Have made a mistake... Prayers or advice please

Discussion in 'Prayer Request Forum' started by Lilypad9, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. Lilypad9

    Lilypad9 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 30, 2017

    I like to read this forum, as there is always someone out there going through something similar. I've gotten myself into a huge mess, and would really appreciate some prayers or advice on how I can fix things.

    I have been a LTS for a year and a half. You read that correctly! I've been at it a while. The teacher I subbed for has returned, so I have been searching for a job all summer. I did a great job in the sub position and as a result have some excellent references. I have taken several interviews, but have been offered nothing in my state except more LTS positions. Some are not even a full year, and no benefits. I hate to go backwards, so I decided to try for a district out of state. I successfully interviewed and was offered three positions, but declined as they weren't a good fit (low performing school, teaching off a cart, etc.)

    It is now the end of the summer. In a desperate move, I decided to reapply out of state, to a county close to the one I was successful in the last time. I interviewed, was offered a job, and accepted on the spot. This was last Friday. I signed a contingent contract, which was based on my getting my paperwork and such back to the human resources office. Well, I spent the day at the school I was hired at, and saw more than I needed to know that I had made a mistake. I will keep my reasons general... the area I would be teaching in would take a great deal of effort to prepare, and students were starting very soon. The area around the school was very downtrodden, and I could see the experience would be similar to teaching in an urban setting. I felt very behind, unprepared, and found out I would have to commute 2 hours each way for a month until I had the two pay stubs I needed to get an apartment. I called HR that afternoon and told them my feelings. They asked me to think it over and let them know if I was staying or leaving by the next morning.

    Ultimately, I decided to leave. I am now left with nothing except per-diem subbing. I applied to a few jobs and have some interviews later in the week, so I may still end up with something. Here is my biggest concern. I let my principal, my former co-worker, and a reference know that I had finally found a position. I am going to look like the worst person in the world if I go back now and tell them I changed my mind. I know they will probably think less of me and this could possibly affect their references for me for future districts.... Help! Is this situation recoverable? Should I go talk to them in person? They will wonder what happened if a district contacts them, as they are currently under the impression I am hired.
     
  2.  
  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    12,130
    Likes Received:
    2,955

    Aug 30, 2017

    "Sometimes, on careful consideration and examination, things don't turn out to be exactly as originally presented." I think the thrill and excitement of the offer created a situation where, on closer scrutiny, common sense and reason would present a picture very different from the one you saw with hope and stars in your eyes. Just the commute would be enough to create doubt and cause reconsideration. Although it would have been nice (and perfect) to put all of the variables into sequence before signing the contingent letter, it is human to only see what we want and hope to see during the thrill of the job offer. Realizing the significant drawbacks upon reflection is a very mature thought process. Care less about what people may think, and be grateful you have realized your mistake before being irrevocably attached to this school. Be honest with them, state the significant reasons that influenced your change of heart, and lead with the commute. I might not explain using the terms downtrodden, as it may imply some prejudice towards those less fortunate than yourself, and it may make them wonder why you now feel " very behind, unprepared", possibly making them wonder why that would be a factor.

    Yes, I would personally contact your principal, former co-worker, and a reference to explain how things have come to change, and I would do that sooner rather than later. Let me wish you the best, and know that reflection is a very teacher trait, so reflecting on the conditions associated with this offer is mature thinking.
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  4. Lilypad9

    Lilypad9 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 30, 2017

    Thanks for your very understanding and wise reply. I appreciate your perspective. I am going to talk to my references in person to explain what happened. I'll plan out what I'll say beforehand. The school was a good school and those students deserve a great teacher. The commute was really going to make it a challenge. I know I made the right choice.
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,934
    Likes Received:
    1,923

    Aug 30, 2017

    This is going to sound harsh, but... [shoulder shrug]...

