Does she just want me because her school is crappy? Should I take the job?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teacher_Lyn, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Jun 6, 2010

    My current school is downsizing, so I am an involuntary transfer. There are A LOT of us in the county because there're been some budget cuts and layoffs.

    Yesterday I went to a job fair for involuntary transfers and interviewed/talked with several potential schools.

    One particular principal seemed EXTREMELY interested in having me come to her school. She told me she wanted to sign me that day and asked me twice if I had any other offers. I did get a good vibe from her and am supposed to come by Monday to take a look at the inside of the school.

    When I walked away I heard her talking to another P about how great I was and that she wanted to "make this happen" and sign me right away.

    I drove by the school to see it from the outside and it was in a somewhat low income area, where the majority of the students are Hispanic (i have no issue with Hispanic students except when I need to call their parents & they don't understand me:() and even though the school is large, it's an older building and about a 15 - 20 minute drive from my house (my current school is only 5 mins away)

    So...the other schools I talked with, the P's didn't seem nearly as excited. One P said his school was open space (yikes!) and offered me an interview. Another said they'd call me later this week for an interview.

    So, no real big leads.

    When I go tomorrow she is probably going to try and sign me. Do I take it or keep searching incase something better comes along.

    My boyfriend says maybe she wants me because her school is crappy and she's just desperate for teachers. BUT my best friend (who was also there interviewing) said the P wouldn't be desperate for candidates because there were so many people at the fair, so she must be legit.

    :help:
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Have confidence in yourself. I think you may be over thinking this one. Often the right teacher is one that makes a good fit in the current climate of the school. In all probability, you said something or demonstrated something that highlighted that you would be a good fit. Another reason could just as easily be that you have a skill in something her school needs right now. Go in with an open mind.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Wow. :wow: So you have no issues with 'Hispanic students', only their parents' limited English skills? And the school is a 15 minute drive from your house? Gee. If these are what you would consider 'deal-breakers', by all means, turn down the job. Students in low income areas and older schools deserve teachers who are excited to teach them. I'm sure there are plenty of other 'involuntary transfer' teachers who would jump at the opportunity to make a difference to these students, to work with an administrator who was excited to hire them and to know for sure that they had a bona fide job offer.
    It's at least worth your time to go see the school and meet with the principal. You might be able to put off accepting the job for a few days to see if those other principals call you for an interview...this could be one of those 'bird in the hand' kind of situations.
     
  5. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Aw c'mon, don't be like that. I taught at a low income school and to be honest, my Hispanic students were better behaved and their parents were more involved than my "American" students, I guess because so many of them worked hard to get into the United States and they wanted more for their kids and understood the value of education.

    I just hated not being able to talk to the parents. We only had 1 translator for the entire school and when she was busy, it was extremely frustrating for the parent and I to attempt to communicate and because their children were only second graders, they were not able to translate and get our words across to one another succesfully. :(

    If a parent came when the older students were having classtime, I wasn't even able to pull a sixth grader to be a translator.

    I know some Spanish and am taking classes, but I am by no means fluent and it is VITAL that I be able to talk to my kids parents.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 6, 2010

    I'm sure that by 'Hispanic', you mean families who are Latino and speak Spanish. Many of us teach in schools of diverse populations. I consider it an enriching experience to have such students and their families in my classrooms. Perhaps you could professionally ask the principal about parent communications and how the school meets the needs of their diverse population. This would be a proactive approach and may help you clarify your thoughts about this school.
     
  7. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Jun 6, 2010

    :hugs: i guess because i feel like a loser teacher since class management is such a struggle for me, i can't possibly imagine anyone being excitd to have me. i'm afraid she thinks i am greater than i am and will be dissapointed
     
  8. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    again Cza, i don't want you to think that I have an issue with diverse populations. i'm a minority myself with an interracial couple for parents, so i appreciate diversity. i just want to be able to communicate with parents. i would have the same issue if the majority of my students parents were Asian/African/French/Italian and did not speak English.

    I believe that for a child to be successful, it's a partnership between student, teacher/school and parent. If I cannot talk to the parent due to a language barrier, that interfers with the kids success. That's all.

    I think it's a good idea to talk to the Principal to see what she says about language barriers and how the school meets those needs.
     
  9. tgtbtj

    tgtbtj Companion

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    Jun 6, 2010

    I think you should take the job. If it were me, I would jump at the chance at any kind of teaching job right now. Apparently the job market is bad everywhere, I thought this was only in my city but it seems that school districts everywhere are doing lay offs and hiring freezes. I would do it because what if you were to turn it down and are not able to find anything else? About the language thing, yeah I know how frustrating it must be. I personally don't struggle with this issue because i am bilingual but I know of people that have a big issue with it. Just ask the principal about what solutions they may have for that problem. Take the job! I would!
     
