Job Dilemma

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I teach in Missouri. I don’t think the state makes a difference. As you’re finding, every district operates differently, regardless of the state it is in. All I can tell you is meetings during plan time and after-school commitments only make sense. Although not always, they are often necessary and worthwhile. They lead to professional growth and student growth. There is a reason this district you are considering is highly sought after and people don’t leave, despite the fact that they are expected to to attend meetings and join committees. They must believe in what they are doing, and they must feel that they are getting something out of it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t stay. Only you can know what is right for you with this opportunity or any other. But I caution you to avoid turning down a job simply because it seems like more work or more of a time commitment than you have currently, especially so early in your career. Putting in the time now will propel you forward in the future.
     
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  2. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    The meetings and committees are normal here too. This is not a strong union state so it is what it is. Sometimes it's valuable, but a lot of time it's busy work created by upper level admins who are trying to justify their jobs. The vast majority of the time, I find informal collaboration to be more useful than admin or coach directed "collaboration" (meetings). The amount of planning time you have in your current school is not at all typical, IME. My experience has been 45-50 minute planning periods. This is one of the reasons I said you'd probably find the grass isn't greener. The fact that this new school told you up front that there are a lot of behavior issues would also be a sign to me that behavior is going to be worse than you're used to.

    I personally would still turn it down due to the instability with the long term sub thing, but that's just me. You obviously have to decide for yourself if it's worth the risks. You could always tell them to keep you in mind if a FT job does open up.
     
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  3. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    I really like how we rarely lose our planning in my school. We get at least 45 mins per day. We sometimes have to cover other classes, but if we do, we skip our common plan time and take our planning then. If we have additional tasks like surveys, etc., we skip our common plan and take our surveys. It’s really nice. Since math/ELA teachers get 72 minutes of planning, they can ask us to sub for 25 minutes of that time.

    At my current school, the schedule is strange. Math/ELA teachers teach 3 longer blocks, so we end up with longer planning periods. Other teachers teach 5 shorter blocks, so they get a shorter planning. That’s why math/ELA teachers end up with really big classes, because we divide the same # of kids into 3 classes. One of my friends who teaches science has her biggest class of as 32 kids and her smallest at 10. And unfortunately, the higher kids get smaller classes. The schedule needs reworking! I would rather teach 4 blocks with less kids each and less planning time.

    The new school didn’t tell me that there are a lot of behavior issues, but I know that admin doesn’t assign detentions, etc. except for kids who are not where they are supposed to be. My goal for next year is to not use admin support for behaviors in my classroom except for not being in class or extreme behaviors like violence or swearing at a teacher, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This would concern me. There are any number of reasons why the teacher may choose not to retire on Nov. 1st. Are you willing (and financially able) to take the chance that you may end up without a contract?
     
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  5. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Long term subs are paid really well in the district so I would be fine, but I would obviously want a contract. I was assured that she would retire and my friend said that she wouldn’t let this impact my decision.
     
  6. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Why is she waiting until Nov 1 to retire, especially if she’s not planning on teaching at all next year? In my area, retirements, unless they are an emergency, are effective only at the end of the year. I know her current plan is to retire, but what if she decides in late October she’s bored, not ready, had something happen that impacts her finances to the point she can’t retire? I would much prefer a contract from the start.
     
  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    She wanted to retire in June, but she couldn’t because of her birthday. So if she worked an extra 2 months, then she would make thousands more in retirement.

    I have the same concerns.
     
  8. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    So is she actually starting the year? Maybe I misunderstood one of your earlier posts, but I thought her replacement was starting the year but could t be classified as a sub, so they were going to classify you as a sub?
     
  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    She teaches sped but the person taking her job is an in district transfer, so he can’t be a long term sub...so I would be.

    She’ll just be helping out with small groups for two months around the school.