    I honestly don't feel that bad for you... You were given FOUR offers -FOUR! With nothing more than sub experience. And you turned them all down. You sound like you are being very picky about where you are willing to work. Sometimes teachers have to accept less than ideal positions in order to get some experience on their resume. Then they can use that to get to a better school. I think that you may need to reflect a bit more on just how much you want to be a teacher and have your own classroom. Many of us here started in urban schools, toxic charters, or otherwise challenging schools before we could move on to something we saw as better. You might have to too. How much do you really want it?
     
  6. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes Received:
    844

    Aug 30, 2017

    I can somewhat agree with bella84's post, that you might need to begin with a less than ideal position and move up the ladder. I also agree with vickilyn, that rescinding your position was a better fit for your individual circumstances. First of all, yes, I will be praying for your situation. I'm thinking of two possible avenues.

    First, perhaps you can avoid the 2 hour commute. Local organizations such as churches might be able to put you in contact with an elderly resident who could use a helping hand for a month or two as payment for boarding; doctors' offices might also lend a hand in that direction. If the position has yet to be filled, returning to the HR and explaining your original hesitation in accepting the offer could result in being rehired; you would appear as a teacher more determined to make this position work. My first three years of teaching, I boarded in an elderly lady's home for a very small rent; she needed someone to be in her house during her many trips away from home; the school itself notified me of this boarding opportunity.

    Some teaching situations can be quite difficult, especially for a beginning teacher. You do need to keep in mind that your references at this new school will follow you, so you do need to have a position that matches your abilities, but...future employers might also consider the circumstances of where you taught. However, if I might also contradict myself, current hiring practices often rely on outside companies to sort through applications. It might not be the HR person or a principal who chooses your application above others. In that case, a less than ideal reference could drop your application down in the sorting process, especially if your application is sorted by computers instead of humans. I'm not sure you need to write on an application that you had been hired then declined--you weren't paid yet, so technically you hadn't begun. This situation happened with my dad when I was a kid; we traveled to another state for an extremely ideal opportunity in his career. He accepted the position and was ready to begin that very day. Before starting work, the supervisor then informed him of how their company cheated customers. Immediately, my dad resigned the position and walked out after only 5 minutes on the job and returned to his former employment.

    If you decide to definitely avoid this position, then I would, as you mentioned, explain to your references why you made your choice. 4 hours lost in driving for a couple of months is a serious drawback. Not being sure your experience matched your circumstances can be understandable to your references. Or possibly, it would be best to just inform them that after further investigation, you found the situation unfortunately was not a possibility to continue pursuing and you needed to resign.

    Sorry, one more quick thought. If you do return to this position, not all rough looking areas are difficult for teaching. Some are: some aren't. The main key is that you will make it work. Your goal is to be there for the students and parents. Your goal is to meet the specified standards as best as possible. Your goal is to guide the students in proper adherence to school procedures. If it is a rough school, the principal is aware of this, and s/he and other teachers can assist you in overcoming any obstacles. No child anywhere enters school in perfect conditions in any environment, but all children must learn to overcome situations and achieve. Some situations are more difficult than others, but I've read stories and met adults who rose above horrible circumstances to become who they are as adults. Right now, I'm thinking of a story I read in one of Malcolm Gladwell's books, I can't remember all the details but it was about a kid who grew up in a rough neighborhood, who eventually became one of the doctors who pioneered cancer research--it was his tough demeanor that actually led him to fight against other doctors who tried to downplay his efforts. The way I understood the story, without his research and trials, we might not have chemotherapy or possibly even immunotherapy (what put my cancer in remission). In other words, without him, I might not be sitting here typing this.
     
  7. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes Received:
    844

    Aug 30, 2017

    I just googled "Malcolm Gladwell" (to be sure I spelled his name correctly) and spotted this quote from one of his books that seems to uniquely fit your situation. "Truly successful decision making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking."
     
  8. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Aug 31, 2017

    You knew the job wasn't right for you. You should only apply for situations you would be willing to work in.

    Be considerate of your references time. If you feel like they have time to meet you in person, do it, but otherwise a phone call might suffice. Email and ask if you could speak to them in person or on phone whatever is most convenient for them.