  10. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Jun 6, 2010

    You make a good point. I think I will request to come by the school during a time when the kids are still there so I can see the school in action, rather than after school when things are quiet.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 6, 2010

    Wait, you want to turn down a job because a principal is HAPPY to get you???

    If you're a halfway decent teacher, she SHOULD be happy to get you, shouldn't she??

    " My boyfriend says maybe she wants me because her school is crappy and she's just desperate for teachers." (Oh, and by the way, nice supportive boyfriend you've got there!)

    I'm sorry, I simply don't understand why you're hesitating. Because of the 20 minute drive?? Really??? Twenty minutes??? Because on those rare occasions when you need to call home, language can be a problem? Really? As a parent of 3, I've received very few phone calls. As a teacher, you can script what you want to say and say it, or send a note that someone else can translate for you.

    To be honest, it sounds as though you're fishing for reasons not to take the job. If you're sure you won't be happy, don't take it. But know that there's probably a long line of teachers, like so many here, simply dying to get that class for themselves.
    And that they would all be thrilled with a principal who was enthusiastic about them joining the staff.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jun 6, 2010

    I teach in a low-income school, and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. I don't have the language barrier, but I do have a lot of barriers to home communication!

    And just because the building is older doesn't really mean anything. I've taught the same kids in an old bulding and in a brand new state-of-the art building . . . and it really didn't make all that much difference. I had them as 7th graders in a crowded, old building. I had ONE electric outlet and no air conditioning. We were piled on top of one another, and there was mold growing on my bookshelves. I had them the next year in a multi-million dollar state of the art building. Not a huge difference otherwise.

    I like to see a principal who is excited about getting people for the building. The principal obviously sees something in you. I wouldn't be so willing to pass it up or think there are other motives.
     
  13. stargirl

    stargirl Companion

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    Jun 6, 2010

    I get what you're saying, Teacher Lyn, it really comes down to an issue of self confidence. I, too, struggled with that the first couple of years of teaching, wondering if I would ever start to feel like I really knew what I was doing and feel like a "real teacher."

    I think, though, this is something you'll have to deal with no matter where you take a job. Don't sell yourself short and resign yourself to working at a place where they take you because they can't get anybody else just so you don't worry about not meeting expectations.(I was kind of at that point too, but thankfully, at my third school in a long term sub job, things suddenly clicked, fell into place--yes, I was working harder than I ever had in my life, but it was such a good feeling to feel that I was successful, could plan good lessons and had good classroom management and see that the students were engaged and learning. That gave me the confidence in my ability and when I got a contract position at a school for the next year, I was nervous but not worried about failing. And I'm still at that school almost 6 years later quite happily and successfully.) I say, go for the interview, and see if the principal seems supportive, if the school has clear policies to deal with any issues that may come up, if things seem organized, if there are resource staff available to help classroom teachers, etc. Regardless of the socio-economic backgound of the students, if you can see that the school does offer all of those, I'd say go for it.
     
  14. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 6, 2010

    I think you may be kicking yourself down the line if you decline and nothing else comes along.

    Just to chime in on the demographic question-our school is almost 90% Hispanic-I don't speak Spanish and I have great relationships with my parents. I think you'd be surprised at how hard the parents try to communicate with you themselves. Those who really speak no English bring an older sibling or friend to translate for them. I also work in a school literally built almost a century ago. There are limitations for what we can do with technology, etc. but it's a cornerstone of the community-it's a voting location, meeting location-so much so that they are even building our new school over the old one instead of finding a new location.

    Don't doubt your ability-there are alot of people out there looking-if she liked you there must be a reason! :) Even if she was desperate for teachers-is that a bad thing? We were desperate last year-we just had alot of turnover-retirees, people advancing to admin jobs and some leaving for greener pastures-it's still a great school and I love working there.
     
  15. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Thank you for understanding. I am coming up on my fourth year of teaching and sometimes I still don't feel like a real teacher because I have not mastered -

    1) Centers
    2) Class management
    3) Making sure my lessons are interesting and reach EVERY student.

    However, with all the arguments I heard and taking some time to think, I am seriously leaning toward signing the contract. My Dad said the same thing to me, "Even if they want you really bad if you hem and haw long enough, they'll find someobne else Lyn'
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Lyn, NO ONE has "MASTERED" those things. With living breathing kids in front of us, it's not possible. What works with one won't work with another and will be a disaster with a 3rd. Being a good teacher means knowing what's more likely to work,( and only experience can really give you that knowledge) and having a Plan B and Plan C and Plan D ready just in case.

    Give dad a hug and tell him he's right!
     
