How Do You Teach When . . .

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by RainStorm, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    I moved to a new state and started at a new school. I’ve been teaching for 17 years, and this will be my 4th school, so I’m not a job hopper. My interview was great – the principal and I really seemed to hit it off and had similar views on many things. But now that I’m here, I’m finding I’m a bit overwhelmed. There’s a lot I wasn’t told, and didn't find out in my long-distance search. I’m trying to give it time, but I had no idea it would be like this.

    Things are extremely regimented in this school. You are handed a master schedule and expected to keep it “to the minute.” Everything is dictated to us. We have to use specific teachers editions, but we are expected to read from them word-for-word. No deviations. For ELA, there are 7 different manuals I must read from each day. I’ve never taught like this before. I’m expected to keep the teacher’s manual on my lap at all times. I’m to spend 7 minutes on one manual, then switch for 10 minutes to the next, and so on. We have to use timers to make sure we don’t go over. Sometimes I get so confused I have no idea which pages I’m supposed to be on. I’m used to writing lesson plans, and teaching from the plans. Many times, the students have barely started and we have to move on. Many times they don’t “get it” but I can’t stop and teach it a different way.

    There is no flexibility allowed. None. We aren’t allowed to do centers or workstations. They are specifically banned. Students who finish early are only allowed to do one thing – read leveled books and write a reflection for each book read. For read alouds, I must use the one designated by the teacher’s manual. And those are not great literature, or even very interesting. Mostly it will say “read chapter 3" from this book or the next. They don’t even get a whole book! My reading groups are grouped for me by a computer program. My rotations are spelled out. There is no teacher choice at all.

    I have to follow the school’s discipline plan, and it is pretty harsh. I realize this makes it consistent for the whole school, but it doesn’t make any exception for students who have disabilities or who are struggling. In my 17 years, I’ve never had any problems with classroom discipline, and while this is a tough school, I’ve taught in tougher.

    There are a lot of rules I didn’t know about. No centers. No crayons. No coloring or illustrating. No prizes. No candy. No rewards of any kind. We aren’t even allowed to say “good job!” We are required to be “neutral” in our responses. No birthday celebrations. No holiday celebrations of any kind. No special projects or art work. Not even stickers! If it isn’t in the teacher’s manual, I can’t do it. No go noodle. No brain breaks. I personally don’t like basals, but we aren’t even allowed to use the brand new basal series or workbooks that are sitting in our closet. They are required by the rest of the district, but we are “exempted” from that requirement, and told not to touch them. They just sit in the closet. No worksheets of any kind.

    Our math curriculum calls for the use of manipulatives, and you’d expect that would be essential. But there aren’t any basic manipulatives available when I need them. No counters, no snap cubes, only a handful or random place value blocks. Since I can’t use worksheets, and I can’t use teacher created materials, and I certainly am not allowed to use TPT, and the manipulatives don’t exist, I’m struggling. I’m told to just have them draw it with a pencil. It’s hard to use a pencil in the place of counters on a tens frame, when your trying to do addition or subtracting. We draw a circle with an R in it for a red counter, and a circle with a Y in it for a yellow counter, but that just doesn’t help 7 year olds “see it.” And drawing snap cubes on the paper isn’t really much help either.

    I only have 1 student on grade level. All the rest are far below grade level. Eight are on a beginning kindergarten level. But we are required to teach only at a second grade level. We are supposed to “scaffold up” to bring them up to level. But we can’t adapt any of the teaching or lessons or homework. The students are beyond frustrated. I can’t say that I blame them.

    I feel sad all the time, and can’t imagine what the children are feeling. There is no joy left for me. I really miss that. I’ve always, no matter how rough things were, enjoyed teaching. I go home sad and depressed every night.

    There are several other new teachers on my grade level (everyone on my team is new except for 1), and they are expressing the same concerns. We all have more than 10 years experience. We all had the same positive interview experience. None of us had any idea of the rest of it. We’ve expressed our concerns, but have been told in no uncertain terms that , while they appreciate that we care about the students, this way works and we will not deviate from it.

