New Jersey Teachers: My Last Question Before I Part with Thee?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by pinkcupcake90, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Feb 3, 2016

    Hi, everybody.

    This will be my last question, I promise! I'm closing my account shortly. I just wanted some feedback from fellow New Jersey teachers.

    I was a substitute teacher for this company called Source4Teachers. They had a listing for a long-term sub assignment at this high school. One of the English teachers was arrested and suspended from the job due to an incident with a student.

    I've been filling in for him since September, and I've been hearing rumors that he is not coming back based on his actions. The principal who hired me is trying to get me a contract, and I am currently finishing up my standard teaching license via NJ Alternate Route.

    I plan to leave this school come June. I will not return because I cannot take it anymore. I am in a very tough area, and one of my students caused a circus this morning because I gave her detention for being tardy for the THIRD TIME. The entire school came running to my classroom thinking someone got shot. That's how loud she was.

    I am meeting with the disciplinary office later, and I know I'm going to be reprimanded for upsetting this precious child (she's the principal's favorite). I did yell at her and ask her to sit down before I called administration and made her sit down. But I know this doesn't look good, and I had an epiphany today: I don't belong here. I love teaching as a job, but I can't take this school anymore.

    I used to want to stay here more than anything. Now, I really don't think I will be offered a contract (in case the teacher does come back), nor do I want it. I immensely despise this district.

    When I finish this assignment come June, what are the next steps towards getting a contracted job?

    Please don't try to pep talk me into staying in hell, you guys. I've never been this tired or upset, nor do I deserve to be treated like a doormat by these children. I don't need any rah rah shish kumba advice; what I need is to know how I can find a job in a different district.

    Thanks so much. I am grateful for all your help these past few months.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 3, 2016

    You're going to need letters of recommendation. Who at your school can give you a good one?
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Feb 3, 2016

    You are going to have to find out where you are in your mandatory evaluations, since the one due at 20 weeks may not get done at the right time, leaving you without enough time to get the next eval done. It is "technically" a year, but commonly takes 3 semesters to finish. You need to figure out with the state and the AR training organization what that means to you, on the way to your standard certificate. If you make it in a year, good. If it won't be done by the end of the school year, you need to know what that means to you.

    I agree with Caesar - LOR's are vital, and preferably one should come from your supervisor, and another from admin, two if you can get them. People will say they will write you a LOR, but then wiggle out of it. Your mentor teacher would be fine, as would any of the instructors in the AR program. Just make sure you stay on top of actually getting them in your hand, or you will be hard pressed to talk them into it once you are out of sight and out of mind. Good luck.
     
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  5. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Feb 3, 2016

    I think the principal can definitely give me one. I'm not sure who else can recommend me.
     
  6. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Feb 3, 2016

    Thank you. :)
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I, for one,would miss you if you close your account.
     
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  8. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    You would? But why? :flushed:
     
  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Feb 3, 2016

    This forum is like a PLC, a family. Some members don't like it here and fade away. Learning is a two way street, and in your occasional frustration, you inspire those of us who read the posts to think outside the box, to consider options we had never considered before. When we answer your questions, we invest in the knowledge that we try to share. No one is perfect, but I would very much miss this forum. Here's hoping you reconsider.
     
  10. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Oh no, I love this forum too. Everyone has been so nice to me. I just feel so bad plaguing everyone with my questions. At the same time, I wonder if I'm really cut out for this job. It's really crazy. My goodness, this child is 17 years old, and she was howling and screaming in my face just to get her way. She embarrassed me in front of all my students, and what's worse? The admin is going to do nothing about it because she's a favorite.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This isn't a you problem. This is a them problem. Don't own this. If it's a crap school with a crap admin and a bunch of crap students, then that's what it is. No one can be expected to thrive in that sort of setting, and certainly not a brand new teacher with no on-site support.
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 3, 2016

    If you're still going to teach, there's no reason to close your account. We don't mind questions. Without questions and threads, this forum would be a very empty forum. Don't feel bad for asking questions.

    And you don't have to feel bad for wanting to leave your school. A lot of us have given you advice to change your school (or district) anyway. It seems like a bad place for a newer teacher.

