I feel like had the wind knocked out of me

Discussion in 'General Education' started by pontiac8411, May 7, 2010.

  1. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    May 7, 2010

    I feel like I had the wind knocked out of me

    So, I recently got my end of the year evaluation. I have been rated nothing but satisfactory for the past 2 years.... BACKGROUND STORY: MI work in a middle school. I work in the city with some very behaviorally challenged students. I have seen things i never thought i would such as: a kid punch my assistant principal, I was thrown into a wall this year, four other teachers were assaulted, weapons charges, pregnancy, drugs, psychological meltdowns (the required the student to be in a mental institution until cleared to come back to school) all while the administration does nothing to support its teachers. The student who hit the principal was out of the school that day. The kid who hit me was just moved to a different room. I have been called every name under the sun by kids, cursed at, threatened, etc...and the administrators said that the problem is we are not engaging them enough or our methods are ineffective, so they act out. My lesson plans are always engaging and I still have problems....ANYWAY... My evaluation says I am unsatisfactory in classroom management. :( It says i yell at the kids. Funny, in the meeting, the admin said it was only because when she was in the hallway she could hear me when my door was closed...She never opened the door to see if i was actually yelling, what i was saying, etc. I have a really loud voice..maybe I was giving instructions..She just never bothered to check. She also criticized my organization...how i store my papers. Last I checked, that is not something you can evaluate me on according to the criteria. The only thing that they ever said about my classroom management was to watch a video about it and employ the strategies. Which I did, and then they told me the strategy from the video was stupid and stop doing it! This is a mess. I put in over a 10 page rebuttal breaking down how this was an inaccurate evaluation and someone from the district will review it, but all of them are my principal's cronies , so I don't know if it will help..................................My main question is, the whole reason my evaluations started to go south was because I informed them I would most likely not be coming back next year (I travel 50 mins to work each day and wanted something closer to home because my father is deathly ill, which they know). They want to do whatever they can before i leave to hurt me... So will the bar me from getting any other jobs? I love my kids at school, but this school is so toxic, i just have to get out..What are my chances. I feel so powerless.
     
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  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    May 7, 2010

    I think, that the first phone call I would make is to your union. Retaliation of this sort, if that's what it is, is illegal, and you need a lawyer on your side.
     
  4. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    May 7, 2010

    yeah, I have contacted him, but the one in charge of matters like this is in his back pocket :( This sucks!
     
  5. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    May 8, 2010

    I agree; document, document, document - even when things are going good.

    I will be the first to admit I have a hard time with this. I've always had a good memory and I still tend to think I will remember things on my own. I don't. During my student teaching, I kept a daily journal. This came in VERY handy when I had to have a parent/student/teacher/principal conference to discuss a student that had decided very early he just didn't like me or my teaching method at all. Of course, he told the parents that I was the one that didn't like him and I was constantly "picking on him" in the class.

    When we got into the conference, I simply handed the dad a two-page list of the more egregious offenses his son had committed in the classroom, complete with dates and time. He confronted the son, who was forced to admit the list was true. The conference ended with the student apologizing to me, the principal and the other teachers.

    Your situation is much more severe. Keep a detailed list of every communication, even passing remarks that are made. The more comprehensive your documentation is, the more difficult it will be for admin to deny it.
     
  6. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    May 8, 2010

    I can see how all those elements make for a toxic environment as you call it. Especially the feeling of non-support, followed by this latest action (feeling like a punch in the gut). Amazing that the physical incidents seem to have been taken as a blip on the radar by the school admin. I would think that that kind of thing should foster an immediate and serious circle the wagons attitude among the adults at the school, in addressing with the students how grievous an act that is...
     
  7. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    May 8, 2010

    You told them that you were "most likely" not coming back, they've got a screw you attitude. They hear that you're walking out and don't care about you.


    You were being up front and honest, but you made a huge mistake by telling them before you had landed another job. NEVER tell am employer that you're gone until you have somewhere else to land.


    Find another position and get the heck out of Dodge.
     
  8. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    Yeah. I was just trying to do the right thing. Our principal said in a meeting, if you do not want to be here and our miserable than tell us so we can help you get out and bring someone in who shares our mission. While i never said this to them, I just filed a voluntary transfer form, which lead them to this conclusion. So back to my question, So will the bar me from getting any other jobs?
     
  9. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    May 8, 2010

    It won't bar you, but it won't help.


    Getting a job depends on several things. The first is how big of a need is there in your area. I teach high school math and there's a BIG need so it is easy for me to find a job.

    The second is contacts and friends. Do you have senior teachers who respect you and have friends in other districts? Like any other career, educators know each other and getting one to give your name as a good hire is the best way to get a job regardless of what the P says.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    May 8, 2010

    I'm sorry you're going through all this.

    In our district principals all have access to evaluations-so if you are transferring within the same district that would be a possibility. It sounds like you are looking much farther away. I simply wouldn't volunteer the evaluation when you job search. If they ask for a copy of it I would just explain that you were not prepared for the reaction you got from these kids. I wouldn't mention any of the drama with your current P and look for trainings on classroom management-just to be able to show-this was a weakness (even just a perceived one out of vengeance) and this is what I did about it.

