Need Some Feedback Please...

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by wcj, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. wcj

    wcj Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2009

    {Sorry for the length but I needed to explain everything... Thanks...}
    Hello everyone,
    I hope your summer has been going well and I hope that you are taking time to love yourselves. Well I hate to dump my problems on other people but I feel as if I have exhausted my non- teacher friends. My situation is not too complex but is grounded on emotion. You see, this is my first year of teaching and I began midyear as a kindergarten teacher at a charter school. I was so excited to have job after searching desperately for one after graduating. My school was working to become an IB school and had grades K-8. Things were fine until after a few weeks. I noticed things that you would not notice at other schools. For one, there was a lack of real leadership. When I arrived, I received no information about how attendance was done, lunch, field trip request, etc. I emailed the principal and never got a response. I had to chase her down and was given a gracious answer with no results. This was common. Plus, my first week on job, the after schools service was allowed to use my classroom without any prior warning and let’s just say they made themselves at home. They spilled juice on my personal library books that I purchased, used my classroom materials that I brought after I told them they could not, and supplies began missing. I went to the principal and complained with other teachers. Nothing was done except for a “discussion” with the manager of the program not the director. They continued to use my classroom and I was forced to have my students pack up all of our supplies. Not only was this a problem in my classroom, a colleague of mine had the same problem and personal items such as books, pencils, and other items were used and some went missing. Also, they left trash in the classroom. One of my colleagues found vomit in her classroom that no one bothered to use the vomit removal kit and poured sand over it instead. They left it over night and the smell was horrible. I could go on but I won’t. Also, we had inadequate cleaning services. We had a contract with a company to clean our classrooms every evening. There idea of cleaning was a joke. They emptied the trashcans. That’s it. The restrooms were left filthy and had to be cleaned by a great custodian worker who was responsible for the work of five people. Bless her heart. She tried to clean things alone but it was impossible. I taught all boys and they complained about how slippery the floor was. Lunch was a confusing and terrible. It was the most unorganized system in the world. Parents were billed for items that their children did not purchase and tried to understand bills that the lunch person who doubled as the registrar. And when they were not able to find her, they came to me and I tried to help but did not understand the system myself. Also, she would plan for prospective parent observations without notice and would expect grand showcases. Faculty meetings were awful and lasted two and the half hours sometimes because everyone had hear themselves speak. Now this was fine but when you are being rude and obnoxious towards others especially the administration, it is counterproductive. Also, the school was divided into those that had influence with the administration and those they were outside. There people had insider knowledge that none of the rest of had and had extra pull with the principal. An example of this is, I was schedule to remain in my grade for another year to have a complete year teaching K but another teacher desperately wanted to come down and threatened to quit. So I was forced to go to first grade with some of my students. The problem with that was that my students had been blessed to have two teachers before me that were “let go”. I wanted to start fresh without the drama but I grew to love my students and agreed. I had no choice until week s later that I found out that I could remain in K after speaking with parents about me going to first (they really wanted me to). I felt betrayed and lied to. I cried for weeks but made up my mind that I would go and enjoy my experience. One last thing, I principal tried to get us to sign contracts with all of these extra add-ons such as requiring every teacher to sponsor a club or hold tutoring, attending events over the weekends if needed, etc. Plus, our contracts were at will. Meaning, they could terminate us at anytime. Guess what, we all received termination letters because the add-ons were illegal. We were all lost and did not know what to do. Then a week before school ended, we receive notice that we had to attend a special meeting alone at scheduled times where some receive contracts and some did not. I was one of the lucky ones that did. I also found out that some teachers were not certified. I cried for weeks and began to hate teaching. :( The principal is no longer there and the teachers weren’t informed of this until earlier this week. It was a nightmare and I could go on and on but I won't. Then out of the blue, a principal from a school system I student taught called me and offered me a K position.:thumb: This school system is small and is very hard to get a job in. Teachers don’t leave this system until they retire. Plus, the contracts are stable. I was not so keen on K because of my experience at my current job but it was foot in the door. :) I said yes but afterwards, I felt so guilty because I promised my parents that I would be back and teach their kids. I talked about this with my wife and she said that I should not feel guilty for looking out for me once. I was so miserable and she saw me at my worst when I hid my feelings from coworkers. Plus, I have a health condition that when I am overly stressed it causes me to lose control of my eye muscle, which affects my vision. I am on medication but I don’t want to take that chance. Teaching is stressful enough without more stress added on. My wife said that this is a sign to move on. I signed the contract but I am still so stressed because I feel so guilty for leaving my wonderful students behind and some great parents. Plus, I will be leaving behind some great colleagues that I began to bond with. It hurts to leave so many great people. I don’t know why I feel so guilty but I feel that I have made the right decision for me and my family. What do you think? With the new principal coming aboard, I feel like I left too soon but with charter schools, your career is so unstable. I just don’t know if I could go through an entire year of this again. Thanks for reading... I just really would like some feedback. :thanks:
     
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  3. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Jul 9, 2009

    I would take the good new job, feel fabulous about it and embrace the opportunity to be the best teacher that you can be for your students, without having to be bogged down in a bunch of stressful trivia. You should not feel guilty for looking out for yourself and your career.
     
