New Teachers are Suckers

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by PinkCupcake, May 10, 2011.

  1. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    May 10, 2011

    I'm a first year teacher. Don't get me wrong I think my teaching team is great although there have been differences from time to time. Sometimes I feel like I get suckered or stuck with doing certain things.
    I was the one who had to represent our grade level at the last PTA program. I am single and have no children of my own. Everyone else had a family related reason why they couldn't attend. A general ed teacher is needed at an ARD this week and surprise surprise I'm going to that too. We received an initital email asking for a volunteer then everyone started replying with excuses for it.
    I realize I don't have as much experience as others, and I don't want this post to sound like I'm complaning about my job.
    Any other new teachers feel they get magically "volunteered" for doing things?
     
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  3. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    My principal at my old school didn't make new teachers join any committees. He said that we had enough to worry about.
     
  4. Scott71

    Scott71 Rookie

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    It is just a part of life in the teaching field. You have to earn your stripes. ;)
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    When I was a new teacher, I actually jumped at the chance to prove myself to the team-I volunteered for a lot of things they didn't want to do. Sometimes just for the experience of it.

    Our school hasn't been so lucky in our new teachers the past few years-they don't really contribute at all-even when asked.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I think that working many of the events and extras as a new teacher is just part of the experience. Many of our newer teachers don't in the building I currently work in, but in my old building, the new teachers were basically volunteered for everything.
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    May 10, 2011

    I think it's a lot like any job. You sort of have to climb the ladder. I wouldn't waste too much energy on worrying about it.
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I don't think it's just new teachers. When a teacher joins a team, the newbie gets the grunt work.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    That's not being a sucker...it's being smart. When I was nontenured, I volunteered for EVERYTHING....I wanted my smiling helpful face to be seen everywhere so that when staffing decisions were being made, they couldn't imagine the place without me...11 years later, my happy face is still quite visible but it's because I love where I am and what I do.:love:
     
  10. AndreGreen

    AndreGreen Companion

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    I agree with you TamiJ...It is like that at every job. My Principal volunteers me for everything. It'll get better!

    Andre
     
  11. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I disagree, I think everyone has to try and pull their weight equally. I would never give a brand new teacher more work to do, more activities, I would say just the opposite. People are there to help them, not make them do more work.
     
  12. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    May 10, 2011

    I did not have to do much my first year. Now they kind of expect it. Some of the things I hate like speaking in front of people. Sometimes I feel like I do not know enough because I do not have a lot of experience.

    We do not really have a lot of leadership roles though so I'm lucky in that sense.
     
  13. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I end up doing many extras because I don't have kids so I can stay at the school until all hours of the night.
     
  14. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    Every interview I've had they asked extensive questions about what I would be willing to do... they're looking for someone to do it!
     
  15. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I can't say that I feel like people try to get me to do more "grunt work" because I'm new, but I can identify with being expected to do more because I'm single. Our staff is very small and literally over half of the teachers are either pregnant or have babies under 1. The rest of us are single and in our early-mid 20's and we end up doing all of the "extras." People know we're available to do things at night or later after school because we're not having to run to daycare or run home and take care of a family. Generally I don't mind taking on extra responsibilities- like others said you need to prove that you're needed while you're still probationary. In fact when I started this year my goal was for them to say "what did we do without __________?"
     
  16. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    May 10, 2011

    The idea that single people or those married without kids should be doing more of those after school activities/responsibilities; is a crock. I have dealt with that since I began teaching (next year wont be the case) and I value my time at home just as much as someone who has kids to take care of. If there is something that has to be covered after school, every has a responsibility to participate equally. Maybe that means you take turns at who does what, but just because someone has kids at home does not mean they get out of doing those things and stick the single person with it. That excuse, does not fly.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 10, 2011

    I spent 18 years coaching Speech and Debate every day after school and all day Saturdays; I received a fairly generous stipend for doing so. I don't think I was a "sucker"-- then or ever in my life.

    I spent a year working with our kids who teach Religous Ed; I received another stipend for doing that.

    When I returned to work after being a SAHM, I spent a few years without any extra curricular. As a result I recieved no stipend.

