Lost my job, sad...what's next for me?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by geegee1981, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    Apr 12, 2014

    Hi everyone, I’m here to vent. I just lost my job. In June, I will have completed my 2nd year teaching in the Midwest. I resigned from my first job for my current position that paid 15,000 more. So I thought it was a good move.:(

    When the principal showed up today I didn’t know what was happening. The principal showed up at my classroom saying she was here for the meeting and that the special ed director should be there. I said “what meeting”? No one informed me of a meeting. She looked confused. So she then told me well we are not renewing your contact for next year. I responded by saying “thanks for telling me in advance”. Then she walked out of the room. I didn’t know what to say… I didn’t get any paperwork, etc….But I stayed positive and went back to having fun with the kids. It was a nice day outside so I took the kids outside to play before dismissal…. :dizzy:

    I am a certified special education teacher and a certified school counselor. I have to graduate degrees and im in my early 30's. I was teaching in a classroom that was chaotic this year. It was 5th through 8th grade in a grade school and the kids were all emotionally disturbed with severe behavior disorders. I taught in a mobile outside the building. When my kids got kicked out the building then their permanent placement became the alternative classroom. So new kids came in and out my classroom all the time. It was plagued with children that were under-medicated, personality disorders etc, kids that cursed. But I tried to keep it a positive environment. I worked with the kids and had a vision to run my classroom like a regular classroom. I tried my best. I never really asked for help in the building….I never really had an emergency. So there were no problems. My assistant and I handled my classroom on my own.:cool:

    The kids were on behavior levels so they were supposed to be able to earn enough points to leave my classroom, but administration never paid any attention to these points and levels. The majority of kids stayed forever. My boss never came to the classroom…she never gave me direction, never gave me suggestions to improve. When I got my evaluation, it was need improvement. I didn’t understand how I was evaluated because no one ever spent time in my classroom. If the principal stop by, my kids would be quiet and working…she only stopped in 2 times for less than a minute lol….. My room was strongly avoided. I feel that I was unfairly evaluated because my classroom is unique and I cannot teach my kids the transitional way. You wont always see group work. One kid might be mediating with headphones on to block noise. One kid would be sleep because mom gave him sleeping pills. One kid might be on the floor giggling at himself….He never took his 4 medications. My class was not traditional, but the kids did work in there. And they did behave overall.

    The teacher before me ran the classroom like a prison for 15 years. The kids did busy work all day, they fought a lot, the teacher was physical with them and it sounded abusive:eek:hmy:. She was let go last year for throwing a student. I can say that my kids only had 1 small fight this year. The kids did class work and they learn something so I did try to teach them. I got to know the students and they respect me and I care about them. It was difficult teaching 5th through 8th grade with various academic levels and behavior and emotional issues….I struggled, but did my best. I was remained positive and treated them nicely.

    Many times I began to feel burnt out though.….Most teachers would have ran from that job, but I stayed and made it work. I honestly am offended that they let me go. I feel kinda used and unappreciated.:(

    I will attempt to get 2 reference letters before I leave, but honestly I worked isolated and alone. Will I still be able to use these letters since the teachers in the building only knew me on a minimal basis?

    What’s next? Part of me wants to take a break for a while, save my unemployment money, finish a certification that will allow me to be a therapist. Will I not working for a year affect my prospects of finding a job in 2015? What would you do in this situation????
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 12, 2014

    Sorry about the crummy situation.

    If you can afford it, I would take the year off and go back to school. You sound like you would be a terrific therapist. Can you volunteer somewhere while you are in school so you can get references from there?

    If you skip a year of work, it really won't affect your chances of a job because you would be in school.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  4. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Apr 12, 2014

    If you are lucky enough to have one, get out your contract and contact your union rep immediately, to make sure admin at least followed procedure. In my district someone could not be let go without observations and documentation and a chance to improve.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Nate

    Nate Companion

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    Know that there are two sides to every pancake, maybe there were some reasons you were let go. You should know what those reasons were. If you're lucky enough to have union representation, get them involved as Missy says above. Based on your post, it sounds like you've got a lot of strengths, a learning-positive attitude, and professionalism, so even if you've got some weaknesses worthy of disciplinary action, you're worth "rehabilitating", you know? A good contract will have an opportunity for personal improvement plans before termination. If you're in an anti-education state with brutal contracts and no teacher reps, you can at least learn something about the administration's expectations on your way out the door.
     
  6. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    Hello, thanks for the responses. The principal and my special ed director gave me a improvement plan after my evaluation. I was prepared to go to common core workshops, observe veteran teachers, etc. They gave me a improvement plan last month, but never implemented it. I figured it would be for the next school year.

    Like i said earlier, i was evaluated based on 3 visits ....During that time my students were well behaved and working as i gave my lesson. I know how to write good lesson plans. But i know there is much more to learn about methods and that takes time. They never came to my classroom other than that...They never told me anything was wrong, or gave suggestions. Im a new teacher so i dont expect to be perfect at all.

    I didn't do any thing to be disciplined.... I come to work everyday, and i work with the kids with no problem. So i will be working until June when the contract ends.

    I do have a union representative. So i will contact her Tuesday when i go to school.
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    If you were put on an improvement plan, you're probably S-O-L.
     
  8. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    It just sucks. The last teacher worked there for years doing the minimal and she was verbally and physically abusing the students and the school allowed it. I wanted to make a difference and I got let go.

