New P wants to have convo after speaking with old P

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by eireannash, May 28, 2014.

  1. eireannash

    eireannash Rookie

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    May 28, 2014

    Hi guys! Haven't been on for awhile but thought I would seek some wisdom from everyone so I don't panic!

    Short version: How do you respond when a new P asks you to explain a bad reference from the old P - or something else the old P said without bashing the old P or getting defensive?

    Longgggg Version:
    I was non renewed for the first time. Officially, it is because they needed a classroom for 2 ELD teachers once the program was cut and classroom teachers would need to teach ELD again. One of the ELD teachers with seniority was given my position. Unofficially, I was chosen out of 18 first year (at the school) teachers to be non renewed because, long story short, I was advocating for my students and asking questions when things seemed they were being done illegally so they don't like me. Moving on.

    I had several interviews lined up and was offered the first one I went to 10 minutes after I left. They knew I had other interviews and wanted to get me before anyone else. I thought it over (dream job) and accepted happily. A principal I worked with for 2 years gave me a fantastic reference and so did coworkers. Myself and the union rep spoke to the principal who non renewed me in regards to a reference and she assured me she would be honest considering I had excellent scores and observations and everything else. I was worried that her reference may influence the new principal but I guess it hasn't because she finalized all my documents with HR and wants me to come in on Friday.

    Here's the thing: She called and wanted to know if I could come by to have a conversation. She told me she finalized everything with HR but wants me to come in. She knows I walked around the school before my interview to look around but she said she wanted to give me a more detailed tour and show me my classroom.

    I realize I may very well be freaking out for no reason but I am worried that she may ask me about what the old principal had to say. I know never to badmouth but if she tells me the principal said I couldn't keep my mouth shut or whatever else, how do I respond? I don't want to be defensive or say something I shouldn't but I was advocating for my 8 SPED kiddos who the admin was refusing to give a certain service to. I tried speaking with both the AP and P and in the end I approached the SPED team who were also concerned and they contacted the district. So technically, I didn't go over them but they dislike me for disrupting.

    Sorry this is so long but now that summer is here I have plenty of time to overthink! Thanks everyone!
     
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  3. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    May 28, 2014

    Hopefully, she just wants to give you curriculum stuff, set dates, let you know when you can work in your room over the summer etc. IF she were to mention to you about something the previous principal said as a reference, BE READY. Think about something like, I am glad she mentioned to you about how I feel it important to be an advocate for my students. I believe that it is part of being a good teacher is to help them in all ways possible. I am sure she may have also mentioned I am great at keeping data to prove my concerns for my students. I am so lucky to get to come to this school where I know my students will have a better chance of getting help.
    Of course that is a little passive aggressive but then you aren't being a blabber mouth about a previous supervisor. Also, if she does mention something your previous principal said that is negative, then you should call your union rep asap! They are NOT suppose to do that!
     
  4. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    May 28, 2014

    I'm going to ask you a really difficult question. I'm not picking on you or anything, but I just want to give you something to mull over:

    Do you have a reason to feel afraid or guilty?

    If your answer is unequivocally no, you did the right thing, and you'd do it again if the situation called for it, then stop worrying-tell the new P politely and firmly that you feel you were on the right side and you were justified by A, B, and C. There is no need to mention anyone else-and definitely DO NOT said that "they just didn't like you".

    There are very few things I dislike more than hearing someone say they did not get what they wanted because someone didn't like them. There are legit reasons, but "not liking" someone is why 3rd graders don't pick the same child to be on a team-not why professionals make decisions for their school.

    Now, having said that, if your answer is anything but no...then you would be wise to consider carefully how to answer.

    I really am not saying that to be mean, but just consider your first impression carefully. :)
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    May 28, 2014

    It's most likely that you're coming in to discuss details of the position. Hang in there and keep us in the loop.
     
  6. eireannash

    eireannash Rookie

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    May 28, 2014

    Thank you! That is super helpful!

