Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Apr 7, 2018.
Apr 27, 2018
I’m confused. If both schools seem nice and the office staff, teachers, and principals are amicable and friendly, then shouldn’t this be a no-brainer? You said a few posts ago that having supportive staff makes a huge difference and I would agree, but it doesn’t seem like either school does not unfriendly staff members. So, shouldn’t you just accepted the higher paying school offer?
This exactly. From your posts it actually sounds like you got a much better vibe from the lower paying school, and the anxiety you feel around the higher paying one seems like something you should pay attention to. If your current placement has a lack of good support and your mentor thinks this school will be the same, it could very well end up not being worth the extra money. $48K is not terrible for a first year teacher (though I don't know where you are so I obviously don't know the COL -- $48k is high for where I'm at and can go a long way), and I'd take a lower paying job for a better school climate. It also sounds like the lower paying job is more what you were looking for in terms of content and age, whereas the higher paying one (assuming an offer) is an age you'd have to learn and adjust to, which could make the first year much harder than it needs to be.
Ignore the salary, in all honesty, and look honestly at which position makes you the most excited to teach. Do that without factoring in pay -- look at teacher climate, support, age, content, everything BUT the salary, and then decide. High salary isn't worth it if you're miserable the whole time.
And a high salary won't necessarily save a new teacher who feels overwhelmed and unsupported in a position for which she received no formal training. It's hard enough to be a new teacher in a grade level you are comfortable with, so I imagine it's even harder when you factor in an unfamiliarity with the grade level along with all the other stressors that accompany being a new teacher. I'd hate to see the OP flame out and leave the profession altogether, as so many do, because she started behind the 8-ball.
To quote from the OP:
“When I visited the higher paying school, the office staff was very nice and the principal seemed nice as well. The admin at the lower paying school, however, seemed VERY nice.”
Doesn’t seem toxic to me at either school. Maybe that’s why I’m confused why she is anxious about either school.
Does everyone forget what it was like to have a case of first-time jitters? I'm retired and I still remember how nervous I was in those days! I honestly don't believe both schools have such close similarities - if there's one thing I've learned, it's that things are not always what they appear to be in our public schools. I wonder if the OP has actually made a comparison list of her selection criteria. Just going with her inexperienced gut as some have suggested can be risky.
Yet another soft indicator: In my experience, toxic schools tend to have relatively empty parking lots about 30 minutes after students are dismissed at the end of the day. Those in which teachers appear happy and collegial tend to have quite a few cars still there an hour or two after the last bell. I still think about this whenever I drive by a school shortly after school is out.
Toxic may be the wrong word -- I'm mostly going off what OP has said about lack of support in her current school and mentor's advice about the other school. They may very well be perfectly nice, but it does seem like the lower paying one has more pros than cons.
Okay, that’s fair. Couldn’t she remedy ththat situation by asking specific questions about the higher-paying school and checking with other teachers to see how they feel about working there?
Thanks everyone for the advice!! I am on my way to the higher paying school now and I will let you all know what happens.
I hope you end up making the choice that is best for you and are happy with your decision. No pressure either way and good luck!
I didn't get a great vibe from the high paying school and they want me to teach a demo on Monday. I think I want to take the lower paying job. I think it will be a much more supportive community and content that I am comfortable teaching. This school is in the middle of a ton of restructuring which I am not a fan of.
As someone who is at a school that's being restructured... RUN AWAY. It makes for low morale and a lot of grumpy teachers, even if the changes are for the better.
Anyways, my reasoning is as follows:
-The lower paying job actually pays about 50K, which isn't a bad starting salary for a teacher!
-The higher paying district already hired 3 middle school math teachers, which means I was their 3rd choice.
-I am not super comfortable with the content in 4th grade and I'm not excited to teach it.
-The higher paying district is restructuring which could be a mess! They said I would be teaching 2 fourth grade math classes and intervention, but I'm not sure what type of intervention I would even be doing.
-The lower paying job has a lot of curricular resources and a 6th grade math team. They have collaborative planning time every day. They also seem to align with my philosophy of teaching.
-Although the lower paying district is high needs and low income, they are performing pretty well. I think this is a good place to start in my first year.
I would have made the same choice. Congrats!
I said I would go in for a demo at the high paying school on Monday...how do I explain that I don't want the job?
I also saw the behavior of the 4th graders and I really didn't like it!! I definitely prefer dealing with middle school behavior. I think the teacher yelled at them about 12 times...
Agreed. Now, I can see why she had a bad feeling about that school.
I'd send a brief email letting them know that you've accepted a position elsewhere and thanking them for considering you.
Do you think I should email the other district now saying that I have accepted the position or wait until I visit on Tuesday?
