Decisions, Decisions! Help Me!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by DressageLady, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Apr 23, 2017

    It is that time of year. I had my end of the year evaluation meeting with my P on Friday and he told me he was worried that there wouldn't be enough kinders next year to support four teachers. He said he couldn't even say with any authority that he could keep me half-time as a kinder teacher. That could change in a heartbeat, and the other teachers tell me that last year the numbers were also low at this time, and look what happened (I went from part-time to full-time two days before school started because of an explosion in enrollments at the last minute). But, that said, this year's numbers to-date for enrollment are far below last year's.

    This is a new school and district to me. I won't go into the details, but I was non-renewed last year as a second year teacher after a very troubling experience with the new building administrator. I was teaching first grade at my old school. By some miracle, I was hired at my current school despite the non-renewal and a blisteringly negative evaluation.

    I love my new district. It is the district I live in and it has been very supportive of me. I adore my current P and trust him. He has been fair and honest with me and has been an exceptional administrator. I enjoy my colleagues and like the diversity in the school population. I just really like the school. My evaluations have been great, ending with all the Danielson Farmework domains either proficient or distinguished. Not bad for an older, middle-aged third year teacher that had been dragging around last year's evaluation that rated me as "unsatisfactory".

    Anyway! I asked the P what my options were. He said there have been no requests to transfer by teachers in the building, but there is a retirement in 2nd and he has an opening there. He also said he has the money in his budget for an additional first grade teacher because he thinks there will be enough incoming first graders to warrant adding a teacher at that grade level. He asked me if I would be interested in moving up to first or second. He mentioned if I moved up to first, I could loop with many of my students. I find this very exciting.

    He also said that all that being noted, he thinks I do a great job at kindergarten and that is where he sees me shining. I asked if I would be able to move back down to kinder if the numbers supported it in the 2018-2019 school year. He said absolutely he would be okay with that.

    I stressed to him that the low numbers for kinder are not a surprise. I have done one day's registration and an evening's orientation for incoming kinders and I have seen the reality myself. I also told him that I would like to stay in the building if at all possible and that I am interested in moving up if that keeps me in the building. He said he wasn't sure what the process is, since this is his first year as a principal. He thinks if I take the 2nd grade class, it would just be an internal move that he would have direct control of and that he would not have to post the opening. But that the first grade opening (if it happens) might need to be posted because it is a new position. And that means I would have to interview for it. We left it with me thinking about it and he said he would get clarification from his boss on what the process would be in the meantime.

    I left the meeting feeling pretty confident that I would have a place somewhere in the building next year. But...he never said the words "I promise you". There are benefits to moving to first. I share a hallway with the first grade team and I know them all. And I could loop with many of my kids. And I taught first for two years and am familiar with that grade. However, opening another first grade classroom takes away a kinder classroom and that has caused some heartburn for two of my kinder team-mates who do not like each other. They would have to share a room and one has already said that is a non-starter. I offered to share a room with both of them and have moved between the two every day this whole year because that was the easiest way I could see to keep the peace (and to keep them both at part-time so I could have the last minute second class). The 2nd grade team is strong. There is a switch happening with a 3rd grade teacher moving down and switching grades with a 2nd grade teacher. But even still, the team is strong. I have never taught 2nd, though. Not even as a substitute.

    What should I do? Any thoughts or advice?
     
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  3. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Apr 23, 2017

    If you are at a site where you feel valued and are happy, I think you should prioritize locking in a spot for next year. I would ask for the 2nd grade position. (As a single-subject teacher, I think I don't appreciate how different K and 2nd actually are, so keep in mind that to me, since both are early grades, they require a similar skill set.) Once you are confirmed to have a contract for next year, should the 1st position officially open, or the K position materialize, you might express willingness to switch if that works out.

    I would also opt for a strong team over one where teammates dislike each other. I am pretty drama-avoidant, though.