    I like what you said about being glad she mentioned xyz. And good point about the union. My teamie was the union rep for our school so I can definitely call him.

    Thank you!
     
  7. eireannash

    eireannash Rookie

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    kcjo13 - no you weren't being mean at all! I agree with what you said and I feel no guilt whatsoever. I am glad I stood up for my students. The AP legit said "I just don't like you. I mean you like don't fit in with me and P" at my non renewal meeting. I think you made a really good point tho! Thank you so much!

    @catnfiddle - I hope you are right : ) Thank you!
     
  8. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I really think you'll be fine. We silly humans have a tendency to overanalyze situations when given enough time. It will likely be a "here's your keys, don't park in the south lot, how do you want your name tag to read" kinda conversation. :)
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    May 28, 2014

    If everything is finalized with HR, I would take that to mean all your references are in order. It wouldn't be "finalized" if they were still hesitating on something. I knew my last P would give me a less than glowing reference, so I mentioned that my philosophy didn't fit with hers in interviews so they wouldn't be surprised. I tried to put a positive spin on it by talking about how much I'd enjoyed working with my first administration because administrators and teachers worked collaboratively and the students' best interests were always at the heart of everything we did. I then would say that I was looking to find a school with that type of environment again. That way I implied that it wasn't that way at the school I was in at the time, but I didn't have to come out and bash anyone.
     
  10. eireannash

    eireannash Rookie

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    That is a great response waterfall and exactly my situation too. I had two years with a fantastic experience but had to move and had to find a new job.

    Thanks so much!
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    May 29, 2014

    How did it go?
     
  12. eireannash

    eireannash Rookie

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    I am heading over tomorrow at 1:00 so I will let you all know after. Thank you for being so awesome everyone!
     
  13. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Thinking of you!
     
  14. eireannash

    eireannash Rookie

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    welp - I was right. My old P gave me a very bad reference. Apparently she gave me the lowest score in each category. She did not expand on the scoring nor did she say any positives.

    Luckily, the new P wanted my side and I was very honest, and professional, and the new P said that she still believes that I am the best candidate and that I am a perfect fit.

    I just can not believe that after there was talk with the union of me being able to sue for retaliation, that she would throw me under the bus. I am shocked. I don't even know what else to say:dizzy:
     
  15. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Good riddance to the old P. Good luck with your new P who seems to be willing to listen to both sides of an issue.
     
  16. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I'm so glad it worked out for you anyway! The good thing is, it sounds like your new P is going to be great to work with. The fact that she was willing to get the "real story" and not just take your old P's word for it because she's a fellow principal is a great sign. Even though it worked out, I would still update your union rep on what happened with the bad reference, so they can be aware if anyone else ends up in your position in the future.
     
  17. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    May 31, 2014

    So glad it worked out. It is terrifying for your professional life to be in the hands of a sociopath.

    I agree with Waterfall; the new P's handling of this speaks volumes about his/her character, judgement, and leadership style.
     
  18. tonysam

    tonysam Comrade

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    May 31, 2014

    You are very, very lucky you have a good new principal who is willing to give you a chance. Most teachers in your situation are not as fortunate.
     
  19. tonysam

    tonysam Comrade

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    Teachers don't realize how easily one of these people can derail or even destroy your career. They are backed to the hilt by school districts.

    I had two terrible principals in a row (one a sociopath who was ultimately demoted for sexual misconduct, and the other one a dimwitted narcissist who threw me under the bus when she screwed up), and I am still trying to pick up the pieces six years later. I have still been unable to find a regular, full-time position in ANY occupation, let alone teaching. I am not ready to throw in the towel, but my age works against me.
     
  20. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    What a horrid situation! Like I said, I'm glad they know your former P was not believable (they were the ones who fired her), but JEEZ, that's just an awful conversation to have. Are things still okay?
     
  21. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    OMG! That is CRAZY! I would definitely contact your union rep! They are NOT suppose to do that! I am SHOCKED!
     

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