From bad to worse

Discussion in 'General Education' started by INhunter, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. INhunter

    INhunter Rookie

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    Nov 7, 2013

    So it's pretty apparent that I am becoming increasingly unpopular with more of my students. (Sometimes I wonder if student behavior is a reflection of how I feel hand tied with the administration.)

    Anyway, last night I made 9 parental contacts whether in the form of a phone call, leaving a voicemail and email, or just an email. Anyway, there is another clique of girls and possibly a few boys that have become extremely mean spirited toward me. I believe they are the ones that accused me of saying "I hate my job, the only reason I work here is for the paycheck". I tried to focus on this clique because one of the girls was telling all this week how she hated my class, wanted Mr. So and so from last year back, etc.. (She also got mad at me today because I moved changed the seating chart and sat her by someone she doesn't like....she wanted to be by her friend.) So I called her home and told her parents I was just checking up on her and was concerned with her, etc.. They seemed courteous and said they would talk with her. Now this is a girl who is Miss Popularity, so I was hoping to bring her on my side to let the kids know I am actually not all that bad. Maybe it was her, or maybe it was a friend of hers, but I do know it was not the girl whom I referred to as Beth in a previous post.

    (SIDE NOTE: I will also note that I made one, which I am afraid is a critical, mistake while making contacts last night. I held test retakes today and gave the classes a study sheet. However, I forgot to give 3rd hour, or Miss Popularity's class, a study sheet/test. I called a number of parents last night telling them their child would have a retake today and that I gave them a study sheet. Me, being the idiot that I am, forgot to give her class a study sheet earlier this week. (I could blame my negligence on stress and nerves, but I'll take full responsibility.) Today I looked like a fool when I learned that in fact I did not give a study test to her class. Thus, I essentially lied to or mislead some parents. To try and fix things I apologized to this class, the one with Miss Popularity, and told them I would give them the study sheet today and that they would take the test tomorrow to be fair.)

    Anyway, back to the main topic, as my good intentions from the parental contacts have backfired on me. I was called into the vice-principals office again. This time, the grandmother of a different girl, called to complain to the office that students have been saying that I am staring at the rear-ends of female 7th graders. Now, not only do I have to watch what I say, (afterall, I was tattled on by another student for saying "shoot, I dropped the eraser" which was considered cussing), I also have to look upward at a student instead of downward. (So what's next, will I be accused of looking down a girl's shirt?)

    I seriously think I can't win. Not only am I some unpopular teacher (I overheard a student today shout from the hallway, "Mr. S, you suck"), now I'm VERY afraid I'm getting a reputation for staring inappropriately at 7th grade girls hind-ends.

    I think my teaching career is shot. I know how records like this are perceived in the educational world today. I probably should go jump off a cliff............
     
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  3. INhunter

    INhunter Rookie

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    Nov 7, 2013

    Anyway, administration says they can't keep taking bullets for me. They must be getting lots of calls about me.

    Also, somehow I lied "due to nerves" during my recorded conversation when they suspected me of stealing lesson plans.

    I've also been told I need to work on not being so nervous.
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Nov 7, 2013

    Sounds like a tough situation all around. Not sure what suggestions I can give. The easiest suggestion is to make sure that your door is always wide open and your window shades are open. And this goes without saying of course... but make sure you aren't doing anything to could be perceived as looking at girls' butts.
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Nov 7, 2013

    As stated before, what a difficult situation. If things don't work out, I know several former teachers that are very happy with their new jobs after leaving teaching. I am very good friends with 2 of them. They are much happier since leaving.

    Keep your chin up. There are lots of other professions you can go into with your college degree. My prediction is no matter what happens, you will be much happier one year from today.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Nov 7, 2013

    I'm sorry this is happening to you. I totally understand that being in this situation makes you very nervous, which means you probably second guess yourself, and might make more mistakes due to this.

    There are 3 ways to deal with mean students (in my opinion anyways)
    1. you try to be patient, try to understand that they deal with all sorts of issues at home, outside of school and you show them that you care. You have conversations, give second chances, try to build relationships. A lot of times this works. Sometimes this works for a while, but then it doesn't, so the approach has to be changed.
    2. you deal with them matter of factly, ensuring that you hold them to the same standards as other students. This is important, and often hard to do with those students who are passive-aggressive, manipulative or sneaky enough to play you and do a lot of small bad things that are not enough to get a consequence, or are confusing. They can also play you to make you second guess yourself and then you get frustrated.
    I have some students like this, and I'm guilty of being too patient with them, or actually allowing them to do things others couldn't (for example get out of their seat and walk around. I redirect them, etc, but then they talk, or get up again, always with an excuse. Not the end of the world, but it is too much, and if another behavior problem student would do this, I'd give them a consequence, so it's not fair). Sooner or later I do realize what's happening, so it is handled, but I'm still working on being consistent and fair.
    3. you let them know that none of their games will work and you actually hold them to stricter standards than others. I had to do this with some students (to the suggestion of my P) and it worked. So while I'd give other students some leeway, this student opens her mouth out of turn 2 times, they're warned each time and after that they're gone, written up, etc.

