Is This Normal?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Nab, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. Nab

    Nab Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    25

    Jul 25, 2016

    Okay, let me start off by saying that I know this time of year is super busy for administrators and teachers. Lots of meetings, things pop up, things are delayed, but. . .I have an odd feeling about my new school district. I'm a first year teacher (Secondary English - working in a middle school).

    I was officially hired July 5th. My principal was on vacation until the 12th of July. I emailed her (and the school's education coordinator and the other 8th grade ELA teacher) on July 15th. I wanted to know if I could drop by the school (which is 30-40 minutes from me) to pick up any materials (textbooks, handbooks) and to see my classroom. I got a reply back on the 22nd from the E.C. saying I could come by today (the 25th) and they would have everything for me.

    Well, I got to the school to find that a group of workers has just started remodeling the classrooms at the school. I found the principal, vice-principal, and education coordinator in an office. They were working on schedules and seemed shocked to see me. The education coordinator took me to my classroom. My classroom is attached to the SPED class (a door connects us) It was once the "relax" room for the SPED class and last year it was used as the gifted classroom. It is a VERY small room and it was FULL of boxes and sofas. The room had chalkboards and no smart boards or technology of any kind. I asked and was told that "getting smart boards or something similar is top concern. The principal asked about getting that on Friday (the 22nd). We should have something for you before the end of September." Not the best news, but I tried to be cool. I asked when I could get a key for the classroom. The education coordinator smiled: "Well, the gifted teacher is moving to another class. And that teacher is leaving. There is a lot of stuff in here. . .probably on the 8th or 9th?" I nodded, school starts on the 11th.

    The education coordinator took me back to the main office and explained that they were doing on their lessons online now. But, they wouldn't have the materials in until August 29th or so. So, I'd have to come up with a two week unit plan for my classes. I suggested doing some review - reading biographies and autobiographies and then having the students write their own and share them. Followed by a mini unit on The Hero's Journey. (Easy and enjoyable.) She turned that down quickly and told me to use some lessons from a website - iReady Teacher Toolbox. Okay, I can do that. She also told that me that I would be required to do at least two lessons a week from another educational website.

    I asked about materials and they happily gave me some books - The Leader in Me, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, LEAD Field Guide: Launching Leadership, and Lead: Powered by the 7 Habits (a notebook for students and a teacher edition for me. The teacher edition has 40 lessons that I'm required to do daily.) As it turns out, the school district is in the Leader in Me Program and this school is super serious about the program. I was told that I would have to use 15 to 30 minutes of my class periods doing this lessons. :( That just seems like a waste of time.

    After this, the educator coordinator told me that I would have 2 classes of ELA, both 8th grade. Each class would be blocked - so 2 class periods. She advised me to keep free/silent reading to "no more than 5 minutes" and that my BellRinger shouldn't be "grammar", but something larger. Because, the children would learn grammar as they write. She also told me I would have two "Enrichment" classes, which would be the children doing online work on a test prep website. She told me "not to worry about those two classes". :( I always thought enrichment classes were used to support personal, social and academic growth and/or be used for students to study.

    Maybe it is because I got all this information in a hour, but this just seems weird. Do schools often wait so long to put in orders for new things? Do school districts often take this long to get materials? Some friends - also new teachers in other school districts - already have new technology, are in their classrooms, and are planning lessons with their materials (the same materials from the state that we are using. Why are our materials late?). Why am I getting the small classroom attached to the SPED room? (Seriously, the school hired (including myself) seven new teachers and I get the one classroom with no technology, that is attached to another room and used to be used for storage.) It is seriously small, people. No way I am fitting 30 students in there. I'm just a bit disappointed in the fact that they (seemingly) have nothing ready for me, but have everything more or less ready for the other new teachers. (I say that, because they kept saying: "Only you need the technology." and "It's just you who needs the other teacher out. Everyone else has come and set up.") Was I supposed to contact them earlier? They were on vacation or didn't reply. Should I have just gone to the school?

