How to answer non-renewal questions during an interview?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by thewife, Jun 1, 2020.

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  1. thewife

    thewife Rookie

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    Jun 1, 2020

    My contract was non-renewed for next school year. I did get a couple of reasons for the non-renewal and "other reasons" that were not mentioned. So, basically the two reasons that were specific, were not building relationships with the students (which I worked on everyday, tried very hard) and I did not meet deadlines (one time I scheduled a meeting with the P late and he was out of meeting slots so we had to do it after a PD and then he decided to reschedule it for the next week). There was no legit reasons given with support or evidence as to the reason that I am not being renewed. I believe the real answer is that at least one of my co-teachers did not like me and if a tenured teacher complains about a non tenured teacher I was going to look bad no matter what I did. So, when I am asked during an interview how do I defend myself and not sound like I was not doing my job and not play he said she said. I want to be professional and not just make excuses. I have already had one interview and did not get the job and I tried to explain the situation. I think now I am going to say it was not a good fit. How many times have I heard something similar? Many. What are your thoughts about how to respond to a question of non-renewal during an interview.
     
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  3. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    You can say whatever you want. You resigned because you wanted to try and make it as an Instagram influencer, but that didn't pan out, so here you are back on the job market, looking for a teaching job.

    Ok, maybe that is a bit of a stretch, but if the job you are looking at is a shorter commute, use that. If the job you are looking at is a longer commute, say you want to relocate to the city where the school is.

    The fact is that whatever you say, there is really no way for a new school to legally find out you were non-renewed.
     
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  4. thewife

    thewife Rookie

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    Jun 1, 2020

    Thanks for your reply. I did not resign, I did not feel it was right and I felt it was being forced on me. So, I did not resign and I am sure that if an employer calls, the P will tell them that I was non renewed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
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  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I think that this is your best answer. May I ask you two questions? Was this public school, or charter or private school? How many years were you employed at you last job?
     
  6. thewife

    thewife Rookie

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    It was a public school, I was employed for the district for 3 years, but at this building for one year.
     
  7. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    After my 1st non-renewal. I wrote in my online job application to answer the question "Had a contract non-renewed, non-extended or been dismissed from employment?" with YES and the following explanation....

    "No reason was given."

    Honestly, I wouldn't want to offer the reasons that you gave to future employers, interviewers, job panels, etc.... "Not a good fit" is your best answer.
     
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  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jun 2, 2020

    Were you working on a one-year contract? If so, your contract ran out.
     
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  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I might go so far as to say that while you seemed like a great fit the first two years, the fit didn't seem quite as good when you were moved to the second building. I would avoid any of the "reasons" they gave you, because they were reaching to find something that isn't terrible, to cover for whatever the real reason was. Any chance they sent you off with a letter of recommendation?
     
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  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jun 2, 2020

    Principals usually pick up the phone and call the former principal whenever there has been a non-renewal. For me, non-renewal is always red flag. Doesn’t mean we don’t hire the person, though.
     
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  11. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    Jun 3, 2020

    My state must be strange because my district union rep says non-renewals are common so they don’t look particularly suspicious. Resignations without a new position are seen differently.
     
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  12. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I found an interesting situation... None of the applications I'm filling out ask about non-renewal... And I distinctly remember this as a question in the past.
     
  13. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    That’s unfortunate. I do completely understand how that would look on the hiring side, but I have also seen administrators actively look for reasons to get rid of people because they just don’t like them, for reasons outside of job performance. Often it’s that the administrator is unreasonably difficult to work for, not that the employee is not good at what they’re doing.
     
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  14. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Interesting... I’ve resigned from two positions without having a new job lined up, and neither of those had anything at all to do with trying to avoid a non-renewal. It was just a personal choice to move on, and I wanted to give as much notice as possible once I was sure of my decision.
     
  15. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    It might be a good idea to include some copies of your evaluations with your application, even though they don't ask for them. An administrator who actually thinks will then be inclined to say to themselves, "What that principal said on the phone to me does not jive with what they wrote in these evaluations. Something fishy is going on here."

    We had a principal that hated going through the process of filling staff positions, so he would sabotage anyone's effort to leave. One of my colleagues at the time had an offer from a much better school district. He had a strong letter of reference from our principal and solid gold evaluations. He got the job, but the district that hired him said afterward that their phone conversation with our principal raised some red flags which didn't match up with what he wrote for this teacher. (Our principal was too slick to outright trash him when there was written evidence to the contrary, so he used subtle remarks he knew would make them take pause. He was a Spanish Teacher and our principal told this better school district that "he uses a lot of vocabulary lessons in his classes." They didn't want to hear that....they wanted a teacher that would speak nothing but Spanish to the students during the entire period as the teaching method.) It was his inclusion of the evaluations that gave the new school district some insight into our principal and his methods.
     
  16. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jun 4, 2020

    I worked for a P like this and I know she's certainly not the only one. I could write a novel about how messed up that school was. Luckily I saw the writing on the wall and resigned (effective end of year) in February before non-renewal decisions came out so I didn't have to report anything on applications. P ended up non-renewing every probationary teacher in the building, which was most of the staff.

    I still ran into issues because around here, no school will hire you without talking to your current/most recent P. I tried so many ways to get around it and really it didn't make sense, because I'd worked for my previous P for two full years while working for this nut job for less than 1 year (since I was interviewing in the spring). Nothing worked and then lots of people started complaining because offers were getting rescinded. The union told P if she didn't stick to talking about teaching skills only in reference calls they could sue for slander. People started getting offers after that. IDK what I would have done if I didn't have a union or they weren't able to help. After doing about 15 interviews and getting rejected from all of them, I magically got 3 offers in one week. I've been at my current school for 7 years under two different Ps and have been well liked by both of them.

    I try to stick up for people with non-renewals in the interview process but it is difficult for the hiring team not knowing what really happened. Both of the Ps I've worked for at my current school don't even like to interview people who have non-renewals. I guess IDK what the answer is but one person shouldn't have so much influence over someone's career. Just because someone is a P doesn't mean they are competent and good at the job themselves.
     
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