filing a grievance. career suicide?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by kaww006, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. kaww006

    kaww006 New Member

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    hello all,
    i am an untenured teacher going into my second year of teaching. i taught 2nd grade last year and just found out that i was moved to 6th grade for this upcoming school year. it is still within my certification level but the change makes me uncomfortable for a few reasons. i spoke with my union rep about this and after explaining the circumstances the rep said that i could file a grievance. however, i'm worried that will put a target on my back with my principal since he was the one who made the decision in the first place.

    so my question is: has anyone filed a grievance before for similar circumstances? how did it work out? should i file one or should i just suck it up and hope for the best this school year?
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Did you talk to the principal at all to see if there were any other possibilities available? I'd hesitate to file anything, especially as a teacher who is only in their second year (and thus don't have seniority in terms of moves), unless you felt as though it was purposeful.

    Thankfully my admin believes a ton in keeping the new teachers within the same grade level a few years to help us develop quicker, but that being said, I would understand if I had to move grade levels due to the changing numbers in the school.
     
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  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Here, it there would not be grounds to file a grievance to be asked to teach anything within our qualifications. I would speak with your administrator (with your union rep present if you're comfortable with that) about your concerns.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    What is the grounds for the grievance?

    In my district you can be placed in any grade level or subject area for which you are licensed.
     
  6. kaww006

    kaww006 New Member

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    i did speak with the principal about my concerns but he said it was for organizational purposes. in my district there is a "preference sheet" where teachers can list their grade requests for the next school year. i had put on my grade sheet 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade only. 6th was not on there which is what the union rep said i could file a grievance for. the other thing is that after moving me out of 2nd grade, they had to hire a new teacher to fill that vacancy
     
  7. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Don't know what state you're in but, in my school system the rule is you can file a grievance if you didn't get any grade you asked for after the second or third time in a row only. Honestly it's not worth it to file being untenured, but that's just my opinion.
     
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  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I am surprised that your union rep said that this was grievable.

    I absolutely would NOT consider filing a grievance under these circumstances. I think it would be very foolish to do so.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm certified K - 10 and have found my "comfort zone" in grades 7 and 8. I would be devastated and terrified and angry if I was told I would be teaching grade 2. I would talk with my principal about my concerns and ask why they were making the change, but if that was the decision I would go with it and do the best job I could. I'm a professional; I would make it work. I would possibly look into applying to transfer the following year if I didn't feel that I was being successful.
     
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  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I agree with those who say you can be placed in any grade for which you are certified. Your p could have made the change for:
    a. The other teacher he wanted to hire was not certified in 6th
    b.The P feels you are a better fit with older children
    c. The P is trying to get you to quit
    d. For a reason you may never know

    You might look at this as an opportunity to work with a grade level that you may grow to love. Any way you look at it, many people will have wishful thinking that they could have your job.
     
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  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I've spent my whole career trying to get up to 6th grade...
     
  12. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    You are untenured and would consider filing a grievance over this?
    I wouldn't go near this with a ten foot pole, wouldn't matter if you could grieve it or not.
     
  13. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    With my license I could teach K-12 and my contract is with the school division, not with the school that hired me. So technically I could be placed in any teaching position in the division. I know of a teacher that tried to file a similar grievance as you, and she lost.
     
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  14. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    I wouldn't grieve this if I was tenured. I definitely wouldn't grieve it if I was non-tenured.
     
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  15. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Just because you can file a grievance doesn't mean you should. Personally, I wouldn't file a grievance for this regardless of my status.

    I wouldn't be happy, but I would just deal with it.
     
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  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Similar to what everyone else has said, I wouldn't be able to file a grievance over this in any of the schools I've worked in. Even if I could, I wouldn't.
     
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  17. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I agree.

    I'm absolutely not saying this is your situation, but if a person is moved from a grade level, it may be that the principal thought that the person's skills were better suited for another grade, or there could have been some unknown personality conflict that made it necessary to make changes.

    The only way I think it may be possible to file a grievance is if you feel this is a personal attack - like, the principal is bullying you and specifically put you in this position because he/she wants you to quit. Even then, it would be questionable.

    I'd say make the best of the year ahead of you, and maybe try switching schools if a placement you're comfortable with is not offered for the following year.
     
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  18. kaww006

    kaww006 New Member

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    thank you everyone for the advice! guess i'll put on my big girl pants and hope for the best
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Good choice.

    Grievance is typically involving something in violation of your contract. I dont understand how a grade change would be a grievance.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  20. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Boy you would HATE Arizona! Just sayin'.
     
  21. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    If it helps any... Grade 6 is a lot of fun! I'm in a 5/6 split and love it. There is so much you can do with this age group.

    I'm in Canada, so our system is quite different. For us, getting a position for the upcoming year is just appreciated. :) Very competitive here... I'm in BC.
     
  22. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    You may find that you will enjoy the older kids. When I was hired for my first contract position, I had never taught grade 7 or 8 and told the interviewing principal that I wasn't comfortable with that age group. She didn't listen (thankfully) and hired me anyway. It took me a few months to find my groove and learn to appreciate them, but it's now the age group where I belong.
     
  23. Teachertimes

    Teachertimes Rookie

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    As much as I hate that you are unhappy, no you should not file anything. It coMrs across very petty.
     
  24. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Now it is time to look at positives for the grade and the curriculum.

    Grieving this is a really bad idea. It shows inflexibility. There are some very important reasons to have a union, but unions have downsides. Your example is one of those examples of the downside of a union. The idea that you could grieve not getting your choice of grade shows how contentious unions can make teachers. If you were being moved out of your certification that would be an issue.
     
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  25. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Yeah, I'd be thankful I just had a job unless the job was detrimental to my physical and mental health.

    Older kids are more independent and you can expect more out of them. Hormones might start raging but still might be good! I went from preschool SPE to 11th and 12th grade SPE because it was time for a change. I'm loving the older ones now. Kind of wished I had moved in hear a few years before I did when the slot came open. :D
     
  26. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Glad to hear it. Like many others have said, while your union rep says you can grieve it, it just makes better sense not to. I've seen teachers in my district get switched all over the place (from 6th grade middle school to 4th grade elementary, from one middle school 6th grade to a different middle school 8th grade, and more. It can suck but if you're certified in whatever you're being switched to, you can't do anything about it.)

    Good luck with the school year. I love teaching 6th, hope you'll like it too!
     
  27. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    6th grade is great year to teach - coming from a teacher who thought she'd be teaching only in high school (ended up hating it) and loving the younger kids. I would definitely suggest trying it out for a year and see how it works for you. :)
     
  28. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I think you made the right choice. :) Give it a shot. At worst, you spend a year in 6th grade and then try to move back down to a grade you like. At best - you find your spot. Go in with a positive attitude for the change, and high expectations for the kids. I hope that you find some happiness this year, and that it's a good year for you!
     

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