    I'm starting to pick up a bit after school, and I'll be paid for doing so. I won't take on any of the real high paying jobs-- like Speech and Debate-- since I have other committments outside school. But the person who is coaching it is saving for a down payment on a house, and the money he's paid will come in handy.

    There are some things everyone is expected to be at, from Graduation to Orientation to Open Houses to the Parents cocktail parties; we're not paid extra for those things. I missed Saturday's cocktail party because of Kira's First Communion. One of the younger teachers also missed it because one of her friends was getting married. Neither was an issue.
     
  18. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    AMEN! I could have written this post. My evening is no less valuable than yours just because you chose to have children and I haven't yet. I'm more than willing to take on my fair share, but the "Well I have to get home to my kids, and you can stay late because you have nobody to go home to" excuse is a bunch of hooey.
     
  19. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    and now, as a veteran teacher with older kids, I stay and do many extras so my friends and co-workers can go home to their kids.
     
  20. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    May 10, 2011

    Don't get me wrong. I hope it doesn't seem that I don't enjoy my job. I have enjoyed teaching even on the most challenging of days. I also don't mind volunteering or doing extra when needed. I guess what I'm trying to get across is I never truly expected to spend so much time with all the extra things besides actual teaching. Am I making any sense? Maybe I should just be quiet. :)
     
  21. Jem

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    May 10, 2011

    I've never gotten a stipend for doing extras, and I've done a LOT of extras in my career.

    Your school sounds wonderful, Alice, and I think you have it a lot better than many of the teachers on this board.
     
  22. teach'ntx

    teach'ntx Comrade

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    May 10, 2011

    I started in Oct and within my first month I was volunteering at Fall Festival and Math night. I have small children at home and an awful commute. However, there are times I should be there and these are some of them. Also, I believe when I can be a team player than I should volunteer first. That way when I can't (need to get home for swim team or gymnastics) it is not seen as a negative.
     
  23. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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    May 10, 2011

    I feel so lucky to be on a team that knows we all take turns for all those extras. Also, the people with older kids just automatically understand that those of us with babies/young children have less time for after school stuff. Before I had kids I did a TON of extra work, and when my kids are older, I will do a TON again. While my kids are little I do what I need to do, and like teach'ntx said, I volunteer first when I can so that when I can't it isn't so bad.

    I don't expect special treatment because I chose to have kids, but it is just a fact of life - I have less time than people who don't have kids. I think it's one of those things you don't fully comprehend until you, you know, have kids! LOL.
     
  24. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I understand that and I do comprehend the idea (another things that bothers me, you just don't know because you don't have kids) but it doesn't change the facts. I should not be doing more because of it. We all must pull our weight, I don't look at is as a "they have kids to get home to" situation. I want to get out of there as quick as possible to, whether for kids or not. I have had to make up "appointments" just to make it seem like to others I had what they would deem a real reason to leave in a timely manner or not stay for the entire extracurricular activity when I stayed for the entire time the previous 3.
    I don't plan on staying any later or leaving any sooner when I do have kids (coming soon).
     
  25. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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    I agree that you shouldn't have to work extra. Our team is good about that too. The people withou kids have other things that make them busy and nobody judges anybody about this topic.

    I guess I am articulating it wrong. Inthink everyone needs to play fair. That said, people go through busier times of life, and sometimes fair isn't equal.... And thing even out through the years.

    On the other hand, having to leave school to pick a kid up from a soon closing daycare is a very different thing than having to leave for most any other thing.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    That's an excellent point.

    I spent those first 18 years putting in LOTS AND LOTS of extra time; anyone who isn't familiar with Forensics would be surprised at the amount of time it takes. And I chaperoned trips (aside from the Forensics ones) and went to basketball games and did it all.

    Right now I'm in a place where that extra time is hard to come by. So, sure, I'll be at Sports Night this Saturday--with both my daughters. And I did an overnight retreat in November. And of course I give extra help every day after school-- that goes without saying.

    Last Friday afternoon we hosted an invitational math bee. I knew I couldn't stay for the whole thing-- Kira's First Communion was Satruday. So instead, I made up 2 rounds of questions in March. And I spent Friday's 9th period Prep period setting things up. Then I worked for 40 minutes after school greeting our guests (and guarding the refreshments from our own 2500 students) But to any casual onlooker, I left 40 minutes into a 2 hour event.