    At least no one else has the new materials and everyone else will be wondering what to do for two weeks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  2.  
  3. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    54

    Jul 26, 2016

    Is it normal? Maybe. Things like this happen all the time. Last year someone forgot to order buses for a field trip. When did we find out? The day of the field trip. As for the admin looking surprised to see you, they have probably 5 million things going through their minds. They probably just forgot you were coming.
    My mom has had to move classrooms after setting up the classroom she was told she was going to have. Other teachers at her school have had to move rooms once school starts. I can't even go to my school to set up because I still don't know what room I'm going to be in for sure. Sometimes waiting until last minute is a reality. And sometimes it's no one's fault. It just is what it is. As for you getting the tiny room, again it might just be that you got unlucky. Last year one of the new math teachers had the smallest classroom and had close to 30 kids in there while another math teacher had 20 or less kids and had a room twice as big. One thing I've come to accept is that fairness and common sense don't always factor into decision making.

    If the situation really sucks, deal with it for a year and apply elsewhere next year. Now that you have a foot in the door, you're golden. And I have 3 blocks, like you. But all those blocks I have my Language Arts classes. I'm pretty sure that this is how things are being done in a lot of places. 2 periods of language arts.Trust me when I say that sometimes those 2 periods won't feel like enough time to cover everything you have to. I'm also sure you will come to appreciate those enrichment classes. Especially when they are telling you that you don't have to worry about them.
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,256
    Likes Received:
    1,826

    Jul 26, 2016

    Both of these two things are true. I do think this situation is fairly normal. It would be at both the schools I've worked at. There's a lot to get done over the summer and, at my school, they're still getting things figured out until about a month in. By that I mean SmartBoards installed, technology problems fixed, furniture fixed, ect. It's not ideal, but try your best to relax (I mean that seriously, not in a rude way, because it stresses me out too) and just go with the flow.

    Keep politely reminding the people in charge (secretary, janitor, whoever that may be) of what you need. Don't be that annoying person, but if something specific really bothers you, don't let them forget about you. Like, if you need technology to get your job done and can't teach the curriculum without it, keep reminding them of that! But also remember, they've got thousands of things on their to do lists too.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,714

    Jul 26, 2016

    In my experience, this is not abnormal.
     
    bella84 and otterpop like this.
  6. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,483
    Likes Received:
    204

    Jul 26, 2016

    Normal
    Normal, but wrong, we admit
    Normal if your school is managed by Dunder Mifflin
    Never seen it before, hope to never see it.



    I was officially hired July 5th. My principal was on vacation until the 12th of July. I emailed her (and the school's education coordinator and the other 8th grade ELA teacher) on July 15th. I wanted to know if I could drop by the school (which is 30-40 minutes from me) to pick up any materials (textbooks, handbooks) and to see my classroom. I got a reply back on the 22nd from the E.C. saying I could come by today (the 25th) and they would have everything for me.

    Well, I got to the school to find that a group of workers has just started remodeling the classrooms at the school. I found the principal, vice-principal, and education coordinator in an office. They were working on schedules and seemed shocked to see me. The education coordinator took me to my classroom. My classroom is attached to the SPED class (a door connects us) It was once the "relax" room for the SPED class and last year it was used as the gifted classroom. It is a VERY small room and it was FULL of boxes and sofas. The room had chalkboards and no smart boards or technology of any kind. I asked and was told that "getting smart boards or something similar is top concern. The principal asked about getting that on Friday (the 22nd). We should have something for you before the end of September." Not the best news, but I tried to be cool. I asked when I could get a key for the classroom. The education coordinator smiled: "Well, the gifted teacher is moving to another class. And that teacher is leaving. There is a lot of stuff in here. . .probably on the 8th or 9th?" I nodded, school starts on the 11th.

    The education coordinator took me back to the main office and explained that they were doing on their lessons online now. But, they wouldn't have the materials in until August 29th or so. So, I'd have to come up with a two week unit plan for my classes.
    I suggested doing some review - reading biographies and autobiographies and then having the students write their own and share them. Followed by a mini unit on The Hero's Journey. (Easy and enjoyable.) She turned that down quickly and told me to use some lessons from a website - iReady Teacher Toolbox. Okay, I can do that. She also told that me that I would be required to do at least two lessons a week from another educational website.

    I asked about materials and they happily gave me some books - The Leader in Me, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, LEAD Field Guide: Launching Leadership, and Lead: Powered by the 7 Habits (a notebook for students and a teacher edition for me. The teacher edition has 40 lessons that I'm required to do daily.) As it turns out, the school district is in the Leader in Me Program and this school is super serious about the program. I was told that I would have to use 15 to 30 minutes of my class periods doing this lessons. :( That just seems like a waste of time.

