How can I turn this around?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by workingwithkids, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. workingwithkids

    workingwithkids Rookie

    Jan 3, 2015
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    Dec 3, 2016

    I am a 6th grade RELA teacher at an AVID demonstration school and just had a meeting with my principal that I am very angry about. This is my 5th year teaching but my first year teaching the subject and grade level at this school. At the beginning of November, I had my formal evaluation and I thought it went really well even though I was sick. Our school district is using a completely new evaluation system this year so nobody knows what to expect. Two days later, my alt and my principal came in to do a data collection walk and my class was reviewing for a vocabulary test coming up. At the beginning of the year, my team told me that we spend 1 hr a day (we have the students for 2 hours) reviewing the vocabulary words. When they are collecting data, they are suppose to only stay 15 minutes, however that day they stayed 45 minutes so it was like getting two formal observations in a week. We worked on vocabulary review the entire time they were in there (it was on our lesson plans for that week). The principal came back and told me that I spent too much time reviewing for the test. That Friday, I had a 15 minute new teacher check-in with him and he brings up the vocabulary review again and I told him that I don't usually spend that much time on vocabulary except for review weeks. He also told me not to try to fix the kids. I asked him what he meant and he told me to quit going to the diagonistian (I have only spoken to her once and it was to hand her an envelope from one of my students). I tried to explain this to him but he told me that he had heard otherwise. I have my post conference for my evaluation right before Thanksgiving break and got all 2's and 3's-where 3's are really good and 2's are good. I thought I had done a good job. The Monday we get back from Thanksgiving break, I get an email from my appraiser (one of the assistant principals) that they want to meet with me on Thursday with no explanation to the reason why. I stressed out for 4 days before the meeting and I walk into the meeting and the first thing out of the principal's mouth is we are not sure if we are going to renew your contract in the spring. I was blown away because with the exception of the vocabulary and the diagnositian, nothing had be brought to my attention. They tell me that I need to contribute more to my team and that I need to work smarter not harder. I asked for clarification and they told me to plan with my team (I plan with my team every week) and then they brought up lesson plans (each person on my team takes turns so we only type up the plans every 5 weeks). They said my plans weren't completed on time. The plans are due Monday morning by 8 am and I submitted them Sunday night. They told me the main reason for their decision was that my activities weren't engaging enough. I told them that I tutor everyday after school (we are only required to tutor 1 day) and I attend all of my students' events, and that I work with all of my parents to make sure their students are successful, in addition to teaching all day. I asked if there were any resources they could recommend and they couldn't think of anything. They told me that I could turn it around but they didn't give me any support. I was so upset that I could barely teach the last period of the day. My alt came to me after school and told me it wasn't that big of a deal. I'm thinking "it's not your job they are thinking of taking away". I want to transfer schools for next year but I feel so defeated right now.
  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:

    Dec 4, 2016

    Can you write a rebuttal to include with your observation report? It seems that they were grasping at straws to find things to ding you with...and found lots of things that weren't true.
    otterpop and Obadiah like this.
  4. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Jul 27, 2015
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    Dec 4, 2016

    I'd be careful about putting up too much of an argument. You need to keep the administration on your side, right now they are demonstrating that they are questioning you, and if you demonstrate anger toward them, that will only increase the flames of the fire. You really don't know what they're thinking. This actually could be a better situation than it seems. The key is to make certain you continue to do your job as expected; I would caution to watch out for extra expectations that over-tax you beyond capabilities to perform tasks other teachers are not required to do; morphing into a superhero is not part of your job description. If you are blamed for group lesson plans, that is normal. Each teacher is individually responsible even if it is done by the group, and if another member causes the lateness, each teacher suffers; it's not fair, but that is normal administrative policy. I'd share that with the group and if you're not comfortable, I'd politely suggest alternatives to the group.

    Because you are one of 120 AVID schools in the U.S., your administration is under even more pressure than you are, and someone higher up could be walking them through the fire. Not that I agree with your administrator's tactics, my suggestion for you would be to support your administrators. Search for the positive and always bring that into your attitude. Wow! I know, that's harder than it sounds! A most powerful weapon at your disposal is your smile. It turns everyone's day around, even yours. For a minute during your breaks and at the end of the day, stop and breathe deeply. Relax every muscle. Think--we are a team and I'm a positive team member. Avoid the crutches of these extra-energy-formulas sold in dollar stores and fast foods; the more normal nutrition your normal body receives the more normally it will perform. Don't worry about losing your job. So you do--so what? If you've tried your best, that will find its way through on your resumes and references and you will be re-hired somewhere else. And you always have the option to look elsewhere for next year.
    MrTempest likes this.

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