Hubris

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Dr Kevlar, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Dr Kevlar

    Dr Kevlar Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2013

    I will apologize in advance for yet another "Why?" post!

    Hi. I just graduated with a Masters in Ed Dec 2012 and initial cert in el ed and sped. This a career change. I spent 20+ years in management (health ins claim processing/customer service).

    Last school year I had a 5 month long term sub position in a learning support room in a district about 60 miles from home (I volunteered there during grad school). I did it all - had my own roster, intervention groups, push ins, etc. I did the IEP's, scheduled the meetings and handled the paperwork. My observations were were all above average. The feedback from the sped dept was that I was doing better with the IEPs than experienced teachers they had and they wanted me back for this year. Parents gave me similar feedback along with my peers. I connected positively with the kids in both the sped and inclusion environment. A school board member told me he wanted me on staff - that I was exactly what they needed there and they would be hiring 2 sped teachers - "and we look to our subs first."

    While there I was first in the building after the custodian and last to leave. I went to PTO meetings. I collaborated with staff. I obtained a cash/supplies grant for the library totaling $1,000.00. I helped coordinate a Memorial Day "thank you" project for vets.

    This summer I was called for an interview there. I approached it as if I knew no one. Gave it my all. The P of the building I worked in along with the Dir of Sped was on the panel. Got called back for a mini lesson. Did that to the fullest. Even gave each observer a folder in the school colors with my lesson plan, a CV and a summary of what I accomplished with them last winter/spring.

    I was told initially that after the mini lesson there would be no contact. The board would be meeting and it was only after the meeting where the new hires would be called (that night) and the rest informed by mail. I sweated things out knowing the meeting was this week. until I read the paper Tuesday and saw the names of the proposed hires. In fact they hired 3 sped teachers, not 2.

    Of course mine was not one of them.

    I have reached out requesting feedback to help me be better prepared/qualified for "next time" but no one has responded.

    Would value reading what you all make of this. Right now I am trying to decide if I can continue to sub there based on the distance and the really bad taste in my mouth...

    Thanks!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 16, 2013

    Im so sorry and can imagine how upsetting this has been. You probably are not going to get feedback.:sorry:
    Do you have other districts lined up for subbing?
     
  4. Dr Kevlar

    Dr Kevlar Rookie

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    Yes, I do, along with signing on (yesterday) to sub for a large charter school in my area.

    I don't want it to appear as if it is "sour grapes" should I walk away but 120 mile round trips are expensive. Despite being eligible for sick/vaca time last year I didn't take a single hour of it. I didn't grudge the time in the car because I really felt like I connected with the kids/staff and it was very energizing.

    I guess what annoys me is all of the "happy talk" and when it was show time the jobs went to locals. The evil part of me says that there are a number of teachers who will be taking time off this year for maternity and such. I wonder if I am the "plan" for covering one of those absences.
     
  5. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2013

    Dr Kevlar, I feel your pain. I am also a career changer. I didn't go back for a Masters, because I was told that would make me too expensive as a first year teacher, but I did get a (second) degree in El. Ed., with a literacy endorsement.

    I also had glowing academics (I graduated at the top of the Teacher Education program), rave recommendations and a very successful Professional Year performance. I volunteered for everything. I subbed for the district I student taught in and had wonderful letters from the teachers.

    I applied to five separate districts, and many charter schools, and I am still unemployed. In fact, I am the only one left in my program cohort who was not hired this season. I have no idea what more I can do to stand out. Like you, I approached interviews and the two demo lessons I taught like a professional, with packets and brochures and all the bells and whistles that we were told would help us stand out in a tight job market.

    The job outlook for teachers is really, really poor in most areas of the country. I think there is a little agism going on, too. I am twice as old as most of the other first year teachers I was competing against. I was definitely the oldest student to graduate. I know they aren't supposed to take age into consideration when hiring, but they do make decisions on who the grade level teachers feel most comfortable with. Maybe I remind them too much of their mothers? I don't know. I just look at how I stack up against some of the people who have been hired, and I know I was a stronger candidate.

    I think that so much of the hiring decision is out of our hands. Which is kind of hard to accept when you're a little older and have experience in being proactive and getting good results from being prepared. And we often don't get any feedback about how to improve, because often it has nothing to do with us and everything to do with a difficult to qualify "gut feeling" the hiring team operated under. We just have to keep doing what we do, and hope that one of these days that gut feeling is in our favor.