    Oh and I'd lead with the travel issue to avoid sounding like you don't want to teach poor or minority students. Reading your post that's what I got from it and assume it's not true. That's how it came across to me as a reader.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  9. Lilypad9

    Lilypad9 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 31, 2017

    Thanks for the replies. I went to talk to my past principal. He was understanding and told me to move on and not apologize. I don't want to reveal too much about my situation, but the area I applied that was two hours away has a system where you interview at several schools with openings and then you can choose among the ones that want you. The state, and area that I live is highly competitive. I think that is a good thing, to a point, but it makes finding a job very difficult.

    The school I received great references from is very diverse and not in a wealthy area. There was more to the situation than I could tell you in my post above that would make it a hard place to teach. I'm sorry I gave the impression it was just because of that.

    I appreciate the advice on being more discriminating on what I apply and interview for. My subject has very specific areas, so I will only go for jobs that would have me teach in those areas. I don't want to wear out my references.
     
    AlwaysAttend likes this.
  10. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2016
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    206

    Sep 1, 2017

    I totally agree with you...I know I didn't see myself subbing for the first year and teaching last year and this year at an alternative HS, but it's what is getting me real experience that isn't subbing. Interviewers here look down on subs and substitute teaching experience (and it's painfully obvious), so the real-world experience I am getting at the alternative school is what I'm hoping I can some day parlay into a public school.
     
  11. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,934
    Likes Received:
    1,923

    Sep 1, 2017

    Honestly, it doesn't matter what would make it a hard place to teach. You don't need to share further details. The point is that many people have to start out at school that is "a hard place to teach".

    And, really, now that I see that you teach music, of all subjects... I stand by my statement even more. Most schools only have 1-2 music teachers, and the fact that you received four offers in a summer is pretty incredible. You're really going to have to think about and make a decision as to whether or not you want to sub and hold onto your dream of finding a school that isn't "a hard place to teach" or if you want to just suck it up and deal with a hard school for a few years while you get some real experience on your resume. :2cents:
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,601
    Likes Received:
    2,711

    Sep 1, 2017

    Of course I'm not suggesting that this is OP's situation, but I've seen a lot of people self-sabotage once they get a big break. It's tough to watch, especially since there's nothing that anyone can do about it except the person who is self-sabotaging.

    In any event, I can definitely relate to what you say here. When I started teaching, I was licensed only in a less commonly taught language (LCTL), i.e., not Spanish or French. I knew that it might be tough to find a job teaching that subject, and I was prepared to accept just about any full-time offer. It turned out that my first full-time offer came from an inner-city school in a very rough neighborhood in a very big city. Of course I considered all the logistics of such a job in such a place...for about 12 seconds. And then I jumped on that offer and never looked back. Was it a challenge? Yep. Was it a serious culture shock? You betcha. Was it a good decision? Absolutely. I learned so much as a new teacher, especially about how to work with a challenging student population. My classroom management skills are on point, if you ask me, because I went through a trial by fire and came out on top. That's what some new teachers have to do; that's just the way it sometimes is. Teachers who are given that opportunity (x4!) and pass it up (x4!) shouldn't be surprised or upset when they find themselves jobless in September, October, November....That's the natural consequence.

    We have a new ARL teacher at my school this year. Her students are a rough bunch, absolutely. Rather than beef up her skills, learn to be a great teacher, and get really valuable resume fodder, she is choosing to quit, as of today, with one day notice to admin. I understand the stress she must be feeling, but I think that she is making a bad decision. Does she think she's going to get into a better school? Newsflash: the "good" schools in my district don't have a lot of room for ARL teachers because seasoned veterans are falling over themselves to get in the door at those schools. Our school, while it has some rough kids, offers a lot of support to new teachers. She would have done well here, I'm almost sure of it, if she had been willing to stick it out. Oh well. Her loss.
     
    AlwaysAttend, DAH and bella84 like this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 227 (members: 0, guests: 214, robots: 13)
test