    By all means, leave the school and stay on the forum. I'm sure there are future questions you will want to ask, and even if you completely get it together in the future (however even the most experienced people here still ask questions), you can answer the questions of others.

    Anyway, as to leaving your school, the key is to do your best to leave on good terms. Make sure you don't leave angrily. Find SOMEONE, anyone who can write you a good letter of rec. It doesn't have to be the principal; it can be a co-worker if you want (though principal would be better--but take what you can get). Ask them if they would like you to do anything to help them out with it, like providing a list of accomplishments or experiences you've learned from. Some may even ask you to draft the letter first, and they'll change it up or just sign your draft (if they're really lazy).

    Ask your principal for a reference before you leave. By the way I would do this all at the end of the year, because some admin can resent teachers who leave, especially if they have to see them everyday for a while.

    You can apply for jobs before this time though. Many districts and schools are hiring now, so go to interviews and have a portfolio and resume prepared. Your portfolio should include your classroom management philosophy, a rudimentary classroom management plan, maybe some student work samples, and a sample lesson plan or two that shows off your skills.

    Look for websites that offer educational jobs. For instance, our area really uses Edjoin.org a lot. Look for positions on that. Make sure you meet all of the basic requirements to be hired; i.e. fingerprinting, subject matter testing, TB test, etc. Are you a credentialed teacher or soon to be credentialed?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
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  13. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 3, 2016

    I second all the comments about why you should stay here with us.We are a family and family helps each other.
     
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  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 3, 2016

    NJ is a tough market. Get some letters from your colleagues, college profs. And don't leave us. NJ teachers here can help guide you through the Garden State maze of education jobs. And those from other states can weigh in with great advice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 3, 2016

    You should definitely not close this account. You are not bothering anyone with your questions, I'm sure you saw a lot of people are willing to help you. If you were a bother, people wouldn't be responding. You might end up subbing in the future, there will be questions, then, too (I sure had many)

    You do need to get on top of letters of recs right now. You want to give people time to write it, try to get 3-4 if you can, from principal, teachers, professors, etc.
    By the way, just as an FYI, I got my current job without a letter of rec from my principal (I was subbing and I was in a LTS for 9 months, I was there for over 2 years, so it was important). She gave me the run around.
    I used an awesome letter I got from one of the teachers I worked with, I think I used 2 from student teaching, even though they were 2 years old and my student teaching supervisor.
    I also got a letter from a teacher at the school buit his letter was horrible. I didn't get it. He had been teaching English for 20 years, he was very eloquent with his words, obviously he knew how to write and he liked me as a teacher on top of it. He wrote an excellent letter for a substitute teacher, not for a teacher. He was going on and on what a great sub I was. Hello? He should have said how great I would be as a teacher, I was in classrooms for 1-4 weeks at a time, I planned, etc. And he thought he wrote the best letter ever. It was weird.
    Anyways, just venting a little, 3 years after the fact lol, but my point is to ask for more letters than you think you need just in case some don't sound great or some people don't follow through.

    And start applying for job asap.

    And no, it's not you, it's the school so you shouldn't give up teaching, you seem to have the passion for it.
     
  16. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Feb 3, 2016

    You guys are amazing. I can't seem to stop crying today, but I am so grateful for your kindness. I think I need to go back to therapy and talk this all out. I have OCD and anxiety, so it's bad enough that I work at this job where my heart beats one million times a minute. I'm so happy at this job that I'm unhappy. It doesn't make any sense.
     
  17. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    You're just struggling because your heart is in the right place, you have some bratty, entitled kids trying to constantly test you and you don't have decent admin to back you up. The problem is not you, so you shouldn't give up.
    If you didn't care, you wouldn't have this dilemma and you wouldn't be crying, you would just have walked out and quit. So this should tell you that you should stick with teaching. Next year this time you won't believe you felt this way.
     
  18. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Feb 4, 2016

    You guys truly made my day. I actually cried when I read your responses. But in a good way, I promise! :) Thank you so very much. I gotta stop whining and get going. I guess it's been hard with 3 preps, but I know I'll get better at this thing as time progresses. I pray to become a better teacher, one that doesn't get howled at from problem children. Lol! :D
     
  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Take my word for it - if the problem children cease howling at you, you are doing something wrong. It is not unlike the little kid and the tantrum. You know you have arrived as a teacher, when you are serene through the encounter, and simply teach in spite of the howling or tantrum. When you can do that, the student has lost what it most desires - to create chaos and stop the learning process for everyone, and in that moment, they have ceased to have any true power. Didn't say it would be easy, but it is doable.
     
