hurt to ask
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jan 16, 2015

    Before doing that, please make sure you know what kind of a LOR you are likely to get from your supervisor. Not being renewed is NOT the kiss of death, especially if the LOR is very good. Right fit can be anything to needing one less teacher in your level, while needing a teacher in another grade that you may not be deemed compatible with. If you resign you lose the unemployment benefits that are due you. You will walk away without a weekly paycheck, without the possibility of accessing more free training, if applicable, as well as your insurance, if you are providing that.

    When you are not prone to be weepy, but can be rational and with emotions in check, I would have specific questions about why I am not a good fit. What are the strengths, weaknesses, potential that can be seen that they simply might not want to wait for. I would look at any observations and those evaluations and use them as a starting point for the conversations. It is very hard to remain calm and not feel defeated, but you need to see the big picture. If you have evaluations that seem perfectly fine, then a nice LOR may come your way. If that is the case, don't walk away from your unemployment benefits. They have been paid for, by your employer, and they should come to you when you need them most. You could walk into a new job straight away and never need them, which might be a reason to resign without prejudice, but you might be hard pressed to find that next job, like so many job hunters. If you have a supervisor besides the principal who you can speak to, I would explore the questions that will keep you up nights because you don't have the answer to "what did I do wrong?"

    There is an advantage to knowing now, perhaps, but also the burden of keeping this pretty much to yourself, because you don't want to be the pitied one. I would recommend getting LOR from any colleague who is willing to do that for you. Offers kind of dry up once you are no longer employed there. They are sincere when they offer, but life happens and it becomes less convenient as time passes.

    Many districts do not renew a sizable number of their first year teachers. They are the cheapest labor that can be bought, truthfully, and many districts consider their use to be like trying on clothes at the store. Some will "work", some are fine, but not loved, or, not the right fit, and some are perfect. For the ones who aren't perfect, it may simply be about finding the right placement and a lot less about your self worth. Many people buy clothes that they think "might work", only to return them at a later date. The clothes aren't defective, they just didn't work for that consumer.

    I have been where you are, and I can tell you that there is life after the disappointment. The hardest part was working as if I didn't have this expiration date hanging over my head. I told no one until the last couple of weeks, choosing to bury myself in my work. In hindsight, I would do exactly the same thing again. You will work again, you will not be scorned, and this will not be some huge mark on your record that will discredit you from this day forward. You are a first year teacher who is learning, growing, and I hope you accept that the term "right fit" may be exactly accurate. You are not alone, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Remember, they thought you were good enough to take a chance on in the first place - there must be potential that others will see, as well. Best wishes. :hugs:
     
    AmericanRose likes this.
  7. tigger88

    tigger88 Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2015

    My P offered to write me a LOR and to do whatever is/was needed to get me another job. Now that the shock is wearing off, I am starting to feel the sting of rejection. I doubt if my P will give me any reason other than not a right fit because I asked if it was about my classroom management and she just repeated not a right fit again and wouldn't give me any details.

    I have only had 2 observations so far and a few walk-throughs and I have an observation next week and one more in Feb. The observations and walk-throughs so far have been good ones. I thought it kind of odd that I didn't get all of my observations completed before they made a decision.

    I really feel that part of it is because of a student that I have had a really hard time handling/dealing with and I know that I didn't always do the right thing in regards to that situation. I went to the P and AP several times over this student and I know that most admin want you to handle this stuff on your own.

    Anyway I think as it stands right now I won't try to resign just in case if I do have a hard time getting another job, I'd like to be able to get my unemployment. Thank you everyone who has read/responded and sympathized with my situation! It is nice to have your support and encouragement :)
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jan 16, 2015

    Sometimes "right fit" means you were a slot filler until they could snag a specific candidate. I found out that I was a reduction in force (RIF) which was a fancy way of saying that the superintendent hired someone who was a family friend. Collect your evaluations, gather LORs, get LinkedIn up and running, if it isn't, tweak any tech skills that the district may foster/offer, and get your ducks in a row. Continue to learn and impress, and steer clear of the pity parties. Remember, it almost certainly isn't personal or major, or else you would NOT be finishing out the school year in this district! Be well, stay healthy, and hold your head high.
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jan 17, 2015

    If your P will write you a letter of rec, that is good news. I would ask her to write it right away- tell her that you want to start applying early (this way you can see what kind of letter you are getting). If you have a union, contact them about resigning vs. letting the non-renewal happen. If you don't, ask other teachers who might know how things work in your area. Advice on here is varied because it is different in different parts of the country. In my area, every application asks if you've been non-renewed and you have to answer yes or no, and answering "yes" will definitely make it extremely difficult to find a new position. You would want to avoid that if at all possible, and if your P is offering to help you with getting a new job, she should be willing to let you resign instead. However, I know some people here say it's different in their area, so you need to find out what is the norm for where you are.
     
