Ethics of changing districts mid year

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Camel13, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

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    Oct 19, 2019

    I really need some unbiased advise. I am in my third year teaching in an isolated rural district in which I commute 140 miles round trip every day. I love my job. My school has a lot of the usual issues with behavior, etc, but because it is so small it is easy to get very attached and it feels like a family. Before I came in my school had almost yearly turnover of teachers for a while. When I was hired the board gave me a bump in two steps for pay for the first five years that I have to pay back if I resign. I sign a “contract” at the beginning of the year, but I am still under provisional teacher classification. I applied for a job this summer in a district 10 miles from home. My admin was very understanding of why I wanted to but knew I love our district. I did not get said job, but just this week another position opened up because the current teacher is retiring. This is the subject I want to teach the most and due to the rurality of where I live it is pretty hard to get a position...there are not that many schools, my husband is entrenched where he works, so we will never move, etc.

    I am so mad that this has come up now instead of summer. My husband is telling me that it is not a real contract I am signing and that people understand you have to do what is right for yourself. I just feel like I would be abandoning my school, and I want to make sure if I pursue this that I am not being unethical or that this reflects poorly on my reputation as a teacher. Personally this is very emotional charged for me. I love my district and students, but I cannot do this commute forever. Advice or similar experiences anyone could share?
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Oct 19, 2019

    You aren't a slave. You have the right to pursue being happy. Yes, breaking a contract is not a great thing to do, but under the circumstances, you need to think of yourself and your family. There will be repercussions (paying money back, etc.) but before you go any further, check to see if your contract permits them to put a hold on your teaching certification for breaking your contract mid-year. This would be the deal breaker.
     
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  4. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

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    Oct 19, 2019

    Definitely the sort of thing I worry about. I was trying to look at the bargaining agreements, etc online, but cannot find anything about breaking contract mid year
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Oct 19, 2019

    I would apply for the job and see if you get an offer. You can always turn it down if you decide that it's not the right time for a change, but all of your stress and worry could be a moot point if you don't get an offer. Just see what happens.
     
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  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Oct 19, 2019

    Apply for the other job. If you get the offer, then arrange for a meeting with the superintendent of the current district to see what your options are. (Or someone in the human resources department if it is a bigger district. We are small, and we go right to the superintendent.)
     
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  7. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

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    Oct 19, 2019

    The application I fill out asks if my principal is aware, if I am under contract, and if I am allowed to break it. So, I will need to talk to my principal first. I hate to bring it up if I know it is very frowned upon. Because if I end up staying at my current school there is going to be that feeling in the air!
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Oct 19, 2019

    It shouldn't be a surprise that you want to have a normal commute. Speak to the principal. Wanting a more normal commute in desired subject matter is normal. You may or may not get the job, so all you have done is let his know of the possibility. If it comes to be, pay back the extra money if asked, without whining. Go to new job with head held high. The piece of information that you most need is how many days notice are you legally held to give to be in compliance to whatever is written in your contract. That is crucial information. You may be able to find that information in your copy of your contract, but this is something that you need to be certain of. I would expect a minimum of 30 days, and some may be 60 days. At the end of that time, you will be in compliance, whether the district is happy or not. Talking to the principal should be his head's up that the commute is taking its toll on you. Extra money can only compensate so much, despite what some might think. If in doubt, get your contract to an attorney and get professional opinions and expertise.
     
  9. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    I am not sure if provisional means what I think. Up here, people on provisionals have to stay steadily employed for a certain number of yrs to be eligible for a full certification. I'd check into that before anything else and see if 2 full yrs is enough. It wouldn't be here.
    If it won't impact your certification, you might as well apply for your dream job.
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Oct 19, 2019

    If she only leaves this job to go to her new employment, she should be good. I don't know that it means you would have to spend x number of years in the service of a single employer.
     
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  11. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    Oct 19, 2019

    Vickilyn, True, but I have known 2 people who got caught in this web in the last 15 yrs. They switched to a new school and either did not like the new school as much as they thought they would or did not get tenure. They had to jump through hoops to be able to work again.
    If the job she is in is secure, she might want to put the years in there.
    It sounds like she lives in an area kind of like mine. ( Not enough kids and you have to wait for someone to die or retire to get a job...)
    I worked in my younger years in a place the opposite. They needed teachers there and you could easily find a new job.
    If I quit tomorrow, there would be a lot of teachers who are underemployed who'd be lined up for it. I am very expendable here.
     
  12. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

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    Yes, my area is like this. Very limited in teaching opportunities. I had to work in industry for three years after I graduated to get this job. My principal is, in general very understanding of my commute. I had applied for a job this past summer that I informed her about. I did not get that job, but the principal there said to keep my ears open for the retirement that just happened. I am surprised it happened so quickly and mid year. 60 days would work as I would not start until January if I did get the position. I’m sure my current principal would understand; I just wish I could find verbiage online somewhere about the legality. I have no problem paying back that $ they gave me initially. I spend more than that in gas a year!
     
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  13. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    I'd write a registered letter or email your state's certification office if you do not know how many years you have to put in for a regular cert.
    Your P sounds like a gem and like she is trying to help you get to a job closer to home. Your odds of getting it could be a lot higher with a fairly local reference like her.
    If push came to shove, it might even pay to hire a lawyer who could get an answer quicker. Our DOE is slower than molasses here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  14. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

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    Nov 7, 2019

    Just curious...so I applied for this job and am anxiously awaiting results. Feeling so guilty and want to give my school a heads up ASAP. My principal knows I applied, but the application closing was Oct 31st and I have heard nothing! How long is typical for a call for mid year interviews? I am going stir crazy!
     
  15. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Nov 8, 2019

    Where I worked in Virginia, all the regional cities had "non-compete" agreements. This meant that if you were on a contract with one school district, all of the surrounding school districts agreed not to even consider you for a job during that school year. (You can check where a certified teacher is working online in Virginia.)

    It meant that you couldn't move districts mid-year, no matter what. I understand why did this -- to keep from losing teachers mid-year, but for the teachers, it was awful. If you were in a bad job, you had no alternatives (except private school.) You couldn't get a public school job in a 50 mile radius. And the district I worked at would not release a person from their contract. They actively went after people's certifications if they left without being released from their contract.
     
  16. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

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    Nov 8, 2019

    My school is pretty understanding and would release me. I commute 70 miles the opposite way so I don’t know if it would even be considered in the same area.
     

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