    I'm honestly not even sure whether this is allowed. I emailed the principal asking for a letter with an offer for the long term sub and proof of hire for 11/01. I also asked for written confirmation that my provisional status will be retroactive, etc. She said she would have to reach out to HR with the specifics and would let me know. I asked if I could have until then to make a decision and she said yes. When I called the other administrator, they said they need a decision today. I'm just confused because I still haven't gotten anything written from them. I texted the principal just now to ask. They might be annoyed at me and may have offered it to someone else...who knows?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  10. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    My “gut” is telling me that this job is a bad idea...apparently other teachers started the same way at this school last year. I’m just not sure if I want to work without a contract for 2 months.
     
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  11. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Then it’s probably safe for you to go ahead and turn it down. I’ve never regretted following my gut feeling when it has come to career decisions before.
     
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  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I turned down the job! I probably would have taken it last year, but not when I have a full time job now. I wasn’t able to get any confirmation from HR or anything written from them either.
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    You made the right decision. We live in a time where there is little room for awkward job set ups as such.
     
  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    So every day, you have 72 minutes of student-free planning time, and an additional 45 minutes of student-free meeting time? I'm assuming plus a lunch? How long is your school day?
     
  16. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    We have only 20 mins for lunch.

    Our school day is from 7:35-2:20. We have to stay until 2:40. I teach 3 72 minute classes. We are only guaranteed 45 mins of planning but math and english teachers get more. We can be asked to sub during the extra 25 minutes of our planning or during our planning or meeting time. If asked to sub during our planning, we will skip our department planning and take our planning then.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I think you've mentioned this before; I find this so interesting. Here, all teachers get the same amount of planning time, regardless of teaching assignment.
     
  18. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    That’s how it is in other schools in my district. It’s basically because of how the schedule works in my school. We teach 3 long classes (1.5 periods each) so we get one planning period with a length of (1.5 periods). They call the extra time we get a “data period.” The other teachers teach 5 shorter classes so get one shorter prep. I personally don’t like it. We have so many kids that when we divide them by 3 for math and ELA, class sizes are too big! It’s also not fair to the other teachers.
     
  19. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Jun 22, 2019

    Yea, who made that schedule?
     
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  20. otterpop

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    It's unusual but I've seen similar schedules. The one our previous principal created was nuts. Sometimes administration comes up with "unique" scheduling to solve certain problems, such as needing to give more time to math and reading. It's hard to find a perfect fit. IMHO, it sounds like the OP has a pretty good setup, except for the large class size.
     
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  21. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Except for the class sizes, my schedule is great! What I really dislike is that my big classes (30+ kids) are usually in the same big groups all day long even in their other classes. However, the higher kids usually get split up into even smaller classes (even though their classes are already small.) At some point, it feels like they’re being robbed of an education. I agree that our schedule needs to change. I assume the longer math/ELA blocks are for test scores.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  22. TrademarkTer

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    I don't know how strong the union is where you work, but I'm surprirsed that level of disparity is permitted between departments. In my school, each teacher teaches 25-42 minute periods per week, except the science department. Because of how labs work they only have 24-42 minute periods per week, but to make up for that time, they have 1 extra period of duty (study hall/cafeteria/hallway etc)

    Anyway, the class size thing is really unfortunate. I once said I think the honors classes could all be taught college lecture style in the auditorium, and you would only need 1 section for them because those kids don't need as much help. I will say, though, my school has made an effort to balance the sizes. Honors/AP are capped at 30, whereas CP are capped at only 25. It's too bad your system seems like a "rich get richer" set-up regarding class sizes.
     
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  23. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    It frustrates me that less kids qualify for honors/pre-AP, so the classes are much smaller and the kids need less help + have less behaviors.

    In other middle schools, they split all classes into 4 and have teams. If I stay in my school, I might look into transferring as an option.
     
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  24. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    More like a Best Western and a Marriott to me.

    You know you’re dealing with but I think you’ve got a lot of potential over there.