    You may want to meet with your P just to clarify why you filed those papers-personal issues rather than dissatisfaction-he still will probably be called for a reference.
     
  11. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    My assistant principal and I (she did the eval met) she said she understood why i was doing it, but she would still not change the rating. My thing is, I know they will be upset because unlike every other school in my district, we do SAM (single approach to mastery) which means i am both the special ed teacher and the regular ed teacher in the room. In each class i have ten or over special ed kids and seven or eight regular ed and no push in, no para, no nothing. I asked how can anyone be satisfactory under a situation like this? (which has been seconded and so on by every other special ed teacher in our school) There is just not enough of me to go around in the class. If i have over ten special ed (who are off task, disruptive, etc) and then more kids who act as regular middle schoolers do (off task :) sometimes! What can i do? I am trying the best i can. I have read every management book, watched/gone to PD, asked colleagues, etc. This is our school's dirty little secret and i am sure they don't want anyone to know, but it is pertinent to my case.
     
  12. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    May 8, 2010

    yes - never be too upfront. They are your boss first - not friend.
     
  13. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    May 8, 2010

    I was only upfront upon being questioned. This just hurts me because i pride myself in how far i have come in classroom management especially after the initial shock of the environment i was put into (which was never conveyed to me in the interview of course) and it even says "Has improved greatly in classroom management" on my beginning of the year observations. This is so frustrating. I have taken it to the union, but like I said I do not know if it will do any good. We will see. I just cannot believe how much they deprive my kids of at the school and how when things backfire, the first person they blame is the teacher instead of saying, GEE, we see there is this problem in all spec ed classrooms because there is only one teacher, what can we do to fix this. How about giving me the other teacher in the room or the para you promised in the interview and then again at the end of the year last year to lure me to your school :mad:
     
  14. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    May 8, 2010

    So my suspicious self wonders what will happen if you don't get a job elsewhere. Will you stay there? Is that what they are hoping? Is it difficult to get spec. ed. teachers to go to that school? Just asking....Got a touch of paranoia in me tonight.
     
  15. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    It is difficult to get anyone to go to that school. Last year we had six or seven teachers quit in the first few weeks/middle of year. We have broken so many laws it is not even funny. We have a para teaching a class. We have kids who are special ed still placed in regular ed classes (in MAY!) We have kids who got to 18 days of suspension before they had manifestation meetings. They lure you in with all these promises and then when you get there it is completely different. I went for the position because i thought it was TAM or at least push in (that is what they said) I have had no support. They have to have someone who is dual certified (which I am) in a way i think this is their lame attempt to keep me. Every teacher i talk to says the same thing when i ask if they are coming back next year "If I am desperate and cannot find anything else". The school I work at is terrible and everyone in the state knows it. When i tell people where i work they either cringe, say they are sorry for me, or say god bless you, I don't know how you do it. It would be worth it to me if i was supported, but I am not.
     
  16. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    May 8, 2010

    Pontiac,

    What kind of school is this (public, private)? Sounds like they don't play by the rules very well.
     
  17. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    public. it is a city school and they keep things really quiet. plus he (my p) is buddy buddy with a lot of important people in the district so they let a lot go. You are definitely right about the rules though.
     
  18. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Yes, very strange. I can't even imagine being angry that a teacher was leaving our site. Everyone needs to pursue their dream, look for their right fit, do what is best for their family, etc.

    Limiting someone's future endeavors just seems so childish. When you told them you were leaving, was it harsh? Did you do it spitefully? Were you and admin already having problems with each other?
     
  19. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    No. I told them right before the voluntary transfer process that I was voluntary transferring because they would have found out anyway.At this point things were as ok as they could be at a school like this. I saw them harassing everyone around me, but not me because i kept quiet. I explained that my father has about a year left to live (I am only 25) and I would like to be at a school which is closer so that i can spend the most time with him/my family as possible. Then things took a huge turn for the worse. The assistant principal wont even speak to me unless it is to bark an order at me. When we had our team meeting a week ago after three to four teachers were absent due to training/sickness, she said that the floor ran better than when we are there. If the subs can do it, why cant you. Well, you stood in the room the whole time when the subs were there. You are never on the floor when we are there. The whole situation is terrible. I want to leave so bad i can taste it. Thinking about leaving makes me want to cry because i will miss my kids so much.
     
  20. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I guess all you can do is keep trying for another job. I know you already know this, but make sure none of your anger comes out when you interview. Absolutely none. Just stick to the wanting to be close to family. I'm not even sure I'd mention about your father being ill. They might see that as someone who is going to have to be absent a lot.

    And think about how hard it would be to take a non-teaching job for awhile. Or substitute teach. Time with Dad is pretty important.
     
  21. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    May 10, 2010

    The district overturned it :D I am soooooo happy. Now on with the job search. I am so happy i am dancing. They said it was unsubstantiated based on the information in my previous observations and that data I had collected. What an AWESOME day. To win and to win on my own merit. I love it.
     
  22. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    May 10, 2010

    Congradulations! I am so glad things worked out for you!
     
  23. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    May 10, 2010

    thanks :)
     
  24. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    May 10, 2010

    Wheee! I'm so glad for you!!!
     

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