  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jan 17, 2015

    You really do want to try and resign if possible. You can always sub, or find another job. Checking off that button about being non-renewed due to reasons other than layoffs, etc., is a kiss of death for many jobs where there are hundreds of candidates. What's worse? Losing minimal unemployment benefits, or instantly having your application tossed into the circular file for many districts, for the rest of your teaching career?
     
  11. tigger88

    tigger88 Rookie

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    Jan 17, 2015

    Thank you for the reality check :) At the moment I am not even sure that I really want to stay in teaching BUT I also don't want to burn any bridges either in case if I do decide I want to stay in the teaching field.

    I was excited when I first got hired especially after dreaming for so many years of having my "own" classroom. Unfortunately the dream didn't match the reality. I can honestly say that I can see why so many teachers leave the teaching profession. It seems like every week they add something else to our already long list of to-do's. I know it sounds like an excuse but when you are a first year teacher and the first school you teach at does lots of things you have never done in a classroom before it is overwhelming!

    I know that one of the other teachers who got hired this year with me had lost a job at another school and he mentioned resigning instead of letting them not renew his contract (although that was what really happened). I think I will talk to him about it next week when we go back to school.
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jan 17, 2015

    "It really depends on how your original contract is worded, too.

    All of our non-tenured teachers work on a year-to-year basis. At the end of the contract year the teacher can be let to for ANY reason. That's still considered "non-renewal" because the contract is not being renewed for the next year.

    When we see "non-renewal" on someone's history, it does not send up any kind of red flag. Yes, people are let go for "bad" reasons plenty of times, but they are also let go for reasons like dropping enrollment or restructuring. And sometimes they're good teachers who just aren't quite right for the school. We've had a couple of excellent teachers who were really better fits for elementary or secondary, not middle school. Or sometimes they were dual certified and had better luck teaching one subject than the other.

    I was "non-renewed" for four years in spite of having nothing but excellent observations. My position was elmininated. The enrollment dropped. A tenured teacher returned from sabattical. My position was only one-year due to increased enrollment. Each time I was not renewed, I was still hired back by the same district. I still ended up getting tenure at the regular time because I'd been in the district, although not in the same position. This is my 18th year there, and still never a bad evaluation.

    When we see "resignation", we do start looking. I have been on the hiring team for a long time. We have hired plenty of "non-renewed" teachers, but we have hired only one "resiged" teacher . . . who ended up being fired before the school year was half over.

    The only time "non-renewal" makes a difference is if the person has been non-renewed multiple times. One applicant had been non-renewed something like 8 times in 10 years. We took that as a big red flag."
    I'm A Teacher

    May I suggest that you look at the following link, and a variety of other sites to get a broader view?

    http://www.proteacher.net/discussions/showthread.php?t=303811

    If they are going to ask if you signed under duress, what is the advantage of resigning? If you had been there for several years and they were not renewing you to keep from having to give you tenure, I think that is very different from being a first year teacher. From my experience, they bombard you with a ton of the legal stuff and your head is spinning, and then they say, sarcastically, you can take it to the board. Honestly, if the meeting was going to be about non-renewal, your union rep should have been present. I bet they didn't tell you that you had that right, did they? Good luck.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    In my area, and in New York, there's a question on applications that basically says, "Have you ever been fired, or resigned to avoid being fired" and specifically excludes non-renewal due to positions being eliminated, etc. I'm basically suggesting that she ask her principal for a possibility to answer "no" to that question, because otherwise, she ain't gonna get a job in many districts (ever), period, end of story. That may be different in different parts of the country, but in the DC Metro, she'd be stuck in the districts nobody would willingly work for, and there's basically no district in New York west of the Hudson that would even consider her application (to INCLUDE Buffalo City and Rochester City, at least right now).
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Yes, this is the same in my area. In my area, getting let go due to budget cuts or because the position was eliminated is called RIF (reduction in force) and is considered to be a completely different thing than non-renewal. Non-renewal is always due to performance. A teacher who is RIF'd would not have to answer "yes" to the non-renewal questions on applications. Having to answer "yes" to the non-renewal questions on the applications would take you out of the running for any district here, even the "bad" ones. I'd take the chance of getting a new job over unemployment benefits any day.
     