    Have a tough skin, too. The rejections can pile up. You have to quickly learn how to shake it off and move on to the next opportunity, regardless of how devastating the loss is.
    Sheilah
     
  6. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Aug 16, 2013

    Sometimes there is just no rhyme or reason. You are vanilla and they wanted chocolate, or vice versa. There just isn't any way to know sometimes. Just move on and keep making decisions that build your résumé. :hugs:
     
  7. Dr Kevlar

    Dr Kevlar Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2013

    Excellent post, DL. I have been trying to sort out a way to make my background a plus as well as my age. I mean, I don't have kids at home, I have the old-time work ethic (I used to call myself a Fire Horse: The alarm goes off and off you go, no matter how near death you might be health-wise!) and I am that rarest of commodities: a male el ed teacher (sped too) over 40. I will never reach the top of the pay scale and will never get 20 years, let alone 30 in service time. You will never catch me texting or even looking at my phone between teacher reporting time and quit time.

    While politics is a big part of hiring in the private sector, I think you are spot on here. It seems politics takes center stage where being "part of the district" (read: reside there and attended el, middle and HS) is far more important than anything you can actually do. I live two counties away, therefore I am a carpetbagger.

    I have news for these folks. If you want to get the same results as you have been, then go on ahead and keep hiring the same people (a number of teachers are multiple generation). Sooner, rather than later, I am going to be hired in a district that is willing to take a chance on competence rather than zip code.

    Then watch the kids shine...
     
  8. Dr Kevlar

    Dr Kevlar Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2013

    Here is a question: Should I continue to sub there or should I focus closer to home?
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 16, 2013

    Focus closer to home.:2cents:
     
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 16, 2013

    If you can, try to sub closer to home. I totally understand how you feel about this school now, and I wouldn't want to go back unless I absolutely had to. Might as well get your foot into a district where they will give you a chance.
     
  11. Dr Kevlar

    Dr Kevlar Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2013

    The competitive part of me says I should keep at it with them - show I am not a quitter and demonstrate (continue to demonstrate??) what I can do. Of course I have to remind myself that I did all that and they still hired others.

    On the other hand, I was in my student loan grace period last winter/spring and now the $56/wk in gas plus tolls becomes a much greater concern budget-wise. If I can work every day (and I can) locally, what is the point of going there so that I can continue to be looked upon as an outsider?
     
  12. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2013

    I would move on to greener pastures and focus on getting in somewhere where they will appreciate all you have to contribute. It sounds like your current school takes you for granted-why waste another school year at a place where you're not appreciated? Do you really think another year there will make a difference?
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 16, 2013

    This is absolutely how I'd feel if I were in this situation.
     
  14. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    Aug 16, 2013

    I was in a similar situation. Long term subbed at the school where I student taught. I did all the IEPs, wrote behavior plans, dealt with parents with advocates, and had a tough group of students. I had rave reviews from all my superiors and was told I'd be a sure thing for upcoming jobs. I was passed over for two of those jobs and by the time they requested I interview for a third I had moved on to something else. I still don't know why they told me it was a sure thing then hired someone else twice. But I'm better off now. Something will work out. Stay with it! :)
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 16, 2013

    Let them miss you. They passed on a good deal. Put them in your rear view mirror.
     
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 16, 2013

    If they call you back to sub, tell them you've moved on.
     
  17. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2013

    It sounds like they are getting the milk for free without buying the cow, pedagogically speaking.
     
  18. Sinewave

    Sinewave Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2013

    Where in PA are you looking, if you don't mind me asking? I'm in the Philly area and I have trouble even getting on sub lists. Was in a similar situation. Student taught in my home school district, LTS in my old middle school, was basically told by all the teachers that if a middle school position opened in the district that it would be between me and another teacher (with similar background as me). One did open up, and I didn't even get called for an interview. Luckily I am on their sub list and they're a really good district, but still. It is a tough market in this area. It has been frustrating.

    I say keep on their sub list just in case, but try to get on a list closer to home.

    I'm older as well (38), and don't want to be subbing for years before I get a classroom. I'll be saving every penny I can because If something doesn't turn up around here by end of this school year, I'm moving somewhere that needs me... like Vegas or anywhere.
     
  19. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2013

    I LOVE this!
    Sheilah
     
  20. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2013

    Don't keep working at that school. You sound like you're amazing at what you do and you deserve better than somewhere that will just jerk you around. Best of luck to you.
     