    After this, the educator coordinator told me that I would have 2 classes of ELA, both 8th grade. Each class would be blocked - so 2 class periods. She advised me to keep free/silent reading to "no more than 5 minutes" and that my BellRinger shouldn't be "grammar", but something larger. Because, the children would learn grammar as they write. She also told me I would have two "Enrichment" classes, which would be the children doing online work on a test prep website. She told me "not to worry about those two classes". :( I always thought enrichment classes were used to support personal, social and academic growth and/or be used for students to study.


    Maybe it is because I got all this information in a hour, but this just seems weird. Do schools often wait so long to put in orders for new things? Do school districts often take this long to get materials? Some friends - also new teachers in other school districts - already have new technology, are in their classrooms, and are planning lessons with their materials (the same materials from the state that we are using. Why are our materials late?). Why am I getting the small classroom attached to the SPED room? (Seriously, the school hired (including myself) seven new teachers and I get the one classroom with no technology, that is attached to another room and used to be used for storage.) It is seriously small, people. No way I am fitting 30 students in there. I'm just a bit disappointed in the fact that they (seemingly) have nothing ready for me, but have everything more or less ready for the other new teachers. (I say that, because they kept saying: "Only you need the technology." and "It's just you who needs the other teacher out. Everyone else has come and set up.") Was I supposed to contact them earlier? They were on vacation or didn't reply. Should I have just gone to the school?

    At least no one else has the new materials and everyone else will be wondering what to do for two week.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,759
    Likes Received:
    2,919

    Jul 26, 2016

    When it comes to how schools do things, sometimes there is no normal, just what happens. Never intended to be mean or hurtful, but sometimes if the powers that be stop and look at it, and I mean REALLY look at it, they will scratch their heads and wonder how that ever happened. Try not to take it personally, engage all available flexibility and understanding, don't whine (it may seem to work in the beginning, but somehow it just starts to grate on people's nerves). Advocate for your students whenever you get a good chance, but remember to play well with others. Often the person with the larger room is just as surprised as you are. The hardest thing to accept is that it isn't personal - no one set out to make your life miserable. However, if you succeed in spite of the shaky beginning, you will look like a miracle worker, and they will sing your praises. You are kind of in charge of your own destiny here - choose wisely.

    Best of luck!
     
    otterpop likes this.
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,144
    Likes Received:
    992

    Jul 26, 2016

    I think it can be normal depending on the school. I know none of this is your fault, but it's really important to be really calm, flexible, and act like none of this is a big deal with your admin, no matter how anxious you are feeling on the inside! My first school was pretty organized, so when I relocated I wasn't used to the before school set-up part being so rocky. I was teaching 3rd grade at this school and:
    -I had been given curriculum at the beginning of the summer "to prepare." When I arrived on day 1, I was told the admin didn't want us to use this curriculum. Thankfully, I had too many questions to do much with it over the summer!
    -I was told I was getting the "high" class, which made no sense b/c my job before that was in sped, but I went along with it. When looking at my list, I noticed I had 5 IEPs on there and asked the P if she was sure this was the group I was supposed to be getting. She told me that those must be "speech only" and not to worry about it. Of course I worried about it and asked the sped teacher, who told me those were some of the lowest kids in the grade level. When I brought this back up to the P, she acted like the whole thing was my fault. Turns out other admins were angry she wasn't using my sped background, so my list was switched again.
    -The secretary got confused and thought I was still going to be the "gifted" teacher, so she took my "low" class and just tacked on all of the gifted/"watch list" kids in the grade level. This made my list 29 while the other teachers had 16-18.
    -Finally, I was told I for sure, 100% had the correct list. I met some of the students on back to school night and sent handwritten cards in the mail welcoming everyone to my class. Literally 30 minutes before school starts on the first day, the attendance list I'm given has completely different kids on it while another new teacher has the list I had previously. When I went to ask about this, the P thinks it's no big deal that I already met some of the kids and begrudgingly switches the attendance so the names are correct.

    None of what happened was my fault and in my mind I was helping to "fix" issues. However, to the admin I looked whiny, not flexible, and high maintenance right off the bat and it set me off on the wrong foot with them right away. In hindsight, I should have just rolled with whatever children showed up in my room on day 1. In my case, this was unfortunately indicative of a really poorly run school (doesn't mean yours will turn out the same) and I did leave after one year. However, I could have made that year a lot easier on myself! Thankfully I'm at a much better school now!
     