There is also a career fair for the higher paying district tomorrow morning. I really don't want to go but there are two schools with a middle school math opening. I've already applied and haven't heard back.
If you've officially and formally accepted the job, there's no reason to wait to tell the other school.
You don't need to go to the job fair if you've already accepted a position.
I want to "love" this comment, because it's so true. My school "transitioned" (just another way to say restructured) this year, and people are miserable. Our school is known for being a place that is hard to get into because we're small and people want to come to us. This year, though, people are leaving left and right.
If you've already made a decision, accept the offer today, and cancel your demo. Don't go to the job fairs.
Agreed! Accept the offer, cancel the demo, and skip the fair. It will make your weekend so much less stressful.
Apr 28, 2018
I am still so excited about this job!!
Did you say "yes, to the job?"
I have not yet. I'm wondering if I should wait until I visit the school on Tuesday and accept in person? I did turn down the demo for the fourth grade job.
I did go to the career fair this morning for the higher paying district just because a few of my friends are going and I just wanted to make sure I had seen all of the opportunities at the higher paying district. There were a TON of applicants and I get the sense that you need a SPED or ESL license in addition to your content to get hired at this district.
If you've gotten the offer and have the number to call and accept, I'd do it ASAP. Especially now you're sure you want it.
Is there a reason that I shouldn't wait until Tuesday?
I mean... since it's Saturday I guess not really, but it might depend whether you need to accept with the principal or with HR. It could just be a personal thing, but I hate waiting on stuff like that once I've made a decision. Personally I'd get antsy waiting until Tuesday.
I would call first thing Monday morning. If you know you are going to accept, you should let them know. In my area, principals do not contact their second choice candidate and tell them they were not selected until the first choice candidate has accepted the position, which means somebody else could be sitting in limbo waiting to hear until you accept.
My reasoning for waiting is because I haven't had a chance to observe any classes or even teach a demo lesson at this school. It seems great but I just want to be 100% sure! My program always told us to observe, meet teachers, etc. before accepting a job.
I feel at peace with my decision to turn down the 4th grade job. Even though it is a district that I want, even observing the 4th grade class made me feel anxious.
Observing a class may be nice, but that’s just not realistic in most cases. At least not in my area. Where I’m at, it’s a one and done interview. You accept or don’t accept based on that.
The question I would ask yourself is: is there anything I could learn - within reason - that would stop me from accepting this job? If the answer is no, then just accept it now. If the answer is yes, then get the answer to your questions about your worries. Then choose to accept or not accept. It’s unlikely that an observation alone would change much.
I am meeting with the principal on Tuesday morning to observe a few math classes.
Apr 29, 2018
I understand. But, unless you think something would change your mind after observing, there is no reason to hold off accepting the job.
This made me sad reading this post. I always wonder when reading these stories if the administrators can see they are making their staff miserable. Why would you want to create an atmosphere like that?
I agree with this, and with the pp who pointed out there are likely several other people waiting on pins and needles because they haven't heard anything yet. I can also relate to the pp who said they'd feel antsy not having everything "be official" yet.
Last time I was job searching, I got a little nervous about the offer from my current school because I'd only done one interview there, and other districts did 2nd and 3rd round interviews, demo lessons, etc. I also had a demo scheduled at another school and had done another interview that I was positive would turn into an offer (it did).
After thinking it over for a day, I decided that there was nothing in particular that was really going to make me change my mind. There was no reason to like the school I had the demo scheduled at any better, and the one that I knew I was getting an offer for was in a less desirable location (somewhere I didn't want to live). My P had given me her cell number in case I made a decision over the weekend, and I ended up calling her on Saturday afternoon to accept. I felt a lot better knowing my search was officially done!
May 1, 2018
I visited the school today and loved it. They seemed to have very high behavioral and academic expectations of students. However, the details of the job doesn't seem to be completely set yet.
There are two jobs that are likely available. One is a 6th grade math job for a teacher who is taking a year off. An 8th grade teacher is retiring the following year so whoever took this job would move into that position. I would honestly like a position where I could teach the same grade two years in a row, but I know I can't be picky. I also prefer 6th over 8th.
The second job is likely a 6th grade math position. The principal told me that that's what he anticipates the position to be but he can't tell me officially. I believe this is full time.
I am waiting on a call from the director today (not the principal) to talk about the details. I received another interview at a neighboring district. I'm wondering if I should accept the interview until I sign the papers? I also haven't received anything in writing yet.
If you love the school and got a good vibe overall, I'd just accept. Last minute changes come with the territory, unfortunately. Last year I was hired to co-teach 1st and ended up in my own 2nd grade room, so things can and likely will change no matter where you are.
Sorry--I forgot to say that I accepted the job!!
I'm just not sure if I should keep interviewing until I get something in writing or sign the papers.
Don't waste ya time.