Darnit. This is going to be a real dilemma.

Discussion in 'Job Hunting & Interviews' started by CyFair, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. CyFair

    CyFair Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2006

    It turns out that the school district where I'm applying requires my last principal to give me a reference. I haven't worked in six years (I've been home raising my kids), and the principal where I used to teach has retired and moved out of state. I don't know where he is, or if he would even remember me after all this time. I worked in a huge school. I can use a few former co-workers, but they really need a reference from the principal. Period.

    So on to Plan B, which involves applying as a substitute teacher. In addition, I will send off some resumes to area private schools, in case they do not have such rigid rules. Should I address my reference situation in my cover letter? I can use former co-workers, and I have a supervisor from a job I held eons ago, but just not the most recent principal. And if I do address this in the cover letter, do you have any suggestions on how I might put a positive spin on things?

    Of course I'm most likely to end up doing time as a sub. Oh well, it will be good for me. I would still like to thoroughly exhaust all of my options though.
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 22, 2006

    Don't give up yet. Your situation should be totally understandable to an interviewer. I wouldn't put it in a cover letter, though. Focus on the positives there. I wouldn't even discuss it until it became necessary.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 22, 2006

    Call the AP of the old school, or some other admininstrator likely to remember you, and explain the situation. Ask that person for a reference, and to include the reason why the old principal is unable to provide it instead. I can't imagine why that wouldn't be good enough.

    There's nothing to lose by trying.
     
  5. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    Jun 22, 2006

    I ran into this because my principal DIED! I just explained that and was just fine.

    Kelly :)
     
  6. AZKinderTchr

    AZKinderTchr Comrade

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    Jun 22, 2006

    Wow, cyfair, I can't imagine how they couldn't accept a letter from the district, an assistant principal, co-worker, or team leader in this situation. This is an example of how asking for letters just to "keep your portfolio up-to-date" is a good idea. Then even though it might not have a recent date on it, you could pull that letter out in addition to something from another employee there. Good luck, I bet there's a way around this rule :)
     
  7. CyFair

    CyFair Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2006

    I've looked at the school's website, and the entire administrative staff is new! I don't recognize any of the names. I'll call the district's personnel office and explain my situation, but I don't know if they'll be able to give me a pass. I get the impression that their policy is quite rigid, and I suspect that one of the reasons is because they want returning teachers to sub for a while. From what I understand, they really need substitute teachers. That's okay ... I can jump through their hoops. But I'll still call them up and plead my case, and then I'll apply elsewhere. If it comes down to it, I'm sure I can handle subbing. Not my first choice, but it won't kill me.

    Edited to add: By the way, I still have my old principal's evaluations. He wrote some very positive comments about my abilities as a teacher. (He even used exclamation marks. :cool: ) I would think that this should count for something. Shouldn't it?
     
  8. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jun 22, 2006

    I would definitely talk to the person in charge of the human resources department. The referrence from another administrator in the school with a short explanation of the administrator would probably work fine. What do brand new teachers need to present in place of this referrence? Maybe you can use those documents instead? It could be a way to get your application considered "complete" and give you the opportunity to explain your situation.

    Don't let your principals unconnected decision to move out-of-state change your life situation and keep you from what you want. That wouldn't make sense.
     
  9. shadowrose45

    shadowrose45 Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2006

    HI

    I've had the same thing. They want a reference from a principal if you've taught of subbed before.

    The principals where I've subbed won't write references because all they can say is "I show up when called". One said "I haven't observed you in the classroom, so wouldn't feel comfortable."

    I've been on disability for 5 yeras, and have no recent references at all. The discrict I was an aide in doesn't give references at all. THe only thing they will do is provide dates of employment. They said it was a regulation to protect them from lawsuits.

    So, I'm applying with no references other than a current instructor and classmates.

    I can certainly sympathize. UOP teachers aren't even allowed to write reference letters at all, and that's where I'm getting my Masters at.

    In your situation, though, I'd just explain that your principal is no longer there, and that there has been an administration change. I loved subbing, but it's not 'stable' enough.

    I have to know I'm working every day so I can do things like eat, lol.

    Patty
     
  10. CyFair

    CyFair Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2006

    Wow, Patty. What kind of lawsuits are they worried about? What on earth are their employees and former employees supposed to do when they can't get a reference? It would seem that with your subbing and your former aide position, you should have a few references. Bummer. I'll keep my fingers crossed that something works out for you.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 23, 2006

    Patty,

    Do you have any old reviews of your classes you could use in leiu of recomendations?
     
  12. CyFair

    CyFair Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2006

    Oh my gosh ... you guys keep your fingers crossed for me please. I spoke with someone in human resources, and he told me to send in a copy of my last principal's evaluation, and we will go from there. So I might be okay without the reference after all. I sure do hope this works out.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 23, 2006

    I bet you a dollar it does!!!!
     
  14. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Jun 23, 2006

    Cy,

    First Do a google search on your old principal. I found my old principal about 10 times doing that.
    Next call the county where you used to work and explain that the county where you have moved to now requires that you have your old principal's recommendation. Ask if they can tell you where he has moved to or if they will forward your request on to him if you have a form or something. Also find out from them what school your vp is now at.
    You might also call the school where you used to work often times they will know where the old principal/ vp have gone.
    Keep a log of everything you have done to try and find your old principal.

    The county I now work for required my old principal's recommendation. It took me 2 months of digging (and in my case harassing) for my old principal to do the form that was required. Had she finally not gotten around to doing it by the end of the 3rd month. The county was willing to make an exception because of the log I kept showing I had done my part on trying to get her to do the form.
     
  15. CyFair

    CyFair Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2006

    Irissa, I'm glad that your county finally made an exception for you! I wonder why your old principal was being so uncooperative. If I am ever in a position where my reference is needed, I will go out of my way to be helpful.

    I have tried to find my old principal on google, but he has a common name. And since he is retired, I can't reach him through his work. For all I know, he's living on a mountain with no computer, raising goats and growing a beard. I've called my old school district, and they haven't been overly helpful. I'm sure someone must know where he is though, so maybe I will do as you suggested, and ask them to forward my request to him.

    As for other administrators, I have only been observed by the principal. I barely ever spoke to any other administrators, so even if they were still at the same school, I doubt they would remember me. I barely remember them. That's the thing about working at such a big school; you only get to know a few people, and the rest are invisible.

    However, I have high hopes that my evaluation will be enough. It is very thorough, covering all of the areas that are mentioned on the reference form. I've crossed my fingers and toes and I'm holding my breath.
     
  16. CyFair

    CyFair Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2006

    Thanks, Aliceacc. Your optimism is much appreciated!
     
  17. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Jun 23, 2006

    She is just that type of person. She's the whole reason I quit teaching for 6 years.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 24, 2006

    Gee, sorry! :)
     
  19. yclark

    yclark Comrade

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    Jun 24, 2006

    References

    No matter what the situation, your former employing school board should have documentation on file. Attendance, reports filed by the administration, etc. I just returned after 10 years out, the principal had changed twice and the superintendent had also. They have to have documentation to pass along. It might not glow like a personal reference letter but they can send something.
     

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