  21. Dr Kevlar

    Dr Kevlar Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2013

    Sinewave, I am in the western part of the state. Jobs are scarce here too, but for some reason most districts lack subs.

    Rhesus - awesome comment! I think that sums things up nicely and may actually have pushed me over the intellectual hump regarding moving on...

    czacza - I have to agree with you here. No one, and I mean no one, cares more about my career than me (and that should be true fro each of us here). The district only cares about my career insofar as how it can be utilized to their advantage. If having me in the stable of subs as "Old Reliable" is their preferred use of my skill set, that is fine. I don't have to go along with it.

    I actually reached out to a friend this week who appreciated that I had a connection (as I thought) with this district. She thought I was goofy to want to go that far to teach and has said when I am ready to call her and she would reach out to her old district (she is retired and it is far more local to me) on my behalf.

    I have done that, so let us see what happens...
     
  22. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2013


    Glad to have been of service. I recently finished up a somewhat similar sort of interview experience, which I describe as "ordering the prime rib, but trying to pay with a Big Mac coupon."
     
  23. Dr Kevlar

    Dr Kevlar Rookie

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    I understand, Rhesus!
     
  24. tonysam

    tonysam Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I don't know how old you are, but there's a good bet there is some age discrimination at work. Of course it is impossible to prove.

    Even if this isn't the case, PA is a notoriously difficult state to find a teaching job.
     
  25. Dr Kevlar

    Dr Kevlar Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2013

    I am 55.

    Like I said above, to my way of thinking, I am the fiscally prudent choice to hire. I will never hit the top of the scale. I have no ambition to get another degree. Heck, I probably won't even opt in to their health insurance plan.

    But you may well have a point. So far no one has responded to any of my queries so I have zero information with which to form a conclusion.
     
  26. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Dr. Kevlar, I am 50 and was the only one out of my teacher education program cohort to not get hired. I was also the oldest by ten years in my cohort.

    I thought my age and related experience would be a help. But it sure hasn't turned out that way.

    Good luck.
    Sheilah
     
  27. bridgetbordeaux

    bridgetbordeaux Companion

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    I am another teacher who didn't get hired even though the first grade team loved me and wanted me to get hired for the open position. I did 3 long term subs for that school and thought for sure I would get hired in May. Nope, and not even a reason why she went with others instead of me. I am 53 and graduated 2 years ago. Everyone else I know is working, except me.
    I did branch out and started subbing at a different school but I don't like the long commute. I definitely think that age is a big factor and there is nothing I can do about it. I am not giving up yet, but it sure is frustrating.
    Good Luck to you!
     
  28. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Aug 18, 2013

    Have you thought about also getting certified in Jersey or Delaware? I know Jersey also has the stupid residency law now, but it would only affect you in a public school. I got my degree and cert in PA (before the residency issue), and only had to do a few things (tests, clearences, etc - not coursework) to get my cert in NJ.
     
  29. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Dr. Kevlar - I would avoid that district if you could. They probably do look at you as 'old reliable". I know in my district there is a certified English teacher that last year the principal referred to in the 1st meeting as his "go-to" for long-term subbing. She has subbed for us for two years...we have had positions open up, why hasn't she been hired if they like her that much? Probably because they can get away with it. Don't be like her - only go back to them if you must, because honestly - can you say you wouldn't be bitter?
     
  30. Sinewave

    Sinewave Rookie

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    Yeah, I have considered NJ, I know I qualify for the cert, it just costs $190, which I don't have to spare, and I also hear it is just as tight of a market, and schools wont even look at you unless you have certification in NJ. I would get the cert if I knew it would definitely would lead to a hire.

    I did apply for a job last week in DE for an anticipated hs math opening, I was told by my school that they work with you to get the DE cert if they are interested in having you teach there. So, hopefully they want me. It probably be a bit over an hour commute, but at this point...

    Thanks :)
     
  31. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Sinewave - true, I teach in a field that doesn't have too many certified teachers, but I got hired contingent upon ibtaining my nj cert. I also know that a number of people in my district the year I was hired went through the same process. Since Jersey dept of ed was so slow, we were already in I think Dec or Jan before some of us actually had our nj cert) I would encourage you to apply and when asked you could say you are in the process of getting nj cert...esp if all you need is the clearances (I actually needed to take a test. They don' t accept the Latin praxis 2here). It wouldn't hurt to at least send out apps. Pm me if you want to know my district...we may at least have some maternity leaves this year.
     