  15. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Jan 17, 2015

    I would not resign. Most questions ask you, "have you been non-renewed or have you resigned due to being non-renewed?" so you would have to answer yes anyway. If you resign, you are signing away your right to having unemployment benefits.

    You should ask your P if they are going to tell future employers that they non-renewed you while giving your reference. I asked my supervisor (VP who managed me for 3 years) and she said no, she would not disclose that. She disagreed with the principal's decision to not renew me, though.
     
  16. tigger88

    tigger88 Rookie

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    Like I stated before I am a first year teacher. I signed a temporary contract (basically a 1 year contract) only teachers who have worked there three years or more have a regular contract, all new hires and teachers there under three years sign a temporary contract.

    I will definitely ask my P if they will tell other schools that I wasn't renewed.
     
  17. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    Jan 17, 2015

    I didn't read all of the posts, but am sorry for your situation. Don't be too hard on yourself-evals can be very subjective. Also, I don't know if resigning is the best idea. I agree with some PP who said it may look"fishy" or odd, especially if you stay in the area. In the districts I have taught in(and I was RIFed twice, but always rehired when numbers came in) many teachers who were"let go" got jobs in other district schools. Good luck with your decision.
     
  18. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    It seems like you are not being non renewed because you only signed a temporary contract. Couldn't you just put that down on applications?
     
  19. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 17, 2015

    Is it a temp. contract or a probationary one? there's a difference. When I was in a LTS I had a temp contract, which was renewed each semester. After a year it wasn't renewed because the district stopped having LTSs (they just put subs in the classrooms for 30 days, then switch them around, for less pay and no benefits). That was not a non-renewal, it was simply my term came to an end.

    Right now I have a probationary contract, here every new teacher is on probation for 2 years. If it's not renewed, it counts as a non-renewal. After the 2 years it's tenured.
     
  20. tigger88

    tigger88 Rookie

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    It is a temporary contract, there were 7 other teachers who were hired at the same time as me and we all signed a temporary contract. I was also the last one hired for my grade level but my P told me that they had decided to not renew my contract for the next school year because it wasn't the right fit. So I don't think it is a RIF; I think they just don't want to hire me back.

    After I stop feeling the sting of rejection and I can talk to my P without getting too emotional I will ask her about writing me a LOR so I can see what she puts in it and to also see if it would be better for me to resign and/or how she will respond if someone calls for my references.

    Right now I am still on the fence about whether I want to stay in teaching at all. If I don't right now but I decide to go back into it later, I don't want this situation to come back and bite me!!
     
  21. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Jan 17, 2015

    My first job was a one year contract. I always said I was hired on a temporary contract for one year only, no one ever thought twice about it.
     
  22. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I was non-renewed after a 3 - year contract. I actually went to another career for 3 years after that. When I put out my resume again, I put just that, not renewed. I was never given a reason in paper, just a bit of verbal conversation about a host of things for the reason, so I never put any more detail than that. I was never asked in interviews for more detail and I doubt I could have given a proper explanation if I was.


    Get unemployment benefits, state what it is, and good luck.
     
  23. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    May 9, 2015

    Digging through past threads... curious about this whole temporary/non-renewal/RIF stuff and how one should go about it.

    I'm RIF'd (or whatever it is called for temporary contracted teachers. Got it in March). At the time, the admins including the P seemed to indicate that it was a formality. The implication was that I could expect to return. And that's the way I've operated since (have not had/heard negative feedback from any parents, other staff, or P). Until this week. My grade-level partner asked to talk to me and basically was telling me that I need to get my ____ together. I don't feel like my ____ is not-together. I feel like a new teacher, who definitely can stand to improve in all areas. And I'm confident that next year will go much smoother and my student's achievements will be much better. And throughout the year, I've thought we (grade partner) were working fine together. She obviously doesn't.