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  20. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Feb 5, 2016

    pinkcupcake90, I hope that you don't close your account on this forum. I have been a member on it for the past ten years and have found this forum to be exceptionally helpful.

    If it's any consolation, I was in a similar situation when I taught language arts and history in a very troubled neighborhood in the recent past. All of the teachers whom I met at that school have left it in order to continue their teaching career elsewhere because of the students' unbelievable misconduct. The other reason we left was because the P not only allowed the students' misconduct, but also blamed the teachers for it. There were times when she even laughed when students made racial slurs and cussed at teachers who weren't her buddies.

    I am now teaching in a different school with students who actually come to school to learn and a P who supports teachers in every possible way. This forum is still valuable for me because I am able to share ideas with other teachers and to ask for advice. Anytime I post a question I receive excellent responses, which I am grateful for!
     
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  21. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I am happy to hear that you are not planning on giving up on teaching, just looking to move to a different district. Anyone with your attitude and concern towards education is needed in the teaching field. We appreciate you and your questions and comments on this forum, too. Another thought, you probably did more for that howling student than most other people; someone needs to get her attention, and you did. Who knows, perhaps someway, somehow this encounter will be a turning point in her life to get her act together.
     
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  22. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Thank you so much, everybody. Your words mean so much to me right now. I was so close to walking out the door today, but I do this because I love literature, and I don't care if the students like me or hate me. I have to stop letting that dictate my responsibilities. :(
     
  23. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    I agree. Years ago, when I first accepted a teaching job at a notorious school, I knew that many of the students had a long history of delinquency and had hateful attitudes in general. I thought to myself that I wanted to be a teacher for many reasons (including my love of literature and history and desire to help others), but winning a congeniality contest at any school wasn't one of them. I focused on helping as many students as possible and making sure that I wasn't showing favoritism in any way. For example, if I would catch a popular student breaking a rule, I would enforce the same consequence that I would enforce for anyone else rather than being lenient with the popular one.
     
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  24. Puppet Debris

    Puppet Debris Rookie

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    Feb 9, 2016

    I would say to get out. Now days I think schools pay teachers a lot so as to continue their political agenda.
    Here is one scenario (of many):
    Once you make a lot of money teaching in a district like that, you may also become a target. And then, once they and their friends get elected higher up and gain more control, they who loved this and allowed this to go on, may use you as an example of what is wrong with education. Then when you become angry, they will hope you complain loudly and that will open up many more opportunities for them to out-wit you and give THEM the excuse to campaign for more change to support their agenda.
     
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  25. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Feb 10, 2016

    This is definitely true in some schools, such as the one the OP must be in at the moment. On the other hand, there are other schools where teachers will be treated fairly. There are lots of excellent schools out there. I think that with the OP's knowledge of her subject matter and willingness to be an excellent teacher, she should just become certified and seek a job at the school that would be a good fit for her.
     
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  26. MathGuy82

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    I completely understand what the original poster is going through. You should find a different school. When the kids are bad and the principals don't do anything about it, it makes our lives not fun. This can lead to all sorts of unwanted things. I was a sub once at the school that always blamed the teachers if kids acted up. I LEFT that place for good. You are extremely dedicated from the posts I've read from you and YOU deserve better!! Don't suffer because I've been there and it caused my personality to change and my family noticed it.
     
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  27. pinkcupcake90

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    Thanks for being so nice. I realized that I have to leave this district. I'll just finish the year with my alternate route license at this district, and then I'll attend the nearest job fair next month. It would be wonderful to teach 1-2 preps instead of 3. I'm so inexperienced and these kids are really, really bad. I don't think I've ever been this tired and on edge before. Holy crap.
     
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  28. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Feb 16, 2016

    Thank you so much, everybody. You're all in my prayers and my heart. I appreciate the feedback and the wonderful advice.
     
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  29. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    You're in my prayers as well, pinkcupcake90. I would like to echo what others have said about how we're rooting for you!
     

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