How do you job hunt while already teaching?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by MissaKay, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. MissaKay

    MissaKay Rookie

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    Apr 21, 2018

    You guys, I am stressed. I repeate...STRESSED!
    I am on the hunt for a new job...and it is stressfull. I have a few questions for those of you that have been in the same boat.

    I work special ed, self contained k-1. My aides are not the best, which makes me very apprehensive so leave my classroom alone for a day. Whenever I leave plans they do not get done, I am afraid to know what happens all day.
    ANYWAY, I have an interview for a similar position at a school with a program more geared towards autism this week. Here are my problems...

    My job has no idea I am looking. What should I say when I take a half day to go interview elsewhere? The guilt is eating me alive.

    I feel awful thinking about leaving my classroom. Because I'm self contained in a private school for severe cases, I am going to have the same students next year if I stay. I feel like I am leaving them high and dry. They are a challenging group and I worry about the school finding a replacement. Should I push that aside and focus on what is best for me? It feels awful.

    Like I said, I am STRESSED!
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Apr 21, 2018

    Why are you looking for a new job? Salary or other factors? If it's other factors, I'd make sure you ask a lot of questions in the interview to make sure the new place won't have the same issues. As far as leaving the students for 1/2 day, you need to let that go. It's a couple of hours of their life and really not that big of a deal. Missing out on a couple of hours of instruction isn't going to make that big of a difference. In regards to them finding a replacement, I'd go back to why you're looking elsewhere. If they can't find a replacement, perhaps that will force the school to take a hard look at what they might need to do in order to attract candidates (i.e. raise salary, improve working conditions).

    I personally wouldn't say anything about interviewing elsewhere until I was at least much further along in the interview process. What if you say something and the interview doesn't go well? We're allowed to take personal days without listing the reason. If you aren't allowed to do that, make some sort of appointment you need to go to on the same day and use that as your reason.

    Who are you using as references? Maybe this isn't true in your area, but around here, no school will hire you without talking to your current/most recent principal, even if you don't list that person as a reference. I'd make sure to ask if they plan to contact your current school in the interview. You don't want your current P to find out you're looking by receiving a reference call from another school. You can try asking the new school to only contact your P if you're the top candidate- last time I was job searching a few people I interviewed with offered to do that.
     
  4. MissaKay

    MissaKay Rookie

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    Apr 21, 2018

    You made a lot of good points.
    My biggest issue at the school is that I feel like they just don't care. I'm supposed to have 3 aides with me all day and most days i only have 1. I pay for all my materials out of pocket, and I make at least 10k less than state average for special ed workers. And all of this for a 1 hour commute. I drive 2 hours a day. I love my students and wish I could take them all out of that school and bring them with me. I have worked in other programs similar to this one, and it is just awful.

    You are right, though, if I leave they might take all of the things I have been saying seriously. I can't see any sane person staying in the classroom as long as I have.

    And I didn't even consider them wanting to talk to my current principal. Great advice, I will make sure I ask not to call without consulting me or unless I am the likely canidate.

    Your response made me feel a lot less anxiety about this whole thing. Thank you so much!
     
  5. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 21, 2018

    Let's take this one step at a time...

    Take a deep breath...get some air...

    Okay come on back..

    Here is my take. Let me say this PSA first and foremost. I am still in shock that Toys R Us/Babies R Us are closing and I JUST found out Carson's (Carson Pirie Scott) is closing. This was one of my summer jobs many moons ago. A staple in the Chicago area. I am mortified. Jobs can come and go my friends...before we even know it. So I am not my usual self right now.

    Now...back to you.

    IMO, you have to decide what is best. At the end of the day, only you can decide if your bills are getting paid, if your commute is decent, if your mind is still intact, and - most importantly, you are willing to get up and do the the same thing tomorrow, and the next day. Until June.

    If your current job isn't doing it for you...you have a moral obligation to take care of you. Kids will make it with another teacher, and you may feel some guilt leaving them behind. But if you stay, how is that going to help you?

    You could finish out the year. That would be the moral thing to do. But if 10 weeks will drive you over the edge, I wouldn't chance it.

    So if you need a day (I wouldn't do a half...what if they want you to stick around? They might ask you to meet some people, go get fingerprinted! It could happen, I've seen in), just say what it is...PERSONAL. Nobody needs to know, and no sense in faking some weird story that you have to keep up when you have to take another day off. No sense in claiming a mystery illness on some poor relative and then feeling guilty when they really get sick. Don't bother calling the sub line and faking a coughing fit, and then coming back the next day the picture of health. They know you are up to something, so keep it professional. Just take off.

    Teachers are rarely able to have the luxury of training their replacement. IMO, there really isn't much you can do about that. You could even hand pick someone only to find the P puts their own favorite brown-noser in that spot.

    You will be torn in worrying about your kids, and that will make it difficult to interview well. So, the best thing to do imagine that you are already gone, and can't go back. That way, you put 110% into the job search. That's what I would do.

    My daughter interviewed for a new job weeks before delivering her baby. Now that was a gutsy move. To her surprise, not only did she get the job, they told her to get to start work immediately after delivery. She thought she'd have a few extra weeks to bond on maternity leave. Uh, no. You have the job, get a sitter.

