My life has become a living hell

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ValerieP, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. ValerieP

    ValerieP New Member

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    Feb 26, 2015

    Hello all. Was browsing for a forum related to teaching and found this site.

    I became a full time teacher in New York City almost two years ago. I am 27 years old and teaching has always been my desire. The NY Dept of Ed sends new teachers to places where the teachers are needed the most. So I was sent into a not so attractive neighborhood with a bad school. I came there with an open mind and desire to teach. I teach the 8th and 9th grade world history. From the very beginning the situation has been total chaos. The school is a mess in every way imaginable. The faculty members are hostile to each other and the students are even worse. I have been a victim of emotional and physical abuse. The students come from bad families and are not focusing on their work. Instead they insult me when I try to get them to pay attention. On a few occasions I was even pushed and my skirt was pulled up which resulted in the guys whistling and making stupid comments.

    I have complained to the school board on many occasions. It seems like they are against me because I am from a different part of town and dont "understand" the inner city youth. It has turned into a nightmare. I work 10 hour days and dread having to come back to work the next morning. The principal and other faculty tell me to hang in there and just do the best I can. I get the feeling the faculty is against me as well because most of them are also minorities and haven't been too welcoming when I got there.

    I have to stay in this school and cannot transfer until I have some years of experience. I spent 6+ years getting to this point and it seem like a waste.

    What do I do?
     
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  3. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Feb 26, 2015

    Move to a different state or part of your state and find a different school. Your sanity and your security is just not worth it.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 26, 2015

    At the very least, I might update your resume and begin applying to schools outside that area.

    Other suggestions:
    Stay put and make it through the year. If you have to, do the bare minimum and cut back your work hours to give you more time to relax.

    Quit and get another job. Difficult if you can't afford it.

    Move to a completely different location to get a more tenable job. Difficult if you can't afford it.

    File assault charges against the people abusing you. No one should have to work in a job where they are the victim of emotional and physical abuse. Just be aware that you will probably lose your job if you do this. (Not legal, but may happen anyways)

    Wish I could give you more positive solutions, just can't think of any.

    Good luck and let us know how things go.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 26, 2015

    Is there any way you can install a small webcam or recorder in the classroom? If any other assaults happen, you would have evidence. Go to the police if administration won't help you.
     
  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Frankly, if you can afford the risk, prep your resume and file assault charges. That sort of behavior is wrong.
     
  7. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    Feb 26, 2015

    Why do you have to stay there? The city is a BIG place...I work in a wonderful city school. When open market comes, look into applying to other schools.
     
  8. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I like the idea of a webcam. Then a lawyer. Make sure you are a member of the union when it goes down. Or move to N Fla where I work. We have openings each year in my district. You will probably make half what you make there but be safe.
     
  9. teachsph2008

    teachsph2008 Companion

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    Feb 26, 2015

    Is it possible that you can move and become a sub teacher? Any relatives or friends you can stay with for 6 months to a year. I know being a sub will mean you can't always depend on a paycheck.

    I think if you were able to move, you can use that as an excuse as for why you only worked 1 year at a school.
     
  10. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    I'm wondering why you are teaching in NYC. I got my MA there and the faculty made no secret of letting us know the reality of some schools. I left because I didn't want to work at a terrible school in the Bronx and have a 2 hour each way subway commute. My friends who stayed all left for more suburban districts after 1-2 years. Why not move? I think complaining to the doe is a waste of time since they know the situation and what you are experiencing is not uncommon, but it is uncommon for teachers to repeatedly complain. unfortunately, it isn't within their power to provide you with a controled working environment. You have to go find one. That may mean giving up city life, but your overall quality will improve dramatically.
     
  11. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I think you could make it IF you had school board or admin support. Without that support in such a tough environment, it is probably best to go elsewhere. There are so many other schools that would appreciate someone like you.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I don't know why any teachers would put up with this. How will anything change if there are always teachers who will work under obscene conditions? Get out as quickly as possible.
     
  13. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I know it's really easy for us to say this, but do you really want to live your life "in a living hell"? You're 27. Why be miserable?
     
  14. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Feb 27, 2015

    I agree with all of this. Get out of there. You can still be a teacher somewhere else.

    I also wanted to say how sorry I am that you are going through this. :hugs: I hope you leave after this school year and find something else in a much better environment.
     
  15. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I feel sorry for the OP, I feel sorry for all the teachers working there, and I feel sorry for the students who have to face this every day, too. I'm sure there are at least a few who wish they could have something better. I agree with the others who say you should get out of there, though. You have to take care of yourself first.
     
  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Plenty of people speak of wanting to change these kind of environments. But just expecting teachers and students to just "put up with it" does fix a darn thing.
     
  17. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Feb 27, 2015

    I would say stick it out till June. Then resign. You can always come up with an excuse such as "I had to take care of my sick..."
    to explain your resignation.
    That will look a lot better on your resume.

    Let the students know that you will press charges if anyone touches you.
    I know my principal asked me if I wanted to press charges when a student pushed me against the wall and put his hand on my buttocks.

    You should have a mentor teacher or teacher coach. If you don't, you need to get one. He or she will be in the classroom with you once or twice a week to help with management and other areas. I know I could not have made it through the year without my mentor teacher. She supported me through my darkest days.
     
  18. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Feb 28, 2015

    I'm sorry to tell you, but that's life in an urban school district.
    I would STRONGLY suggest you NOT use a webcam or involve a lawyer. Districts like yours have vast experience dealing with someone trying to get media attention or taking legal action and they've won...........a lot.

    It's not going to change and they'll just get someone else if they have to.


    :unsure:
     
  19. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Mar 1, 2015

    As someone who works in NYC, in an inner city school, in the poorest congressional district in the entire USA, I know what you mean about schools that need teachers. However, my school is nothing like yours. The families are great, a good amount are invested in their childs education, and the kids are mostly well behaved. As well as the admin being wonderful.

    But the kids weren't always that pleasant I am told, by my students themselves!!! My students told me the horrible things they used to do to their primary teachers, even up until last year. I asked them well what changed? They simply said, well we are scared of you, but we also like you. Inner city teaching isn't for everyone, and if teachers hate being there the kids pick up on it. I'm of the same background as most my students, well Spanish, but different country. Does it help connect with them better? Yes, but we have more non spanish teachers in my school that do just fine too.

    With all that said the biggest change came with a change in administration last year. In speaking with the teachers who stayed they said this year the school is in a much better place than it's ever been. They hired a lot of strong teachers, brought in a lot of new programs and just built a sense of community I'm proud to work for. Of course their are some challenges and everything is not peachy, but no school is perfect.

    I can assume you are a Teaching Fellow? Which means you need to work in a high needs school for 3 years. Ill also assume you have your 7-12 Social Stuides Cert. You can and should apply to any and all open positions once open market opens up. Most schools in the Bronx, Brooklyn and parts of Manhattan are considered high needs. If you are not a Teaching Fellow, then apply everywhere!

    All I ask is that you research online reviews for every school you want to apply to. Also don't been fooled in thinking just because the school is in a great neighborhood it's run well. I live in a nice area of Queens and the school across the street from me as a principal that is a tyrant. My friend works in Queens and her principal is absolutely nuts and denied her tenure just because she wants to control all her untenured teachers into participating in school events.

    I've learned that it doesn't matter where the school is located, if your admin and colleagues are supportive everything will trickle down and students will start to respect and see positive change making for a great school. You have toxic admin and colleagues along with ill behaved students, without hard consequences. So get out for next year!!!

    Hold out for the next 4 months and then move along, but don't give up. Feel free to PM me if you want. I've been in your shoes before so I understand.
     

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