HELP! I lost my room. . .

Discussion in 'High School' started by krysmorgsu, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Aug 12, 2008

    I was hoping I could get some feedback on here about an issue that I have. This year will be my first year teaching. I was told from the beginning that I would have my own classroom - not even have to share it - but that they may have to change my classroom. Today, I received an e-mail from my supervisory that they are moving my room. What's more, I'll be sharing it with another teacher (who will have 2 periods in the classroom) AND I will be floating for my first period class, my AP class.

    I really want to e-mail my supervisor back and point out that
    a.) having my own classroom and not floating was a major signing point with me for this school, and I'm highly disappointed that what was presented as a guarantee is now being taken away
    b.) that of all the classes to have me float for, AP is the least desirable, because I may need supplementary material/references at a moment's notice, depending upon our discussions.

    Do you think it's fair for me to point this out and ask that they reconsider? I really would like some feedback on this. Thanks.
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Aug 12, 2008

    I wouldn't make a big issue of it. It sucks, to be sure, but better to be a team player, at least in your first year. Especially this year - take a look over at the job seekers board!
     
  4. Bookworm

    Bookworm Companion

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    Aug 12, 2008

    I agree. Don't make a big deal. Just deal with it gracefully. In the long run you will be better off.
     
  5. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    Aug 12, 2008

    I wouldn't make a big deal. People have it worse - try being in a NYC Public school that is way overcrowded.

    I was in 3 different classrooms this year. You just learn to deal with it. Its my second year...I now have 4 classes in one room and 1 class in another room.
     
  6. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Aug 12, 2008

    Thanks. I know I'm lucky that my cert is in an area where there aren't enough teachers! I happen to be one of the lucky ones who really got to pick the job that they wanted. It makes me say a little thank you every day that I stuck with Latin, despite all the people who said, "and what the hell are you going to do with that?" (probably about 70% of the people I meet whom I tell I graduated with a B.A. in Latin say this to me...the others think I must be really smart :D )

    I'm not trying to make a big stink. I just figured that maybe I should explore what my supervisor told me a few weeks ago (when she decided to order more copies of all the textbooks than I needed) - she told me, "If I don't ask, then I won't know. At least I've asked." In otherwords, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Is it really too uppity of me to at least ask them to reconsider -- or at least to reconsider which class to put in a different room? I wasn't planning on pushing it - just at least asking.
     
  7. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    Aug 12, 2008

    If you feel that you are comfortable asking your Supervisor then go ahead. I know if I was in the situation, as a first year teacher, I wouldn't have the guts to ask. I'd just take what I was given, but that's also just my personality.
     
  8. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Aug 12, 2008

    Please don't take me for a jerk, LMath85. I felt that way about the textbooks - part of their offer to get me in was new Latin I texts (which really were needed). I then found out they were slated for new AP texts anyway. I felt I was being greedy asking for the ancillary books for the new text - so I'd really only asked for a classroom set (1 of each) that I could read from when it was appropriate..and my supervisor turned around and ordered 20 of each book. I was hesitant, and that when she said that to me. I mean, she overordered on everything -- at her own discretion. I didn't ask at all for that! That's why I'm wondering if I should at least ask her - and if she says it's a no, it's a no. I won't mention it again. But at least then I've asked - like she told me to, u know? I'm torn -- it seems like everyone thinks its rotten of me to even consider asking. I don't want to start off on a bad foot. But I also don't want to be like the previous teacher -- who could've gotten new books, just never asked, even though he knew the textbook they had using was inappropriate - to the point he didn't use it. All I did was when the personnel director asked me what I thought of the text and the program, I told him I was surprised that they were using such an advanced textbook, but that the current teacher and I had discussed how he handled it. Next thing I know, I'm being told, "If you sign with us, you can have your pick of a new textbook".

