Huge mistake accepting this position...

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by alp123, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    I was just hired on at a new district and wish I had done some research on the school before accepting. I was so excited and grateful for the position as a a middle school ela teacher. I was actually offered 2 jobs on the same day and I chose this district. Now I'm regretting my decision. 10 new teachers were hired at the school and when I inquired as to why so many, the Director of Human Resources (who seems to be a nice lady), told me many teachers retired or went to districts closer to their homes. It turns out that that was not the case. After being there for three weeks what I have found out was that 10 teachers quit because of the new P. She is very hostile, unapproachable, and rules with an iron fist. New teachers have no one one to turn to for help because the teachers that remain tell us to "figure it out" or 'look it up". There is no academic coach to help us with curriculum or observations, no guidance, but very strict requirements with what is expected from us. Who are we supposed to ask??? The senior teachers are rude to us newbies, won't help us and all in all, have very negative attitudes. My lead has not even been teaching for a year and gets irritated if I ask any questions, like I'm supposed to know what the school is all about. The students are pretty good for the most part, but I've had 4 of the new teachers confide in me that they cry before they come to work because they feel so lost and they're afraid of the principal. I myself have felt sick to my stomach before work. I teach 6 different classes with one prep. I use my lunch as a second prep. We've been in school for a week and we've all been informally observed twice. I am not a new teacher and have been tenured at other districts and have never been made to feel this way before. I looked the school's history up and last school year, teachers were threatening to to go on strike for wages and treatment. I feel sick to my stomach because I'm in a year long contract. This P has been the center of many union investigations and she's still there. I honestly just want to resign and look else where. The school climate is awful. I'm worried about complications against my credential if I resign. I didn't sign up for this craziness and I'm not just being a complainer. There is some crazy stuff going on at this school. And I've worked with difficult staff and admin in the past and have always managed to stay out of the drama, but I don't think I can do this. I am so unhappy and stressed out. We've already had a union meeting about everything going on since school has started. I just wanted to add that I have taught lower elementary for the past 13 years and they knew that. I taught middle school 15 years ago. I accepted the position because I figured that the lead would guide me a little in the beginning. It turns out, she hasn't even been teaching for a year and isn't really sure what she's doing either. She is a multiple subject teacher as well. The school is a K-8 charter within the district. So any single subject ELA or ELD teachers teachers out there who can offer some guidance in lesson planning, please help! They don't really use the curriculum. Anything is appreciated at this point. Has an one ever left while in a contract? If so, what were the ramifications?
    Just wanted to vent.....
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
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  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I'm really sorry to hear that you're stuck between a rock and a hard place. Sounds like the P has a thick teflon coating on her and the culture she has created is awful. But you can't control anyone or anything, except yourself. Since there are 10 of you newbies, you should band together to discuss curriculum and collaborate as best you can. I think in situations like this where the climate is so hostile, perhaps killing with kindness can go some way - cupcakes or cookies - never goes astray. Unless all the leads and seniors are sociopaths, it's probably just the toxic school culture that is causing them to be so unkind and negative; they probably aren't like that to this degree outside of school. At least, they can't all be.

    I would also be recording the details of any negative conversations or situations where you have felt intimidated or bullied, it may be useful in the future.
     
  4. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    Thank you rpan. I have been writing things down just in case I need it in the near future. I wish things were different. I don't even want to go to work in the morning. It's really sad. I'm always polite and say "hello" to everyone, but this is absolutely out of control.
     
  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    From your description, I'd recommend that the P can go jump in a lake! Hey, if the weather's still hot, it might cool the P off! Because you have experience in teaching, if you can't get assistance, go with your instinct. Concentrate on the students. If your evaluations are goofy, just teach the way you know how to teach. Success in the classroom will hopefully override any P ridicule.
     
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  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  7. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    Thank you for the the pep talk. I can handle the students, but the lack of support and bullying by the P is so intimidating. She was the AP for a year and was promoted to new P last year. That's why 10 senior teachers resigned. I'm a probation 1 teacher at this district but am not a new teacher. I've been in the field for 16 years. This IS NOT my dream district!! I'm really trying to be positive here guys but it's really hard!! I seriously want to resign. I've lost 10 lbs. from all the stress and can't sleep. I wasn't even given a hand book on contracts, medical benefits or anything because those positions were not filled at the time of my hire. Feeling defeated and depressed because I need a job and I don't want to have my credential compromised.
     
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  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Does your contract state that you must stay until the end of the school year? When I worked at a charter, we had a contract, but the terms of the contract stated that we were at-will employees who could either be forced to leave at any time or leave voluntarily at any time - even before the school year was over. I left in December of my second year.
     
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  9. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Can I state the obvious? Go ask your principal for help!

    That's what they are there for. They are the academic leader of your building! Plus, nothing makes a controlling leader happier than when you ask how to meet their expectations. Don't just say what should I do? Take something from one of the observations and ask how you can grow in this area.

