Non-reelect 1st year teacher...

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by CaptWho, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. CaptWho

    CaptWho Rookie

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    Feb 16, 2015

    EDIT: Non-reelect 1st year teacher and hunting for jobs...

    Hi, all--
    Right now, I am panicked, angry, and in a severe bout of self-loathing. My admin recently formalized his decision to non-reelect-- he told me before class back in December (after a 2nd observation) that things were heading that way, but wanted to do a 3rd observation in January.

    Overall, I would say both my admin and I have not lived up to our potential in this scenario. Any advice I have received from BTSA and coworkers, has been attempted, and (I guess) just isn't working? I like my classroom environment, but I guess my admin feels differently. All I have been able to ascertain from him so far is that my non-reelect is performance-based, as he is not happy with my classroom management (ex: student attention should be on me at all times when instructing), and my "overall instructional program"-- which he is unable to clarify past my students knowing the learning objective. I was also told that it's not just one thing, but several, and that I am not as far along on the "continuum" as he would like. He maintains that we have discussed what needed to be remedied and how to fix them during our post-ob. discussions, but I would have to disagree.

    I feel that what his expectations and BTSA's expectations are wildly different. While I find his concerns valid, I would love to know what they are and how to fix them, as I have already plead to reason (i.e., asked if I could be reassigned site or grade-level, since we have a teacher shortage in our district). He says I have potential to do better in a different environment, and that he's willing to write a letter of recommendation at the end of the year.

    Again, I am more than willing to admit that I have no idea as to what I'm doing roughly 95% of the time, and I was bad about asking questions for fear of being deemed incompetent/unqualified-- either I was a bad teacher prep student, my program was awful, or both. Whether or not that is true, I know myself well-enough to know that with hard work, I can get to where I need to be. I don't want to give up on this dream, and I want to do my best for myself and my students.



    :beatdeadhorse: UPDATE :beatdeadhorse:
    Well, I made it through the remainder of the year. I was strongly advised (before originally posting in February) by many in my district to resign, in lieu of letting the non-reelect go through. I resigned under the belief that other districts and admins would not be able to discuss my reasons for resigning, but am wondering if that was the right decision. As I am applying and interviewing for these positions, I keep hearing the "Have you ever been fired, non-reelected/non-renewed, and/or been forced to resign" question. Again, I was advised to never mention being non-reelected to other districts, but I can't help but feel that interviewers see right through me. I've not received any callbacks/follow-up interviews, and, more importantly, I feel like I'm lying to them.
    Also, my administrator refused to write a letter of reference (thankfully my V.P. was more than willing to write one), which conflicts with the promise he made (specifically, expressed willingness to write a recommendation letter) to help me move on during a follow-up conversation.

    Any thoughts/suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 16, 2015

    You're clearly hurting. First things first: have a large hug.

    Sounds like you have shortcomings that you're willing and able to admit and address with some help; that's positive. Sounds like you've also gotten woefully inadequate feedback; coupling that with the willingness to write you a letter of recommendation, I'm guessing that the admin has simply decided that you're Not His Kind Of Teacher. You wouldn't be the first teacher that such a thing has happened to. Nor is it impossible to get hired elsewhere afterward.

    Can you get anyone other than this admin to observe your classroom and give you concrete feedback? Doing so will give you a better idea to what extent your difficulties are actual vs. how much they're in your admin's head. You can also use the rest of the year to sharpen your classroom management, or whatever else comes out of being observed by someone a little less bound by agenda.

    You're feeling rejected, and self-loathing is a tempting response for your wounded heart and ego, but please make a point of gently redirecting both heart and ego when (not if) they pull you in that direction.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 16, 2015

    First off...:hugs: The first year is tough tough tough....I cried many a Friday after holding it together all week
    Say more about this...be reflective. What's throwing you..... Content? Organization? Pacing? Mgt? Knowing your areas of relative weakness are a starting point for growth.


    there's no reason to give up. View this as an opportunity to regroup and re-examine. Maybe you need to step back and sub for a while to hone your skills. Maybe you need some additional PD/courses in the areas you identify as struggles.

    In the meantime polish up your cover and resume for the spring hiring season.

    Wishing you well during this difficult time.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 16, 2015

    You have been given some good advice.

    Just know, read many of the job seekers posts for the last several years...there is life after non renewal. Many, many teachers have found success in a different teaching position.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 16, 2015

    I'm sorry this is happening to you. I was always under the impression that if a teacher had unsatisfactory observations, he would need to be put on a improvement plan (or whatever they're called) with clear statements on what is unsatisfactory, what and how needs to be improved and any assistance they can give you is also listed.
    Seems like that didn't happen to you.