    I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not trying to be greedy - just trying to capitalize on the fact that they really wanted me and that my supervisor has encouraged me to ask for what I want.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 12, 2008

    You can try to ask for some adjustments to your room assignments if you want, but I'm not sure that I would risk it if I were in your shoes. It might come across as whiny and/or selfish, and that's not how you want to be perceived as a new teacher.

    Last year our school was short on classrooms and we had about 8 roving teachers--these teachers didn't have a central classroom at all; they were in a different classroom every single period of the day. Before the school year even started, the admins told us (with our own rooms) to not complain about having to share or to ask about switching rooms. They told us that the school was there for students to learn, not for teachers to teach.

    A couple of teachers felt like that admonition didn't apply to them and they went ahead and complained about being a rover or having to share a room with one. What happened as a result? Absolutely nothing, except that the admins were very annoyed with those teachers. One thing to remember is that admins have long memories, especially if they are remembering things that don't make them happy.
     
  10. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Aug 12, 2008

    Thanks to everyone! I really have some food for thought! What I might do is call last year's teacher and get his opinion... since he knows the politics end of the school. But I will definitely keep your comments in mind and IF I decide to ask, I'll be very meek about it.
    Thanks again!
     
  11. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    Aug 12, 2008

    I wouldn't ask as a first year teacher. I had a roving teacher in my room last year, each class period his kids destroyed my floor and in one room they actually tore up posters of another teacher's. I was furious that he didn't handle his students better, and he is NOT a new teacher. The admin wasn't very happy with him when many of this came out. We moved into new rooms the second 1/2 of the year and the AP came to me and said, I know its inconvienent (for some reason I can't spell that word right tonight, bear with me), however, thank you for going along with it-( I wasn't but I pretended I was!) Sometimes you gotta grin and bear it, be happy you have a job and hope for the best next year. Good Luck
     
  12. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Aug 12, 2008

    Thanks to all! I just spoke with last year's Latin teacher. He said that he thinks I should take my concerns about it being the AP class to my supervisor. He said she'll understand, and she'll try to go to bat for me. If it can't be done, then she'll tell me. He also said that I needn't be worried about repercussions for something valid like that (it being the AP class, which means I need to have a lot of reference books close at hand), especially since, as he said, "they're scared to death about the possibility of losing the Latin teacher. they know they can't find another one." I'm going to take his advice and politely e-mail my supervisor about it. I'm just going to point out the problems of it being the AP class, and ask if there's any way they could have my floating class be a different level. He assured me, though, that at the least my supervisor will be supportive and not think I'm being too demanding. Worst case scenario,I'll as for a cart to use, as someone else suggested!
     
  13. sciencegurl

    sciencegurl Companion

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    Aug 12, 2008

    I'm not sure about the politics at your school, but at mine room assignment is based on building seniority. Last year was my first at the district (6th overall year teaching) and I had to float between 3 rooms. It wasn't great (I had my "desk" on a cart), but it did help me get really organized. I also had a planning station in our prep room. This year, I am 3rd from the bottom in seniority, but did manage to swing my own room. I think that if it's your first year, you should just sit on it and not ruffle feathers and wait until you've earned the privilege.
     
  14. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    Aug 13, 2008

    I wasn't thinking anything like that... was just giving advice! :unsure:
     
  15. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Aug 13, 2008

    I wasn't sure. Just wanted to clarify in case that was what you (or anyone else) was thinking. I do appreciate the advise, honest!
     
  16. Happy Chatter

    Happy Chatter Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2008

    I agree be happy you have a job...make it a learning experience. Speaking as someone who was a roving teacher be organised. I had a trolley with everything I needed and would take it to every class. That way you don't have to spend time looking for basic stuff like paper pencils. Your attitude to this will determine your success be positive my friend and good luck =)
     
  17. OrangeBlossum

    OrangeBlossum Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2008

    Yikes. As much as it is inconvient to roam... I would NOT make any inquiries. You may not ruffle the feathers of your admin... but teachers with seniority might not appreciate it. New teachers often have to move from room to room. But, if you don't mind others being annoyed that you complained, then talk it over and voice your concerns.