    I actually experienced "partial looping" as a student many decades ago, and felt like a second-class citizen that year, since about half of the class already had a strong connection to the teacher.

    Does your state have tenure? If so, how long does it take? As a fellow older career-changer, the job security tenure has brought has been invaluable to my mental/emotional health.
     
  4. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Apr 23, 2017

    We don't have tenure, per se, in my state. But after three continuous years in most districts you have some job security. So I have two more years to go in my current district.

    I feel as if there are good things about both the 1st and the 2nd grades. They balance out. But I like the idea of the no-drama, established team in 2nd.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Apr 23, 2017

    I would take the 2nd grade position to have something guaranteed at your current school. If a K or 1 position opens up, then you can talk to you P about possibly moving down. Even if you don't get to move down, I don't think the differences between 1st and 2nd are so great that it would be worth potentially having no job at all or having to leave a school/admin that you like. I wouldn't worry about the two K teachers not liking each other and the room sharing drama. It's not your responsibility to worry about drama between other adults or try to make things easier on them simply because they don't like each other.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 23, 2017

    You need to emphatically let your P know that you are committed to staying at your current school at any grade level opening. And then start sending out your resume to EVERY school district, public, private, charter to which you are willing to commute.
     
  7. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Apr 23, 2017

    It sounds like Dressage can have the 2nd grade spot. If that is true, no reason to job hunt.
     
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  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Apr 23, 2017

    I would most definitely toss my hat in the ring for the 2nd grade opening.
     
  9. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Apr 23, 2017

    I think that I will ask to be moved to 2nd and then if a spot in 1st actually does open up I could consider that move at that time.
     
  10. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Apr 24, 2017

    I'd take the 2nd year position since it's the one that seems the most 'in the bag'. If you like a school and the P then you absolutely need to stay with the school. Being in a school you enjoy being in and having a positive relationship with the P is getting more and more rare. Do whatever you have to to stay in the school. I may be wrong but from what I gather, I think you'd be better off in the school you love, teaching a grade level which isn't your first choice, than in your previous school which you felt unsupported, teaching kinder.

    You may come to really love 2nd grade you never know. But you hate being in a school that is unsupportive of you - that you know for a fact.
     
  11. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Apr 24, 2017

    I was very clear that I want to stay in the building. Believe me, after last year? A great administrator wins out over preferred grade level every single time. And I might like 2nd just as much as I did 1st and kinder.
     
  12. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Apr 25, 2017

    Odd. I thought we formed cities so that we could stop being nomads. But we are returning to a nomadic life style, following jobs that move on as if they were herds of game. So we leave the empty shells of cities behind to fill with crime and despair?

    I say this because of these declining enrollment situations, which would not be happening if our elected officials kept corporations on a shorter leash. Instead, it's the corporations having the elected officials on a leash.
     
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 25, 2017

    I would let my P know that I'd take 2nd, 1st or kinder if it ends up needed, anything to stay at the school. But, just to feel more comfortable, I would look around and see what else is out there and do apply for jobs. Plan A is to stay at this school, plan B is to teach somewhere else.
     
  14. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Apr 25, 2017

    Well, I decided on the second grade position and let my P know today. He said to "consider it done" and that I wouldn't need to interview for it. However, he also said that if enough kinders came in for a full-time spot I would just stay in kinder.

    So I am good for next year! Either way, second or kinder? I am a-okay with it. And I have to admit? That after what happened to me last year? Being treated like I have value is a pretty cool thing!
     
  15. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Apr 26, 2017

    You truly DID wind up at a better school this time around. So relieved for you.
     
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  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 26, 2017

    Good news, DressageLady!
     
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  17. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Apr 26, 2017

    Thanks! I sure do feel lucky to have landed at this school. It is a good fit.
     
  18. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Apr 26, 2017

    Congratulations!! I'm so glad everything has worked out for you. It seems like you have great admin. If you do end up in 2nd, I hope you enjoy it. :)
     
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