Feels like my final 2 months at this school

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pi-R-Squared, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I am non-tenured. The one he really wants is tenured. He essentially wants to be able to shift an eventual teacher unit loss to the other building. Plus, it would maintain continuity in his HS math dept.
     
  2. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Neither of you owe each other anything. You are nontenured, which means your principal does not have to find you another job, even if he says he wants to. You are free to walk away. I would take care of myself in this situation and not worry about making life easier for the principal.
     
  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I strongly suspect that the principal finds direct confrontation distasteful, and makes him feel bad. If he can get you to do your own hatchet work for him, he will be more comfortable. But you may need that job, and his continuity within the math department could end up being you, depending on the job search. I just remember how desperate you were at the end of last summer, and a job with a commute is better than no job at all - unless you can live on the salary selling hamburgers at a fast food place. I think your principal is a heck of a salesman, selling you are resigning so he can get what he wants without confrontation. Perhaps the teacher he wants is bugging him for a solid commitment, and you are preventing that. Well, that's not your problem.

    Wake up and smell the coffee - this is business and your agreement only benefits one of two, and it isn't you. Your principal may be nice, but he is doing what works for him, because once you are gone, he will never see you again. You need to lose the rose colored glasses and see what is really going on, IMHO. Sorry, I'm thinking that he is going to go with the tenured teacher, who is harder to get rid of, and he hopes to save the district from having to offer you unemployment for up to 6 months, more or less. The fact that he is now mentioning the gentleman's agreement is an attempt to guilt you into doing what is best for him. Hold your cards a little closer to the vest and realize that no one will look out for you better than yourself.
     
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  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    This situation sound a little weird. I think it sounds very different in writing, here, and when you talk to your principal. He sounds like he's a sweet talker and very persuasive, and you are under hihs spell (sort of speak) but when you write it down here, black and white, it sounds very different to us, who are looking at it from the outside.

    I agree with those who said protect yourself. Your P wants what is best for him and he makes it sound like his best interest is what's best for you. Baloney. Everyone is in it for themselves, and so should you.
    Being laid off (RIF) is not the same as non-renewal. Non-renewal means they didn't want you anymore, for various reasons, and it doesn't look good. Being let go due to financial reasons (RIF) just simply means they couldn't keep you, last hired, first fired, it doesn't look bad at all.

    Resinging means you are giving up the option to put on your resume you were RIFed. No one wants to hire someone who had 2 jobs in 2 years, you're also giving up your right to unemployment.

    I would suggest to stop having conversations with this principal, look for a job, if you found one, resign, if not, wait. Wait until you get that pink slip. But if you're in California, aren't you supposed to get that by March 15?
     
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  5. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    I believe Pi is in New Jersey.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oh, in that case I'm not sure when pink slips go out. But either way, resignation is not the best option, in my opinion. Great for the P, not great for the OP.
     
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  7. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I've read everything and it's all been very helpful. The main points that I think I see are the following:

    1. Protect yourself.
    2. The P really doesn't want me back.
    3. Look very hard for another job.

    Let's say I don't resign. There is a good chance that he would non-renew me. Then I would have been non-renewed 2 straight years. If I don't find a new job between now and the end of the year, that could be my ultimate fate.
     
  8. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Not in NJ. State law says I can be informed on the last day of the school year.
     
  9. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Here's yet another nugget worth mentioning. I am 1 of 3 non-tenured teachers that were hired this year. Timeline of hiring is this.

    1.). English teacher who is baseball coach
    2.). PE teacher who is basketball coach
    3.). Math teacher

    Since I'm the last hired, technically I would be 1st to go. Others in the building have said the PE guy would go first when it comes to RIF. So who knows..
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    At this point I highly doubt I'd want to work for this bozo even if he ended up wanting me to stay another year. Do all you can to find another position.
     
  11. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Why call him a bozo?
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I think bozo is just a way of saying that, as a collective, we don't think he has YOUR best interests at heart, but he talks a good game to you so that you don't doubt him. You may ultimately call him a friend, that will be your call. You have an observation pending, "it hasn't been a strong year" for you, he "believes" you will find a job somewhere else, and IF you resign, you get the glowing LOR. Since you "could" have your job back (theoretically) next year, it is NOT RIF. If you choose to believe him, be our guest. If you don't find a new job, and suddenly your second eval is NOT glowing, think of us. If you find a job before being non-renewed, fine, if not, have a great time explaining this to prospective new employers.

