Is this a good reason to quit?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Miss J. Pre-K, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2008

    Okay, so things have not been good as of late at my workplace. I had started about a month into the school year, and the expectations for me were kind of glossed over. I'm a first year teacher working in a Headstart, and I guess I didn't realize how important cleaning was, because I recently was jumped on for not cleaning my room enough (ie, not picking up the trash can to mop under it, not moving furniture to vaccum under :confused:). I've also been jumped on because I don't do all the nitpicky paperwork like writing down every single time I talk to a parent. Which I counter with when, exactly, because I have kids in my room from 7:30-5:30, and I don't get a break to do paperwork. I came in one Monday and my room was totally rearranged, haphazardly, stuff torn off the wall and piled on my desk. My boss and her higher boss had come in over the weekend to "clean" and totally rearrange my room without my knowledge. While we had a meeting about that, I still feel like my feelings were totally ignored and they just bulldozed over me. I don't have interactions with my boss unless she is having a problem with me, which seems to be more than weekly, lately. I spent a long time (6 years) getting two degrees to be a teacher, and most days I feel like a combo janitor/social worker.

    This was never a long-term job prospect for me; I had applied for public school jobs last summer and will be applying again this summer. Should I quit and sub in public schools the rest of the year? Right now I'm only hanging on for the kids, whom I love.
     
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  3. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Dec 14, 2008

    Wow! That would make me SO mad. I can't say if you should quit or not but that is disrespectful for them to do that to your room without talking with you or telling you.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 14, 2008

    I'm not in HeadStart, never have been...we take the jobs that are offered to us in order to get the experience to get the jobs we want...we jump through hoops, we toe the line...That said, HeadStart, from what has been shared here on the forums, involves A LOT of paperwork...find time, take it home, do what you have to do...you don't have to be a HS teacher forever, you do want to do a good job though so you can use this time on your resume...
     
  5. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Dec 14, 2008

    I understand your frustration. However, I don't think quitting is going to solve anything. Use this as a learning experience, finish out the year and do what you have to do to survive. It's been my experience that teachers rarely have freedom. We all have to do what our boss' want( no matter how ridiculous it may seem or unrealistic)

    Personally, jotting down every phone call /interaction with a parent is a best practice- no matter where or what you teach. Cleanliness to the extreme is especially important when dealing with young ones. I'm sure you know all this but these are things I feel will be universal wherever you go.

    As far as someone coming in and changing the room, quite honestly, if they want it a certain way and you haven't gotten it to their standards well, yes, they do have the right to change it.

    I'm guessing regulations and such are a big part of Head Start. Hang in there. Give them what they want and finish the year out knowing you did your best.
     
  6. MissyK

    MissyK New Member

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    Dec 14, 2008

    Quit??

    I am from Australia and i could not image being run over like that. I wonder if they would like it if you went and rearranged THEIR office. Go on, try it...i dare you!! :lol:

    On one hand, it is important to have a clean room so as to set a good example for your children to respect their things but not anally clean. Also OH&S it should be kept to a reasonbly cleanliness.

    It sounds like you dont have a very good boss. But there is three things to remember about an job.
    The pay.
    The people.
    The work.

    Usually if you dislike one of these things you can put up with it because you like the other two things. So its obvious you dislike the people, but do you like your pay? And do you like the actual work that you do? That is, as the teacher.

    If you were to quit and find a new job, would the things that you dont like change?

    Hope this helps in your decision. :thumb:
     
  7. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Dec 14, 2008

    HANG IN THERE! The tearing up of your room is uncalled for UNLESS, they've asked you to get it done before and you didn't comply. Just go with the flow AND at least tell them that you were not a happy camper about what they did to your room. That might pose another problem and it's a risk, you have to decide, if it's worth taking. How can they dog you like that? :eek:
    Take care of business and don't let them see you SWEAT!
    Rebel1
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 14, 2008

    All I know about Headstart is its history-- I know nothing about the way it's run today. But, as with any federal program, I would imagine there HAS to be tons of paperwork. As an early childhood major, you must have known that going in.

    And, as Miss Friz mentined, you ALWAYS want to take notes when you speak to a parent. Regardless of the age or the reason for the conference, it's always a good idea.