    You can’t even “just close your doors and teach” because at least once an hour, someone comes in to check and make sure you are exactly where you are supposed to be. I feel like I’m always being watched – we all do. It’s done to everyone, not just the new teachers.

    I’m not sure I can do this, but I signed a committment for a year. I’m not sure how I’m going to make it. I have a Master’s degree and 17 years of successful teaching under my belt, but all I’m allowed to do basically, is read from manuals.

    How do you keep teaching when the joy is gone?
     
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Where to begin? You have to draw in manipulatives?! That doesn’t even make sense. You have to teach from 7 teacher manuals for ELA? And you have to read word for word? That’s psychotically stupid. You are told not to use material that the rest of the district requires, but your “school” is somehow exempted. What?

    Your school admin are without a doubt the worst I ever heard of in my life and are out of their minds. You need to leave, like yesterday.
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    I wish I could just leave. I just bought a house here! So I've got a mortgage to pay (I've never had a mortgage before, I've always paid cash for my homes in the past, but things are more expensive here.) I'm alone in the world, so there's no one but me financially.

    I could cash in my retirement and live off that for a while, but I'm older, and not that far away from needing it. But I'm not totally trapped at least.

    It's hard. I don't have any family. I'm new here, and I don't know a soul. There's no one to even talk about this with. I thought I was making a positive change in my life and was so excited. Now, I'm concerned.

    There's so much more I didn't even tell you. But I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks it's nuts to not be allowed to say "good job!" or "great thinking!" to a student.
     
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  5. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    This is completely crazy. I'm so sorry that you are in this situation.

    Is there a penalty for leaving mid-year if you found another job? I would maybe stick it out for a year. I would then job search for a new job for the 2020-2021 school year. I'm sure your coworkers will be job searching.
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    If I leave, I 'll have my license held, I'm sure. And I certainly wouldn't be able to work in this district again, which is where my new house is.

    I thought if I maybe stuck it out for the year, maybe I could transfer to a different school that isn't so "restrictive" and still work for the district. Right now, that's my plan.

    I don't know if I'll make it. We have to work until 5pm two nights per week (mandatory) and while they say we will get paid extra for doing that, they also told us not to turn in for those hours "yet" because the money isn't available yet, but will be "soon." We are 4 weeks into the school year.

    Since the Sped teacher is "on leave" and the replacement sped teacher is "out" I still have no access to my student's IEPs. I've asked and asked, but been told to "be patient." I know legally I'm supposed to be providing services, but I have no idea what those services are or how many minutes I'm supposed to provide. I don't know if students are supposed to be given read aloud. I don't have any special manipulatives to give them. . And of course, that also means no push-in or pull-out services have been taking place. I can sort of "figure out" some if it, but I have one student who is OHI and other than that, I have no idea what the issues are or what I should be providing. Since he can't read, and is still struggling with consonant sounds and short vowel sounds, trying to teach him blends and digraphs is very frustrating for him, and having him do on-grade level work is impossible.. Since he can only do basic counting in math, he is very frustrated with doing addition and subtracting with only a number line to help. I suggested giving him simpler work, but the AP said absolutely not! Everyone must be taught the 2nd grade curriculum. He has a melt down every day in math, and I can totally understand that. He's tired. He can't read any of it. He doesn't know how to do basic skills, so he's not able to do more advanced skills. I get it! It is so hard to watch day-in and day-out. I think I'd cry too if I were him!

    I'm just not sure i can stick it out for a year.
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    What would happen if you weren't exactly where you are supposed to be when someone walks in? What would happen if the same was true for all of the other teachers?

    I actually don't completely disagree with the "good job" part or some of the use of teacher manuals. In some cases, I think that implementing with fidelity is important, and I do agree with the use of positive, specific feedback as opposed to generalized statements. I do understand the pain of being under a watchful eye though. That's miserable. Since you have so many new but experienced staff, I'm wondering what would happen if you all teamed up to go against the expectations and do what you know is right.
     
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  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    As the gen ed teacher, it's unlikely that you are supposed to be providing services for x number of minutes. That's typically the sped teacher's job. You would only need to make accommodations, which you can do with or without the IEP simply by thinking about what would be helpful for that kid.
     