    In November, when Alicia went out on disability for surgery and chemo, I picked up an extra class. It was an Algebra class-- my only one this year. So it was another complete prep. I've done that lots of times over the years. And, yes, I'm compensated for it. But the fact is that they know they can ask me to pick up a new prep with little to no notice, and the kids and their parents will be happy that the kids are learning all they should be. (Ask me some time about time I returned from Forensics on a Saturday night to learn that I was teaching Calculus for the first time on Monday morning.)

    I was one of 3 math teachers asked the other day to be on a committee. I'm not sure the others are aware of that, or the time it will take. That doesn't matter. I know I'm pulling my own weight.

    I have three young kids. That certainly doesn't mean I'm doing any less of my share, merely that sometimes less of it shows.

    Give me a couple of years, and I'll have the time to be closer to the old days. In the meantime, there are others who are currently at that stage, so it's all getting done.
     
  27. Mark94544

    Mark94544 Companion

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    May 11, 2011

    I was also told, as a first-year teacher, that I should not take on any extras, period. That was one of the few pieces of good advice I got from administrators.

    I absolutely agree that your school should absolutely not assign more duties to a teacher based on family situation (children, spouse, etc.), nor really any other personal situation.
     
  28. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    May 11, 2011

    You're right, but it is the case whether you or I believe it.
    At my school, there is a carnival that teachers aren't required to be a part of. Out of the 20-30 teachers, only two chose to participate...both younger and without children. None other did.
    Yours is a totally legitimate point.
     
  29. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I agree that my time off isn't less valuable because I don't have children. I think some people think that young, single people actually WANT to be at school for long hours because we "have no one to go home to." I wholeheartedly disagree with that- I enjoy my time off just as much as someone who is married/has children. However, sometimes that's just the way it goes because even though I want to be off just as much as others, I don't NEED to be off. The other day our after school program bus did not come at 5 as scheduled. For some reason they thought we had canceled the program that day. We ended up having to wait with the kids until 5:45 until they got a bus. Believe me, I wanted to get out of there just as much as anyone else. But when it comes down to someone having to pick a baby up from daycare and me just wanting to go home and relax, obviously the coworker with the baby is going to win out. We have certain fundraisers and programs where it's just expected that everyone attends and they do. However, when it comes to the "little" extra things or the last minute things, those of us without families just tend to be the people that are available and pitch in a little extra.
     
  30. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    May 11, 2011

    I COMPLETELY AGREE! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy attending things and pulling my weight, but sometimes I feel like things are unfair. I am often one of the only teachers who can attend something because I don't have any kids, I don't have a house, I'm not married, etc. Well, I DO have a life, even if it doesn't include a family of my own or a house!
     
  31. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    May 11, 2011

    I was blessed that my pastor (I teach in a Lutheran school) said before I was hired that they would not be giving me extra duties as a first-year teacher. I did still help with many things, but it was nice knowing that I wasn't expected to do everything.

    After that, I felt much more comfortable jumping in. I often (as the only teacher who is not married/has kids) cover the last minute things that come up, but I do it because I can and not because I feel I have to or that it is expected. I think that makes a big difference in my attitude towards doing it!

    Now, if I were not sure of my job status, I might have had a different opinion...
     
  32. janney

    janney Cohort

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    May 11, 2011

    At my school, if you don't volunteer enough to share the burden you get "voluntolled". :)
     
  33. teach'ntx

    teach'ntx Comrade

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    I hope I did not sound like I expect others to pick up my slack because I have small children at home. What I meant to say is that is always in the back of my mind when things come up. I have to make sure I have a way to get them home from daycare for have someone with them. That being said, I make sure I volunteer every chance I can when I can. That way when I know I can't make something, I don't feel like someone else has to carry my weight. I try to make it so it is just not my turn. This way I carry my part of the weight on the team. I would never expect someone to do more after hours because they do not have a family or small children.
     