    I will contact the union representative. But honestly I wouldn't want to work there anymore....this situation is too messy. The Special ed director didn't even invite me to the termination meeting or show up to the meeting.... It was suprising.
     
  9. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    Apr 12, 2014

    Whats SOL?
     
  10. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Apr 12, 2014

    I think I remember that you are in Illinois. If so, there's probably nothing your union can do for you, unfortunately. The district may nonrenew your contract as long as they give you notice 45 days before the end of year. They don't have to provide any reason.

    If your school year ends before May 27th, then you have something to go on. Or, if there is language in your contract regarding nonrenewals that requires more than the law requires, then that is in your favor. However, that would be very unusual.

    Sorry. :(
     
  11. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Poop outta luck.

    It's definitely not fair, but being put on an improvement plan tends to be synonymous with "you're being fired at the next available opportunity." If I were you, I'd consider my goal to be being able to resign and not have to check off "was terminated or non-renewed at a previous teaching job" on future applications.
     
  12. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    To me, i just dont understand what they wanted. They wanted a classroom prison, a regular education classroom, and a rehabilitation clinic all in one type of classroom.


    The special ed director was a new director. She wanted the students to learn grade level curriculum on a program called A+... This program was too difficult for my younger students to use and plus i had computers to rarely worked. The kids were always frustrated. So she wanted them to work by them selves individually all day???? She never used the program before and didnt know how it worked.

    But at the same time, she wants the students to be given grade level book work at there desks from 5 through 8th grade. So im responsible for 5th grade through 8th grade common core and delivering it like a traditional teacher.

    Then she wanted the kids to have perfect behavior and remove all of their behavior points after giving one warning. But there was a reason that these kids are in my classroom...they have problems controlling there behavior. Its part of their disability. I will redirect my students as many time as it takes without screaming or punishing them. So the 1 time she came into my classroom, she looked at there point sheets and told me that im to easy on them.... And she can tell that by studying my binder of point sheets. So now im a army drill sergeant.

    And its funny because overall my kids are quite well behaved with me. The class is positive.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    A lot of times in positions like these, administrators don't like having those programs at all. Firing a teacher makes it look like those children would be on grade level (and passing the grade level test) if it wasn't for that darned incompetent teacher leading the class.
     
  14. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    My school is reconfiguring next year and turning into a 4 through 8 grade building. So schools are being combined and teachers will be moved around. I will tell new employers that i was laid off due to this. Does that sound reasonable?

    There are 2 other teachers on a improvement plan, but they didn't lose their job.
     
  15. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I wouldn't do that unless your reference would go along with it.
     
  16. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    Im just thinking like darn it. All that time spent in this classroom, when i could have taken another job. My principal or special ed director would never ever work in this type of room.... They would not know how or what to do with these kids. My speed director taught low functioning kids for her whole career that did not have behavior problems.

    Im just insulted. She didnt even invite me to the meeting. I feel like they dropped a bomb on me within 60 seconds...and just walked off.
     
  17. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    Yes my reference will go along with it. Its the truth. 4 schools are being combined into 2 schools.
     
  18. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    The reconfiguration is happening in august of this year.
     
  19. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    So if i had kept my job, the alternative special education classroom would have had grades 4th through 8th grade making it more difficult. I wonder if they are going to close down the classroom period. This school is suppose to become a school for high achieving students...a liberal arts school. The other school will be for low scoring students.
     
  20. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    And i was just given the improvement plan last month. I was suppose to be allowed to visit other classrooms and observe and attend workshops. The Special ed director didnt follow through on these plans yet, so i figured it would start soon or at the beginning of the school year.
     
  21. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    What does your assistant think of all this? Was she also the assistant for the previous teacher you replaced?
     
  22. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    My assistant was the former dean and him and i get alone well. I am friends with the former assistant that worked in the room last year. He said the classroom is way better than it use to be. The old teach was cruel to the kids.
     
  23. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Apr 13, 2014

    It sounds as though you have people on your side.

    Have you written them a rebuttal letter explaining in detail why you feel you should not have been let go?

    If you write such a letter, I would have it signed by those who are aware that you got a raw deal.
     
  24. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    I fear poor classroom management cost you your job. Yes, the other teacher acted inappropriately and maybe he wasn't the brightest bulb in the building, but he had the class under control through fear.
     
  25. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Maybe you should read her posts more closely. :dizzy:
     
  26. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    I don't know what the circumstances are in your state, but if you're a second year teacher, that usually means you don't have tenure. (Normally, it's after 3 years that you obtain tenure and are afforded a due process) That means a school can get rid of you on the spot and doesn't have to go through the "Improvement Plan" charade.

    Even if you have a union, they can't do anything about it.


    :dunno:
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Maybe someone should read Milseys posts more closely before taking her too seriously..... Her idea of class room management is making kids do push ups....and when they're well behaved she shows R rated movies and wears provocative clothing:dizzy:
     
  28. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    Good evening everyone. Im not sure about my job being loss due to classroom management. The few times that the principal or special education director visited my classroom the students were on their best behavior.....they know who and who not to misbehave in front of and that is ironic lol. Plus the kids only had 1 small fight and that was in September. So who knows.

    Today I was thinking....I figured that i will start applying for highschool level guidance counselor jobs or teaching positions. I dont ever want to work in a alternative classroom again...especially one without structure. This program did not have clear structure, vision, or support. If i don't find a highschool level job then i will take my unemployment benefits and take the year off. I feel burnt out.
     
  29. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    It wasn't your classroom management skills, so don't doubt yourself.
     
  30. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    :eek:
     

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