I need to vent

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by justwanttoteach, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

    Dec 14, 2013
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    Feb 18, 2016

    First some background information:

    I am a first year teacher. I am presently working in a district that is getting ready to go on strike. To say the work environment is hostile would be an understatement. Admin is pissed. Teachers are pissed. Students are pissed. If I had one word to describe the overall mood of the district PISSED would be it.

    Anyways, I started teaching in this district in the summer during summer school. I was hired 3 days beforehand. I found out what grade/subject I would teach on the first day. After summer school, I got picked up for a fulltime assignment in the same school.

    Yesterday morning during 1st period, I had a post observation conference and was told: "I walked away from your observation seriously impressed!" and "I am so impressed with how much you have grown! You have done an excellent job!"

    Fast forward 6 hours. I get called into the office and am told 'We have decided to not reelect you for next year. To say I feel blindsided would be slightly understated.
    I am not the only new teacher to be let go. I was the last teacher hired. As the saying goes LAst one hired first one fired...TO date there was 7 new teacher let go. It is so frustrating. I get this happens to all kinds of teachers I really just needed someone who understood what was going on and how things work in public education to hear me rant. Let's file this under "Things that student teaching and teacher prep programs dont prepare you for!"
  3. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

    Jan 23, 2016
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    Feb 18, 2016

    Wow!! This seems unfair towards you. Did they say why? I am on your side that this is messed up. What goes on that causes the hostile work place?
  4. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

    Aug 20, 2014
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    Feb 18, 2016

    This sucks big time but maybe a blessing in disguising? Might be nice to get out of such a crazy environment. I'm so sorry this happened though!
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Jul 19, 2014
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    Feb 18, 2016

    Contact your union rep. I would get the post observation conference in writing, which shouldn't be too hard, since part of that procedure would include admin and observed teacher discussing growth and reflection, as well as the particulars of the observation.. I would, with my union rep, get specifics, and see if this couldn't be classified as Reduction in Force as opposed to non renewed for causes that were not brought up. RIF'd is definitely highly preferable to not having your contract renewed for some cause. RIF'd means that it is the school, not you, and there is no stigma attached, essentially. RIF'd even means that if funding comes through, or student numbers increase the school may well come back to you with a contract for the next school year. Additionally, you will be eligible for unemployment insurance, classes to improve your skill sets, to make you more employable, and they will support you - can you tell that I have been down this road???

    In some states, you may be eligible to take college courses to make you more employable, virtually free, and the Labor Department will help with classes to help you sell yourself to future employers.

    You had the right to have your union rep by your side when this played out, and you should remember that going forward. The union is there to support YOU, strike or no strike pending. If in doubt, I would reach out to an employment attorney just to cover all bases. The fact that it was new teachers who were let go sounds like RIF'd, especially if anything that sounded like "last hired, first let go" was anywhere in the conversation. With RIF'd, usually the supervisor and admin will write great letter of recommendations for you, which is a positive.

    Somewhere "Yesterday morning during 1st period, I had a post observation conference and was told: "I walked away from your observation seriously impressed!" and "I am so impressed with how much you have grown! You have done an excellent job!" should be in writing, especially since this was the post observation conference. Let your union rep help you accomplish this task. You will be so grateful for this stuff in writing as time goes on.

    It knocks the breath out of you at the time, but look at it as a possibility to find a better job without taking a hit professionally. If everyone hates everyone else, morale is low, and strikes are looming, this may be a blessing in disguise.

    Hugs, justwanttoteach. Be on the lookout for the silver lining! :hugs:
    Caesar753, Peregrin5 and PallasAthena like this.
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Aug 25, 2011
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    Feb 19, 2016

    Yeah. This is pretty common. I was not renewed after having great observations my first (internship) year simply because they didn't have enough spots to hire me the next year. Since you got a good observation, it would be pretty easy to get a good letter of recommendation. It seems like you just weren't renewed because there wasn't a position or job available at that school.

    For me, getting non-renewed at that school was the best thing that ever happened to me. I found a MUCH better school. I probably would have been incredibly stressed out at my old school. The old principal wrote my new one a great letter of rec and explained that I was only non-renewed because of lack of positions. Talk to your P about getting letters of rec now.
  7. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Sep 7, 2010
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    Feb 19, 2016

    I'll second those who have said that sometimes being non-renewed at a messed up school can be a blessing in disguise. I know how devastating it feels at the time, though, even if you know logically it's not about you. Cast a wide net looking for a position for next year, and be sure to do your homework and research the schools/districts carefully and don't just jump at the first thing that comes up. It helps to be picky, and you are in a strong position having plenty of time and most likely good recommendations.
    Peregrin5 likes this.

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