    Good luck whatever you decide
     
  25. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I have an interview for a split position at a good district. It is .6 math and .4 intervention. Thoughts?

    Personally, I would LOVE to teach intervention but I’m not sure how stable the job is!
     
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  26. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I would make sure to ask about the long term stability of the position. I would also ask if you'll be pulled to sub during the intervention times. I'd love to teach intervention the way my current school has it set up, but under a previous P, our interventionists were literally subbing 50% or more of the time because we were always short subs. I'd HATE that. Beware of wishy washy answers like, "Well, of course we don't want to use you in that role, but if we just have no other choice..."

    I would also make sure to ask:
    -Is there some sort of intervention curriculum available, or will you be creating all of your own lessons? If the latter, are there any kind of materials/supplies available to you?
    -What kind of space will you have to work in for the intervention portion of the position?
    -Who decides which students receive intervention, and who makes the schedule? Will you be teaching small groups, pushing in, or teaching "remedial" classes?

    I interviewed for an intervention position last year and there were just too many red flags. They said the position was totally based on year to year funding, gave the wishy-washy sub answer ("that's not what we want this position to be, but last year we were often short 2 subs per day"), and on top of all that wanted me to push in for part of the time, which is an automatic "no" from me. I've never heard of interventionists pushing in before that. In secondary, it's also somewhat common to have "intervention classes" that are basically almost like full classes rather than small groups.

    For someone your age, if the only issue is instability, it might be worth it to go for the position anyway, especially if it can get you into a good district. If your state has some sort of tenure or non-probationary status, if the position just lasts a few years, then you're "in" with the district and they'd have to find you something else if the intervention portion goes away. Even if it only lasts a year or two, you'll be no worse off really- you'll still be in that sweet spot that everyone loves to hire- still young and cheap but not a total newbie. For me, it didn't make sense because I already have non-probationary status at my current school, and if the new position went away, I'd find myself unemployed in a market that doesn't like to hire expensive experienced teachers. I maybe would have risked it if it were my dream job, but with all of the other issues it wasn't.
     
  27. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Thank you!! I will ask all of these questions.

    I’m surprised that they would pay a full time teacher salary only to be pulled to sub!
     
  28. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    So I just checked and there were about 5 or 6 slots for the 1st round interview on school spring. I scheduled mine and when I checked, 3 were open. I wonder if that means only 2-3 people are interviewing? I know that things are less competitive this time of year.

    I went to a different job interview that I wouldn't take. It was teaching 7th grade math, 8th grade math, special education, AND a "fun/creative class."
     
  29. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I was assured that the position was stable. I didn't get a chance to ask all of these questions but I would if hired. It was a panel interview with the 6th grade team, math coach, and a parent. It is a K-8 school so the intervention lessons would be small groups with elementary students (grades 2-5). This makes me a little bit nervous because I don’t have a ton of experience with really young kids. I don’t even know if I would have to take a test to get a certification for this! Thoughts?

    I got an email inviting me to a demo tomorrow and I thankfully have a good lesson for the standard. I think they have one more person interviewing today and one tomorrow. The principal walked me out and said I did great. He also said “if I were to extend an offer on Monday, would you accept?”

    The school is title 1 and qualifies for my scholarship but it’s wealthier and is not a struggling school at all. I feel like it might be nice to move to a school where I could focus a bit more on instruction and a little bit less on behavior. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
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  30. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    This job sounds like it has enough variety to keep you interested and motivated. Good luck!

    On another note...you have been getting lots of interviews and offers. People can obviously tell that you are a marvelous teacher!!
     
  31. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Thanks! I will update this thread tomorrow about how the demo goes. I'm hoping for the best :)
     
  32. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    What are you doing for the demo? What grade is it with?
     