    As to the rest: hang in there. The boss is the boss; as an employee you need to do things their way. It's that way in any line of work.

    Quitting midyear will not be good for YOU. It won't look good on a resume. It will kill you chances of getting a good reference in an incredibly full job market. It will leave you without a paycheck in a shaky economy.

    Hang in there. After Christmas, start work on your resume and find a better fit for next year.
     
  9. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Dec 14, 2008

    Wow, I would hate it if someone came in a rearranged my room- did they give you certain standards ahead of time that you weren't following or was this something that you didn't know about? It would be horrible if they completely blind-sided you- that isn't right.
    That being said, if you can, I would stick it out 'till the end of the year. Having a year under your belt will look good when applying next year, and as long as you keep doing what you now know they are looking for, maybe you can get some good recommendations as well. Good luck! :)
     
  10. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    Dec 14, 2008

    that woud frustrate the heck out of me if my room were re-arranged!

    but again, I agree, document eveyr phone call you make, kepe a pad near your phone. I also say tough it out, listen to what your bosses tell you, maybe they have an idea or two that will benefit you in the future. quitting mid year, well, that would require too many explanations on your resume.
     
  11. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Dec 14, 2008

    I agree with MissFrizzle's advice. Take it as an experience, do what they want you to do, and move on at the end of the year.

    Keep a post-it pad or notebook handy at all times to jot down those parent interactions. It sounds like you just need to come up with a system. (I know Head Start is crazy-I did my student teaching last fall in a Head Start classroom.)

    As far as the room thing is concerned, were you given the requirements when you started? I know they have such specific areas (housekeeping, science, safe space, blocks, woodworking, writing, art, etc., etc., etc!). Did you include these things in your classroom prior to them coming in? Did they talk to you before they moved everything around? I'm not saying what they did was ok-I would be livid-but you should maybe talk to them. Just be straight-forward and kill them with kindness. Try not to be mad and defensive.

    "I'm sorry that my classroom wasn't meeting Head Start requirements, but it made me a little uncomfortable that it was re-arranged without my involvement. If there are problems in the future, could you please talk to me first? Since this is my first teaching job I'm still learning, and I would definitely like to learn from my mistakes. Thank you for your help."
     
  12. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Dec 15, 2008

    I am sorry you are in this situation. I am a former Head Start teacher and I now work in the public schools- thank goodness! While I agree that every Head Start program is different, my experience with them is much the same as yours so don't worry- it's not about you. The valuable lesson that I learned from my time spent at HS is that it is NOT about educating young children, it's about policies, paperwork, and health. During my 2 years at HS I was written up numerous times for not using enough bleach in my classroom (I am allergic) and for not eating with the children (I have blood sugar issues and the food they feed the kids is really bad for you) and not forcing them to eat all their food, and also for actually teaching them to sing the ABC song and write their names. The nurse and my boss had all the power, even though my boss only had a 2 year degree and her only experience was in home childcare. My mistake was that I thought I was there to teach, but in reality I was there to clean, feed, and push papers all day. Nobody cared about the education of the children as long as everything was bleached, the children were force fed, and the paperwork was done.

    Guess how many times I have cleaned my own classroom or bleached anything since I have been in public schools? You got it :)

    Sorry if I offended any HS teachers here, just stating how my program was run, I'm sure there are others out there that are better.

    Although it stinks now, I agree with the others, stick it out as it will be valuable experience down the road.
     
  13. andi137

    andi137 Companion

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    Dec 15, 2008

    I also am a former Head Start teacher. I had similar experiences as well. I agree the paperwork did seem much more important than actually teaching the children. I know that quitting midyear would look bad on your resume, but I also know that I wouldnt want to work in a situation that made me miserable either. In my area I feel it is better to sub so you can get your foot in the door, but that may be different where you are. Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
  14. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Dec 15, 2008

    We all have to have a starting place. I'll ditto what the others have said. Hang in there and just do a good job.
     
  15. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Dec 15, 2008

    I completely understand where you're coming from as I came in two months late at my school and have a really obnoxious principal and vice principal (she is doing an observation on me this Thursday, which is one day before the last day of school!!!)

