How do you know when it's time to switch schools?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 31, 2015

    For those of you who have switched schools, what factors led to the decision? Was it more about getting away from a wrong fit or about getting into a better fit?
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    The first time I switched in district, it was because my P was going to loop me with the worst class I had ever had, and there was no way I could emotionally handle another year of that group. It was 100% motivated to get away from that fit. When I switched districts, it was about getting a shorter commute, a school in the community I actually lived in, and a place I felt comfortable sending my children.
     
  4. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I've never switched schools by choice.

    During tough economic times (circa 2007-2012), I was moved to three schools in five years! It was AWFUL having to pack up/set up so many times.

    I must say, though, that I met great people at every school I was moved to. I make friends quickly and was able to fit it easily at every site.

    There have been pros and cons at every school I've worked at--no campus is perfect.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I left my first school because of the location, so I guess that doesn't really count. My reasons for leaving my 2nd school were pretty much 100% due to the administration. I guess you would call it "getting away from a wrong fit." That was the best team I've ever worked on and I briefly considered staying because of them, but it just wasn't worth it. The student population was very tough (I was at the "worst" district in the state), which could be draining, but it would have been possible with better admin. We had extremely significant behavior issues which were always the teacher's fault (Timmy wouldn't throw things if your math lesson was more engaging, etc.) and we were literally not allowed to give any consequences. Literally, a child could be beating another kid up and we were not allowed to call the office or give the kid a punishment of any kind other than calling the parent. Given our population, calling the parent was often not really a consequence since the parent either didn't see the behavior as unacceptable or didn't have the resources/knowledge to carry out a real consequence at home.
    The parents of the well behaved students started realizing there were no consequences and told their kids to hit back, and I can't say I blamed them. The school was literally out of control. Obviously, state test scores were also poor so there was all the pressure that comes from being in a "turnaround" school. Again, behavior often got in the way of being able to effectively do anything for academics. My admin did almost daily walkthroughs where they would leave a list of every little thing you were doing wrong. They never once gave positive feedback because they believed it would make people complacent. They said they would give positive feedback when the test scores were above 80%. Teachers were constantly being screamed at (literally, not an exaggeration). Anyone who dared to ask a question in a staff meeting was berated. My year there was that principal's first year, but they'd had a string of equally bad principals for years, and it was the the same in all of the schools. I believe that there was corruption all the way up to the top levels of the district and this is why all of the principals were able to get away with behavior like this. My teammates begged me to stay, insisting that there was no way the principal would last long there. Well, it's been three years and she is still going just as strong. The things she's pulled since I've left have been unbelievable. It is sad because everyone assumes the turnover in the district is so high because the students are "bad", but 90% of the people that I know of left b/c of admin, not the students. My new school is not perfect, but it is a dream compared to the school I left and I am thankful for that every day! It really takes a lot for me to get upset about something school related now because I know what being in a truly bad school is like.
     
  6. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Jan 31, 2015

    When I switched it was for a variety of reasons. The biggest factor was that I wanted to move out of SPED and into gened and was given the runaround by my P. Other reasons being not feeling respected as a SPED teacher or appreciated for all of my hard work. I also had a 45 minute commute.
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I've been in many schools, but I've always switched due to a move.

    I was glad we moved from one school. The work load and lack of parental skills were tough to deal with.
     
  8. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I switched due to a long distance move. However, I ended up switching from a good school that I liked to a better fit school that I LOVE. I knew that it was a better fit from the first time I read their website and the principal's blog.

    So the move just enabled me to get into a school that was a better match for me.
     
  9. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    My first position I did not fit well with the school at all- their values did not match my values and I was honestly thankful (still really uspet, but thankful in the end) when they laid me off due to low enrollment. I think they knew I wasn't a good fit and let me go.

    My current position- I really love my school overall, the values fit together much better, and my admins find new ways for me to participate in the school community (they're happy if I want to try something new). I've had some feelings that maybe it is time to change schools again, but I think those are based on some trying parents and new things that we have to do at the school and doesn't really mean I need to leave.

    When the school's value and mission stops being aligned with what I think as a professional, it's time to leave. However, I know many of us have to stay in our positions because we have to pay the bills and/or we really love the students.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I moved due to a bad fit. I was at a non-traditional school where the students were made to believe they were all geniuses and if they didn't get an A in a class it was because they had bad teachers. The principal wanted to be friends with the students and their parents which meant I had zero support in a conflict. And since few of my students had A's, there were some conflicts.

    Also, I was 100% responsible for any expenses incurred during my classes. I was mandated to buy: US flag for classroom, copy paper for copies and printer in my room, replacement ink cartridge in printer, trashcans and trash bags, textbooks (we were a 1:1 but I had three students with accommodations that required hard copies - I had two loaned to me from other schools so I only had to buy one)., safety goggles for students (also borrowed from another school), lab equipment (could only borrow enough for demos), meter sticks, scissors, rulers, calculators (made them share), pencils and paper for students to use.