  32. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2013


    I'll add that when you say you are in the process for NJ cert., make sure you have already done the homework and tell them exactly what is required, red tape-wise. If you seem proactive and as knowledgeable as them or more, that will help.

    Off topic: there's a Latin Praxis? That must be fairly new.
     
  33. Dr Kevlar

    Dr Kevlar Rookie

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    I do not view myself as prone to bitterness and honestly believe that redemption is possible for all. That said, I am honest in my opinions and therefore am not amused when I am lead to believe something that is not true.

    Both the director of sped and the elementary coordinator told me directly what the plan was for sped at that el for this year, that the district would be hiring 2 sped teachers and that they wanted me to be one of them. The district hired 3 sped teachers. Even with the 'extra" position I still was not hired.

    Here is the weird thing. The district uses IEP writer. My logon remains active and I have students on my roster with my name in the "Case Manager" field. Now this should have been locked down when my assignment ended as I was no longer an employee as of June. Teachers report tomorrow. Maybe I think too much, but this is either organizational incompetence or the possibility exists that I will be brought in long term again.

    When I came in last year it was not to replace someone but to fill a position created out of need. I am wondering if the board "needed" to hire some locals for other positions and admin plans to bring me in (again) this year.

    What they don't know is that I would really have to think about providing additional educational milk for the district at low cost (to paraphrase Rhesus)...
     
  34. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 19, 2013

    :hugs: Dr K! Put this district behind you.

    Our technology (teacher web sites, new teacher logins, removal of retirees) hasn't happened yet...the tech coordinator has the regular summer break that all teachers do...she'll update ours within the first few days when we go back. I know it's frustrating to see your name and caseload still in the system after being treated so badly, but I'm sure it's just a matter of summer vacation for the person who updates those things. Don't keep checking it...you'll only make yourself miserable.:(

    There are better things out there for you.
     
  35. Dr Kevlar

    Dr Kevlar Rookie

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    Czacza, I hear you for sure and no longer checking is definitely the same advice Mrs Kevlar has given me.

    The hard part is that I really connected with those kids, including those not on IEPs that I saw only during push-ins. I really wanted to be back with them. While I have had it up to here with getting my chain jerked around by the admin, I feel like I am abandoning the kiddos.

    I recognize that this is an emotional reaction and that out there somewhere is a classroom waiting for me with other kids I will connect with. It is just difficult knowing that I must sever those ties in order to get where I want to be.
     
  36. Dr Kevlar

    Dr Kevlar Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2013

    I subbed today at a charter school. First time in one. Interesting experience!

    Now for the weirdness. When I was at the admin office dropping off paperwork last week I ran into a teacher that I subbed for this past summer during ESY. She worked at a school focusing on ASD. I started there as a PCA during ESY but was soon asked to cover her planned absence for 2 weeks and that of another teacher for 2 weeks. I really enjoyed working there and got great feedback from staff and admin. I had no idea at the time she was even interviewing and her comment to me was "My job's open, you should apply." I took this as a compliment as she sets a HIGH bar and she made it known that she was happy with how I handled her room.

    I had applied with a different part of their organization to work with problem behavior students. I was offered the job but turned it down. It is a VERY intense environment and at this stage of my life I am pretty sure it would wear me down.

    So while I was subbing today the ASD folks called to ask if I were interested in their vacancy (the teacher I filled in for). Confused yet? How about this: despite turning down the severe behavior folks, I called back this evening to 1) thank them for the call and 2) say that I am interested in the position.

    I really liked being in that room this summer and it would be the same students/aides. I have a hard time quantifying why (in my mind) the two options are different. The pay and hours suck buckets but I would have my own room in an ASD focused environment.

    Any thoughts?
     
  37. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 21, 2013

    Dr. Kevlar I totally understand you getting attached to the students and not wanting to leave them. Before I moved here, I worked at a lock up for almost 2 years. Out of those I had my own classroom for 9 months (LTS) and then it was back to subbing. At that point I really should have started looking for jobs, but I couldn't. I just felt like I couldn't leave those students, and I would never find anyone that I would feel the same way as I felt about them. I had their respect, I've learned a lot from them, in return I was able t teach them and care about them and we developed a bond.
    It wasn't until it was obvious that the district is in so much trouble they won't be hiring for years that I realized I had to start looking if I wanted my own classroom with decent pay.

    And I did find new students who I'm developing bonds with, who I can care about and teach. My old students still hold a special place in my heart and I think about them all the time. It was time to move on, but that didn't mean I was abandoning anyone.
     

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