  9. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,256
    Likes Received:
    1,826

    Jul 26, 2016

    I've had very similar experiences!

    Ahh, if only things could be simple!
     
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,307
    Likes Received:
    789

    Jul 26, 2016

    It really depends on your P. I have had Ps that are so organized they have things done months ahead of time. I have had Ps that would always wait to the last minute such as what you are facing. Yes, I had an experience like yours, but I must say that it wasn't when I was a new teacher. I have learned there is no typical with admin--they all run their schools in unique ways. Each have their own unique personality that you have to deal with. It is a pain at the beginning of the year, but once you have a classroom of students, it will be mostly just you and the students. Admin.'s procrastination will be annoying, but I have found you learn to deal with it. I know it isn't easy, so I wish you the best.
     
  11. Nab

    Nab Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    25

    Jul 28, 2016

    Thank you all for your thoughts. I can assure you that, despite my inwardly thinking: "Wait, this seems off." I am smiling and nodding the whole way. I am just quietly sitting here and reading my materials and planning what I can. I texted today and just politely asked if they could just please let me know when I can get my keys. The other teacher won't be out until the 9th, but I can get the key on the 1st and start bringing my stuff. So, I will politely put my little box in a corner and hope for the best.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,759
    Likes Received:
    2,919

    Jul 28, 2016

    Make sure you clearly label "your little box", or else it may have walked away during the move. Call this one personal experience. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  13. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,256
    Likes Received:
    1,826

    Jul 28, 2016

    Yes, if it really is one little box, I'd wait!
     
    bella84 and teacherintexas like this.
  14. Nab

    Nab Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    25

    Jul 28, 2016

    Oh, I'm not bringing the box until the 9th. Clearly labeled and left in my car until the other teacher is fully finished.
     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,759
    Likes Received:
    2,919

    Jul 28, 2016

    My little box must have started walking home, but lost his way. Never seen again, poor thing. ;)
     
  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,291
    Likes Received:
    756

    Jul 28, 2016

    I'd add some cleaning supplies to your box if you don't already have some. Swiffer dusting cloths and Clorox wipes can get most of the ick, but have a few extra trash bags for the stuff that's really icky.
     
    Mr.Literature likes this.
  17. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    54

    Jul 28, 2016

    I underestimated how dirty my room would get. This year I'll definitely be getting some cleaning supplies. My shelves were horrendous at the end of the year!
     
  18. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,256
    Likes Received:
    1,826

    Jul 28, 2016

    Every once in a while I'll give every kid a disinfectant wipe and tell them to clean anything they can find. They start with their desk, then chair, but then get to all the shelves, doorknobs, walls, etc... it works wonders and they're so happy to help.
     
  19. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,291
    Likes Received:
    756

    Jul 28, 2016

    I do this with baby wipes. They love getting the most dirt on their wipe.
     
    Mr.Literature likes this.
  20. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    54

    Jul 28, 2016

    That's a really smart idea. Hopefully I avoid all the germs I was exposed to last year too. I was sick way more often than I wanted to be. But hopefully in a few years my immune system will be awesome. By then I'll be exposed to everything lol
     
    otterpop likes this.
  21. Nab

    Nab Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    25

    Aug 1, 2016

    So, on Thursday the education coordinator at the school called me and said I could come get the key Monday (August 1st), because the teacher would be done. Apparently my room was her stoarge room and she had another classroom. Anyway, I texted this morning to confirm and was the following: I can't have the key until next Wednesday around 5 (school starts Thursday),because she still isn't done moving out . (It's been six weeks!), I am the only teacher with no smart board or technology and I won't have that until late October (the course work all requireset i have access to technology), I have chalkboards in the room and they won't make them whiteboards until October, because it's behind I'll be getting the oldest stuff on campus. I'm feeling a bit mistreated. All the other new teachers have rooms and technology and are in their rooms. I sort of feel like bailing and taking a job that was offered to me in another district.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  22. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,718
    Likes Received:
    481

    Aug 1, 2016

    Nothing that is happening is being done intentionally. You do the best you can with what you have.
     