    The student you're describing probably needs this approach. If you have tried #1, or if you think it won't work, or she'll try to set you up etc, then you gotta do #3. I'd do this with all the other meanies in your classes. They will take advantage of you and make fun of you if you let them. Show them you're the boss.
     
  7. INhunter

    INhunter Rookie

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    Nov 7, 2013

    So teaching really is over for me before it started?? All because of accusations from a few students?

    I worked years for this degree, had so many fun ideas planned, clubs planned, stuff I wanted to possibly coach, etc.. and now its over....
     
  8. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Nov 7, 2013

    ^^^ It may not be over, but you might want to get out of your current job before something happens (a false accusation sticks) that your career cannot recover from.

    I'm not saying you should quit, but as everyone else has said, you need to be VERY careful since you already know that the students will lie on you and Admin will not have your back.
     
  9. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Nov 7, 2013

    For whatever reason, this job is not a good fit. Accept that and move on. For you, this may mean leaving this school. I would talk with someone you trust at this school and get an idea of what the others are saying about your staying or going.
     
  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Nov 7, 2013

    My first teaching job was an utter disaster. I had a principal that actively hated special education teachers and students. Everything that could have gone wrong for me that year did. From the time I left that nightmare until I got a phone call offering me my new job, a total of 17 days passed. That same day, two other schools also offered me jobs. One bad experience won't end your career... as long as you can leave on your own terms, and don't have any black marks on you. It helps if you have somebody from administration willing to vouch for you getting a raw deal though. You're a science teacher. Science teachers are in demand.

    Absolute worst-case scenario... find a job in a new state, leave this experience off your résumé and tell future employers that you spent the year caring for your sick mother.
     
  11. muinteoir

    muinteoir Companion

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    Nov 8, 2013

    Some schools just aren't places for some people. My first year was like that. I was not from that community and nothing I could do would ever be right.
    I resigned at the end of the year, and never looked back. Thst was over 30 (!!!) Years ago. I've worked in several other schools since then, always successfully.

    As has been said, leave on your own terms, and you will be fine.

    If you can move to San Antonio, you'll be able to find a science teaching job. :)
     
  12. Goingback

    Goingback Rookie

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    Nov 9, 2013

    My first year was absolutely horrible. The principal made passes at me and told his buddies that we were having an affair. My kids heard it, their parents heard it......it was the worst experience of my life. The respect from my students was gone! I was 6 hours away from home and cried every day! When I made it very clear that I was not interested in principal he decided he would botch my evaluations. I refused to sign them, found a trusted superior and talked to them about it. The principal was no longer allowed in my room and all of my evaluations then came from the central office.

    At the end of the year I received a glowing summative from him, one that I can honestly say I did not deserve, and was offered a job to come back for another year. I refused, found another job, and did not look back. You can come back from a bad first experience, I am proof of that. Good luck with everything, I can only imagine the situation you are in.
     
  13. flewthecoop

    flewthecoop Rookie

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    Nov 9, 2013

    It isn't too late to try and turn this around, maybe this school isn't the right fit for you. But, document everything, calls home, conversations with students, at the end of each day reflect on how your classes went. Write this all down so you can remember. Try some kagan teambuilding and classbuilding. Show these students you are on their team. That does f mean be their friends. Sometimes at the start of class I tell my students a story about something my dogs did that was funny, or something my mom said to me, how inwasnrunning late. Show them you are human. Pay attention to how they act when you say things to them. It sounds like you will need to watch your step around the girls, make sure you are.not creating a barrier from them and never be alone with them. You could also own up to any mistakes you have made in the past, let them know you are starting every class on a fresh, clean slate. Good luck!
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 9, 2013

    Whatever happens, I don't think your career is over. There are some things that may wreck your career if they ever come to pass, so I will parrot the advice of others to LEAVE THIS JOB.

    But many teachers have been in really bad situations and their careers went fine. In my first year, a student accused me of hitting him. There was no proof, and the entire class was a witness to it not happening, but I was afraid the accusation could ruin my career. Luckily the VP basically saw through the kids' lies. But I would think long and hard on what you could do to get out of this situation.
     