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  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    This post makes me so sad and it brought a tear to my eye...

    Use a personal day or two to go see a show or something. Take a day off and go to the spa and treat yourself! Go to the park and bask in the afternoon sun. Volunteer. Get a Mini Segway and zip around town or your local park. Live a little to take your mind off your new job. Join multiple online communities!

    Can you transfer somewhere else after this year? Have you started looking for employment at a nearby school? In my hometown, there were two different school districts and so you could apply for jobs at the adjacent district.

    Hang in there! We got your back! :)
     
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  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    I almost did one particularly horrible day. The only problem is that subs won't generally come to our building, so if I'm gone, my class is split and my colleagues have to each have 8 extra students in their class for the day. I hate to do that to my colleagues.

    They told us when we have to take extra students because there is no sub, we will get extra pay -- but they can't tell us yet how much that will be, they will let us know close to the end of the year. It won't be paid until the end of the year, either.

    *Sigh*
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Any chance some of this is based on Uncommon Schools? IDK how much they're telling you where this is coming from, but my district has been on a kick with them and a whole lot of this sounds familiar. It's a charter network that is extremely regimented and supposedly has success in low SES areas. It drives me crazy because we're not a charter. When I first started hearing about this, I did some digging into their practices and they have a lot of policies public schools simply can't do- a big one is giving "demerits" and then assigning students Saturday school which they must pay $180 to attend. Obviously kids who simply can't get with the discipline program are going to price themselves out because their families simply aren't going to pay $180 a week for Saturday school. Show me a PUBLIC school that must take and keep every student who has "uncommon" success with low SES populations and I will absolutely do whatever it is they're finding works.

    Luckily we don't do all of the Uncommon Schools pieces and we're not as regimented with walkthroughs and such. My P is huge on "scaffolding up" but that's only for whole group instruction. Every grade level has a 45 minute intervention block daily where students are taught at their level and that's also the expectation for small groups.

    Unfortunately I don't have much advice other than to stick it out for the year and apply elsewhere next year. You could always put in your resignation early next semester (effective end of the year)- it's possible they'll leave you alone with walkthroughs and such if they know you're leaving. Even if you don't do that, start gathering letters of rec, redoing your resume, etc. Are there other districts that are within a reasonable commute, even if not right where you live?

    I would be pretty hesitant to do this. In my area this would simply result in non-renewal, which is a career killer around here. It wouldn't matter that many other teachers were doing the same thing- they'd simply non-renew them all. The fact that the OP says there are so many new staff leads me to believe they don't care that much about high turnover. I could absolutely advocate doing this if you were a tenured teacher and some new admin came in with all of this new BS, but as a first year teacher in the district? No way.
     
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  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Yeah, I would be hesitant to do it myself. But I do think that people would get away with it in my district, so I was curious about the "feel" from teachers there.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
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  13. RainStorm

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    Sep 2, 2019

    I start out my day with attendance. Students must check their math homework with their seatmates and make corrections. The problem is, usually all of them have it wrong, so they just change their wrong answers to "wrong-er" answers. We aren't allowed to grade homework. There is no time allotment for going over homework. We can look over it and select one problem to go over if everyone seems to be having a problem with a particular question, but often, they have them all wrong. We have a total of 7 minutes for students to walk in, unpack, take out their agendas, teacher to check their agendas, students to check their homework with each other, get a sharpened pencil, take attendance, listen to the announcements and say the pledge. Then we must hand out the days homework, and have students write it in their agenda books. Getting all this done in the time allotted is a difficult (sometimes impossible) task.

    Then we start writing class. We are supposed to follow the manual with fidelity. The manual is supposed to take 50 minutes. We have 45, and its broken in the middle by specials, and travel time eats away at the 45 minutes at that. It is a mad dash to get it all in. I don' t have a single student who able to use any kind of traditional spelling. It is all invented spelling, and they aren't strong with phonics, so "zee" is "tree." and "dick" is "bike."