    I was reprimanded for not being willing to drive a student home because he missed the bus (he was out of the school building goofing off). The student lived in a very dangerous neighborhood (the police substation was shot at a few times), it was dark when he showed up to my class and it was the same student that a week prior had told me to "suck his D***."

    Not a good fit at all.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The few times I switched schools:

    Moved from Virginia to NJ

    Switched to publc school for better pay

    Switched to current school for better fit: PD opportunities, pay, colleagues, administration
     
  12. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I try every year and it's because I have a long commute right now. So far I can't even get an interview at a closer school.
     
  13. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I will most likely be switching this year. I don't want to post too many details on here. If I can't find anything then we might be considering moving to Vegas.
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My switches have been beyond my control--decreasing enrollment in the first case and the opening of a new school in the second. About 3 years ago I did think, fairly seriously, about trying to transfer because of some conflicts with my principal and her assertions that I didn't care about my students. It is far easier said than done here, however, and I ended up staying put.

    I can't see ever moving from where I am now. However, if I ever felt that my safety was at risk or that the safety or education of the students was being compromised, I would seriously consider it.
     
  15. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    Feb 1, 2015

    My first move was from charter to public. I wanted a team to work with, better pay and more admin support. I love where I am but it's a long commute with two little boys. I'm not enjoying the drive anymore. I'm looking at switching districts this year to be closer to home, especially because my oldest will be starting Kindergarten. hopefully it pans out because I can't do the long commute for another year.
     
  16. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I've switched schools to eliminate a huge commute.

    I also switched schools to move from elementary to high school.
     
  17. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I switched due to a very bad fit with the school.

    Previously, switches have been necessary due to moving, graduating, etc.
     
  18. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Ignoring my post in the elem ed forum...there was a huge deal with my P at the beginning of last year that made me realize how little he thought of his teachers and he was basically looking out for #1. The incident was so serious I was hyperventilating in the bathroom during our first PD day, and I'm not a dramatic person.

    DS was starting PreK, and DH and I always knew we wanted him to go to a smaller school. The district I'm at now, although about 1/4 the size of my former district, has a lot to offer kiddos.
     
  19. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I plan to switch this year. I love my coworkers, and the students but I need better administration support. I have my eye set on a certain magnet school that I think would be a really cool and fun place to work.
     
  20. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I left my first job because it was a horrible fit. I was miserable, and I wanted out. It was a charter, and it was draining my health and my happiness. It just so happened that I found a school where I was much happier and made a lot more money, despite my commute being tripled. So, I found a better fit, but the motivation for leaving was to get out of where I was.

    Now, a few years later, I've resigned from my current position (effective at the end of this year, not immediately). I'm unhappy with a lot of things at my school, and I got tired of being unhappy. So, again, the point is to get away from the current school. If I was happy, I might have stayed. It turns out I've decided to move away to a new city, but I may not have made that decision if I was happy at my current school.

    So, to answer your question, getting away from a bad fit has been my motivation. Although, I do always hope for a better fit in the new school.
     
  21. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I have switched schools many times in my lengthy career. Most switches were due to a move. However, a couple of times I wouldn't necessarily have had to switch schools due to the move, but poor administration made my decision for me.
     
  22. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Yeah, I should have clarified in my post. When I said "bad fit", what I meant, in both cases, was poor leadership.
     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If you do, be sure to hit me up.
     
  24. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Wondering this myself. A lot of my close friends aka my support system at my school is leaving. It's a tough school to work at, but with a support system I'm completely fine- happy even. When they're gone I think it will be time to leave.
     
  25. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Feb 5, 2015

    I left my first school after three years to pursue my Masters degree. It was also a very challenging position in a small, private but very poor school -- we had no support staff and I was teaching six different preps with only two 40-minute (really 40 minus 10 minutes walking my classes to and from PE) prep periods per week. Frankly, I was burned out and not sure if I would want to return to teaching at the secondary level.

    I taught online for three years while I did my MA and there were things I loved about it and there were things that I found very questionable about the school I was working for. They also didn't offer BTSA (CA's fabulous teacher induction program) and to keep my certificate, I needed to do BTSA. So, I decided to give the traditional classroom another chance and go back to "brick & mortar" as they say.

    At my next school, a traditional public high school, I had "only" five preps, but one class contained two levels, so I was only 80%. I was teaching two sections of World Language which I loved, and two sections of an experimental ELD intervention program which was, in my opinion, a complete disaster. I was also commuting 45 minutes to an hour+ with traffic. So, I put out feelers to see if there might be a better fit closer to home.

    I am now teaching in the town I live in, so no commute, and no more experimental scripted program. I have three preps, four classes, so still 80% but it actually equals 80% work (most of the time). I have at least 200 minutes of paid prep per week, some weeks 300 (rotating block schedule). I work 7:30-4pm most days and do almost nothing on the weekends. I have almost complete freedom in my teaching methods and curriculum (within state standards, of course). I feel no pressure to "teach to the test." I am given the tech I need, the support I need, and the tools to get my job done. I took a big risk changing schools one more time, and I am so glad I did!!
     

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