Don't have a clue where to go from this dead end

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by McKennaL, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Feb 13, 2010

    I'm so sad...

    and wondering whether to give up the search before I have begun this year.

    Maybe some of you read about the LTS assignment I had in Oct-Jan. I LOVED it! I still miss those kids DEARLY! Was it perfect? no. Did i make a few mistakes? Sure. Were they blatant terrible ones? no. Did the kids progress? Most Certainly they did!! Did i get GREAT experience and knowledge from it? I am so proud to say, "yes yes yes!"

    So what could be wrong?

    I asked three people for letters of recommendation...and got nothing. After quite a while I DID get an e-mail document letter (attachment - with a font signature- that actually I could alter if I chose) from the least of the three. I asked my former college's career center if this is acceptable - and they said it would be looked upon pretty poorly.

    So, I had to figure something out. I had pictures on my digital camera that i would like to give the teachers - and i thought that would be a wonderful IN to write another letter.

    So I sent the pictures on a disc to that letter teacher and the OTHER who promised a letter and to be a reference. I wrote the "promise" one that I knew her time was very full - but could she please send one (mentioned that she said she would-but did it nicely) and included a stamped self-addressed envelope. I mentioned to the one who wrote the letter that though it is is a very nice letter, would she mind copying it onto letter head and sending a hard copy (hopefully with a written signature) since - in preparing for the interviewing season (and mentioned just going over things with my former college) they menitoned that a letter-head hard copy would be better. I dropped that hint to the "promise" one one as well. Then i sent both (along with the picture discs) stamped, self-addressed envelopes.

    I can't push their fingers to the keyboard. (Ready to cry)

    The principal? I wrote her TWICE...and nothing.

    I don't understand. Even IF i wouldn't be hired in THEIR school, couldn't they write SOMETHING for all my time and effort?

    I can't tell you all the nights i have shot up in bed thinking of this...and then crying myself back to sleep. I THOUGHT this was an opening...

    seriously? Now i wonder if I should mention it on my resume/applications at ALL. Could they have had or found a real problem with me...and just chosen NOT to write? If they don't write (and a band of people not writing???) would they EVER give a good word for me?

    ***

    Sort of epilogue:

    I DID write in my letters to them (about the time of the picture disc) that i would like to take them out to lunch - my treat-as i offered at the end of my time with them (the two teachers) - back then they insisted on paying-and I said, then I still owe you that lunch - i asked if the 19th was ok? And have heard nothing from either.

    I HAVE gotten in touch with the literacy specialist from the school (through a letter). I mentioned that she had offered to talk to me about this one reading assessment, and though we ran out of time to do that, would she mind if i made an appointment to come in and chat with her about it still. She said sure, and we have it set for Thursday morning(the 18th) - where she is going to talk me through then i will stay on to watch her do one at the beginning of the school day. How nice! This room is not far at all from the room I taught in and the two women. Of course I would like to stop and say hi - but...i am even unsure about how to do THAT after the unreturned letters. (There will also be the principal there in the building...what could i say to HER?) I would LOVE to know -at least- if there was something I did wrong. but short of harming children...which i certainly didn't do...I can't imagine why not at least the blandest of thank yous and lukest of references.

    I do feel like if I DON"T get these letters - that it's a death note to me (especially with the tons of other unemployed elem ed candidates and more and more pouring out of the colleges all the time).

    Fit to be tied....and so very very sad. I DID a good job! I think I did a GREAT job. :(

    *****

    Any idea of what to do? Any hope?

    (how would a listing of an LTS assignment with no extra letters look? - pretty crappy, huh?)

    *****

    lastly... I'm now 50 years old. I feel like a young 50, but a teacher I subbed for the other day mentioned that she thought I was a retired teacher.

    Retired???? Goodness Gracious do i look THAT BAD????

    It's not as if i can say, if not next year - then the year after that, or after that "after all I'm young". I'm not THAT young. And I can't keep living off the little I get with no-name, no-recognition subbing and working in a grocery store while digging into savings much longer.

    I have to stop now - I'm REALLY taking myself down this morning.
     
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  3. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    Feb 13, 2010

    Keep a positive attitude...

    I know things vary by state greatly, but the letter that was emailed is just fine. 2 of my 3 letters are like that and no one ever said anything else...I was unsure at first bc once printed out, it is not signed and for all they know I could have made it myself, however if the person's contact information is on it then it is good bc they could always check it out with the person and you are a professional who has no reason to make up a reference letter.

    I don't know why your principal is not writing back...did you email or send a real letter, I emailed two of my principals and they got back to me very quickly, one wrote a letter and mailed it to me-specific to the district that needed it and she also included an additional general letter which I thought was nice. The other emailed it directly to the district. It is annoying and time consuming to write letters though if they dont want to they should definately tell you and not leave you hanging.

    Its nice of the literacy specialist to work with you...perhaps she can write you a letter?

    Are you subbing on a per diem basis in the school/district still?

    I dont think listing a lts and not having 3 letters is that bad, you have one right...do you have any other letters...what did you use to get that job in the first place?

    Me personally graduated in 2005...I've had 5 leave replacements and one part time teaching position since then...do I have references from each of them? No, I actually did my first 3 leaves at the same school and never even thought to get letters of references...though I used some of them as references. Then this summer when I was interviewing for a leave at another district they asked for letters and I had to come up with...thank goodness for emails and principals being 12 month employees.