    Then we start ELA. We have 90 minutes for ELA. We start with one manual, and do 20 minutes of Read Aloud with fidelity. The we switch manuals, and do 15 minutes of shared reading, with fidelity. Then we switch manuals, and do 3 guided reading sessions (20 minutes each.) While not in guided reading, students have only one choice -- read books on their reading level. Every third book, write a reading reflection. While we are supposed to do 3 sessions of guided reading, this is also the time we have to do DRA's on each student. We have no help at this time. So while we are doing the DRAs, the class goes wild, because they get bored of reading books for 40+ minutes. They don't have that level of stamina. Over half the class reads at a DRA level of 4-8, so it is hard to have them read for 40+ minutes. But nothing else is allowed. We haven't actually gotten to guided reading yet, because the DRAs are taking so long. They are taking so long because we don't have good starting places, and often have to give several before we find the independent reading level. It takes a longtime. (We have another hour of ELA after lunch. So that's where the extra manuals come in.)

    And in case you didn't add as I went, this takes more than 90 minutes. And even when we get to reading groups, we must incorporate all of social studies and science into this time too, so we have to choose lots of nonfiction books to do this, but the skills we are supposed to be teaching are based on fiction right now.

    Oh yes, and every single week we must do a timed fluency count of every student and enter it into the computer file.

    And during this time, we also have to do a special test weekly on each of our ELLs (I have 7). This also has to be entered.

    But they only "take a minute" so it should interfer with instruction. Yeah right.

    Then lunch and recess. Then we settle down the three solid afternoon hours of instruction with no breaks whatso ever. They have another hour of ELA -- with 30 minutes of phonic instruction, and 30 minutes on a computer program. They are split into groups for this based on reading level. But the same phonics lesson is given to all children. So my level 4 and 6's, who still can't make their consonant sounds, are trying to do blends and digraph, and compound words. That group is particularly painful. It's hard to make the "gr" sound when you have no idea what sound the "g" makes or what sound the "r" makes.

    Then children are split by level (determined by a computer program) and sent to different rooms for a special math program that is written at a beginning of 3rd grade level. It is supposed to "prepare" them for when they get to this material. Its dreadful to watch children who've never held a ruler, use it to determine if a centimeter or a decimeter is larger. They don't know what a decimeter is. They dont' know what a centimeter is. They haven't yet been taught how to use a ruler yet. We are not allowed to explain it to them, either. They just answer the questions, and at the end, if there is time, we can go over some of them. They are asked to read advanced graphs (with words no second grader could possibly read.)

    Then comes math class. Seven minutes to do a Math Talk. It has to be done with fidelity to that manual. Then put that one aside, and get out the one on the solve and share. The solve and share always requires manipulatives. We have no manipulatives. Oh well. That must be completed (done and gone over) in 5 minutes. Not much time for a 2nd grader to read, think, solve, explain and review. Then on to a different manual. We do 10-15 minutes of direct instruction. Followed by guided practice. Followed by independent practice. Generally followed by lots of tears by my sped students. I do my best to read the questions to them, but I'm supposed to be working with the entire class at the same time. And no one in the class reads well enough to read them aloud to them either.

    And so it goes..all day...
     
  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Your mental health is also important. Your colleagues can cope with a few extra students and it will make you happier. Maybe take a Friday off and then a Monday off so you have a 4-day weekend! Doesn’t that sound like fun? :D
     
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    What a disaster... :(
     
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  16. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    I knew we were in trouble when we were told we could only spend 30 minutes the first day introducing our policies and procedures, and then to go directly to teaching academics. The district recommended spending the first week on policies and procedures, but we had 30 minutes.
     
  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Why is it that your school keeps doing things differently than what the district recommends or requires? Have you tried politely inquiring with your super why you are only given 30 minutes while the rest of the district has all week? Have you also tried asking why you aren’t allowed to use texts that the district requires but somehow your school is exempted?