    Another thing, you said expectations of BTSA and your admin are 2 different things. For the sake of your employment you need to follow your admin's expectations, not BTSA's.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 16, 2015

    Non tenured can generally be let go at will.
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Feb 17, 2015

    Although you may not be back at that school, use the remaining time to continue to practice and work on perceived weaknesses. Your evaluations will help you focus on specific areas. Request specific guidance, and if it were me, I would avoid the comments about not knowing what you are doing 95% of the time. You can think it, at times, but try to appreciate your strengths, and find help, whether in school, online, or with colleagues to chart a course of improvement in your weakest areas. I recommend keeping a journal - online, written - where you state the problem, your reflection, your course of action for improvement, and the outcomes, as this will allow you to address the perceived shortcomings with future employers, showing a willingness and active work towards growth and maturity. Nothing is free, and it will require your continued hard work, but don't give up without really trying to make yourself a better teacher. Great teachers aren't just born that way, after all. I agree that reflecting, honestly, on the situation is vital, and self pity will get you nowhere. Your students need you to finish strong, and I think you need the same thing for your own self esteem. Best of luck.
     
  9. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Feb 19, 2015

    Did your BTSA mentor do any observations? Were his/her concerns about classroom management the same as admin's concerns? This is where BTSA is supposed to help you, but it sounds like your admin expects things of you that come from experience.

    How close to finishing your teacher prep program did you get hired? I know that personally, although it wasn't ideal in terms of money, subbing for several years really helped me hone classroom management. When you walk in as a sub, you are automatically challenged far more than the teacher they see every day.
     
  10. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Feb 19, 2015

    I was non renewed after 3 years at a charter due to a conflict with the principal. I agree btsa is bs and has nothing to do with your actual job. You need to find out what you need to do and practice that until the end of the year so you don't have the same experience in another environment. Now that the principal has non renewed you, he may be more willing to speak frankly about your weaknesses.
     
  11. CaptWho

    CaptWho Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2015

    Thank you for the idea, DaisyCakes. I had approached him a few times about this afterward, and he was very defensive. He would say he wasn't required to tell me, and was advised to not state anything in relation to my non-reelect by the district's legal team (in previous years). I went to the head of HR, and was given the same legal-ese, outside of "he did share his concerns with me, and I understand how they formed his decision. Unfortunately, my job is not to reverse administrative decisions. If I did that, I would be called the principal of principals, not the head of HR," which lead to a lecture about checks and balances.
     
  12. CaptWho

    CaptWho Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2015

    CzaCza--
    You hit the nail on the head... Reviewing the year, I feel my biggest issue was not taking the time to establish acceptable expectations for a first year teacher. While we established some goals, I was constantly afraid of not being good enough/well established in any other areas/teaching standards.
    For instance, I worked in a RSP classroom as a para-ed., but I really don't know how to differentiate without lessening workload, and/or sorting students by ability level-- especially in a class of 35 students, of which 6 were identified to be functioning at or above grade-level. In that vein, I also don't know how to effectively challenge and score students performing above grade level.
    Somewhat piggy-backing off of differentiation, many of my peers were starting to incorporate project-based learning, and STEM curriculum, which I know little about, and don't really know how to implement. Then there's Common Core... I still don't understand the expectations for above, at, and/or below grade level assessing. During the last month of school, I had overheard a colleague from another site say until we taught the kids that have gone through the whole Common Core system (Kinder. and beyond), we are better off enforcing/re-teaching the previous grade-level's Common Core standards. It makes sense in theory, however, my admin had been writing up teachers for teaching below grade-level standards.
    As for pacing, I have always felt that to be a weakness, which lead me to use a kitchen timer during instruction. As for curriculum pacing, we were given our grade-level curriculum pacing guides (admittedly, I felt some science and social studies units should have been moved around to better align with certain concepts, but kept those thoughts to myself), but a major hinderance for me was not knowing how long to spend on a concept (average a week per chapter), which bleeds into not knowing when or how long to re-teach a concept that wasn't mastered by many or all.
    Lastly, there's management... As a whole, I don't see my expectations for behavior as overreaching. I feel like the system I had just didn't work for a considerable amount of my students, and there wasn't much support from my admin and parents/guardians when these students were struggling.

    I just feel defeated. These areas seem to be basic teaching necessities, yet I can't comprehend how anyone can do all of these well in their first year of teaching.
     
  13. CaptWho

    CaptWho Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2015

    I had a mentor at the beginning of the year, but she was suffering from personal illness, so we didn't get very far in the process. Around Thanksgiving I received a new mentor who was really great with helping me get the forms done, but was unable to take more than 3 days off (2 to observe and 1 to take me to observe others), due to BTSA budget and sub shortage.

    I was hired in late July, and finished my program in January.
     
  14. katsmeoow

    katsmeoow Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2015

    sorry I'm having a problem trying to post I have experience and move to another state and the school I was working for a Charter gave me a nonrenewal I have letter of rec by principal and another teacher so I'm wondering if I'll ever find a job. please help
     

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