Decisions, decisions...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by gr3teacher, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jun 16, 2019

    I need to decide what I'm doing next year, and I have to do it by Thursday at the latest. I have four job opportunities in front of me that all have some red flags and some benefits...

    Current position, 6th grade teacher
    Pros are that I already know and like the curriculum, I have a great team, I'll probably be the team lead for next year, and it'll be an opportunity for some continuity. I also love the kids here, and have already built some relationships with the rising 6th graders. This would be the easy choice, except...
    Con: I'm currently taking courses towards my PhD at a campus about twenty minutes away from my school, with courses starting at 4:30. The problem is that my contract runs until 4:20 each day, and getting out and getting to school on time requires me leaving by 3:45, while dismissal doesn't actually start until 3:50. That means every time I have class, I have to get my kids packed up and separated well before dismissal, and it puts quite a burden on my teammates. They've expressed to me that it's no big deal, but I recognize the unfairness of the situation and don't know if I want to put them through that again. Thus me applying to and interviewing at other schools.

    Opportunity 1: Elementary advanced academic resource teacher
    Pros are that I know the curriculum already and trust the team. The same time problems would exist, but me leaving early wouldn't inconvenience anybody else. I'd effectively create my own schedule, so I could just schedule my own planning time on class days for 3:45-end of day.
    Cons are that it's an insecure position. I could very well be destaffed after one year. I'd be guaranteed a job somewhere, but I wouldn't be able to guarantee what it would be. It could be anywhere within my certification area. Going to a new school then might make me look like a job-hopper to anybody looking quickly at my resume.

    Opportunity 2: Middle school Special Education teacher
    Pros are that this is at the largest gifted center in my district, and my future dissertation is going to be related to 2e kids. I probably couldn't find a better school in the state to be at for my dissertation. While I wouldn't be directly working with the center much, I'd still likely be serving as case manager for any 2e kids. The time situation also works out nicely, since my contract day would end at 2:45. That would let me not only get to class on time without feeling rushed, it would let me get in a quick dinner or snack first, plus review readings for class.
    Cons... it's science. They'd have me teaching team-taught and self-contained science. Granted, I enjoy science just fine, but I'm not certified in middle school science and am not sure how confident I'd be in the curriculum, particularly on day 1. Virginia allows teachers to get add-on endorsements by passing a Praxis, and I'd like to hope I could pass a middle school science Praxis if I needed to, but I'd still have difficulties considering myself an expert.

    Opportunity 3: Middle School Math Teacher
    Pros are the time thing again. They also want me as a department chair, which includes a modest yearly stipend (although also the extra work commitment of being a department chair). I have a math endorsement, and feel like I could go into this one with confidence as an expert, even though I've never worked above sixth grade before. I also had really good rapport with the administrator overseeing the math department, and think it would be a school I'd enjoy.
    Cons... well, this school is in a rough part of the county, to put it nicely, and they tend to have high teacher turnover. The AP interviewing me said she hoped whoever she hired would commit to staying for at least three years, though she knew she couldn't make that anything formal. The problem is that I'll be eligible to get my administrative credentials in December 2020, and will be making a big push to get an administrative job once my credentials clear. There's nothing saying I'll get an administrator job then, of course, but I'd still be actively looking for a new job just a year and a half after coming in. The kiddos at this school need (and deserve!) a teacher willing to give a long-term commitment, and I'm probably not able to make that commitment.

    I'm going back and forth, and will probably keep doing so until next Thursday, but it's just so stressful, and right after school let out, too.
     
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  3. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Jun 16, 2019

    For your current position and opportunity 1, would your principal allow you to leave before contract? Ours often does not allow people to leave early for appointments, etc. and would definitely not allow a teacher to leave early every day or regularly.
     
  4. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jun 16, 2019

    How many years will you be taking classes? If it’s just one more year, I would stay with the current opportunity and be really nice to my team! Maybe you could cover one of their recess duties or something similar in exchange for splitting up your class for a few minutes. I just don’t know if it’s worth it to adjust to an entirely new position simply for one year of classes if your admin and current team are okay with you leaving early to get to class.
     
  5. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Maybe I don’t understand. Why do you need to leave at 3:45 for a 4:30 class when the drive is 20 minutes?
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Yes, I have some disagreements with my admin about things, but they are very reasonable about things like this (and it probably helps that I'm serving as two different curriculum leads and doing a few other similar things).
    After getting to campus, it takes about ten minutes to park and actually get to class. Our school parking lot is the stupidest thing ever. Once parents come into the car rider line, it's basically impossible to get out, so I either need to leave before the car riders at 3:45, or after the last car riders leave at 4:15. Parking on the street isn't an option; there's only one road in or out, and the spots belong to the apartment complexes on either side.
    I have two more years of classes. There really aren't any duties that I could take; we all have to be out for recess (although they'd probably consider me agreeing to be team lead to be taking a duty).
     
  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    How often do you have class?
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Twice a week for the fall. In the spring, it'll probably just be once a week because I'll be taking the credits towards an administrative internship.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I’d keep the job you have currently, but talk to admin about leaving early first. If your teammates are okay with it, then that will help. Our admin is good at letting people leave early when needed for important things like that.
     
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  10. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    If your teammates and admin are fine with it, I would keep your job! I might occasionally offer to make copies for your team, etc. to make up for it ;)
     
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  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jun 17, 2019

    If you left at 4 wouldn't you still make your 4:30 class?
     
  12. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I would, but with the way my school is set up, there's no feasible path to driving out of the parking lot at 4:00, and street parking isn't an option.
     
  13. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jun 17, 2019

    I would either keep your current position or take opportunity #1. The other two opportunities sound like a big adjustment to make when you know that you'll soon be looking for administrative roles. If you go with opportunity #1, I wouldn't worry too much about looking like a job-hopper. I'm assuming that the position is within your current district (maybe even the same building), given that you said you are guaranteed a job if this one loses funding. So, even if you have to change roles again, you'll still appear committed to the same district AND have a valid reason for changing roles. Around here, it isn't really unusual for people to change roles within a district from year-to-year, and I don't think it would look bad to do so. This might be the best option for you, assuming that you actually want to be in this role.
     
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  14. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    This was my idea. If you can offer to take on an extra duty, it would help level the playing field. We had a teacher who routinely left early and skipped dismissal duties due to coaching at another school. It was okayed by admin, but basically this person was getting paid for two jobs at one time. It can cause some slightly bitter feelings, but if you volunteer to help in other ways it could mitigate that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  15. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    So as a follow up, I decided to take the special ed job. It turned into a math position, rather than a science position. The principal also made a big impression on me. He wanted to interview all new hires personally (it's a really big school... about 6000 students total for grades 7-12, so meeting the principal itself isn't always a guarantee), and hit a lot of my concerns before I even brought them up. He let me know that they have other teachers working towards their administrative credentials, and he wants to support us in moving up, and told me I'd be invited to events like principals meetings without needing to use my personal leave. He also offered to let me build an Odyssey of the Mind program through the middle school, and let me know that he was aware I'd be looking to do my dissertation study in a few years, and would support me in that.
     
  16. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jun 22, 2019

    That is wonderful! Congratulations.
     
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  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    THAT is an awesome principal.
     
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