    What is so “special” about your school that needs so many disparities with everyone else in your district? It sounds like your principal is full of themself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  18. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Rain, I am so very sorry! I remember how I cringed when reading your post that you were going to up and move. ( I am thinking you moved to Florida. That state has a bad reputation for how they treat teachers.)
    Once I saw how happy you were that everything was falling into place for you, I was able to post thinking maybe what I had been told about moves, life changes, wait at least a yr, wasn't the best advice for you.
    Your school is so micromanaging, it could suck out all the joy of teaching. If it is Florida, I am so sorry I did not warn you. I hate to burst anyone's bubble and we never know until we try if it is going to work out.
    Would you feel OK about going back to your old school next yr? Can you struggle to just get by on proficient or basic level for the rest of the yr? Can you try to just go along until the yr is up?
    The minute an evaluator steps out, take some relax time. Even if it is only 30 minutes. If you can't do it, I would not blame you. You could maybe take the rest of the yr off and do some other type of job. Then go to a nearby state or back to your old job.
    Take it from someone who screwed up many yrs ago......leave your retirement for when you really need it.
    I know a good district that pays pretty well, respects teachers, and always needs teachers because they have huge population growths. ( Tons of kids...) I don't want to 100% out myself on here, but if you are interested, you could make a gmail account w/out your name on it. The district has a few pitfalls, but it is 100% better than where you are now. I will tell you all if you are interested. You are never really alone. There are some who stay in our hearts forever. <3 One thing that could help is if you can go to the beach or some place fun on the wkend. You'll eventually meet people. I wish you the best. I know it is hard now.
     
  19. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Yes, I have, The school was a failing school, but now it isn't, and the district gives them lots of leeway. I guess whatever they are doing must work, but at what cost? I've noticed that very few teachers stay long here. The ones who do, well let's just say I don't want to be one.
     
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  20. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Thanks. I needed that.

    You never do know until you try someplace whether or not it is going to work out.

    I can't go back. There is nothing there for me. And jobs are very hard to come by back there. And all the reasons I left are still there. All the memories. All the emptiness.

    I can always stay here and do something different. I I had an entire career in a different field before I became a teacher, so I do have some other skills. I can stay here and sell my old house, and take the year off. Or I can survive the year, and move on to someplace else and try my chances there. . I should be glad there are lots of options.

    Honestly, I might not even have the decision to make. I've had some pretty bad symptoms lately, and based on family history, I think I'm having a medical issue that runs in my family. Since my new insurance doesn't kick in until October 1st, I've been holding off going to the doctor. If it is what I think it is, I might not be able to work much longer anyway. And I'm pretty certain. I know the symptoms all too well.

    I'm not going into the details right here because I don't want to "out" myself, but if it hits me the way it has some other family members, I won't be able to work much longer anyway.

    I've spent the majority of my adult life taking care of other family members, and I don't regret that at all. But I had hoped I'd have at least a couple of years for myself. I've always wanted to travel to a few places, and with being a caretaker, I just never had the chance. I hope I haven't left it til too late.

    And I'm very mindful of the fact there's no one left to take care of me.
     
  21. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    This alone would make me pick up the phone and call the state Dept of Education.

    Do you have a union? Contact them. Do you have academic freedom language in your contract? Use it.
     
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  22. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Sep 2, 2019

    Is it possible that your medical condition could be helped by lessening the stress in your life? For that reason alone you could consider leaving the school.
     
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  23. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Interesting.

    At what cost? Well, if students are really improving from teachers who can teach this way, the cost is that teachers don't get the flexibility they want while students improve. Isn't the purpose of school to have children learn?

    Now, the real question is, are the students really improving or is there other shady things going on?

    I'd love to tell you start looking for another job, based on your contract requirements, and either transfer within the district or move to another district. I know you have already written off going to another district because you have a house within your current district, but really, what are your options if you still want to teach? You aren't going to be changing the school you are in. Your choice if you don't want to stay in the situation you are in is look elsewhere, even if it is a private school or have a longer commute or stir the pot with the district. But that depends on who you got the information from about "leeway" and student progress. If it is from the same administration making these decisions, I would see that information as suspect.

    Good luck.

    PS If you can make an anonymous call to your State DoE regarding the violation of student rights for those not having IEPs implemented, it might be a good idea. E-mail (and save your e-mail in print) those in charge within your own school about not having student IEP information. Cover yourself. Also print out the response from those in power.
     
  24. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    I know the stress isn't helping.
     
  25. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I wish we could offer you more than the support of an anonymous forum...that being said, you know many of us could do whatever we can to help you. Be strong.
     