  34. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    We have an extremely small staff. We have some veteran teachers who volunteer and others who don't. It's just the nature of people I suppose. I can't change it nor do I try to pass judgment on their reasoning. I know that as a single person, I can stay late more often than others. I'd rather sign up under my own free-will for afternoon bus duty (it really only means I would have to stay an extra 5-10 minutes) than have a rotating schedule where there will be constant "unexpected" problems and I'm asked to cover. At least this way I know I'm unavailable at those times and can plan accordingly.

    What I do not enjoy is being signed up for something without a consultation first. This happens with our reading nights and summer program. Because we are such a small staff, everyone is expected to help but that's not always possible. I work over the summer a few hours away from my school. If the reading camp was over the course of 1 week I would seriously try to schedule around it so that I could help out because I do believe it's important; however the camp is one day a week and I can't justify taking off that much time or the commute. I didn't participate last year (my first year) and this year I've had several rude commments directed my way as in, "I suppose you won't be helping us out again because you'll be taking another job over the kids." Nevermind that I continually offer to help plan, type up permission slips, gather supplies, etc.

    That is the part of "sharing the burden" that I don't enjoy.
     
  35. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    May 14, 2011

    I have been teaching for 13 years, and I have volunteered to do many things as I did not have any children. I am on committees, stay after school for after school activities, and tutor students after school. I didn't have a problem doing this, and I knew that other teachers with children would have a harder time than I staying after school.

    That being said, I am now pregnant with my first children (twins) and I will not be volunteering to stay after school as much as before. I figured that I have worked for 13 years staying after when others couldn't and have been waiting a long time to have children that I am going to enjoy my children. I will still pull my weight with my team but the years of volunteering are gone for me. I figured this is my time to spend with my expanding family and I am going to do so. Once my children are older, then I will go back to volunteering my time.
     
  36. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    May 14, 2011

    I think it should depend. Last year there were 2 of us who were newbies to the team. Both of us experienced teachers. My kids are older, her youngest hadn't started school yet. The returning teacher has young school age children.

    The other newbie was unwilling to do anything extra. She would stay for school programs, but would leave and go get her daughter and bring her back to work.

    When one of us had to go to a meeting, she refused to even consider it. The returning teacher would have had to pay a babysitter. So I ended up doing it. . .even though I had out of town company coming for my daughter's graduation. I just told my in-laws & parents that I had to work and I would be home in the evening.

    I just feel that everyone should pull their weight, but when life happens and they can't or need some slack as a teammate we should be there for them!
     
  37. miss_ali1984

    miss_ali1984 Companion

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    May 14, 2011

    I was not volunteered to do a lot this year, which made me want to do more. I tutored before and after school but skipped out on a lot of things that were non-academic due to lack of time. Next year I've already promised to help out more because I know I will be spending less time "learning the ropes". :)
     
  38. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    May 14, 2011

    1. New teachers are already overwhelmed with the new career and the internship process our state uses which will require many, many hours with a mentor outside of school hours and extra responsibilities such as a leadership project. I think it's simply wise for those making decisions to allow first year teachers to go through their internship process without piling on additional work so they can "prove themselves worthy". New employees should not be purposefully taken advantage of because they're new and don't know better or because they should just feel so fortunate to have a position that someone feels they can pile on the work.

    2. My colleague chose to have a child. I chose to not have a child. Her child shouldn't become her "out", as is sometimes the case. Yes, she'll perhaps have to worry about a sitter or getting the child to ball practice if she has to stay after to work on the pep rally, but that's part of parenthood (which didn't appeal to me, thus no children among other more important reasons). Well, I'm speaking in generic terms here...my colleagues are good about discussing responsibilities and being reasonable and keeping a fair balance. If my colleague really would have to find a way to get Little Tommy to ball practice in order to stay late and work on the pep rally, and I really didn't have anything pressing to get to at home, I'd of course stay. The understanding would be returned in my favor another day. I love my teacher friends. :)
     
  39. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    May 16, 2011

    First, congrats on your upcoming blessings! In your situation I would completely understand why you couldn't volunteer as much as before.
    I loved volunteering at the carnival, literacy night, and bookstore fundraiser. I jumped at the chance to play a character in our grade level PTA program. I felt a little embarrassed, but the parents and kids loved it. I don't mind putting in extra hours just like other teachers, but at the same time I don't want to feel like my kindness is being taken advantage of.
     

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