  23. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,759
    Likes Received:
    2,919

    Aug 1, 2016

    Any chance you could offer to help said teacher move out, to allow you to get your stuff in sooner? "I understand how overwhelmed you must be. How can I help?" Worth a shot at this point.
     
  24. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    54

    Aug 1, 2016

    I don't think this is any kind of abuse on their part. You are unfortunately the one who got the crappy room. Is it fair? Not really. But it is what it is. My first year I had the ESE group in a room that was tiny. I had over 26 kids one period and my room was about half the size of other rooms. It is what it is. You deal with it and keep going.
    It doesn't matter that is has been 6 weeks. 6 weeks from what? We aren't required to do any work until our contract says we begin. It isn't fair to expect her to give up her summer because you want the room. I understand it isn't ideal, but you don't know this teacher's family life/situation. Maybe she needs every second she can this summer to enjoy with them.

    Go ahead and bail. Principals talk. It will look horrendous. And you will tell your next principal you left because the situation wasn't ideal for you. It DOESNT sound good. No school is perfect. I understand things keep changing. But welcome to the world of education. Things change suddenly and we have to roll with the punches.

    Please don't take this negatively. But be happy you even have a job. I know quite a few people on this forum that would KILL to be teaching in a closet. You pay your dues for a year and maybe the school will reward you next year. If not, apply elsewhere next year.

    Here's my last bit of advice. My first school was a nightmare and I would not go near that school ever again. That being said, I would NEVER bad mouth that school. It looks bad to any principal when you bad mouth a school. Many of them know each other. My new principal knows my old one. Don't burn bridges.
     
  25. Nab

    Nab Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    25

    Aug 1, 2016

    I've actually emailed the teacher twice. The first time was to introduce myself as a new co-worker and the second was to ask if she needed any help. She has an actual classroom. She just used this one to store her junk. According to the education coordinator, she is the only teacher on campus with a doctorate, so she does her own thing and the principal lets her do what she wants. The E.C. kind of warned me to say on her good side, as she can and will make it hard for me. The teacher was told in late May that she would have to clean the room out. The education coordinator and principal have called her. Apparently, she moved half the stuff out in June and then never came back, because "she didn't feel like coming." She never turned my emails. The education coordinator has let it slip that this teacher is super angry that she has had to give up her storage room, so she has stopped returning the principal's calls.

    But, here is my thing: the school is large in terms of campus size, but has a small student population. There are literally five classrooms that no one is in. No one is planned to be in those rooms for the upcoming school year. They use them for storage and/or Saturday dentations. They could have easily given me one of those rooms, but they chose not to. The size of the room isn't my issue - it's that they gave me the one room on campus that needs updating and has someone using it as storage room. It is frustrating. Every other new-hire is in their rooms, setting up and putting together their stuff. All the teachers are back in this week and are setting up. I am not.

    The education coordinator and I went to high school together, where I was a very shy and quiet person, who always followed the rules and never spoke up. I sort of feel like they needed someone to teach four classes, so they hired me, because they thought I would not make waves.

    She is literally angry that she has to give up her storage room. The office staff let that slip to me. She was told she had to move out in May. I am physically disabled and do not drive - I have now paid someone $50.00 (two times) to help load my stuff and drive me 30 minutes away to get a key, which isn't available. My father has terminal cancer - I want to spend time with him, as I know I'll be working a lot for the next few months. But, I cannot, because I'm waiting for a call to come for the key.

    I am very happy to have a job. But, I do feel like I am not being heard by these people. I have not even started, and this is not great. People I graduated with are having a much easier time of things, so it is frustrating. The other new teachers are in their rooms. They literally have empty rooms, which they could have just given me. I see simple solutions to a few issues, and I have voiced them. But, I have been ignored. Including me, they aired seven new teachers between June and early July. These ladies are in their rooms and were given technology, however small - I have to go and buy a computer for my desk.

    The curriculum that the school uses is all online. I have to show the students slideshows, videos, etc every class period. But, I can't do that on a chalkboard. I've asked the principals and others for tips on how to do the lessons, but they have shrugged me off and told me they might have an older overhead projector I could use.I would print out the site and summaries of the videos and show them on the projector (it's not one hooked up to a computer, it's one from before that). Okay, but I need to get into the room to practice how best to show things.