    But back to the point: veteran partner wasn't happy with me, and my P just told me he needs to sit down with me for some sort of evaluation this week. Again, all year no issues. But reading around these boards, has me thinking about it and wondering about my future and whether I should be worried about him dropping some sort of bomb (like non-renewal, which from reading here doesn't sound good). In particular, given the recent episode with grade-level partner, would that be something for "non-renewal"? I'm not under contract anyway, as a temp. They could just let me go with no reason couldn't they? Which I would be OK with.

    Not that I don't need the job, but myy other reason for digging this up is because I do have other potential landing spots. I have teacher friends from multiple schools who say I should inquire at that old school. I'm wondering about that, and my position at my current school. I don't want to burn a bridge. Again, my feeling is that everyone likes me at the current school (besides my partner maybe). And I'd come back if they asked me tomorrow. Should I actively be looking for work elsewhere? Is that what school districts expect anyway (from temporary contracted)? Can I ask my P (at my evaluation) for a letter of reference?
     
  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 9, 2015

    No harm in polishing up resume, John Lee, but I'd wait to see how meeting with P goes next week. Good luck!
     
  25. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    May 9, 2015

    If you are a temp teacher, and your contract is expiring, or you are RIFed, it's not the same as non-renewed. That means that they would keep you if they had the money, or that they hired you for 1 year only, and can no longer keep you, because the funding for that program is now gone, or the teacher who you replaced is coming back, etc, etc.
    All of that is ok and should not count against you.

    The P wanting to sit down with you for an evaluation could mean that he hasn't done that, and it's past due. Every teacher needs to be evaluated, and it sounds like he dropped the ball on that one, and is trying to do that last minute.

    There is nothing wrong with looking for other positions. Any time a teacher gets a pink slip, it is understood that he would try to have a plan B and look else where. You're not burning bridges with that.
     
  26. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    May 10, 2015

    Would it be appropriate to ask for a reference letter?

    I'm also thinking about my position as a temporary. Its interesting position to be in. Obviously there is no job security. However, in this current job landscape, there do seem to be opportunities for me. I'm having teaching friends reach out to me from other schools where I've been, saying I should inquire there. Should this be casually mentioned in meeting with my P? I'm not trying to act like I'm hot stuff or something, but it does seem like I can/should wield this somehow in my current situation. I'm assuming that they would make a decision and inform me ASAP, but at the same time--do they already realize that I am a commodity (that I may have other options)? Am I truly a "free agent" at this point?

    I'm talking perceptions (how it would look to people in power), not contract obligations. Because I do know that we in education are at the mercy of the economy. And our economy is certain to take another 2008-ish nose-dive in the next 12-36 months.
     
  27. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    May 10, 2015

    There is nothing wrong with that. Any person with a common sense would understand that you must have a reliable income, and if you have a temp. contract you are looking at other options.
    So definitely look around, have a conversation with your P about it. I don't know how close you are with him, or how he is, you might need to tailor it to make sure it's not taken the wrong way.
     
  28. JJdog

    JJdog Rookie

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    May 10, 2015

    I would really hesitate to mention what a "commodity" you are now, with that one year of experience.

    It could easily rub someone the wrong way and/or elicit an invitation to freely explore all of your myriad other options. :2cents:
     
  29. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Excuse my completely off-topic response, but what gives you this idea?

    I've been seeing positive signs with regards to teacher hiring. I moved out of state for my first teaching job, and have hopes of moving back to my home state in a few years when jobs might be easier to find (they were impossible a few years ago, but the job market is opening up again).
     
  30. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    May 10, 2015

    Maybe this type of attitude is what prompted his colleague to say what she said to him. John Lee thought everything was perfectly fine between the two of them; however, his teammate thinks otherwise.
     
  31. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    May 10, 2015

    It isn't.
    My attitude is what has teachers at other schools saying I should come back. Maybe I'm just telling you that I'm in-demand to illustrate a point that you obviously would not know otherwise (not being at my school and not knowing of my situation). Not to toot my horn.

    I read a lot. The prevailing wisdom being that nothing has changed in our economy, except that there is now more debt in the system (then there was 7 years ago).
     
  32. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 11, 2015

    I'm glad you have a positive outlook on your job situation. I hope you get renewed so you don't have to worry any more.

    I don't happen to agree with your sentiments about the economy...but that is for a different thread.
     
  33. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    May 11, 2015

    Yes, I'm definitely not hoping I'm right on the economy. I hope I'm dead-wrong... for at least five more years at least (though most experts seem to agree crash being inevitable).
     

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