forced to resign and can't have letter of recommendation

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by buebug, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. buebug

    buebug New Member

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    Mar 13, 2011

    On Friday I had an odd encounter in my school office, a colleague of mine come up to me and asked me if I was going to be teaching yearbook next year has she had heard that the position was open. As I had no plans of leaving I told her that I was still planning on being there. So, I went to my principal and asked him if it was true. He told me that the position was not open and wanted to know who had told me this. I would not tell him and he said that it was not right that someone else told me this, but that my contract was not being renewed for next year. He told me that he would come talk to me next Tuesday or Wednesday in a more formal capacity, but that I basically had two options:

    1. I could resign, if I do I can not ask for a letter of recommendation.
    2. That I can sign a paper saying my contract was not renewed.

    He told me most teacher opt for the first one. Now, a little bit of background information. I am a second year teacher so I do not have tenure. I teach tenth grade English, Theatre, and Yearbook. I have worked my butt off for this job and regularly have 14 hour days between rehearsals for musicals and plays and yearbook deadlines. I have been given minimal support by my administration and department heads along with most of the colleagues I was teamed with. I am at a loss of which one I should choose and have been researching my options, however what I wanted to know is if anyone else had been told that they can't ask for a letter of recommendation if they are forced to resign?

    Thank you for any input.
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 13, 2011

    Most teachers who get a RIF letter are able to ask for a letter of recommendation. Not sure what is going on, but I've never heard of it being said that you cannot ask for a letter of recommendation.

    Can you ask for a letter of recommendation if you sign the contract? And why in the world would most people choose option 1 if they cannot ask for the letter?
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 13, 2011

    As another thought....you might want to wait until you read the letter that you would be signing to see what it says before you make a decision.
     
  5. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    Mar 13, 2011

    A RIF (reduction in force) is essentially the education term fir being laid off due to budget cuts.

    Is this happening at your school or is your contract just not being renewed?
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 13, 2011

    This doesn't really sound like a RIF situation to me; it sounds more like a regular non-renewal. I hope the OP can give us a little more information to clarify.
     
  7. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Mar 13, 2011

    Are you being RIFed, or is your contract not being renewed due to poor observations? If you have unsatisfactory observations, that could be the reason for no letter of recommendation. Maybe they are being honest with you about not being able to recommend you for another position? Otherwise I can't imagine why they would tell you that you couldn't have a letter. I tell my students all the time that I cannot write a letter for them because it would not be a good one. I also tell all students that I will honestly represent their abilities and effort in the letter. If they don't think that you have done a good job, you may not want them to write a letter for you.
     
  8. buebug

    buebug New Member

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    Mar 13, 2011

    As for as I know it's not a RIF, with have the JPAS system for our evaluations and I have made improvement on them. I guess my real issues with this is 1. That he told other staff before telling me my contract was not being renewed and 2. That he said it was district policy that I could not ask for a letter of recommendation. I am trying to think about my future career and how this is going to effect it. I know he does not have to give me a reason for not renewing my contract.
     
  9. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Mar 13, 2011

    Are you sure you understood him correctly? Around here, if you resign you can get a letter of recommendation, but if you take the non-re-elect, you can't get a letter.
     
  10. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    Mar 13, 2011

    I'm confused now...

    If the school is choosing not to renew one's contract- I'm assuming due to evaluations- why would they write you a letter of recommendation? Why would they recommend you for another position if they don't want you to keep the one you currently have?

    Personally, I wouldn't want to use this school as a reference because they most likely would not be in your corner. Maybe ask a colleague that you worked well with for a letter of recommendation instead of administration.
     
  11. buebug

    buebug New Member

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    Mar 13, 2011

    Thank you for your responses. I don't know that I really want a recommendation from this principal as it would be probably not be a good one. I feel like I've been a bit ambushed is all by everything that has happened and that my teaching career is going to be in jeopardy. There are a few colleagues that I think I could ask for a recommendation from.
     