    Being physically disabled, I need to put the room a certain way, so I have room to move without it being awkward or harmful to me. I need time to make sure things are in places where I can easily access them. I can't do that in a couple of hours. Especially, when I don't drive and am having to pay people to help me bring the supplies. It frustrates me, because the principal knows all of this, but she still shrugs it off.
     
  26. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,307
    Likes Received:
    789

    Aug 1, 2016

    Yuck! That sounds like a very stressful situation. One question to you. Have you signed a contract? If so, that usually allows you a key once your contract date starts. I would be overly nice and really explain that you would be willing to help out this other teacher or whatever is needed to help have some time to set up your room.

    If you haven't signed a contract--then action needs to take place. I would sign it or you could bail--but I wouldn't recommend bailing. If you don't have a contract, basically they could drop you at any time. Get that contract signed tomorrow.
     
  27. Nab

    Nab Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    25

    Aug 1, 2016

    I have not signed a contract yet. When I got the job, I was told that all new teachers sign their contracts on August 4th. I honestly don't want to bail, but I just have a horrible feeling that it will only get worse from here on out. And that kind of "mean girl" behavior these staff members seem to be engaged in, is totally not great for my seizure disorder and physical disability.
     
  28. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    54

    Aug 1, 2016

    If you are disabled then that is extremely unfair of them to have you in a room where you can barely work. I am sorry for that.
    I have a question. Do you have a union? Are you a part of the union? If you are you could bring up the issues with your disability and the way they are shoving you into a room that is difficult for you to handle, especially if they have more spacious rooms that are entirely empty.

    I'm not at that school. So I don't know for certain that those empty rooms don't have some purpose. My school uses certain rooms for morning work with kids from all over the school. Other times they make them computer labs. So they might have plans for those rooms. And going to the union and making waves may make things very unpleasant for you in terms of the admin.

    You have to make a choice though. In terms of that teacher getting away with everything, that's how it was at the first school I worked at. There were two "lifers" as we called them. They were there forever and basically could manipulate admin to do whatever they wanted. You won't win against this teacher if it's the situation I'm imagining.

    By the way, I'm very sorry about your father.
     
  29. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    54

    Aug 1, 2016

    I just saw this. How much longer until kids actually start?

    Do you have any viable options other than this school? Do you know of another district near you that is hiring?

    What you do next really depends on how financially secure you are. If you can afford to give up this position. I see that with the extra context you gave, things are really bad at that school. But there are many "mean girls" at every school. Even the one I am in now. And I love my school. I think once school starts, you'll be able to get away from everyone and just focus on your kids and your class.

    Also, check and see if they can get anyone to help you set up the room. I don't see how it's fair to give you such minimal time especially with the disability.
     
  30. Nab

    Nab Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    25

    Aug 1, 2016

    First, thank you Mr. Literature, in regard to your sympathies about my father.

    I am part of APEL. The school has two computer labs, so I don't think they are going to be doing anything with the empty rooms. From the way they discuss the rooms, they have no plans for them. I don't want to make it hard on myself, especially as it is a very small school - 18 teachers total. I cannot be the outcast.

    The students start August 11th, which is next Thursday. It's ten days from now. Though, I have new teacher orientation on August 3rd and August 4th, at the school board from 8-4. And the following week, I have another orientation from August 8th-August 10th; it will be from 8 to 4 and be at another school. So, really the only time I get set things up is this weekend.

    On July 28th, the principal of a nearby high school (which is in another district and just 15 minutes from my home) called and asked if I had a job. He was interested in hiring me, as they are having a major staffing issue in that area. I quit my small part-time job to take the job at the school with all the issues. So, I literally have $2.00 in my bank account until September. I may have to stick it out and just stay focused on my students and class.

    I will admit that I am worried. I feel like they will think I made too much out of everything and just make it hell for me. It's a small town, they all know one another and most are related, and now I've complained. I'm just nervous and frustrated.
     
  31. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    54

    Aug 1, 2016

    Is there ANY way that you can talk to the principal from the other district? Honestly I feel your inability to drive and the fact that the other school is 15 minutes away is a legitimate excuse as to why you would change your mind and have to switch schools. That and your father being as sick as he is. I help take care of my grandmother and one of the biggest reasons I told my principal I was changing schools was because if my family needed me, I was almost an hour away. So my new school is 15-20 minutes away now depending on traffic and it is heaven because I know in case of an emergency, they will have me right there.
     