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  26. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    I wouldn't say "shady" but I have the same concern. The schools' overall rating has gone up, but the percentage who pass the state assessments is still incredibly low. It's more like they've learned to play the number game. They improve in certain areas that raise the school's rating, but the scores don't actually go up, It's strange.
     
  27. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Sep 2, 2019

    I noticed that you say this is the district, so I am assuming NOT charter schools? If it was a charter, at least they tend to be at will employers.
     
  28. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    It's a district -- a rather large district at that. This is not a charter school.
     
  29. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    My nightmares aren't as bad as the situation you describe. Has it turned out to be as strict as you described?

    When I find demands from admin. unreasonable, I find out if they really implement these things. I go into detective mode. I might stop in teacher's classrooms during break to borrow a stapler or ask a quick question during planning time. If there seems a lot of teachers doing their own thing, then maybe you can risk it too...a bit.

    Find out if P cares about anything else besides control. Some want good test scores so badly, they might bend. I use to have a controlling P and I'd do what she asks, but then I'd talk about a book or method that has shown great test score results. I'd ask if I could try it out for awhile. That sometimes worked.

    I'd make a list of all the fun ways to make school fun for you and students.

    1. Could you use a funny voice when doing the scripted lessons and change it every few days?

    2. Can you get creative with bulletin boards and visual aids?
    3. Is any literature allowed where you can share a good story together?

    Also, you say you are a part of a district. Is there a union? If so, be careful who at the school you talk to as some union reps are good friends with the P. Maybe somebody who is a leader in the union who is not at your school might allow for a confidential discussion of what you can and can't do at that school.

    I feel bad for you. I hope things get better.
     
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  30. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Sep 2, 2019

    That place is causing you too much stress and you have been through a lot already. Stress definitely impacts health. I'd get out of there. Politely let them know it is not what you'd signed up for....I've taught almost 30 yrs and I would have a hard time making it through a yr in those conditions. I am so happy that you have other options.
    After what you have been through, I can see where you might want to sleep for a year. I would, but I am weird like that! lol However, I'd advise against totally taking the yr off. I feel like it sets you up for getting really depressed.
    Is there any way you could use your other skills to work part time for a year? It could give you the rest you need, time to have fun, and a feeling of purpose , as well as a place to meet new people.
    I do not know how you feel about going to church, but you could meet some kind and helpful people in most churches. You know how you say no1 is left to help you now? I have gone to churches in the past where many people would see it as a blessing to be able to help you get through the pain of loss and even if you ended up sick they'd be there for you.
    Since you bought a new house there, do you want to keep it and stay? Are there fun things to do like the beach nearby?
    I can see selling your old house too if you never plan on going back there to live. Unless you are getting a decent rent for it and want that as income.
    I might wait to get results from your medical before quitting. If you have what you suspect, you need to live what life you have to the fullest. Travel where you'd like and do what you need to do. That might be a time to pull your retirement. I am thinking your loss and the stress of being somewhere so different would hopefully be the problem instead though.
    I sometimes have some scary symptoms of something too, but they have come and gone for quite a few years. So you very well may be OK. It may just be all of the stress. Plus, death becomes very real to us once we've experienced it so up close and personal. I think about it more now. I too think of having a few yrs w/out working and just 100% doing what I want. I think that is a very normal feeling to have.
    Can you downscale? I did it years ago and it makes life so much easier and cheaper. You are free to go if you want...and not tied down by material possessions. It gives me more $ to do what I want. Or are you feeling really tied to your new house? If the new house makes you happy, I probably wouldn't downsize now unless you need to in order to quit. Enjoy it, if it makes you happy!
    Over the yrs, I have known teachers who have told me about schools very similar to what you have described there. Once their school failed the test something like 3 yrs in a row, and they are considered a low performing school, the school gets swarmed by people who tell them what to do when. It becomes unreasonable and undoable for the people I have known.
    Keep in touch with updates here. I'll be praying for you that you get the clarity to do what you need to do and get to feeling better soon.
     
  31. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Sep 3, 2019

    Well... Yikes.

