Credential problems

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by edu, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. edu

    edu Rookie

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    Guys, I need an advice please. On the Edjoin.org they put a vacancy for only Math position. I was hired as a math teacher in CA high school and I only had Full Math credentials at the time of hiring. My first year evaluation was excellent. During my second year I added physics credentials to it out of my self interest. So during second year school added physics class along with regular 3 math classes. They never had any Physics teacher prior to me. So I am the first Physics teacher at that school.My second year evaluation on "MATH" was also excellent. I was given the tenure. However I lost interest teaching physics the third year which is this school year. So I told my principal about it and said that I wanted to continue to work as math teacher as hired. They said that I did not have the choice and that they have the right to assign that class to me since I had physics credentials. I was shocked. I didn't say anything and quietly left the room.I am currently teaching Physics(not my choice) and Math.
    Why should I teach Physics when I was not hired to teach that subject in the first place? Even my contract doesn't mention that I was a physics teacher. Can I revoke my Physics credentials to avoid them giving me Physics class? Does that affect my job? I am planning to talk with the union. But I also need your valuable opinion--Thank you.
     
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  3. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Generally, you can be assigned to any grade or class you are certified to teach. Most contracts don't even specify a school, just the district.
     
  4. edu

    edu Rookie

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    But what are the possible legal consequences of self revoking Physics credentials? thanks
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    That is something you would want to contact your state about, I believe. Theirs is the only answer that really matters.
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    If you are non-tenured, the district could choose to non-renew your contract for next year if you take off the Physics certification. Most schools want people with dual certification nowadays.
    Plus, in both states that I've worked in, it costs money to amend a certificate.
     
  7. edu

    edu Rookie

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    If I am non-tenured they have the right to fire me by not giving any reason at all. But I am tenured. So how it could affect my job?
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    After speaking to the state, you may want to discuss this with a representative of your teacher's union.
     
  9. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I agree.

    Depending on your contract wording, it is feasible that you could be accused of breaking your contract. I know you said your contract didn't mention what subjects you are to teach, but that might not matter. If you let your license expire, you would be let go despite tenure. I don't see how this is all that different.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Even in the heady days of the late 1990s teacher shortage, it was well known around California that a district could assign a given teacher to any class that the teacher was credentialed for. I'm afraid I think it unlikely that that has changed.

    edu, you should certainly talk to your union rep about this - but the chances are excellent that the rep will tell you that, having started out this year in physics, you're best off finishing in physics.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    This is the reason that I only have a credential in science and refuse to get one in math, even despite others claiming that it will give me job security and make my hiring prospects (should I lose my job) much better. My principal WILL assign me to teach math which I am not interested in teaching in the least. Other teachers lament that they got their math credential because they were forced to teach 2 or 3 other preps of math in addition to the science they originally wanted to teach.

    It would happen at any school I would go to. It's highly unlikely that were I to get a history credential that they would ask me to teach history because it's less of a need, but for any high need credential, you're basically obligated.

    I'm sorry, but you pretty much dug yourself into a hole on this one. The only consolation I can give is that physics can be VERY FUN if you teach it right. There are huge amounts of resources on fun physics labs and nifty demonstrations. It's also heavily math based, so if that's your thing, you're pretty set.
     
  12. MrsRed

    MrsRed Rookie

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    Think about this: even if there are no legal ramifications, and you are able to pull your physics certification and force your principal's hand, how will that affect your working life? I'm certain your principal will not take kindly to it, and I personally wouldn't want to work for a principal who knew I circumvented them in that way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We can expect to be asked to teach anything that we are qualified for, although our admin does try to keep us within our "comfort zone". Your physics credentials are new--that sends the message that it is something you are interested in teaching. I think that, for this year, at least, you need to continue with physics. Check with your state and your union, but I don't think it sends a positive message, now or in the future, to pull certifications.
     
  14. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I don't think you can self-revoke a certification in my state, but I have heard of people letting them lapse when it is time to renew.
     
  15. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I think the school is well within its rights to assign you a physics position. I would be surprised if you can have that certification pulled from your paperwork.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It's very easy to delete content areas from licenses in my state. All it takes is a one-page form and a check.
     
  17. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    I don't think deleting a content area is nearly as straightforward in California. Physics is one of the least common credentials, and since your school seems to only need 1 or 2 sections, it makes sense they would want someone who could teach something else as well. Legally, I don't think there's much you can do. If your admin wants to keep you, you might explain that you really want only math next year, but it might be hard for them to fill that physics need. You may need to look for another job to get out of teaching physics. If you do a job search, never, ever mention the physics endorsement. It's on your credential, but unless you mention it, it is unlikely anyone will realize you have it in addition to math.

    Also, bigger high schools are more departmentalized and less likely to have a teacher teach in two different departments, so a large high school might be a better fit for you.
     
  18. edu

    edu Rookie

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    Thank you Peregrinfen5. Yes, I dug my own hole. But I will try my best to get out of it and post the update on this asap.
     
  19. edu

    edu Rookie

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    You are absolutely correct. I need to move so carefully.
     
  20. edu

    edu Rookie

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    Thank you buddy. I will do that. But see how unfair it is. Other math teachers are cool without any problem.
     
  21. edu

    edu Rookie

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    Yes, ours is a very small high school with 250 students. They barely need one Physics teacher. Thank you.
     
  22. edu

    edu Rookie

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    update

    I didn't like what I did but I had to to do this. I did not teach Physics good and so students dropped the class and so Physics class was cancelled. I am continuing to teach Math as usual. I got what I wanted. Principal showed no emotions and we are still friends. My advice to folks is that if you want to put extral subject credentials on your license just take the test and pass it. Then apply for credentials only if you want to teach for sure. :)
     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    What do you mean exactly when you say that you "did not teach Physics good"?
     
