Feeling very discouraged about teaching; wondering whether to stay in this profession

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jerseygirlteach, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Jun 18, 2012

    Last year my district had a big RIF and I was let go. Officially, I was RIF'd but my superintendent told me that he had walked by my classroom once and seen inappropriate behavior and said that I had a problem with classroom management. I was shocked because all of my evals/observations during the year had been very good. I didn't think it was fair to judge me that way (based on one instance) and I thought it was an anomaly. Surely my next admin at my next job would be more fair.

    I spent this year with a new district and never had any classroom management issues. Again, my evals/observations have all been fine. Students, parents, and the other teachers all give me praise. I've been very happy.

    My district has decided to lay off non-tenured teachers and decide over the summer who they want/need back. So, I was non-renewed along will the rest of the non-tenured teachers (just like last year at my old district). I went to my end of the year evaluation hoping my principal would give me some reassurances that I'd be hired back since, after all, I've heard nothing negative all year. Nope. He told me:

    1. I never come to him with any issues. Instead, I go to the other teachers because I "want to look like I know everything."

    2. My plans are excellent but I leave out components. I don't pace myself well and I run out of time. (Keep in mind that I teach resource room so I have kids coming in and out all the time. I can't just extend the lesson a few minutes if they took a little longer with a concept so there are times I have to cut things short and save it for the next day).

    3. I lack enthusiasm when I teach. He wonders if I'm not comfortable with the curriculum or the kids. This is particularly ironic to me because the last time he was in my room one of my students spontaneously said to me "You're the best teacher ever" and the other kids agreed. Plus, I have to say that I always amp up the enthusiasm when he's in the room to an almost unnatural degree because I know he's said to me from the beginning that he wants an enthusiastic teacher.

    So, I got no indication whatsoever that he's considering rehiring me. He went so far to say "You should apply for your position when you see it listed but I can't guarantee you anything so you should continue to apply elsewhere."

    I'm so upset. How could, again, I have positive evaluations all year and it end on a negative note? If there were problems, why lie to me all year and tell me everything was fine? I just don't know how to go through this again with a new district - spend all year giving everything I have, being reassured by positive evaluations, and being let go in the end in a conversation filled with negativity.

    Maybe I'm just not cut out for this. I clearly am not recognizing what I'm doing wrong since I feel like my kids are learning, they are responding well to me, and I'm giving everything I have. Yet somehow, two districts in a row see me in a negative light. I'm losing faith that this is the profession for me, even though I still love to teach and can't imagine doing anything else.
     
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  3. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jun 18, 2012

    My thoughts exactly :( If you are a part of a union, I would see their expertise that your evaluations NEVER have stated any of these issues.

    Just to let you know~ not all principals pull this on their teachers: if there's an issue, my principal and I meet right away and we work together to find a solution. I know exactly what I need to do to get better results. We often include the guidance counselor as well, since parents love to call her and complain-- that way she can back me up and knows what I'm doing in my classroom.

    I would keep looking for a better position/new school/new district. It sounds like you're a lovely teacher who knows how to do her job, but you just work in places with not-so-great administration. You also might want to look into going into business for yourself and doing tutoring, test prep, basic skills prep, etc. I know one lady who started a business for herself and its gotten very large-- she charges about $2,000 a month to work with individual students and parents are happy to pay that since she gets results. Just a thought...

    And I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through this. After reading your post, I too felt like I might leave the profession if I was going through this. Keep your chin up though :thumb:
     
  4. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Jun 18, 2012

    I agree with "charlottesome," it sounds very political to me, also. Administrators have become more like politicians in their reasoning and actions. It could very well be that he or a school board member knows someone personally that they want to have that position.

    Unfortunately, teachers new to the profession enter with the idea that everyone "plays by the rules." Logically, you would think with your written evaluations during the year being positive, you would get the praise and reassurance you were entitled to at the end of the year. It doesn't seem to work that way anymore. Administrators now give themselves the latitude to wipe out any previous commendations with one sentence.


    :huh:
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 18, 2012

    TICKS ME OFF.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 18, 2012

    It's a terrible part of the education world right now, but when there are so many candidates for each job, the administration can play this game. Some is truly awful administration and some is the school board giving directives (like only higher first year teachers).

    Hopefully you will find a district that isn't playing these games.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 18, 2012

    I don't think that you should leave education. It sounds like you've just had some bad experiences with bad administrators. I think you should hang in there. Hopefully a better admin will show up.
     
  8. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    Jun 18, 2012

    I would stick with it. I had a very similar thing happen to me during my student teaching.