  33. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    It's 6th grade math and the standard is dividing fractions. I'm using my intro to division lesson so my objective would be "SWBAT find the quotient of a whole number and a fraction." I am also bringing copies of my dividing fractions unit plan for them to look at if they want. I am pretty comfortable with this lesson because I taught it this year and used it at a different demo this year.

    I might start with a Do Now where the kids would answer: "How many one-halves are in one whole? Can you draw a model to support your answer?" and then share out. I might skip the Do Now because I believe it's only a 30 minute demo, but I also really like this Do Now because it allows me to assess where the kids are.

    Then, I am going to pass out fraction tiles for the kids to use + review norms/expectations for using them. I might give kids 30 seconds to explore/play with them and then say that after the 30 seconds we are only using them for the work. I will then have a student read the objective and have a student tell me what "quotient" means. We will start with the problem 1 divided by 1/3 and I will have the kids model it with their fraction strips. We will discuss this one as a class and then the kids will work on two similar examples. I will then have the kids try 1 divided by 2/6 with their groups (with the fraction tiles), assess what they come up with, and share out. This one is different because they have to make groups of 2/6 so we would have a discussion about this. The worksheet has some more challenging problems like 1 divided by 2/5 but we probably won't get to it. The rest of the lesson would probably be work time with their partners and then 5 minutes for an exit ticket.

    They said there would be about 10 kids at the demo.

    Do you have any suggestions/ideas for improvement?
     
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  34. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I think it sounds like an engaging lesson. The only thing that I can think to improve it would be to base your initial problem (1 divided by 1/3) and maybe even the follow up problems in a real-world scenario rather than just naked numbers. My district is big on authentic, inquiry-based math instruction, and adding a real-world context is an easy way to do this.

    Do you get to teach this to actual students or is this one of those times where you have to pretend the adults are students? Just wondering since it is middle of summer.
     
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  35. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    I think it’s actual students. It seems like they have summer school.

    I like the idea of the word problem. I'm not sure if I can add it in now and I think it might be too much for the lesson I have. But I am giving them my unit plan for dividing fractions where I teach word problems and the kids have to use the rule and draw a model to solve it. My hope is that I can have the kids participate/share a lot in the lesson so I am just guiding them throughout the lesson. I think the manipulatives will help.

    Do you think I should use the Do Now or jump into the lesson?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
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  36. LouiseB

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    What I like about the Do Now is that you are assessing what the kids already know. That really sets the direction of the lesson especially when you are working with students you don't know. You will make the right decision.
     
  37. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    The demo went alright. I did choose to keep the Do Now which was good. I thought it was a bit easy for the kids...but I got a call saying they loved it and want to call my references. They said that there are two strong candidates but I am the front runner. I do not have a job offer yet.

    Here is my concern. I have plenty of references and my mentor from my school as a reference as well. What I don’t have is a reference from a supervisor from my school. I have really positive evaluations from my principal so I think he’d give me a positive one. But I am concerned about the job falling through, and then my principal knows I’m looking.

    I told them they they should contact my other references for now and that I would want to speak with my principal first before they contact him. I’m going on a tour of the building in an hour and I’m going to ask more questions.

    Does anyone have any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  38. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Wait to see what this school says. Do you really want this job? Every prinicipal should know that people may be looking elsewhere. That is just the way it is.
     
  39. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Did they tell you that you need a supervisor reference? I would tell them you are only willing to have the P contacted if you're still the top candidate and getting his reference is the last step before making a formal offer. Ask them to let you know when this happens so that you can be the one to tell P first. It's not that uncommon and last time I was job searching I even had people offer this set up to me without me even having to ask for it.

    Since this position has that intervention component, I'd use that as your reasoning with your current P so that you don't have to say anything bad about your current school. Say something about how much you've enjoyed working there and you're very thankful for the opportunity, but your heart is set into getting into intervention and this new position will allow you to do that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
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  40. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Yes, they said that I need a reference from a supervisor. I will tell the principal exactly what you said about when I’m willing to have my current principal contacted.
     

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