Nervous about Job offer

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by horned_Frog89, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. horned_Frog89

    horned_Frog89 Companion

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    Jun 24, 2015

    I had an interview today at a Charter school. I ended up getting a job offer this evening.

    I'm nervous about the whole charter school thing. I feel like more issues errupt between administration and teachers in the charter world. The school has about 50-50 good and bad reviews on the internet. Every one that was from a teacher was negative (about 3 or 4).

    The salary is okay, it's around what I made in my previous career. But still short of regular public school jobs.

    The charter website is really uninformative. No information about current teachers or any teacher websites, so I can't get a feel as to "classroom life" there.

    Is it okay to accept the offer and still pursue public school jobs? Maybe I'm just uniformed about charters, but I feel like I hear more bad than good.
     
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  3. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Jun 25, 2015

    I've taught for three years at two different charters (because I moved to a different part of the state). I have had wonderful experiences at both, especially my current school. I don't have plans to leave any time soon. My school has a great culture, fantastic students, and excellent leadership. I love it because we have SO MUCH freedom. We create our own curriculum, which is a lot of work, but it's worth it. My principal trusts us to make decisions for our own kids.

    Are you looking at Greatschools.net? I don't trust that site. It's kind of like yelp or apartmentratings.com - most of the people leaving reviews are disgruntled. Were the teachers who left reviews still working there, or had they left? Maybe their bad reviews were because it wasn't a good fit for them. Not saying this is true...maybe the reviews are true...but it's just something to think about.

    I do make slightly less than other districts in the area, but it is worth it because I'm VERY happy where I am.

    I really would take charters on a case by case basis. I was really nervous about them when I got my first job, but there really were NO jobs in 2012 in So Cal, so I took what I could get. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I loved working at my school and was very happy there. Because of that experience, the charter where I now work was actually my first choice school.

    Are there horrible charters? Absolutely. But are there also really great ones? Yes! The same could be said for public and private schools, though! I have seen some great public schools and some abysmally horrible ones.

    You said you can't get a feel for the school online. I did have that advantage at my current school - they have a lot online. I spent a lot of time looking at teachers' classroom blogs and websites. However, what kind of feel did you get from the interview? I really felt that I clicked with the interview team, which helped me feel like it was a good fit for me. I could tell from the interview that their philosophy really mirrors my own, which turned out to definitely be true.

    Charters are at will, so you can leave when you want to, which means you're free to pursue other jobs. However, I would give them at least 2 or 3 weeks before the start of the school year if you are going to leave. That seems fair to me, because they would need to find a replacement for you. That's just my opinion, though.
     
  4. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jun 25, 2015

    Is there a Union?

    I worked at a "public charter" the past 4 years and I am moving to a new one in August - same district. I would never teach ANYWHERE without Union rep.
     
  5. 4815162342

    4815162342 Companion

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    Jun 25, 2015

    I dont think texas has unions.
    Im just going to high five yellowdaisies and agree with everything they said. almost all same true for me except we didnt make our own curriculum.
     
  6. Ms_C

    Ms_C Comrade

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    Jun 25, 2015

    My first job was with a charter school in Texas. It did have its good and bad. I taught 7th grade ELAR and there wasn't much of a curriculum to follow. But I did have a lot of latitude as to what I used to teach. The hours were also longer, but I did have multiple prep periods during the school day.

    Is this your first teaching job? At my school I did feel that if I had questions the other teachers in my department were willing to answer them for me. I also didn't feel like people were constantly watching me. The only time my principal was in my room was for observations. PM me if you want to know the charter school.
     
  7. horned_Frog89

    horned_Frog89 Companion

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    Jun 25, 2015

    There is a teacher's association. ..not sure if they do the same as a union, or what.

    There are 2 campuses. One is in a nice suburb. The student population is probably 60% Indian. That's where I interviewed at. My offer, however was for their campus in a little bit rougher suburb, where the school is about 60% Hispanic, esl, and 80% free or reduced lunch (so title ı)

    Their test scores are not good. Lowest 30%.

    It's also 5th grade and I was really hoping for middle school level. My paper work won't come for a week or so, so I think this through for a little bit.
     
  8. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jun 25, 2015

    So who negotiates pay, benefits, pension, and terms for evaluations? Who represents teacher interests?
     
  9. horned_Frog89

    horned_Frog89 Companion

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    Jun 25, 2015


    Texas is a Right to work state, so unions aren't common here. The teacher organizations out there will offer legal advice, I believe but they don't have the same authority as a union.
     
  10. lc522

    lc522 New Member

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    Jun 25, 2015

    I personally would look at the retention rate for teachers at the location your offer is for. If they have a hard time keeping teachers it is probably not a good sign! Ultimately it's up to you though and you have to do what feels right to you!
     