  24. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Perhaps the better way to go would be to figure out if just passing the test will actually give you the knowledge and expertise to be a worthwhile teacher in the new credential before taking the test. After all, why pay for a test that you will never use? Care and judgement should be used when adding endorsements. Passing the test is NOT the same as truly being proficient in the nuances of a subject, as your case seems to show. Glad you are happy teaching math, but sorry for the physics students who suffered through your ordeal with you - they deserved better, IMHO. :2cents:
     
  25. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    So you got your instant gratification needs met at the expense of your students. Not cool.

    Hope you continue to enjoy and be successful with your math career.
     
  26. edu

    edu Rookie

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    I agree with you. I said the same thing "they deserved better" that students need a different teacher. But it was Principal who did not listen to me. Then I did what I had to do.
     
  27. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    There are always many sides (not just two) to any story, and I feel that we only get the view that is restricted and personal on this forum. Seriously, I am glad you are happy in math, and hope you prosper there. It sounds as if this is a cautionary tale for many teachers, young and old, about expanding what is "possible" without considering what is "best." The allure of more endorsements is that it may enhance our ability to get a job when looking; the downside of adding endorsements without careful consideration of the big picture is that you may be asked to actually teach the subject, putting our human flaws and failings on display for all to see. And someone only recently asked me why reflection is so important in education!
     
  28. edu

    edu Rookie

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    I don't know if you read my post from the beginning. I added the credentials after I got the job and evaluated as excellent math teacher both by students and Principal. So adding extra credentials has nothing to do with getting my job. My point is that, next year I may add chemistry credentials and that would be my property. School should not have any right to assign to teach chemistry without my acceptance.
     
  29. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Acquiring credentials, then getting rid of them or claiming that you're not "really" qualified to teach that subject seems like "bait and switch." I stand by my earlier post that teachers should carefully consider whether or not they are actually qualified to teach the subject before acquiring an endorsement. Yes, I have read the entire thread, and I think that you are being short sighted. When a teacher gets the state to issue an endorsement, there is an implicit understanding that the teacher agrees/promises to be a highly qualified teacher in that subject. Frankly, adding endorsements just because you can pass the test when you honestly don't believe you can teach the subject properly makes no sense to me.

    If I were your employer, I would expect you to be able to teach every subject that you claim to be qualified to teach, that you have endorsements for. Your students deserve to have a teacher who can actually teach the subject that you have convinced the state to license you for. Districts should be able to assign you to teach classes in every endorsement you possess, since those certificates are your declarations to the world that you are qualified and capable of teaching those subjects. You work at a small district, which makes it even more important that you can actually deliver results once you have added endorsements to your arsenal. Teachers traditionally add endorsements because they are comfortable and knowledgeable enough to teach those subjects - those new certificates are not intended to be art on the wall. IMO, testing for and acquiring new endorsements should be viewed as a declaration that you are a more qualified teacher because you can teach multiple subjects, which means that the district should consider them fair game and in play. If you want to stay a math teacher, why acquire endorsements you don't want to teach? I am guessing that you test well, and that gaining the endorsements is an ego thing, but I could be wrong - your inner science teacher could be screaming to come out and play. Forgive me if I have my doubts about that, however, based on the physics disaster.

    Different than you, I look on the acceptance of the endorsement as implied consent to actually teach the subject listed on the certificate. If you want to stay a math teacher, do so, and be a great one. What possible advantage is there in acquiring endorsements you're not really capable of teaching? I see it as false advertising, and that is something that I am adamantly opposed to. I repeat, acquisition of additional endorsements gives implied consent to be assigned to teach those subjects, so your acceptance of the assignment is also implied. If you don't want/aren't capable of teaching it, don't get it. It will still be there when you are a more experienced teacher who might be able to teach these different subjects.

    Pursuing and accepting the endorsement is sending the message that you are a more valuable teacher than some other "math" teacher, because you bring more to the table, but then you change your mind and tell the district that you are "only kidding". If you look at it from that perspective, you may better be able to understand my post. If you only want to teach math, why pursue these other endorsements? It isn't something that seems very logical to me, which is not something I say to math teachers very often. :2cents:
     
  30. edu

    edu Rookie

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    why do you think

    It's big letter. Thank you for your input.
    " If you only want to teach math, why pursue these other endorsements?"
    Good question. Try to come up with possible reasons and then I will tell you.
     
  31. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I am going to assume that the "why do you think" doesn't apply to me, since I'm not the one who needs to think about your reasons. I would also like to believe that YOU are going to try to come up with plausible, possible reasons, since you are the one who started the thread with your credential problem. Honestly, I thought you were wrong with the physics debacle, and I don't see a better outcome looming for chemistry, but shorting the students just so you can add endorsements and then argue against the district holding you to your credentials seems like some mind game or power struggle. Either way, it is NOT what is best for the students, and that should be where your focus is. Teach math, get experience. Maybe your horizons and compassion will grow. :2cents:
     
  32. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This.
     
  33. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I think you just gave yourself the answer. If you have to think of reasons why you want the extra endorsement, then you shouldn't be getting it.
     
  34. edu

    edu Rookie

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    Reason I posted the thread to suggest the folks to not add credentials unless they want to seriously want to teach. Adding credentials for any other reason(like mine) could drop you in uncomfortable situation. My first year physics teaching was successful. More number of students signed up for the second year and so school wanted me to teach. But I decided to stick with one subject. Peace.
     
  35. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I did not teach Physics good and so students dropped the class and so Physics class was cancelled.

    That doesn't sound like a wonderful or successful teaching experiment to me, IMHO.
     

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