  15. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    Nov 9, 2013

    Teaching is such a crapshoot because of where you might end up teaching. Even the best teachers cannot survive in an environment that is unhealthy. The only advice I can give is to plan ahead with an exit plan. Always think two steps ahead if you aren't happy with your current situation.
     
  16. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Nov 10, 2013

    When you leave, please leave a note for these bullies - for that is what they are - saying how hard you worked and that you no longer wish to work for ungrateful and disrespectful people.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 10, 2013

    I would suggest rethinking that.

    Write the note... it will be cathartic. Then delete it.

    No sense in buring bridges.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Nov 10, 2013

    What does this mean? Did you lie? I don't care about the reason. Lying is lying. When someone is caught in a lie everything else they say becomes suspect.

    So, did you lie?
     
  19. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 10, 2013

    Now, I didn't read your other post so I'm not entirely caught up on the situation at your school. But, my initial reaction wasn't that you should just quit. I was thinking that you should first talk to someone in the union, if you can, or someone high up that you can trust.
     
  20. Kaley12

    Kaley12 Companion

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    Nov 10, 2013

    First of all, I'm really sorry to hear that you are going through this. I can only imagine how unbearable it must feel.
    If you were to quit this position, would it have a negative impact on your chances of getting a job at another school? If not, I think it would be reasonable to see if there may be other teaching opportunities at a different school. It's really unfortunate that not only are your students being disrespectful, but you also don't have any support from the principal or parents to try and turn the situation around.
    Like others have mentioned, don't give up hope because you could still try and salvage things and move forward. Do you know what the initial "catalyst" was that started this behaviour from your students? For example, did they start acting out because of a particular incident and it just snowballed, do they think your too strict, or the work is too hard? I'm just trying to think if there may be a tactic to get them to come around...
    I really hope things get better for you!
     
  21. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Nov 10, 2013

    OMG. I cannot believe what a total disaster this is becoming for you--largely beyond your control. I must admit though, the entire time I thought you were female and then when I read the "staring at girls' butts thing--I was like seriously, they believe a female teacher would do that??" Then it dawned on me... lol.

    Anyways, I have to second, third, fourth, whatever the shared opinions on this forum. LEAVE. Start looking for a replacement job NOW. I'm done with this school and I don't even work there...
     
  22. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Nov 10, 2013

    If I were you, I would go ahead and put the resignation notice in. Even if it will hurt you financially in the interim, this is going to blow up if you stay there and you are going to end up getting fired. And then your teacher career will be over.

    Do you think the principal would give you a poor recommendation? I think I would approach the principal directly and explain how you feel you are being railroaded by the students with false accusations and that you want to leave the school now to prevent further damage to the reputation of the school. Adamantly profess your innocence, but turn it around to be where you want to leave because you don't want the administration to continue to get hounded for falsehoods, not that you are leaving to benefit yourself. Come at it like you a resigning for their benefit.

    At future interviews I'd leave it as your resigned because it was not a good fit, and leave it at that.
     
  23. MathGuy31

    MathGuy31 Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2013

    INHUNTER, I feel your pain!! I had to leave a school district, almost wanted to stop teaching all together because I dealt with what you are going through. Other teachers rude to me, administration not really supporting me, kids being very disrespectful and this was my first full year teaching. I noticed I became ill more often and should have left earlier. I stayed the whole year and said I will never teach or send any of my kids to the school I was teaching at. I am working at a different school, alternative, and I can say so far things are going well. (Keep my fingers crossed) and I hope the same for you. You may want to see how things go through Christmas and go from there or start looking for another position in another school.
     
  24. MathGuy31

    MathGuy31 Rookie

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    I strongly agree with Milsey. Tell them you won't send your children or recommend any family member's children to ever be sent to the school. That is what I did.
     
  25. muinteoir

    muinteoir Companion

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    Nov 11, 2013

    I would think twice about any comments of this sort. It could very eadily come back to bite you.

    Leave on your terms, professionally and respectfully.
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 11, 2013

    Not a good idea. Best to always leave with your head held high. Don't give them ammunition.
     
  27. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Nov 11, 2013

    :agreed:
     
  28. MathGuy31

    MathGuy31 Rookie

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    Nov 13, 2013

    I understand that normally it's not good but teachers and even subs can call the state on a school which I threatened to do if any principal wanted to pull anything on me for voicing my opinion. There were so many things that went wrong, how the teachers acted to the children and such that the school district I worked for should be thankful I didn't call anyone on them because I had PROOF of some of the nasty things that went on.
     

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