    Long story short....move forward, don't look back. Take off, and give it your best. If they want you, take it. If it doesn't go through, stick it out, but keep looking. Another poster just stated that the summer time is really the best time to job hunt. Maybe finishing the year might be best, so you really won't have your kids on your mind.

    Decide to decide, and then make your move.
     
  6. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Apr 21, 2018

    Do what's best for you. It took me forever to leave my first job because I got attached to every new group of kids and like you, I often had kids for more than one year. There will always be more kids that you love. If the job isn't working for you - for whatever reason - it isn't working for you.

    Don't tell anyone at your school why you're taking the time off. You're under no obligation to do so.

    I left my last job in the middle of the school year which made the references a bit awkward because I didn't really want anyone to know I was looking in case nothing worked out. I didn't initially put anyone from my current school down as a reference. The district I was interviewing with (where I still currently work) did want to speak to a supervisor but was willing to wait until it got to the point where I was one of two finalists. They even said during the first interview, "We understand why you didn't put anyone from your current district down." So while they will probably want to speak to someone eventually, they might be willing to wait until you're near the end of the process. (I was also in the fortunate position where my then current principal was a new hire and they were willing to speak to the principal from the previous years who I knew would be discreet.)
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Apr 22, 2018

    I'm assuming this is an interview for next school year, since many schools have clauses in the contract for a 60 day notice, and that pretty much gets you to the end of this year.

    Honestly, many private schools with students who are EBD or other difficult classifications know that the burn-out rate is high. They might not be as surprised as you would think that you are looking elsewhere, for whatever reason. My only recommendation is to request that potential employers refrain from contacting current employers until such time that an offer may be imminent. I would also ask potential employers tell you, first, when you reach that point, so you can be the one to tell the current employers that you are considering a change in employment. It just seems like the right thing to do, and may help them give a stronger letter of referral.

    Know which reasons you are going to call the most important, and then use them as your rationale going forward. I would steer away from lack of aides, and choose the commute and pay. Since they can't do anything about the commute, they will kind of see the writing on the wall if you can get a job closer to home. Never bad mouth your current place of employment - it's just shoddy and may come back to bite you in the ass. It also makes you look stupid for staying as long as you have, so there is no upside to that.

    Best of luck.
     
    Master Pre-K likes this.
  8. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Apr 22, 2018

    Having served on hiring committees, it is a huge red flag if your current administrator is not listed as a reference. Most places won’t call references until the very end, but be prepared to explain why you don’t want them called. For the last interview I sat on, the principal directly asked the candidate why the principal wasn’t listed.

    I may be in the minority, but I think you should give your current P a heads up that you are looking if you feel this interview goes well. I think it’s better to be upfront. The teaching field is very transitive—teachers come and go every year. Principals are aware of this. You live far enough away, you can always blame it on the commute.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 22, 2018

    Don’t say ANYTHING about your job hunt. If anyone asks, you had personal business that couldnt be taken care of outside of school hours. Period
     
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  10. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Apr 22, 2018

    That's what makes a personal day....it's personal.
    In a smaller school, it can be harder, but just stick to "It's personal". :)
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Apr 22, 2018

    When I was looking for a job, I listed my supervisor, with the stipulation that I have a chance to address what was going on if I was truly in the select few. They understood, I had the chance to speak to my supervisor before she was contacted by the other district, and I will always be glad that I had that time to converse with my supervisor, and answer her questions about why I was looking instead of her being blindsided. In my case, it was commute and pay, but mostly the commute. I discovered that that supervisor had no idea how long my daily commute was. I was traveling an hour in the morning and an hour and a half in the afternoon - she traveled 15 minutes each way. Her LOR was wonderful, so I feel this worked well for me.
     
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  12. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    Apr 28, 2018

    When I knew that I wanted nothing more than to get out of the hell-hole-snake-pit that was my last school I lined up my interviews and I took a personal half day and said I had to go to meeting at my sons school but I could have also just said personal business to attend to. I knew that we would be short subs as we were whenever anyone took a day off so the other 2 teachers in my grade level would have to take my students. I didnt want the other kindergarten teachers to begrudge me for making Then have 37 kindergartners so this seemed safer than saying I was interviewing. Plus it as a corrupt charter school and I didnt want them to get mad that I was interviewing and have to deal with retribution if I didnt get the job.

    I asked the districts that interviewed me to wait on calling my current school until I was farther along in the selection process and to please let me know if they planned to do so so that I could tell them I was interviewing first. This was a non issue and none of them had a problem with it.

    My old school didn't offer summer school so I told my P and my coworker who was a reference that I wanted to apply to teach summer school in other districts to make extra money. I told the some schools might call to check my references.

    I kept my mouth shut until I had accepted and my offer and had a letter of intent and contract in hand but the cat did get out of the bag at the time (early April, its not like I waited until the week before school started or something) and they were mad, and they did take it out on me and I was treated quite poorly at the end. I cried many times over it. If you can come up with a cover story for reference check all the better, I should have waited until the last day of school.

    They had a 1/3 turn over that year anyway and a lot more the following year. Two year later and there are only 4 of the 13 teacher that I worked with.
     

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