Insufficient References

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by willow129, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

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    Mar 1, 2014

    I'm pretty stuck on this. I currently am under contract (music teacher, K-8, city, this is my second year)

    My boyfriend and I really really want to move to a new area. Also there are things about my job which are driving me bonkers. ;)

    I just really don't know what to do about references. I really do NOT feel comfortable telling my music department head that I'm looking at other jobs. I still have a lot of school year left to get through, I have no idea how he would respond to that, and it may very well end up that I'm still here next year. Under normal circumstances I also would not feel comfortable asking my principal at this point either, but actually, she's retiring after this year, so it really doesn't make a difference to her if I'm not coming back. But she's a little crazy sometimes and a colleague thinks it's a really bad idea to tell her I'm looking and trust that she'll keep it to herself.

    This is my first teaching job, I'm such a newbie!! I have some letters from when I was in college but I finished student teaching Dec 2010. They're good recommendations but from so long ago....IMO they're not valid anymore!! I also have a letter from when I was an aid but that was...2011.

    I asked my music colleague from above if he would be a reference, he said yes but he does not feel comfortable writing me a letter.

    I have as another reference a teacher I have known for a LONG time, but we don't work in the same school district. I worked with him when he was putting on his high school musical, and I played in the pit for him, we took grad classes together, talk a lot about education, so he knows my philosophy.

    Should I pursue asking more colleagues? The Spanish teacher across the hall knows I'm looking, we have lunch together every day and teach all the same students, she is also my accompanist for choir so we have worked together a lot.

    Is it reasonable that I don't want to tell my supervisors right now that I'm looking? If only to stay on not-awkward working terms with them right now....no other reason.

    There's also the grad program I was in - maybe my teachers from that would be recommendations.

    Ack! WHADOIDOOO?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 1, 2014

    In my district you pretty much need a letter from a direct supervisor. There's not really any way around that.
     
  4. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Mar 1, 2014

    If this is your principal's last year, you can ask for a letter for your portfolio simply because she is retiring. That doesn't mean you're looking for a new job.
     
  5. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

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    Mar 3, 2014

    I mean maybe this is technicality, but if I don't get a job out there, we probably wouldn't move. I am, believe it or not, actually the main bread winner lol
     
  6. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Mar 3, 2014

    You could say your boyfriend is looking at jobs there and you may move depending on what he finds. Then you can frame it as, "I'd love to stay if I can, but it really depends on where he finds work".
     
  7. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

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    Mar 5, 2014

    Hmmm

    So, my boyfriend is a musician, and he makes and fixes violins, essentially he is self employed. Many people know this and I can't remember if my principal does but I might have told her. So I'm hesitant to say anything but the truth if I'm going to say anything at all just because I can't remember how much I've told her...

    I think I'm going to say to her, just the truth, my boyfriend and I would like to settle down somewhere more permanent and we both agree that we don't want to live in the city, so I'm looking at jobs in a couple of other areas, I have nothing definite yet but I was wondering if she would be willing to give me a reference?

    What do you guys think? I mean, he is not looking for a job, he works for himself, alTHOUGH, one of the places we're looking at would have more for him in terms of gigs, he already travels out there to perform quite a bit. And there could be more violin repair work for him out there too, that's a pretty competitive and well-covered market here so he's not getting a ton of work. So moving could be beneficial for work for him, but that's not the main reason we want to move...
     
  8. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Mar 5, 2014

    Why not ask her for a reference for your portfolio since she's retiring? No reason needed beyond the fact that she's retiring. That's not uncommon nor suspect. Many teachers ask retiring admin for letters before they retire so that they have one in case they ever need it.
     
  9. tonysam

    tonysam Comrade

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    Mar 9, 2014

    My big problem is all of my references are out of state, and these are people I worked with years ago. I have none in my current state. Substituting makes it almost impossible to get current references, so I have to use what I have.
     
  10. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

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    Mar 11, 2014

    tonysam I know that is tricky - though actually I think you could get references from subbing. My sub caller was a reference for me, essentially, for the district I'm working in (she helped recommend me to the music department head)

    Anyways, I talked to my principal, it went fine! I was sooo scared. But she was like, letter? sure! And she said she moved around a lot in her career and thinks it's good to go someplace new. And she sympathized with it being really expensive to live here. AND she said, without me asking, she wouldn't tell anyone, including the music dept head so I've got some time I think before I have to bring it up to him.

    A couple new openings so, I'm actually taking a sick day on Thursday to try to get myself organized. I've been so swamped with work for some reason it's crazy. And I really need a day.
     
  11. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

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    Mar 13, 2014

    OK so, continuing the thread...

    I haven't got a letter from my principal yet but she said she would write me one, (I think I'm going to have to remind her maybe)
    but...who else?? I need three current references...my vice principal? colleagues?

    I've had two really awesome looking jobs disappear before I got to apply to them :( :( ack!! Need to get this figured out. Maybe it's ok to call schools and say I've got references but not letters from all of them? It's just, I have a colleague who has been around for ages, seen me teach, we've worked together a lot, but doesn't feel comfortable writing a letter because he feels it's a conflict of interest.

    Who do you have letters of reference from?

    (I'm really tired, this post might not make much sense - don't have time to reread)
     
  12. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Mar 13, 2014

    My letters are from my principal, assistant principal, lead teacher (grade level chair), and BTSA (beginning teacher program in CA) mentor, who is also a grade level colleague.

    I don't think you should call schools and tell them you don't have letters yet...sorry. :( I think you either have them or don't, unfortunately. Just ask as soon as possible so you can get them in time. I'm sure there will be other awesome jobs you will be ready to apply for!
     
  13. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    Mar 13, 2014

    I wouldn't call the school. I would just put a packet together with your application and all needed information. List your references contact information after your resume & cover letter. we have to fill out an online application, I print mine out even though its not required, make a copy of my teaching license and put it all in a nice report folder and take it personally to each school or email the principal/ person collecting that application for the school. Making sure my contact information is clearly seen. you can always call the school later after you have your reference letters in hand if needed. You never know they may just ask you for an impromtu interview when you drop off the forms.
     
  14. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

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    Mar 14, 2014

    Thanks guys!!!! I really appreciate you all taking time to reply with advice.
     

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