  17. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I had serious confidence problems this year and finally figured enough was enough. I sat down and wrote out all my strengths, including things I may not have mastered but I have certainly worked hard on them and have seen a lot of improvement. Wow. My list turned out great. I'm going to use it to toot my horn and tell my boss why I'm a great teacher and why she should keep me in K. Thanks to the advice of a friend, I did not write down a single weakness. These are easy to come by. I am my own worse critic. Instead, I spent my time looking at all the great things I did. I suggest you do this excercise. It will help you realize just how much you really do know and how great you really are. Get out your old lesson planner and really think about everything you've done and all the improvements you've made since you've started teaching.
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Between having a steep learning curve and a few new staff that felt the need to make me feel like my ideas were never any good, it took a while. Then I finally saw the truth and quit competing and realized that I'm great just the way I am. I always was. I will always learn and grow but I took the bull by the horns and we had a great year. I came up with 12 areas of strengths or dramatic improvements with evidence to back it up. The only reason I haven't shared it yet is because I haven't taken the time yet to go through my lesson planner and newsletters and make sure there isn't more to add because I know there is. ;) That's on my list to do in the next 2 days because I want to sit and meet with my boss.

    If I have one regret about this year, surprisingly it has nothing to do with my teaching... If I had to do it over, I wouldn't let the other teachers and the newness of the position stress me out to the point that I felt inferior because I never was. It just made me look bad to co-workers that knew me as an aide and wondered how I would do as a teacher. I was doing fine and knew that but I was intimidated. Not any more. I rock! So do you! There is a quote that applies here...

    "Aim for progress, not perfection." As long as you are doing that and constantly (even as a master teacher) making improvements, you are on the right path.
     
  19. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    As someone who has about a 70% chance of being stuck with a half time job next year, complete with a 50% paycut... take the job!!!
     
  20. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Go see the school with the kids there and the other teachers there. It's a good thing when you find a school where the principal wants you very much.

    I understand that you were just looking at all sides of taking the job, not complaining. It's hard to say exactly what you mean on-line.

    Just remember that jobs are very scarce right now. That has to be a prime consideration.

    Good luck.
     
  21. SunnyReader

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    Jun 6, 2010

    I teach in a school you might call "crappy". (hispanic students, spanish-speaking parents, old building)....but I wouldnt trade it for the world. My kids are fantastic.

    Sometimes I need a translator, but mostly I work on my own. You adjust.

    Good luck.
     
  22. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    I taught in a beautiful newer school once and had a miserable time due to lack of communication on our grade level team and a horrible P and other admin. The school secretary was even miserable to work with. The school I am at now is VERY old, and run down, but the staff is wonderful, the admin are supportive and I couldn't be happier. PS it is also in a very low income area with over 60% of my class english learners. I love my job!
     
  23. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    So true!
     
  24. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Think about how great it will be to work for a principal who really wants you there! If you have a principal who has your back, none of those other things matter.
     
  25. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    :yeahthat: :agreed:
     
  26. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    I would take it. This Principal wants you to teach there, maybe its because you are the RIGHT person for this job. Don't doubt yourself. Even if this ends up being a challenging position in a less than ideal situation- its a job, its one more year under your belt, and it will make you a better teacher. This is an opportunity! I vote you accept and make the very best out of it!
     
  27. MathNrd

    MathNrd Rookie

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    Lyn, if you love teaching and you love working with kids then go for it.
    I can't believe your boyfriend said what he did about the school possibly being a crappy school. No wonder you lack confidence. Good way for him to show his support.
    Classroom management is all about confidence. You can do it!
    I think that you are ahead in the game. You have identified your weakness, now just work on them and reflect everyday. It will all come together.
     
  28. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    I was hired by one of the "worst" schools in our county when I first came to Georgia. I took the position over the phone no less since I was in Kentucky at the time. Well the "worst" turned out to be great. I ended up staying there 6 years. The ONLY reason that I left the school this past year was due to the fact that I my administrator was being transferred to the new elementary and wanted me to go with her. I have had Hispanic children 4 of the seven years I have been here and I asked my admin. if I could have the main ELL pod this year. They were my hardest working, most involved students. They WANT to learn and do everything that they can to do so.
     
  29. jwteacher

    jwteacher Cohort

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    Yepp. It's all about the people and staff that make the school, not the school itself.
     
  30. looneyteachr

    looneyteachr Companion

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    Jun 8, 2010

    if she's excited about having you - she'll be excited about what goes on in her school - and it all trickles down to happy teachers and students - go for it! schools like that are where u can make the most difference

    and what's with the bf's comment she only wants u because she's at a crappy school - that was a crappy comment !!!
     

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