    At first mentor teacher thought I was doing great. Then halfway into it, all of a sudden I am not showing enough enthusiasm, my lessons were boring, my classroom management was horrible and then I am not following her advice. Not to mention, her advice was vague. For the Hispanic boys who were disruptive, "you should mother them more." Umm, what?? It got down to the last week, and she's like, "Hmm, I haven't decided if I am going to pass you or not." Well, there was a protocol for not passing someone, and you can't decide on the last day. So, the certification program told her she had to basically had to sign off on me though they made me do more observation hours.

    Land a teaching job, and principal, veteran teachers all agree I am good teacher and work my butt off for my job. Students like me. Had the typical first year bumps, but nothing outrageous. Eventually laid off due to budget cuts, since I was the last one hired and all. But found another position at a dream school.

    So, I have been teaching for 2 years. I have heard I stink and should quit. I have also heard I am awesome. I just go in learn and try to do my best each day and get the kids to learn. You can't let people drag you down.
     
  9. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    Jun 18, 2012

    I totally agree with Caesar and other posters. I am so sorry that you are going through this. It can take you over. Spend time reflecting on good things that parents and students have said. God is in control and He has BIG plans for you!:hugs:
     
  10. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jun 18, 2012

    I wish you luck as well. Don't let the turkeys get you down. Maybe you can look for positions outside your area. Maybe there will be fewer issues outside the immediate districts?

    A follow-up question to all: Can you actually be judged for not going into the principal with issues? Our school basically told us that we need to go through certain hoops before bringing it to the office unless it is something like a fight.
     
  11. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jun 18, 2012

    I know how you must feel, but honestly I think you need to step back and look at it as "is there really where I want to be?" I know there aren't a ton of options out there right now, but if things don't work out with this position, then maybe it's not the best place for you to be.

    Maybe some of the things your principal said in the end of year meeting are true, maybe they're not. But the bottom line is if he truly cared about you as a teacher and truly wanted to make you a better teacher for the children and for his school, then he would have addressed these issues BEFORE your end of year meeting. If he feels these things and really never mentioned them to you until now, then how can they be such a big deal? If he was a good admin who wanted what's best for the children, he would have addressed these things previously so you could have fixed them.

    Were all of your evaluations entirely positive, did they give you any "next steps" or things to improve? I feel like while my AP is always positive after an observation and I know he's happy with my performance because he tells me, there's ALWAYS things he tells me I can do next to improve. I truly feel like he's telling me these things not to nit-pick or build some case against me but because he wants me to be a better teacher.

    It honestly sounds like he's saying those things to get rid of you. Very political.
     
  12. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jun 18, 2012

    My school is the same way. I NEVER go to the admin with a problem unless it's extreme. They don't want to be constantly bothered, they want to know you're not needy.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 18, 2012

    The same is true at my school. I would never think to go to admin with a problem unless I had tried to solve it myself or gone to my colleagues already.
     
  14. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Jun 18, 2012

    Thanks. Believe me, I thought the same thing. My husband even said that he bets if I had done the opposite and been in his office more, that would have been his big criticism at my end of the year eval.

    Also, if this was really an issue, all he would have had to do was mention it at any point during the year and I would have been in there more.

    If it is true that he said what he did to justify getting rid of me and it was purely political, it doesn't make me feel any better about this profession.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 18, 2012

    When you're in those sorts of no-win situations, it really is very likely that it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with some unknown (to you) politics.

    I caution you to avoid painting the whole of education in such broad strokes, though. There are jackass bosses in every profession, not just in education. I've had many administrators over the years, and most of them have been very good. You just need to find one who is a better match for you and a better admin in general. Don't give up just yet.
     
  16. chiilo

    chiilo Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2012

    This sounds 100% political. I'm so sorry, you sound like a wonderful teacher. Don't give up!
     
  17. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jun 19, 2012

    I'm sorry this happened to you again. I'm sure it's really discouraging. I know age shouldn't matter, but are you at the (younger) age when you're starting out in your career or are you older? We all say age shouldn't matter, but it probably does to them (districts) more than we may think.

    I always hated how a teacher's fate lied in the hands of a single person...the principal. So if they don't like you for some reason, you're pretty much screwed. I wish there was some other way to determine who was rehired.

    If I were you, I'd really be sick of this. What other field would you get into if you don't stick w/ teaching? I asked your age because I'm more concerned about whether you'd feel up to possibly going back to school to do something else.
     
  18. Meiduch

    Meiduch New Member

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    Jun 20, 2012

    Enthusiasm is one major factor teachers should work upon. Students tend to get interested in a subject if we make it interesting.
     

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