    Sounds like everyone is at their whits end but you shouldn't be since you just met this person and she hasn't done anything to you yet.
     
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  10. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Any chance you can get a medical reason to be released from your contract without penalty? Losing 10 pounds and not sleeping sounds like you need a mental break from this place. I think it's your right to be informed and given the contract and info on benefits.
     
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  11. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Fate has a way of intervening. Our P got cancer and had to leave mid-year. Maybe something like that will happen. Good luck.
     
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  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I guess I'm a little unclear. In your original post, you mention needing help with stuff like lesson planning. As a person with sixteen years of experience in the field (were you not a teacher for all sixteen years), why would you need so much support when it comes to lesson planning?
     
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  14. DAH

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    [QUOTE="alp123, .
    • She is very hostile, unapproachable, and rules with an iron fist.
    • no one one to turn to for
    • the teachers that remain tell us to "figure it out" or 'look it up".
    • no guidance,
    • teachers are rude to us newbies, won't help us and all in all, have very negative attitudes.
    • I honestly just want to resign and look else where.
    • The school climate is awful.
    • I'm worried about complications against my credential if I resign. I didn't sign up for this .
    • I am so unhappy and stressed out. [/QUOTE]

    DON'T RESIGN, ALP!
    You signed a ONE YEAR CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT!
    One year is not that long--I don't mean to sound insensitive--but it'll be over before you know it.

    Make the best of it. You have lots of good experience. Stop thinking, "this is horrible, I hate it!" That will make things worse. Find the good things and MAGNIFY THEM. Adjust your attitude accordingly, and you can get through it with a smile.

    "THE PRINCIPAL" is THE BOSS!--do what SHE TELLS YOU TO DO, and how she tells you to do it...THAT'S WHO YOU ARE TO LISTEN TO.
    NOT the disgruntled teachers who don't like her and never have.
    They're not the boss! And if I were you, I WOULD STAY AWAY FROM THEM as much as possible.

    The reality is, things don't always go the way we would like them to. If this were a substitute position, you could call in the morning and cancel, BUT YOU SIGNED A CONTRACT!

    We're BIG KIDS now, and at some point in our lives, we have to MAN-UP, GRIN-AND-BEAR-IT, roll with the punches...however you want to put it.


    When the year is over, you'll be free to leave, stronger for it. Some problems are "CHARACTER BUILDERS," and I would say this is one of them.

    Stick with it; there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
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  15. DAH

    DAH Companion

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    [QUOTE="Milsey,
    • Our P got cancer and had to leave mid-year.
    • Maybe something like that will happen. .[/QUOTE]
    Ooh Milsey....:openmouth: sister...noooooo.
     
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  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Disgusting.
     
  17. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    After reading your post twice, I have to ask - are you sure this is all because of the P? Have you actually experienced her being hostile or unapproachable or violating contracts (you mentioned difficulties with the union)? Is there reason to fear her? Or could this come from the mouths of some very negative, powerful teachers who love to complain?

    Bella mentioned the at will contract - that was my first thought, except then you mentioned union meetings. I've worked at two charters, but neither were part of the union. So your charter may have a very different contract than I'm used to.
     
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  18. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    I taught 2nd grade a private school. They knew that upon hire. I have a supplemental in English, but I have never taught it as a single subject. The "lead" is a brand new teacher who also taught elementary. She has been there for 8 months. Because so many teachers resigned, she was made lead and is doing what she can to guide me.
     
  19. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    My school is a charter dependent on the district. She's a new P.
     
  20. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    You can't talk to her. I've witnessed and it. A question was asked at a PD by a new teacher and her response was..."You need to go look that up!"? Is that necessary? It was on topic....
     
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  21. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    This is a district charter. :(
     
  22. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    DON'T RESIGN, ALP!
    You signed a ONE YEAR CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT!
    One year is not that long--I don't mean to sound insensitive--but it'll be over before you know it.

    Make the best of it. You have lots of good experience. Stop thinking, "this is horrible, I hate it!" That will make things worse. Find the good things and MAGNIFY THEM. Adjust your attitude accordingly, and you can get through it with a smile.

    "THE PRINCIPAL" is THE BOSS!--do what SHE TELLS YOU TO DO, and how she tells you to do it...THAT'S WHO YOU ARE TO LISTEN TO.
    NOT the disgruntled teachers who don't like her and never have.
    They're not the boss! And if I were you, I WOULD STAY AWAY FROM THEM as much as possible.

    The reality is, things don't always go the way we would like them to. If this were a substitute position, you could call in the morning and cancel, BUT YOU SIGNED A CONTRACT!

    We're BIG KIDS now, and at some point in our lives, we have to MAN-UP, GRIN-AND-BEAR-IT, roll with the punches...however you want to put it.


    Yes, you should have done your homework, but you didn't, and now you'll have to live with the consequences of this for a year. When the year is over, you'll be free to leave, stronger, and in a position to help & encourage others in their TRIALS OF LIFE. Some problems are "CHARACTER BUILDERS," and I would say this is one of them.

