Improvement Plan. Career doomed?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Zelda~*, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    81

    Feb 14, 2019

    Okay.

    So, I was evaluated by my supervisor in October. She made a bunch of suggestions and I did my best to implement them since then.

    Apparently, I have not done well enough, and while she had a few positive comments, I'm being put on an Improvement Plan.

    So. Is this the beginning of the end of my career? Should I start looking at other options now? I'm just absolutely sick with worry over this. Anyone been through this with advice?

    Thanks.
     
  2.  
  3. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    138

    Feb 14, 2019

    It does not mean the end, in fact it can be very helpful, depending on you and the administrator. First, look at the suggestions that were made. Are they things that, if you look at them from their perspective, really need to be fixed? Where does your admin feel you need improvement? If it's things like classroom management, student communication, parent communication, content, then those should be things that can be fixed, and with concerted effort, can be. If they are nitpicky things, like "The students are not sitting quietly in rows waiting for instructions" (in a drama class), then that is a problem (the example above is from my earlier career. I had an admin who only wanted rows in classrooms, no talking, absolute silence at all times--doesn't work most of the time, but definitely not in a drama class that didn't have traditional desks for everyone).

    Most improvement plans have specifics as to what needs to be improved, how it will be measured, and generally due dates. Not knowing specifically what yours entails, that list may be long, or it may be short. It seems that your admin wants to be helpful, so sit down with them and ask them what is the most important--what do they want you to focus on first. If there are a lot of little items, it will get frustrating really quickly, and more than likely, there will be no noticeable progress. Break down the plan and focus on one item at a time, and work out a schedule for the admin to look at that item. If they are focused on one item at a time, it may help them to see that you have improved overall by the end of the term. If they are looking for everything, they miss the three or four things that improved over maybe the two or three that haven't.

    If they've put you on an improvement plan, that also means they see potential and want to help you get better. If they didn't think you could be good, they'd get rid of you right away. Do make sure that everything you do is documented, as well as what they do--if you have to attend a class, keep a record. If you have to create a lesson plan, keep a record. Look for help from other teachers--observe and ask questions. I could be more helpful if I had more details of what the big concerns are.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,430
    Likes Received:
    946

    Feb 14, 2019

    The only way an improvement plan is a bad thing is if you make no progress toward fixing issues. I’ve seen people go both ways. Some were non-renewed. Some are still working with us.
     
  5. Aces

    Aces Habitué

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2018
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    454

    Feb 14, 2019

    Think about it from a different perspective. If you put a student on an improvement plan, does it mean that you think the student is awful and will never succeed? Actually it's quite the opposite, you're saying I see you're struggling, let me help and we'll work together to get where you need to be. It's the same idea. Your admin is saying hey I see you're struggling let's work together to get you where you should be.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,804
    Likes Received:
    1,406

    Feb 14, 2019

    This is completely a personal opinion, but I'd be looking for another job.

    Everyone here is positive and that's good, but my experience (not personal, but from what I've observed with others) is that an improvement plan is often a perfunctory step on the way to nonrenewal. I don't mean to add to your anxiety, sorry. I've just never seen them in a positive light.

    I do agree with others, though, that if you're truly reflective and able to use the advice constructively it could be a helpful way to improve your teaching skills.
     
    greendream likes this.
  7. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,337
    Likes Received:
    244

    Feb 14, 2019

    Even though this article relates to the business world, it also applies here in education.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizrya...t-performance-improvement-plans/#55adda733b36

    No immediate need to worry. However, you may want to get your resume up-to-date ASAP and start looking for a new job. The PIP isn't the end of your teaching career but could be an early indicator of the end of your career where you are now.
     
    Preschool0929 and otterpop like this.
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,849
    Likes Received:
    715

    Feb 14, 2019

    This has also been my experience- improvement plans are used as documentation for non-renewal. I was debating posting because I also don't want to add to the OP's anxiety, but I wouldn't want her to be blindsided either.

    I would absolutely try to be as proactive as possible and jump through any hoops that the plan suggests, but I would also be looking for another job and gathering things like updated letters of rec if they are needed.

    How long have you been at this school? Do you have any sort of non-probationary status that might protect you from a non-renewal, at least in the short term? Is this a new admin or someone you've worked for before? Is there a union? Do the suggestions on the improvement plan seem reasonable or like "gotcha" things?

    You know your admin best and should think about whether this person might really want to help you improve or just wants to get rid of you. I think my P genuinely wants to help teachers, but I don't see her putting anyone on an improvement plan other than for documentation purposes. If she thought the situation could be resolved she'd work outside of that process.

    I know there are different views on this, but if you think you are headed for non-renewal I would resign asap before you are officially told that. That saves you from having to answer "yes" to questions on future applications that ask if you've resigned in lieu of non-renewal. I know some people say to take the non-renewal for unemployment, but around here a non-renewal on your record can absolutely be a career killer, and I'm in a place with a teacher shortage. If you don't have that on your record and can get a new job right away, you don't have to worry about unemployment anyway.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  9. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    81

    Feb 14, 2019

    Thank you all for your input.

    With my district for 10 years this fall. I was eight years in one setting, I asked to be moved and last year was my first year in the new building. Under this supervisor since last year. No union.

    I'm happy to do hoop jumping and I'll be documenting the crap out of everything.

    Thanks again.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  10. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,337
    Likes Received:
    244

    Feb 15, 2019

    Does your state have tenure laws that might protect you?
     
  11. greendream

    greendream Cohort

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    127

    Feb 15, 2019

    Same here. Some admins I know call it "putting paper on them"--i.e., doing all the preliminary paperwork to get rid of someone.
     
  12. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,020

    Feb 15, 2019

    A teacher who has been here over TWENTY (20) years was just put on an improvement plan this year. They apparently found out that all he does is show movies in class so he can focus on his coaching responsibilities. I don't know if they are trying to get rid of him, but at the same time, I don't know how he's lasted all this time "teaching" that way.
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    1,558

    Feb 15, 2019

    I hate to say it, but start polishing your resume and keeping your ear out for other opportunities.

    This is not to say that the improvement plan isn't with the best of intentions with no actual intent at this time of letting you go.

    But... there are anecdotes where it really is just the powers that be going through the motions.

    I also second (third?) resigning first.
     
  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Feb 16, 2019

    It’s because of the tenure system that he has lasted this long. You can’t fire people for being incompetent without a lengthy and expensive legal process. It’s the American way.
     
  15. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    40

    Feb 18, 2019

    I would request a meeting with your supervisor. Is this person even a principal?
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,312
    Likes Received:
    1,433

    Feb 18, 2019

    If she has been given an Improvement Plan, she has already met with a supervisor. As a teacher trainer who is not a principal, the important thing about this process is learning from past mistakes and MOVING FORWARD.
     
  17. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    88

    Feb 22, 2019

    I was put on one my second year. It was horrible and upset me greatly. But I pulled through and here I am eight years later. Still at the same job, with the same administration. You'll be fine. Make steps towards getting better and everything is okay!
     
    catnfiddle likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Backroads,
  2. jadorelafrance,
  3. MrsC
Total: 587 (members: 5, guests: 554, robots: 28)
test