  4. Katisop99

    Katisop99 Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2009

    I know that you feel guilty, but a the end of the day you can't be the teacher you want to be if there is the drama of a bad work environment that stresses you so much. Take the job that you want and take care of yourself! The better you treat yourself the better you will serve your students.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jul 9, 2009

    You have given yourself the answer.
     
  6. Petite_Teacher

    Petite_Teacher Companion

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    Jul 10, 2009

    wow ..... :eek: It seems that you went through more than a nightmare at your old school. It was a blessing that you were offered this new job in a district that is stable on many levels. I wish you the best of luck with this new job. :)
     
  7. txteach13

    txteach13 Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2009

    TO wcj:

    I think you did the right thing. Take care of yourself and look forward, students at your new school need you too!
     
  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 10, 2009

    First, take a deep breath.

    Then take the new job.

    Don't look back.
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jul 10, 2009

    If you were to stay at the charter school you would start to resent it and the children you care about. Move on. After a while, the charter school will either get its act together or it will fold. Either way it didn't sound like you had any power to affect change. Good luck and congrats on the new school!
     
  10. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    Jul 10, 2009

    Most teachers work at a variety of schools - some better, some worse. Be proud of what you did accomplish or at least tried to accomplish there and start your new job with a happy heart.
     
  11. KinderESLtchr

    KinderESLtchr Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2009

    You did the best you could in a very bad situation. You can't be the best teacher you can be if you are stuck in an unreasonable situation like that with no redress of grievance or hope for change. My first year of teaching also had some very nightmarish aspects. Now things are so much better!!:) It will happen for you, too. I wish you all the best and just think of the children and families who are waiting on you at your new position--they need you and you can focus on doing a great job for them!
     
  12. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Jul 11, 2009

    Wow! I can't believe that you even finished the year. I am not sure I would have put up with all that.

    I think you know in your heart that you need to do what is right for you. Next year you will have all new kids to fall in love with. And the year after that, and the year after that...... Students are meant to move on and teachers are meant to let them go.

    Good luck in your new position! They must have heard great things about you!
     
  13. wcj

    wcj Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2009

    Thanks...

    Thanks so much everyone. I feel like I found the support I was desperately seeking. It has really helped me to read all of your comments. Its as if I had a discussion group and was actually heard for the first time. I made the right choice and in my heart I know its for the best. I am grateful to have a way out. Thank you all and bless you for taking the time to listen to a stranger. THANK YOU! I hope to be able to help others as you have helped me. :thanks:
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jul 11, 2009

    You're on A to Z, which makes you a friend, not a stranger. We're all here for each other. Good luck with your new school! :thumb:
     
  15. Jenstc2003

    Jenstc2003 Companion

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    Jul 21, 2009

    I'm so glad you were able to find something where you will have the chance to blossom. You'll miss your kids, but you know that you're doing the right thing for yourself. You should be complimented for hte fact that you were able to finish last year, and to be offered this position is the icing on the cake for your hard work.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 21, 2009

    You did the right thing. I'm sure the parents have their own issues with the school (cleanliness, billing issues), so I'm sure anyone would understand your leaving for a better situation. Set your sights on your new horizon- :angel:
     
  17. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Rookie

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    Jul 21, 2009

    I tell myself that things happen for a reason. You've learned a lot from your past year. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty. It was time to move on. Good Luck!
     
  18. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Jul 21, 2009

    In a few months time, you will look back and realize you absolutely made the right decision. Time will allow you to see things more clearly. Good luck and best wishes!
     
  19. wcj

    wcj Rookie

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    Jul 21, 2009

    Thankful...

    Thanks so much for the new comments and new prospective. Yesterday, was a hard day as I had to go back to my previous school to move personal items but luckily I was surrounded by positive energy. Things went well and I feel a sense of relief now. I reflected as I walked up and eventually down those halls once more. It was as if I was cleansing. My new atmosphere is exactly where I need to be right now and I feel in my heart it was meant to be. I am learning as I grow that regrets aren't needed but lessons have been learned, so it was worth it. I thank you all for your time and your comments. :hugs:
     

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