  12. Boo

    Boo Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2011

    I am sorry you are going through this. I think it is highly unprofessional of your principal to tell other teachers that your contract will not be renewed. I mean, how did they know this before you knew it yourself if he did not tell them himself?
    If you are a member of a union, I would go to a rep to ask for advice and options, and just have an ear to listen. In some cases, they can set you up with some sort of an agreement, like you may be able to get unemployment if you resign.
    If it helps any, I am in the same position, only I was told a month ago. I decided to take the non renewal so I can get unemployment should I need to do so.
     
  13. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Mar 13, 2011

    This blows and really pi$$es me off.

    If I were a principal and were non-renewing a teacher I had kept on for two years, I'd give that person a good letter of recommendation unless it were actually injurious to students to have them in the classroom. The person would have to be truly awful. And in that case, my own judgment should be called into question as to why I didn't fire the person sooner.

    Even if the teacher was less than effective, everyone deserves a second chance. Maybe at my school, with my population they were not effective, but at the next school they could excel.

    The problem is that in today's job market, a non-renewal is akin to blacklisting. To non-renew a person without the right to a letter of recommendation is indeed blacklisting in my opinion.
     
  14. Boo

    Boo Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2011

    The thing is, anymore a resignation at this time of the school year is pretty obvious the reason they resigned, especially if they haven't been hired for another teaching position elsewhere. They might ask you on applications if you resigned instead of being non-renewed, so even if you resign...how is that different from actually being non renewed.
    I'm wondering if because of the budget if they will fill your position. Because your principal told the other teacher that your job was not open for next year. If so, you might be able to say that you were non renewed because of the budget.
    If unemployment is an issue, you might not be able to get it if your resign.....so if, like I said, you do have a union,talk to a union rep. If you don't know who that is, find out. It doesn't even have to be a rep in your building.
     
  15. rbschreiber@gma

    rbschreiber@gma Rookie

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    Mar 23, 2011

    I know of a local district in which administrators refuse to write letters of rec EVER, even for student teachers. After a separate local district got sued for a principal writing a letter of rec for a teacher who went on in another state to have inappropriate relations with a student, they made it their policy to avoid that possibility by never recommending anyone...
     
  16. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Mar 31, 2011

    :yeahthat:
    :yeahthat:
     
  17. CaptWho

    CaptWho Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2016

    I had a similar scenario play out after my 1st year of teaching. My Admin told me he was recommending me for non-reelect, and never told me I had the option to resign. He told me he would write me a recommendation letter at the end of the year, but when I asked for it on my last day, he refused to write me one.
    I went to my BTSA/Induction coordinator, and she said regardless of the reason why, I should opt to resign before his paperwork went through because many HR folks typically won't read past "Non-Renewed" or "Non-Reelect." I was rehired very quickly after all this, and was interviewed by my soon-to-be team teacher. I told her later on about my first year, and she told me she wasn't surprised at all, but that it did me well to not throw my admin/district under the bus.
     
  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 22, 2016

    Generally, resigning negates the chance of getting unemployment. Since there is not a LOR in play, I would wait it out and draw unemployment benefits, personally. If money isn't an issue, do whatever you prefer. MANY teachers are hired after being non renewed, so not quite the kiss of death it is made out to be. Your observations may be a factor, but they are what they are, no matter what. I am a big believer in taking the money from unemployment, because pretty much anyone can figure out that you only resigned to keep from being fired. That said, money can ease the pain as you search for a new job. The resignation doesn't seem to be advantageous in any way, since most applications these days ask if you resigned to keep from being fired. Money at least keeps you fed and the bills paid. Just my opinion, of course.

    In all honesty, you do have a choice. Both leave you without a job, neither gets you a LOR, but one allows you to receive unemployment benefits, while the other does not. I never understand the "forced to resign". Resigning really does not offer a benefit, and it could cost you thousands of dollars. You would be wise to consider that aspect. Don't forget, a colleague can write a LOR, too, you know.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016

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