    Let me ask you this - if you suddenly decided to move family from current home to right around the corner from the school, would he be excited that you are suddenly available for the rest of your teaching career? I think that you know, deep inside, that the answer is almost certainly NO. However, you can believe whatever you wish.

    Best of luck - I have no more help to give. Hope you get everything you wish for.
     
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    You could tell him that you are moving closer, in the next few weeks, and see how he reacts. That will really tell you about his intentions.
     
  14. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    The P and I both know I'm not moving closer to the school. So that's not realistic. I think my bottom-line questions and concerns really boil down to this dilemma. Consider the following:

    I don't resign. I haven't found a new job by the last day of school. I am non-renewed. Not because of position cuts or RIF... Just straight up non-renewal. Is that the "best worst" situation? How does that differ from resigning? Besides qualifying for unemployment, I'll be in the "no one wants to hire someone who had 2 jobs in 2 years" category.
     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Well, according to your "agreement", he will keep you on for another year, if I have read the posts right. Only time will tell if that pans out. You may find a job, but I seem to remember that this was almost a last minute hire last summer, so sounds like you are in an area where jobs are not readily available. I still worry about the looming eval, which could definitely change the "agreement". I don't have the answers, but I am seeing this with 20/20 vision. Qualifying for unemployment pays bills and keeps food on the table, so don't diss it.

    I vaguely seem to remember that you are in the vicinity of the Pacific Northwest, but I could be imagining that. I would imagine commutes are common unless you work in a larger city. You might need to beef up skills to go with those new certifications. Just passing the Praxis exams doesn't show mastery as a teacher. Tutor, volunteer, whatever, that shows you can actually teach those subjects. The same advice would help to shore up your ability to be a stronger math teacher. You can use those experiences to show growth as a teacher.

    Get a professional resume that shows your new skills, get on Linked in, check with Indeed.com, reach out to other teachers for contacts, etc. Checking with state posts is nice, but you are going to need to beat the bushes and get yourself ready to actively promote yourself. If you don't have a Teacher of Students with Disabilities certificate, you might want to investigate that. It shows professional growth and a desire to become a better teacher. The upside is that many colleges actively promote their own students for job openings. There are a lot of steps to take, ways to reach more opportunities and possibly make valuable contacts. The ball is in your court.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I personally don't trust the term "gentleman's agreement". It just doesn't seem professional. Maybe it's just me.
     
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  17. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Yes, it sounds like an "off the record" agreement, which cannot be used later on.
     
  18. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I'm in the Southeast. Lots of land between city systems! My school is literally in no-man's-land. Too far in all directions from 4-year colleges. My hometown has a city school system, 3 nearby city systems, and 2 county systems where the schools are spread out. The problem with this deals with a 4-year university in my hometown so there are plenty of fresh graduates to replace anyone leaving.

    As far as the agreement is concerned, I would resign on the condition that if the P cannot find his long term replacement by a certain date AND I haven't found a job by that same date, he would re-hire me. As everyone here has said, I need to watch out for myself. I've decided on not resigning until I find a new job. Of course, this could lead to a non-renewal but he could also re-hire me at the end of the year. I could be RIF'ed if a teacher unit gets cut. The P doesn't know right now how that will pan out. I will also continue looking hard for a new job. Last year, I waited on tenure and got released. Now, I have weeks to get ahead of applicants.
     
  19. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

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    Pi, to be blunt, he's just not into you. No principal is going to go through the hassle of advertising and interviewing if he was happy with the teacher he had. He is saying that if he can't fill the position he will hire you back because that is better than a long-term sub, but he is confident he can fill it with someone who meets with his approval. Don't let him sweet talk you into believing anything else. His actions show his intentions.

    If you need the money, let him nonrenew you so you can get unemployment. If not, resign so you don't get nonrenewed. Personally, I wouldnt want a nonrenewal, but I could survive on savings for a few months.
     