  32. Nab

    Nab Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    25

    Aug 1, 2016

    I have the numbe. I could call tomorrow and ask if the job is still available. I don't know what else I'd say. I don't want to burn bridges. Any advice?
     
  33. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    54

    Aug 1, 2016

    The fact that you haven't signed any contracts is definitely to your advantage.

    If the position is still open, I would express interest in it. It's also to your advantage that it's in another district. When you speak to the principal, my advice would be to be as honest but as positive as you can. I would just tell him that you knew realistically it wasn't a good fit for you. That you are looking for a different "community/environment" in a school and that you think this high school would be a better fit. I would also be honest about how much easier the commute would be to this school. I'm crossing my fingers that everything works out in your favor. You could also say that after thinking about it you really want to work at the high school level. This is where your passion is, etc.
     
  34. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,842
    Likes Received:
    321

    Aug 1, 2016


    I really get this, but I also feel like teachers are always just expected to make everything go, and the complexities of our job are never taken into consideration. For me, space and materials play a huge role in my teaching. I'd be very uncomfortable in the OP's situation, especially if there appears to be an overlooked alternative. I could make it work. So could the OP. That doesn't mean we SHOULD. Maybe someone else could just get it together for once....
     
    otterpop likes this.
  35. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,307
    Likes Received:
    789

    Aug 1, 2016

    Okay, you answered a lot of questions I had, and now it is making a lot more sense. In the public schools where I worked, you did not get your keys a day before the contract day you started--period. One year, we did a lot of begging and the P gave in a bit, but that was the exception.

    Having you sign a contract, 1 week before school opens isn't too weird. Also, almost no principal will give you keys until you sign a contract. If you sign your contract on Aug. 4 and then get in your room the same days that other new teachers come in (Say Aug. 6 or so) that is fair. Even though, I wouldn't like it, and I am sure you wouldn't either.

    I'd get as much done as you can at home and then see what you can work out on Aug. 4th when you sign your contract.

    Your situation is unpleasant and some negotiation might be good if done carefully. Bailing now, might end you up with nothing. You made a verbal promise to that school, and to me (and many) that means a lot. If your new P finds out you bailed out of a verbal promise you made, he/she might end up not giving you a contract. At this point, I don't think it would be correct or wise to bail.
     
    Caesar753 likes this.
  36. MsAbeja

    MsAbeja Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    109

    Aug 6, 2016

    What did you end up doing, Nab? Also, if the enrichment classes are all online, how do they expect you to manage that in a classroom straight out of the 1980s?
     
  37. Nab

    Nab Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    25

    Aug 6, 2016

    The other possible job was filled, so I ended up signing the contract on Wednesday. (August 3rd) I actually ran into the other teacher (the one who was using it for storage) when I walked into the school on Wednesday. She is a woman in her 60s and came across as rude, when she simply sneered out a "Hi." and then walked away. I got the keys to the room, and found that she had left a lot of junk and a tiny desk full of plastic food containers.

    I'm supposed to do the enrichment classes in the school computer lab. It's in another building. I think I'm supposed to meet the students there - there are three minutes between classes. I hope I can make it from one building to another in that time. o_O

    I'm going to the room tomorrow - hopefully I'm able to set up the desks and a few other things. I've done a lot of work at home.
     
  38. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    857
    Likes Received:
    47

    Aug 6, 2016

    Sounds like you are in special ed. Just keep it simple - give them some puzzles to do , something to color. They'll be fine
     
  39. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    54

    Aug 7, 2016

    I'm a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. You survive this year, and you'll truly see how strong you are. I know it's not the ideal situation, but you'll be amazed at what you can do with the cards you have been dealt. Remember, you will probably have an easier time landing a job now that you will have a year under your belt. I know my district isn't the only one that does job fairs. Look out for the transfer fair when it comes up later down the line.
    Ignore the politics, and the mean coworkers. Focus on the kids and how awesome they can be and you'll be much happier.

    I hope things continue to look up for you :)
     
  40. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Aug 7, 2016

    Seriously? I can't even come up with a remotely professional response to this.

    Hope things go well, Nab. Rise above it all; even if you decide not to stay after a year, you'll gain valuable experience.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  41. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Aug 7, 2016

    SMH. :confused:
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. catnfiddle,
  2. sairam
Total: 340 (members: 4, guests: 305, robots: 31)
test