Fear of having no professional references

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by dl101, May 30, 2016.

  1. dl101

    dl101 Rookie

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    May 30, 2016

    I'm applying for a new position in my state after resigning, and I'm asking around for references from my principals and assistant principals in the three schools I teach in, as well as my program coordinator.

    My P and AP from one of my 3 schools, as well as my program coordinator, were not comfortable in serving as references for me. They are denying my request because I didn't show enough growth as a first-year teacher, which led to a non-renewal.

    Now I'm starting to lose confidence. What if the admin at my other two schools refuse too? Would I be completely out of luck? Pretty much everywhere I'm applying for requires a reference from a current supervisor. The only reference I have right now is my student teaching supervisor from college where I graduated from last year.

    Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you.
     
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  3. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    May 30, 2016

    Ask the other 2 schools first before you lose hope. Then come back here :)
    They might have seen you differently
     
  4. dl101

    dl101 Rookie

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    May 30, 2016

    I'm wondering if I can get them to at least provide me with neutral references and letters of recommendation, even for those who denied the request. How useful are neutral references in terms of applying to new positions?
     
  5. IloveSF

    IloveSF Rookie

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    May 30, 2016

    Have you asked fellow teachers? I know they're not admins, but it could at least be a start. I had someone tell me once to include as many LORs as you can, but I understand the worry. When I was finished with student teaching, the principal didn't give me a LOR because she never came in and saw me teach. Actually, I asked, and she just never responded. It was a mess.
     
  6. dl101

    dl101 Rookie

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    May 31, 2016

    Two of my three school admins have now turned down my request for a reference. Things don't look so good.
     
    janlee likes this.
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 3, 2016

    Ask team members, associates, people who seemed to support you, and yes, the supervisor from university if it has only been a year. If you have volunteered for extracurricular, look there. If you have volunteered away from school, look there as well. If you are taking any courses or professional development where you have shined, ask there, too. The truth is that you need about three LOR's, and after that it is icing on the cake. If you have only been out of school for a year, it will be hard to have massive numbers of LOR's. Honestly, I am not a fan of resigning to avoid non-renewal for this very reason. The lack of LOR's from current employers speaks volumes, and it is hard to spin it into a plausible story. Non-renewal can always be presented as "not a good fit", but resignation without references paints a picture of exactly what has happened in your case. Make the most of an unfavorable situation and utilize what you can salvage. Prospective employers will contact your current employer, but that employer is actually somewhat limited in what they can share, so often not as dire as you might imagine.

    I would suggest updating your resume to include the positive skills learned in the past year, while finding ways to minimize those skills that you have been found low in. Accentuate the growth and your reflection on that growth, perhaps any workshops or PD that you are engaging in very soon, showing the desire to grow. Webinars, summer courses, PD, and free or paid workshops will show that you are aware that growth is needed and that you have not given up on growing your skill sets. If you don't have anything, look into PBS Teacherline Courses, which are very affordable, varied, to fit your skill needs, and also can help you acquire some graduate credit that will help you down the line. Look into offerings from the work force/unemployment office, since they will help anyone who is unemployed or underemployed and looking to find suitable placement. If you can tutor, add courses that help you to improve you class management/tech integration/content growth or expansion, then you are making lemonade out of lemons. Fight the "woe is me" attitude, and show that a negative outcome has actually given you a direction you can follow to encourage growth as a teacher or even as an individual. Schools love to see growth, so follow paths that will show that you have taken criticism to heart, and that you are willing to work on correcting prior deficits.

    Find the 3 LOR's that is pretty much mandatory, and then work on displaying a work and growth ethic that can negate the lack of stellar LOR's, and indicate that there is more to you than this one event. I, personally, would find someone well versed in resume creation to help put the best possible spin on current events, and then follow through with plans for improvement. How we respond to adversity speaks volumes, especially to potential employers who have a limited work history to evaluate.

    Best of luck!
     
  8. NewTeacher2016

    NewTeacher2016 Companion

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    Jun 19, 2016

    .
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  9. Clay Morgan

    Clay Morgan Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2016

    My strongest references, since I have little to no classroom experience, are actual teachers who have seen me or worked with me teaching in non-traditional settings, such as teaching children's judo classes, or teaching Sunday School.

    May not be the best options, but they seem to work well.
     

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