  20. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Ps can do some finagling when it comes to last hired. I was the last hired at a campus that lost enrollment, especially in one grade. I should have been the one to go but it was the last hired in that other grade level. She had been on that campus for a year more than me.
     
  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    It is worth noting, however, that the other two hires also coach. For many districts, that can be a deciding factor.
     
  22. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    P did say in our conversation that, when it concerns RIF, he cannot justify letting go of a math teacher when there is a non-tenured PE teacher who doesn't teach other subjects.
     
  23. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    But he did not offer you a job. Hold that conversation lightly and take care of yourself by applying for other positions
     
  24. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Yes, and on that note, last year, I didn't update my online application or resume thinking I would be tenured. So I didn't start looking until very late May. As of now, my online application is updated with my latest job and additional certifications AND I am closely watching for job postings. I'm considering using a personal day to map out a course of schools to perform a "resume drop."
     
  25. Expo Markers

    Expo Markers Rookie

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    Pi, what are your certifications? Are you just secondary math, or are you additionally licensed in other areas?

    I think you need to start playing up your strengths here. It's not going to do you a lick of good to wait for a hammer to drop when it could be until June when you find out whether or not you could still have a job in two and a half months.

    Get in front of the curve, apply to places closer to where you want to be, and get out of there. Anyone who makes deals under the table in a professional setting is not someone you want to work for long term. If he can forge an agreement to help you, he can also screw you over if he doesn't get what he wants. (Honestly, do you think he will bail you out if you resign and he gets what he wants, but you don't have a job?)

    Do you have a union? I think a rep needs to get involved if he's trying to pressure you to resign.
     
  26. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    But, if the tenured MS math teacher gets her HS certs, you are expendable, if I am reading this right.
     
  27. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I am certified in secondary math. Just passed both chemistry and physics Praxis exams. Just waiting for official scores to post so I can submit the paperwork to add credentials.

    With the agreement, the P said he would talk to the super to find out exactly how I can write my LOR with the conditions in it.

    And with applying for positions closer to home, I'm waiting for those to be posted in the online app. Some school systems use the app and some don't. I dropped off my resume at a place that I know will have a math opening. Another place I left one sees enrollment increases and they may have enough to add a unit. So, I am looking around.
     
  28. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Yes, that is correct. P told me that the MS teacher is hesitant about taking the test. She doesn't want to fail it. The P was so desperate last year to find a HS math teacher that he convinced his history / economics / drivers ed teacher to take the HS math Praxis. Word is, he answered the 1st 7 questions correctly and then clicked through the rest of them! Didn't pass. ;)
     
  29. Expo Markers

    Expo Markers Rookie

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    That's how I read it too. If the MS teacher gets her HS cert, OP seems like they'd be SOL.

    That LOR sounds really weird too. How will they write in those conditions without making it seem like the P is trying to put you down gently?
     
  30. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    And that would be the gamble. That she accepts the move into the HS and passes the exam. He says I would be 2nd choice if she doesn't pan out, But who knows if he's being truthful with that.
     
  31. MrTempest

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    I have posted this response in the past and thought it may be appropriate here.

    The way I see it is that there should be a clear distinction between a non-renewal of a probationary teacher and that of a tenured teacher. If a probationary teacher can be let go without cause or the right to due process, he or she should not be put in the same boat as a teacher who was not renewed for a reason that could have amounted to a loss of license or committing something illegal. Under the rules of tenure it is assumed that you do not have the right to a renewal during a probationary period, that being the case I see no good reason why a non-tenured teacher who was non-renewal without cause should be obligated to acknowledge the non-renewal on an application.
     
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  32. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I spoke to the other HS math teacher. He's married to the MS math teacher that the P wants to move up. Word is that she is wavering on moving up. Sometimes she feels ready to move up. Other times, she feels afraid. Also, she attempted the online version of the HS math Praxis and failed and she feels discouraged. The husband feels the same as what others are saying here. He thinks the P is looking out for his own backside and one way to do it is to get the MS teacher to move up.
     
  33. Expo Markers

    Expo Markers Rookie

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    That's what it sounds like to me, Pi. He's trying to edge you out for someone with tenure so he can keep the slot. Whether this teacher or someone else does that is none of your concern.