  11. horned_Frog89

    horned_Frog89 Companion

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    Jun 25, 2015


    Is there any way to see the retention rates? I'm assuming they'd be online somewhere?
     
  12. horned_Frog89

    horned_Frog89 Companion

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    Jun 25, 2015

    I have to admit, I am not leaning towards taking the position. There's just so much mystery with this school.

    Edit:

    I did more research and on this forum, a user who actually went through the same cert program as me had a job offer from a charter school. In a post, She stated a fact about the school that makes me certain it's the same charter that I received an offer from. She goes on to say there are minimal resources, the administration are all nut cases, and the teachers must wear uniforms.
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jun 27, 2015

    If you are nervous about taking a position, ask if you can meet with your future teammates or get an e-mail address to ask questions. That way you can get some more "real" information that you wouldn't necessarily get in a formal interview situation in front of the principal. My teammate last year did that with me before accepting the position and I thought it was a really great idea. She asked about resources, support, how working with the other teachers was, etc. I'll probably do that myself if I ever move schools again.
     
  14. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 27, 2015

    Waterfall gave you good advice.

    If you are still concerned, I would go with your gut feeling.
     
  15. ACinTexas

    ACinTexas Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2015

    I hate dressing up, so the uniform thing would actually be a plus for me! :p

    Can you take the job and keep looking?
     
  16. horned_Frog89

    horned_Frog89 Companion

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    Jun 29, 2015

    Waterfall, that us great advice!! When they come back into from vacation, I will definitely send an email to ask about my team.

    @AC the uniforms wouldn't bother me as much if they didn't make us (teachers and students) buy ridiculously over priced stuff from uniform companies. I could understand that if it was a private school, but this is a title I school with 80%+ on free or reduced lunch. Kind of ridiculous when they can buy the same stuff at Walmart for much cheaper.

    I'm going to take waterfall's advice before I sign any documents.
     
  17. SCTeacher23

    SCTeacher23 Comrade

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    Jun 30, 2015

    I like waterfall's advice as well. However, I think it depends on your situation and what you are looking for. I personally work at a charter school, and there are things I like about it and things I dislike about it. Ultimately, I'd rather get into a public school, but I can't afford to sub or do a maternity leave financially. I am currently searching for a public school job, and after having the experience at my charter school, I have had much better luck with getting interviews - I have 2 coming up this week. It may be good as a resume booster and a good way to get experience.
     
  18. horned_Frog89

    horned_Frog89 Companion

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    Jul 11, 2015

    Well, last night I decided I would not be signing a contract with this school. At the summer classes for my certification program, I found multiple people who had interviewed with them. One, was treated rudely for showing up to the interview 15 minutes early. One had an offer, but declined and one signed a contract.

    Get this: the contract is a two year contract and there is a $5000 penalty if you break it.

    There's no way I'm putting myself in the situation.
     
  19. Stlteach89

    Stlteach89 Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2015

    I did my student teaching in 2012 at a charter school here in St. Louis. It all looked good on the outside, but my cooperating teacher and her 3rd grade team always talked badly about the administration. I saw the problems they mentioned too, but I didn't get involved in the conversations about it. At one point, the principal called a meeting with the 3rd grade team during their plan time to state that she felt like they don't like her and asked what was going on. The way she went about it was really juvenile. The head of the schools also was never present. Always sat in her office. I don't remember seeing her more than once or twice in my life. My cooperating teacher told me if I applied there, she would never talk to me again (jokingly but also somewhat seriously).

    My only advice is try to look past the initial appearances of the school and really find answers to your important questions you'll need to know before you commit to anything. That's all I've got because I've been working in the public school system ever since. As a student teacher, though, it really was not a bad experience at all. I got amazing ideas from my cooperating teacher that I plan to use this year. The school as a whole, though, would not be somewhere I'd want to be as a classroom teacher.
     
  20. Stlteach89

    Stlteach89 Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2015

    Oh posted before you posted an answer. Glad you looked into the school. If you don't feel the school is a good fit, all you can do is keep the search moving. Good choice!
     
  21. mjhoudek

    mjhoudek Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2015

    I may be interested in taking a position like that. My chances are not good at this point. Im an older candidate.
     
  22. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    Jul 18, 2015

    Ca is also a right to work state but we have a union and powerful one I am to understand (haven't joined yet). At the charter I accepted a position at each teacher chooses if she wants to participate in the union. I'm totally going for it. I need someone that has my back and looks out for my interests. The school I'll be working at is brand new so this will be its first year so I also have no way to gauge the school culture. I have already started in service/orientation and the vibes I get from the admin are...ok (we clearly disagree on some aspects of my educational beliefs and they are already playing the we-don't-have-to-follow-all-the-rules-since- we-are-a-charter card)..but the other teachers seem great and that's a huge part of school culture I think. I'm with you on being nervous because it's a charter, since I too am nervous, but it beats not getting an offer at all.
     

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