    BTW, I had a cart for my first couple of years... its not the end of the world and then you feel like you paid your dues (even though I have to roam for a class this year... lol)
     
  18. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2008

    In all likelihood your supervisor isn't the one who does room assignments but was simply the messenger. So if you ask her, she'll ask the person really in charge, and you won't know how it's presented since you won't be there (possibly painting you in a bad light). Probably all that would happen is that you would receive an apology and an explanation about how some other poor new teacher with a crap schedule would have to travel to the other end of the earth if you insist on remaining in your room that period. Then you'll feel bad about the way they said "insist," and you'll say, no, no, it's ok, and you'll question whether or not they think you're uppity now.

    We had a first year teacher a few years back who told the principal she wouldn't take the job if she had to teach remedial classes, so she didn't when all the rest of us did. She rubbed us the wrong way time and time again, but the kicker was when she told me her plan to ask to switch rooms with the drama teacher. The drama room is twice the size of a normal classroom and has a stage, and for some reason this English teacher thought she could use the stage more than the, yup, drama teacher. I explained to her why this would never happen, but she obliviously answered that you never know if you don't ask. I mean, really, what did she think the drama classes were going to do? On what planet does this make sense? I confess, a drama position (for which she was certified) opened up at nearby school and I was her number-one cheerleader on applying there.

    I don't think your request belies the same kind of obliviousness, but part of being a team player is taking crappy duties some years, having non-ideal schedules another. Not because we like crappy duties or schedules, but because asking for it to be changed in our favor usually means inconveniencing someone else. I'd want to know for sure that the decision was the result of someone forgetting their promise to you or making a master schedule that doesn't make sense before I'd risk looking like I expect special treatment.

    I don't think that teaching in a high-need area is going to get you much further than the job it has already landed you. As far as the other teachers are concerned, you're a newbie, and I think it will serve you better to go into your job expecting to pay your dues a little. Honestly, that's the way it usually works, and it is not pleasant to go into your job each day feeling like you're at odds with your administration and coworkers.

    Choose your battles wisely to avoid the "little boy who cried wolf" syndrome biting you in the butt if there's ever a situation that you really can't live with and need a higher-up to change. You don't want anyone thinking that you're just one of those complaining/squeaky wheel types and taking you less seriously.
     
  19. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Aug 19, 2008

    I mostly agree with everybody else. As the newbie teacher, you don't want to make waves. Budgets are bad everywhere and all of us have to do stuff we don't want to do.

    That said, if I was in your shoes I would probably ask if you can switch the roaming AP class with another one of your classes. I'd probably phrase it something like: "I understand if this isn't possible, but, is there any way I can switch my latin II class with my AP class? I would be really helpful to me if I could have at least that one class in a permanant location". I think by offering to switch it with another one of your classes, you won't come across as whiney or not a team player.
     
  20. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Aug 20, 2008

    That's exactly what I did, and I listed the reasons why AP is the worst class to be outside of my room. Apparently (not at my request and I didn't know he did this until yesterday), the former Latin teacher - who only left because he moved out of state - also e-mailed my supervisor and made the argument for me. Yesterday, I spoke to my supervisor and she said she had checked, but it really wouldn't work out, because it would cause one of the Spanish teachers to float between 3 rooms. I said thank you very much, I had to at least ask, and maybe we could keep it in mind for next year. She also said she'll help me make arrangements to get some sort of bookshelf for my materials in the classroom I'll be teaching in. SO she understood the reasons, just couldn't do anything about it. That's fine. I'll deal, and hopefully next year if I have to float for a class, it won't be my AP!
     
  21. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    Aug 20, 2008

    Glad to hear you were able to ask your AP. Sorry it didn't work out - I'm sure you will be able to make the best of it.
     

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