    I had a few thoughts fly back and forth, though they may not work. I originally thought innocentky and cutely asking someone at the district about when you might get the SPED support, or about the policies/procedures. The former might get the ball rolling, but as for scheduling... If this is indeed a turn around school, they are likely going to let the school to as it's going.

    The SPED stuff, however... That is bigger than all of them. They might be able to put it off for awhile, but it really only takes one parent complaining to the right lawyer... Which is kind of cool for these types of situations.

    The working til 5 situation sounds tricky, but you likely have a safety net here because those do not sound like contract hours. Keep record of the time, and if the payment timeline continues to sound vague, contact Workforce Services, bill the district, or both. It's too big of a legal mess issue (and I understand the fees can be nightmarish)

    Other than that, this sounds awful.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  32. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    I ended up being rushed to the ER last night. I won't go into details, but I'm in pretty bad shape. Since I don't know anybody, I had a heck of a time getting back home after I was released since I couldn't think of a single person to call, and I didn't have a cell phone on me anyway. The ER was in a nearby city, so I wasn't even sure how to get home. The lady at the desk by the exit called someone -- an Uber I think, and they drove me home. I'm glad I always keep some extra cash tucked in my wallet.

    I'm out of work for at least a few days. They referred me to a local doctor. Spent 3 hours there today. They say it will be at least a week before the test results come back so they can give me a referral to a specialist. They gave me a couple of injections and sent me home to "wait it out."

    The hole just seems to keep getting bigger.
     
  33. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Sep 3, 2019

    Oh, Rainstorm I am so sorry. I so wished you lived here and I would be your friend.
    I have a lot of Mormon friends, and their church is always available to help anyone in need. Please reach out; they helped me at a very traumatic time in my life.
    Take care and let us know how you are.
     
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  34. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Rainstorm, I am so sorry for all that you are going through. I hope you are able to take sometime to relax and get healthy. I wish this whole Teacher Forum could be at your side right now. We'd make sure you are taken care of and led to a school who would value you.
     
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  35. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Thanks, Missy. A friend would sure be nice right now. I contacted my (estranged) brother. Even though he is 20 hours away, I don't know why, he's never been there forme. I just wanted to talk to somebody. He said he was too busy, and that he'd be in contact … at some point - which is pretty typical for him. I won't hear back from him unless I take the initiative again.
     
  36. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Thanks, Readingrules. I'm trying to rest. Its a little hard right now. I have a bed, and a chair,and my computer. I'm in too much pain to go out right now. But there isn't much to do in chair and a bed. I get sore from sitting in the same place, so I try to switch back and forth between the two.

    Thank goodness for my computer. It is my only way of contacting anyone in the outside world. It is my safety net. I just moved in Saturday, so I don't have anything here yet. No pots, no pans, no groceries, no plates, no silverware, no glasses. No books, no music (except from the computer.)

    I have two frozen meals left in the freezer, so tomorrow, pain or not, I've got to go out. Other than some orange juice, there is absolutely nothing in the fridge.

    Thank goodness I do have dog food for the dogs. I'm in too much pain to walk them, and I haven't had the chance to have a fence installed yet, but I can take a few steps out the back door and hold their leashes so they can get outside.

    It has to get better soon. I'm holding on to that. As my mother used to say "this too shall pass."
     
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  37. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'm Mormon. I like to know we are being nice.

    Rainstorm, get better!
     
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  38. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    I have tears running down my face right now.
    Don't give up. You can make it through this. If we are all you have, then we will be here for you.
     
  39. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Since you have dogs, it might be nice to see if there are any meetups in your area where dog owners bring their dog to play! I met a lot of great people through dog playgroups!

    Edit: Sorry, I did not read that you were in too much pain to go out. I am hoping that you feel better soon. Please try not to stress about work too much. It is a difficult situation and if you have the option to leave, I would.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  40. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Sep 3, 2019

    That sounds absolutely crazy!
    I'm so frustrated and I don't even work at your school :rolleyes:
    Sorry to hear about your recent health issues. It must be lonely not knowing a soul, but it was really brave of you to just up and move to a new place!
    I hope everything works out for you
     
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  41. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Sep 4, 2019

    Do you have grub hub or door dash in your area? They deliver food.
     
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