    Stick with it; there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
    [/QUOTE]
    This isn't my first job.....and she is the boss, but a little respect and kindness goes a long way, especially with TEN new teachers on staff.
     
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  23. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    This isn't my first job.....and she is the boss, but a little respect and kindness goes a long way, especially with TEN new teachers on staff.[/QUOTE]I stay out of the gossip.
     
  24. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    I wan't given anything upon hire regarding handbooks, benefits, anything! Still waiting. When I email the district, no response??
     
  25. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    Thank you for the encouragement! :)
    This isn't my first teaching job.....and she is the boss, but a little tact and diplomacy goes a long way, especially with TEN new teachers on staff.[/QUOTE]
    I try to stay positive but it's like I'm walking on eggshells. I'm sure she's having a hard time too. Running a charter is different than a traditional school. So trying to keep that in mind. Staying under the radar.
     
  26. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    That may be acceptable if the answer to the question asked should be very obvious or the question is about something very, very specific, and she doesn't have the answer to it either. All teachers should be capable of research.
     
  27. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Are you saying that in private school teachers did not do lesson plans?
     
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  28. DAH

    DAH Companion

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    Good girl, Milsey, for taking that down. That's not who you are.
     
  29. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    What was the question she dismissed? Not that she handled it well, I'm just curious if you remember.
     
  30. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    We did lesson plan. I'm referring to the grade level. I taught 2nd grade...this is for 2 7th grade ELA's, 2 8th grades ELA's, eld, 1 elective and 2 PBL's.
     
  31. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    The question was, "What is ELAC". She is a new teacher from a different county. This is a title 1 school district. Different demographic.
     
  32. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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  33. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    East Los Angeles College?

    Im wondering if its googleable
     
  34. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    English Learner Advisory Committee, if OP is in CA. It's well known to CA teachers, but wouldn't be to anyone from out of the area.

    alp - Your P does indeed sound...interesting. I didn't mean to downplay that before - I just know that teachers (meaning the existing staff, not you) can be super negative and blow things out of proportion.

    I've worked at two charters sponsored by districts before, too, but I've never been part of a union. I wonder what your contract actually states about leaving.

    Are you in an area where there are still decent jobs to be had? There might be jobs after school starts, but personally I'd worry about why they're still open.

    In your position in a district charter, can you transfer to another school in the district next year? That might be an option for you if you do indeed like the district but just not this particular school.

    If you do stay for the year, I'd keep my head down and stay away from all the adults. There HAVE to be at least one or two other likeminded teachers in that school. This blog from Cult of Pedagogy has been helpful to me this year because of a certain coworker who may or may not be my teaching partner...
     
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  35. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    So not googleable then. I'd say it's a poor example if leadership but not something that would make me leave a job.
     
  36. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    The other blogs are great too! Thanks for the link.
     
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  37. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Once I had the context it was an easy find. With no context to the PD or state, it was difficult.
     
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  38. MathGuy82

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    I would give it another month, maybe you can last until Christmas. If things don't improve, your health and sanity is more important than a job. I know it's good to try to stick things out and that's what everybody says, but if you start isolating yourself, becoming really depressed, it's not good to continue with this. 10 teachers quitting in one year isn't good at all. That's scary in my opinion. And anyone you ask questions gets mad, that's not good either. You are trying to get help and do a good job, but no one is answering you. If you have to quit, I would put it as personal/health reasons are no longer allow me to do this job. Constant anxiety is a "health problem" in my opinion that can allow us to leave. I keep hearing these situations more and more and more and more, it makes me wonder if I'll keep this as a profession. I worked at a school similar to this in 2006 and quit the next year. Didn't step into any other private/charter school for nearly 7 years. I stayed with the community college system and tutored. That one year did a lot of damage to my pysch and I'm still mad to this day with some of those people I worked with in 2006. In 2009, the dean of our college resigned and moved to another state within a matter of two weeks. People quit/resign from all types of jobs. Teacher's shouldn't be any different. Yes, kids suffer, yes they have to find replacements, but that's part of the school's job. Just like every other job when someone quits. I meant to add that this dean found another dean job in another state and is still working there today. So it isn't all bad. Don't let those who say "you will not find another job" because you quit effect you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
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  39. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    We've all had rough years. Just consider it an extra year toward your pension.

    They can only go after a credential if you violate the contract. My contract requires 60 days. As long as I give the 60 days, I could do anything I please. The same is true for you. I say stick it out though. Every teaching job is hard and stressful. It's why we get paid "the big bucks".
     
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  40. MathGuy82

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    60 days sounds reasonable, that's good it's not the whole year.
     
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  41. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    This feels very victim-blaming and not very understanding. The OP is losing weight and can't sleep and your advice is to grin and bear it? Come on...[/QUOTE]

    I agree with that advice. It just doesn't sound like that bad of a situation. Your hand isn't being held but that isn't necessary.

    You can find plenty of free units online so planning shouldn't be an issue. If the principal wants something done a certain way, do it.
     
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