Is this fair?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by missrebecca, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Jul 31, 2014

    I broke a contract with my former school, about a month before school started. I know this was really inconvenient for the school and it personally affected some teachers when the principal changed their grade levels. Feel really bad about this.

    I wanted to come get my belongings out of my old classroom the first day campus opened, but in a freak coincidence, I got very sick, went to the ER/dr's office a few times, and couldn't do much physical activity. Four days after campus opened, I felt good enough for light physical activity and went to collect my stuff.

    Lo and behold, most of it was in trash bags outside my old classroom. Also in the trash bags were dead cockroaches (looks like they burrowed in to eat my stash of candy) and dirty cleaning supplies. Inside my classroom I found a new teacher with a significant amount of materials I paid for set up on her desk, stapled to the walls, labeled with her name, etc.

    She said an administrator told her she could "do whatever" with my stuff. Again, this was only 4 days after campus opened!

    I was very upset. Took home everything I wanted back, but felt like I had zero dignity left when digging through all my crumpled up laminated projects and broken stuff next to dead cockroach body parts.

    Is this fair? Normal? Can a school just throw out my stuff immediately without contacting me?
     
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  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I don't know about legally but morally I would hope no one in my district ever did that. How absolutely disgusting. Be glad you're gone! A month is not short notice IMO as long as your contract allows for it. There are plenty of teachers out there.
     
  4. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    It's probably not fair but I do think the P might have been getting back at you for breaking your contract. It stinks.

    Why didn't you call or send an email saying you were planning on picking up your materials as soon as possible?

    Since you didn't send anything, your P could have thought you were not coming back for it.

    I would shake it off, chalk it up to a learning experience and move on. Not really worth dwelling over unless she took hundreds of dollars worth of stuff.
     
  5. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Thank you. Seriously, I wouldn't wish that upon anyone... teachers put time and money into so much of their materials, and to have them taken/destroyed is not a good experience. SO glad I'm gone...
     
  6. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    I was thinking the principal might just be mad at me, as well...

    Unfortunately, I assumed my stuff would be safe for at least a few days. I thought about sending an email, but didn't know for sure what day I'd be able to come back because of the health issues, and I was way more preoccupied about that anyway.

    Definitely a learning experience. Won't make that mistake again.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 31, 2014

    You left your stuff there for almost a month before you even planned to go pick it up. I'd say that your stuff probably appeared to be abandoned. I would have gone through it and taken what I wanted, too. Sorry.
     
  8. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    Agreed. :2cents:
     
  9. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    The campus was closed during that time, to everyone. It had only open for 4 days when I went to get my things.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This. I would have taken out my personal belongings before tendering my resignation.:2cents:
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Did you ask if you could go in and get your stuff? Someone must have been there to accept your resignation.

    Next time send an email. At least you have a record that you asked for your stuff.

    It's unreasonable to expect a school to have a room full of your stuff just sitting there, even for just a few days. If you were the teacher assigned to that room, what would you have done? Just not get your room together because someone might come back for their stuff, even though they haven't said a word about doing that?
     
  12. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    You should have e-mailed or called the day you were supposed to show up or have someone call the principal and let him know you were ill and in the ER/dr's office.

    How was he supposed to know you were going to show and what was the teacher moving into your room supposed to do with all of your stuff that you didn't pick up when scheduled and didn't leave a message?

    I am sorry you lost your stuff, but you did play an equal part in it happening whether or not it was intended.
     
  13. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    I emailed it because the school was closed. I tried to contact the principal a couple times, but couldn't get a hold of her, and gave up. I see now that I should've made sure I contacted her, and emailed someone about picking up my stuff. :\

    My belongings were all stacked in a corner of the room, and there wasn't much because I'm a brand new teacher. We are required to take everything down before leaving for summer. I see your point, though.
     
  14. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    I literally couldn't because the campus was closed. I would have had to wait until 2 weeks before school started to resign, which would have been much more inconvenient for them.
     
  15. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    It seems rude and a bit inconsiderate, but it isn't too surprising to me. Sorry that happened to you. If you are in that situation again, you might want to really communicate with the P or whoever about when you are going to get your stuff. Then get your stuff out immediately for your own good. I find while some of my stuff might be precious to me, others don't see it the same way.
     
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jul 31, 2014

    This.
     
  17. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Schools are 'closed' but someone is there most days. Custodial staff, administrators, etc... Think about this- if they've interviewed and hired your replacement, someone was in the building!! My new school has been closed since June. I've been there at least a half dozen times. Everyone has been in and out- and none of us have keys yet.

    I don't think your situation is the norm, but it is a hard lesson learned. Neither P I've worked for in the past would do something like this, assuming I've communicated with them about coming in. (Well, I quit a job a few weeks into the year. That P was shady and is capable of something like this.)

    I've quit three teaching jobs. The first time I had a good feeling that I would not be back in the fall; I was trying to move back to my home state. I took everything I really wanted home with me in June. I was going to switch classrooms if I returned in the fall anyway. I left a closet full of cheap bins and other bulky, but inexpensive, items. I told my favorite teammate (who was moving into my old room) that I wanted it back in the fall, but if I didn't return, it was hers. I told my P via email that my belongings were cleared out. The second time, I broke a contract a few weeks into the year. I cleared 95% of everything out of my room before I turned in my resignation. I carried the rest out on my last day. The last time, I was a mid-year replacement, so I never brought all of my belongings in. Again, I was switching rooms/grade levels if I returned in the fall. I took my few boxes home with me. When I resigned, I told her in an email that nothing belonging to me was there.
     
  18. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    That really stinks, but the new teacher shouldn't have to wait 4 days for you to get your stuff out. I understand that you were sick, but she was probably anxious to get into her room.

    It was rude for the principal to just let her have whatever she wanted. There should have been some communication about what you would be coming for, so that she didn't touch your stuff.
     
  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    In some schools, it is highly recommended that you take anything valuable home with you, even over the summer, or it might get legs and walk away. Now, admittedly, I never thought it would be the roaches doing the walking, there must be a lesson to be learned in there somewhere. I remember the first job I took over - stuff from the last teacher was still there when I left, because no one knew for sure who it belonged to. Space is usually at a premium, so understandable to move it out. Sorry.
     
  20. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jul 31, 2014

    You resigned over a month ago, you weren't there for the first four days while a new teacher was setting up, and you hadn't made arrangements to pick up your stuff. I'm sympathetic, but... yeah, it was fair of them.
     
  21. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Sorry....at my school, they'd have done the same thing.
     
  22. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Thanks for your input, everyone. I see how I could have prevented this... It's my first year of teaching and I guess I'm still learning some things. It would have been nice to openly trust that my stuff would be OK, but I guess that's not how the world works. Oh well! Lesson learned!
     
  23. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Please know that we have all just seen things like this play out - you hadn't, up to this point. Now you are the one with the experience. Don't blame anyone, just learn from it and move on. Sometimes things feel, to us, as if it is personal, when, in reality, it is not. I believe this is one of those times. At least you have your health back and you can look for a job you will be happier at. Win/win.
     
  24. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    I agree with lynnestoy -- try to chalk it up to experience and hopefully it wasn't too significant a loss. Also, be more careful with your stash of candy! You don't want it attracting cockroaches.
     
  25. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    There you go...You won't make that mistake again, I'm sure! :thumb:
     

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