I really, really, really need your help :(

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by lily1989, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. lily1989

    lily1989 Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2017

    I have had a tough year. In fact, last year was even harder. In the past, I had been a long-term sub but last year I got a new job in a new district (urban) as a special ed teacher. I was restraining daily, it just wasnt my cup of tea. I got a good reference from one of the P's (the other threatened to non-renew me, but I was planning on leaving anyway).
    This year, I am teaching elementary gen ed, and I love it, but it has been really hard. My mentor and team have not been very supportive or shown me how to do anything, and my P has given me needs improvement on doing some of the things that as a team, we do all do.
    I have worked so incredibly hard to be the best teacher I can be. I feel like I am meant to teach that grade level, and that content. It took me a while, but I get it now. I get how to have stronger management. I get how to execute lessons more clearly and have better pacing. I have learned a lot of things this year that I never, ever had to learn during student teaching.

    But they may not renew me. I got a letter of recommendation from the curriculum coordinator. It is not super strong, it just says I am reflective and collaborative (nothing about strong teaching skills) but it is something. I need to use something from this school and clearly cannot ask P.

    Maybe next year will be a fresh start for me somewhere else, if I can get something else. So many of you have reached out and reassured me that I can, and I think I will talk to that curriculum coordinator once I am further along in an interview process to be sure she would be willing to give a strong verbal reference if contacted.


    I want to stay a teacher. I will stay a teacher. Not to mention all the money I am in debt due to my schooling. I will not be an aide, nor a long-term sub, but a teacher. I cannot financially go back to that is all. Getting a new job somewhere else would be my third year in a row starting in a new school....but third time is the charm?[​IMG]

    What would you do if you had a so-so reference? How did you get a job when leaving a school on not-so-great terms/what was your reason for leaving on applications?
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Mar 14, 2017

    Remember, you don't have to go into detail. If you're not non-renewed, you're not non-renewed. In response to "why did you leave?", you can simply say whatever professional reason of "I just felt like it" you choose.

    As for your letter, reflective and collaborative aren't too shabby of terms. Sometimes, they just need letters to check the boxes.
     
  4. lily1989

    lily1989 Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2017

    Thank you, Backroads. What are some professional reasons? I did use commute last year; there are budget cuts coming in my district so I could use that...
     
  5. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Mar 14, 2017

    I wouldn't even go into strong detail. You can even use a pull rather than push. "I was seeking different school opportunities and am excited by what your school has to offer."

    Commute is a good one, budget cuts could work.
     
  6. lily1989

    lily1989 Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2017

    Thanks!
     
  7. Teachertimes

    Teachertimes Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2017

    I'm confused, do you have to leave this school? Or are you choosing to leave?
     
  8. lily1989

    lily1989 Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2017

    I would like to stay, but between budget cuts coming up and P giving me needs improvement and continuing to target me, I feel I need to apply elsewhere in the meantime.
     
  9. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Mar 15, 2017

    No one begins as an expert. We all grow in our profession and you are growing, too. That's the key to success. Your current P might be noticing your improvement and enthusiasm. Her/his job is to run the ship, so you might not be reading exactly what's in her/his mind. If I might offer a suggestion, when I was a beginning teacher, I learned to focus more on the students' development and less on what my supervisors were thinking. (It took awhile, but I soon forgot that the P is my supervisor and my career depends on his opinions of me). I'll never forget an early evaluation. He sat at my desk and criticized my entire lesson--right in front of the students! But I learned to accept the fact that I'm a human teacher, and human teachers are much better than robots. The P is looking for authentic, realistic, and professional interaction among the teacher and the students. When I am observed, I find Murphy's Law to be the norm; if it can go wrong, it will; what's really happening is that I notice incongruous situations more when I'm wondering what the P is noticing. Most of the time, these situations are minor, unavoidable, and inconsequential. Daily, the main goal is student development; as I stick to the goal, eventually everything else falls into place and I continually improve in my goal. I began teaching in 1982 and I'm still learning and improving. A teacher never reaches perfection, but I think that's what makes teaching so much fun. There's always room for improvement.

    On the opposite end of the track, which from reading your post, I'm certain this is not your situation, but I recall a new teacher who had more honorary references than a presidential candidate. The P confided in me about her classroom observation of this teacher. She said that everything that happened while she was observing was put on like a show just for her to observe; she saw nothing of what the real classroom was like. Well, that teacher didn't last very long.
     
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  10. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Mar 16, 2017

    If you are going to leave this school, be sure to grab some knowledge that can help you build skills. Make an appointment with the P and ask for specific areas you need to improve in. Usually this is classroom management. Then ask if you can observe in classrooms where the teacher has strong skills in the area you need to improve. Take careful notice of how those teachers solves the problems you are having trouble with and practice on your current class.

    Successful teaching requires an amazing set of skills and attributes. Be patient as you build the skills. If you determine you lack attributes (like being able to read people), then there's no shame in finding another job. Just like some people can't be professional singers, it doesn't mean they are personal failures.
     
  11. vincischool

    vincischool Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2017

    Absorbing and nice....
     

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