    However, unless you are planning to work in another county, i would try my best to hold out until the end of the year because if you leave now, it'll make you look really bad and you could potentially be blacklisted (principals talk and attend county wide meetings together. also, i guareentee they will want to call your old school for a reference).

    i'll pray for you hun but try your best and hang in there, if not for the principal than for the kids. imagine how confused they will feel when they lose their teacher. they're really yung and probably won' understand
     
  16. ByCandleLight

    ByCandleLight Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2008

    I wouldn't quit for two reasons:

    1. You really don't want a lukewarm resume when you start applying for another job. They'll probably give you a lukewarm reference anyways, but it would be easier to convince TPTB that you aren't the things that they might accuse you of being if you didn't just "give up" in the middle of the school year.

    2. With all of the budget cuts in effect, a LOT of schools are cutting back on subs. We've recently started (a friend of mine had to cover another teacher's class during her planning period and two more teachers were called during their planning to cover the other two blocks) and it seems to be a growing trend among a lot of schools as the easiest budget cut to make. Another friend of mine applied to several systems in Atlanta to sub, and she still hasn't been called in even once in the four months since. Not saying it's like this everywhere, but if you actually depend on that money you're earning now, it's food for thought.
     
  17. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Dec 15, 2008

    Thank you for this. I thought I was overreacting to HS, but jeez, I've worked childcare for years, and it was nothing like this! Luckily, we don't have to forcefeed children, but I do find it a little offensive when they ask me why I don't eat much with the kids--um yeah, I'm vegetarian. :rolleyes: I sit down with them and eat the stuff I can stomach.
     
  18. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Dec 15, 2008

    For the others who have asked:

    No, I was not told that my room needed rearranging beforehand. In fact, I was not told anything about how the room needed to be arranged with certain things in each center. I got chewed up for changing out the foam blocks for other blocks--sorrryyy, nobody told me they HAD to be out. I just feel like I was plopped into this room with no clue. Had I been informed that my room wasn't meeting regulations or whatever, I would have gladly gone in on the Saturday and helped rearrange and clean. I'm usually there every Sunday afternoon anyway.

    For those of you not in the know, working in private childcare is nothing like working in HS (at least, that's my experience), and no, my education program did not prepare me to be a pencil pusher or a janitor. Whoops.

    Sigh, this job doesn't even pay enough for me to rent a modest apartment. I would make about the same subbing 3-4 days a week with a lot less aggravation and heartache. I'm living with my parents after six years of living on my own. I'm going to try to make it through, but honestly, as the country song says, my give-a-darn's busted. I'm planning the party for May--I can't wait to turn in my resignation.
     
  19. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Oh, why didn't I think of that when I was there! I could have saved myself from all the indigestion and weight gain! :lol:
     
  20. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Dec 16, 2008

    Boy, do I know your troubles. My student loans are now in full repayment and after resigning from my public school teaching position (due to medical matters going on with my family), I am now subbing and just making enough to pay bills and have bit left over. I'm living with my father after years of being on my own throughout college. I completely understand your frustration.

    I think that you should resign and start subbing so that you have the opportunity to make connections in school districits. Plus, you're not happy with your current position and from the sounds of it, the admin is not too professional. Life's too short, do what makes you happy.
     
  21. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2008

    I'm kind of in the same boat-- not with headstart but in a private prek- the owners cut down on all costs and we have to do all of our cleaning ourselves. (even throughout the whole school!) I don't have the paperwork issue, but I just feel like I'm there to teach and I would rather be planning lessons and feel like an effective teacher than a maid. =) I am actually putting in my resignation and I am going to sub, I know it doesn't look good on a resume. But where I live it is IMPOSSIBLE to get a job without subbing or having a really good contact. I should have subbed from the beginning, but I thought that we needed the steady income to buy a house. Well... we decided that we are not buying a house, and we well be okay with not as steady income. I'll make about the same amount subbing.

    I feel for me... that subbing experience will be better and I also have realized through this job that I really like the older kids--like 2nd and 3rd graders =).

    I feel your pain though, it's a hard decision! I've grown close to the kids, but I know that they will bounce back and that life will go on without me.
     

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