    Honestly, even if he doesn't find someone, I'd get the hell out of Dodge so fast. I can't see this panning out well for you unless you just cut it at the knees and find a new school closer to where you want to be without this nonsense. Any boss who can't make the promises they make to you in writing should be treated with a healthy amount of skepticism as a default. If he can't assure you a good LOR in writing, or he can't write the deals he's making in writing, that's your sign to bail. Don't get caught up in shoddy administrative practice.
     
  34. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    OP, I don't know why you bother to ask for other's opinions. You have bought in to everything your principal has told you, despite what forum members have written and pointed out. Bottom line goes something like this: You keep changing little details around to justify resigning and trusting your principal. You don't need our permission to go that route. I believe the rationale for not trusting the principal or his deals has been clear cut and well defined by forum. members, but you seem determined to justify following the principal's agreements and deals. You focus on minutia and seem to fail to look at the big picture.

    Having qualified for science certs won't count for much if you can't convince a hiring committee that you can actually teach those subjects. You stated that this hasn't been a stellar year, and math IS your thing, so what makes you think it will be easy to walk into a science classroom and shine? That's not personal, but rather something that I have witnessed much closer to home. How hard could it be, they thought, only to find that what you know, how you structure one content class may be very different from a different content class.

    I am still suspicious that the second observation in your toughest class gives the principal a lot of power to change everything you think you know about how your agreements are going to play out. I think you are so afraid of non-renewal that you are choosing blinders so that you will see only what you choose to see. Without any ill will, I believe that this principal is determined to get rid of you. Your commute is your problem. For future reference, keep you personal matters to yourself. He is using your commute against you, when it really should not be a factor at all. If you were the best teacher he had ever hired, I can almost guarantee that he would be trying to convince you that you could do it for at least one more year. Instead, he is saying that if all else fails and you can't find another job, he will take you back for one more year. That is an underwhelming vote of confidence.

    I also think that you are under the impression that you will get a RIF, but if the observation goes badly, that will not be the outcome. I hope I am wrong about this. If you have several weeks to look for a new job, he has several weeks to search for a new math teacher. If he finds the right person, the MS teacher won't be in play at all.

    I wish you well, but I don't get the feeling that I can offer you any thoughts that you won't choose to counter, so I am out of this thread. Remember, if anyone has offered to write LOR's for you, NOW is the time to make that happen. The later it gets in the school year, the less likely that those letters will actually materialize - personal experience, take it or leave it.
     
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  35. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Your entire post hit the nail on the head.

    The sentences I quoted, though, are oh-so-true!!!
     
  36. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I already stated that I won't resign until I find another job. I am looking for new positions and will apply to places closer to home. Whether openings become available is another matter. And yes, I am very afraid of a non-renewal. I really hope that I can find a new position so I can just resign to avoid all this mess. That will be most ideal. I want to avoid a pink slip. During our talk, he said, "I really don't want to hand out pink slips." So, I know that's likely gonna happen if I can't land something between now and end of year. Thus, it comes back to getting a non-renewal and continuing a job search. Only difference from last year to this year is getting non-renewed in back-to-back years. That's what I'm most afraid of.
     
  37. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    You may not have a chance to resign if he gives you a non-renewal first. He wants to get rid of you. I don't think you've truly come to terms with it, though.

    Yes--I'm sure getting non-renewed two years in a row must be gut-wrenching, but use these experiences to reflect on what you can do to improve in your next role.
     
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  38. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I think grateful is the word I would use to describe what's going on. By that, I mean this place was my 3rd of 3 interviews I had all of last summer. And, on top of that, I only got the call because my friend jumped ship after accepting first and bailing out last minute. It my last and only hope last summer. So, yes, I have 2 pairs blinders on over my rose-colored glasses because this place kept me from unemployment. ;)

    P mentioned that I would have the option of resigning if and when pink slips come up. Should I not believe this either?

    At this moment, everyone here says the cards in his hands say, "Get rid of me." If I don't draw a card that says "new job" on it, am I basically stuck with a crappy hand?
     
  39. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Yes
     
  40. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I emailed my education association rep. She will meet me at my school on Tuesday. In caps, she wrote, "DO NOT RESIGN."
     

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