    As for being called retired, dont take it the wrong way...you must have been doing a fabulous job if she thought you had the management/teaching skills of someone who had done it for years!

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  4. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    Feb 13, 2010

    Is it possible for you to actually go to the school and meet with the principal? I'm very surprised that a principal wouldn't have thought to write one for you without you having to ask so many times.
     
  5. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    Feb 13, 2010

    I think you may have to talk to each one face to face. You may need to ask them, in the kindest possible words, if they would have a problem writing a recommendation for you or if there is something that would prevent them from doing so. Once again, be as nice and deferential as possible, but let them know that hiring season is beginning soon and it would be a great help to you if they could write you that letter. And if they feel that they can't, ask them why and what pointers they would give you for doing better in the future.

    I know that this would be very hard for me to do, but face to face or on the phone might be the only way to resolve this and the only way for you to quit obsessing over this.

    Just try to keep everything positive.

    I hope that I can follow my own advice if it becomes necessary. :)

    I am thinking about walking in to schools this summer to try and talk to principals if I have heard nothing by then. Believe me, I find this prospect daunting.
     
  6. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Feb 13, 2010

    Regarding age, I'll be 49 in a few weeks, so I know where you're coming from when you speak of not having all the time in the world for this to work itself out. Ah well ... we can't turn back the clock, so we just have to march forward.

    Don't worry about people thinking you're a retired teacher. I'm sure people think the same about me. It's natural for them to see an older sub and make that assumption. I know teachers who started working for my district in their 20's who do actually have plans to retire in their 50s - so we could easily be mistaken for someone in those shoes. It didn't even cross my mind to become a teacher till I was in my 40's. I can't change that, but of course, now I wish I'd thought of it sooner. Again, we can't turn back the clock ...

    And, if it's of any comfort, we are not the only ones at our age, in this economical downturn, who are just scraping by financially. My savings were eaten up last year due to medical bills, husband's job loss, and the economic crash. That's just how it is right now. I hope it helps just a tiny bit to know that I'm out there struggling with you. It's not always easy to keep my spirits up, but I know my old heart can't take the stress of being depressed, so I try to stay positive. :hugs:
     
  7. teacherfan

    teacherfan Cohort

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    Feb 14, 2010

    I did a very difficult long term position in a fifth grade class, the principal promised a letter several times and he never came through with it. I, too, was filled with self-doubt. It still bugs me and it has been a couple of years.

    hugs to you...
     
  8. brandy

    brandy Rookie

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    Feb 14, 2010

    I also had a letter of rec. sent through the computer and i do not believe that it was ever looked down upon by principals so i would not worry about that. It is better to use it than not to have any letter. Also, i know how it feels when someone says they will write a letter and then for some reason doesn't write one. I even had 2 people volunteer to write me a letter and i never got a letter from either of them. I don't know why. They both seemed very nice but i think that it just slips their mind and they just don't get around to it. So I would definately try to speak to those teachers in person and maybe explain the urgency that you migh be feeling because of the hiring season. I think people who are not looking for a job forget about the urgency that we might be feeling. Also, maybe the reading specialist can write you a letter of reccommendation based on your interest/passion for learning.
    good luck
     
  9. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Feb 16, 2010

    Follow-up...

    JUSt heard from the "promise" teacher. She and the other teacher (wht the note in email) have just finished the letters and mailed them this morning _ Plus we are meeting for lunch on Friday.

    I can't TELL you how much I am flying on this. This is 5 weeks AFTER the LTS assignment ended and i thought i would NEVER see the letters at all.

    ****

    Riding high... i am looking forward to the meeting with the literacy specialist on Thursday. i have decided to seek out the principal. Even IF I don't come out of there with a letter - and THAT would be the trifecta (!!!)- I am going to leave her with a GOOD IMPRESSION!

    ****

    Working on my job fair season prep.....and flying this morning!

    :D
     
  10. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Feb 16, 2010

    Hoooooooray for you, McKenna! Keep up the faith-we're rooting for you! (and everyone else who is looking!)
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 16, 2010

    YES!!!!!

    Congrats!!!!
     
  12. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Feb 16, 2010

    Yay! I'm glad to hear things have turned for the better!! Good luck with the P, as well.
     
  13. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    Feb 16, 2010

    That's great, McKenna!
     
  14. nattyj21

    nattyj21 Companion

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    Feb 16, 2010

    I am glad you were able to get some letters. When I student taught it took my cooperating teacher forever to write my letter of reference and she was still seeing me everyday. The principal promised to write one, as I was able to help in a sticky situation and he was impressed. He got busy and I never did see the letter of reference. (In fairness to him I never pressed the issue either)
    I really don't see it as a ding to your teaching. The prinicpal and teachers, I am sure, are just busy and/or probably don't realize how hard it really is out there. Don't let this drag you down and make you feel like you are less of a teacher.
    Good Luck to you!!
     
  15. Jenstc2003

    Jenstc2003 Companion

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    Feb 16, 2010

    That's wonderful news! I'm glad it is working out for you!
     
  16. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Feb 16, 2010

    I've been searching on line for a simple rubric that is easily filled out by a teacher/supervisor. All they have to do is circle and sign. Writing a letter of recommendation takes time, a lot of teachers are perfectionist when it comes to something like this, often letters are started, abandoned, and started again. A rubric is fast. Let me know if you'd still like a sample of a rubric form of recommendation! Just p.m. me, anyone who thinks they'd like to try this p.m. me.
     
  17. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Feb 16, 2010

    Glad they finally came through for you.
     

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