Non-Renewal and Pregnant... Not sure where to turn

Discussion in 'General Education' started by BETS, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. BETS

    BETS Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 1, 2017

    It's my first year at the district I am at. I'm a special education teacher and I love working with kids with special needs. I have been in a high school room, and while elementary is really my style (I have a elementary ed license as well), I have given this job my all. I go early, stay late, skip family wedding to not miss work, etc. My boss is aware that elementary is my thing, and I believe this has led to her being extremely antagonistic all year. I mean, I have constantly been watching over my shoulder all year. On the occasion early in the year I did make a mistake (and I fully own up to that), she put a memo in my file with inaccurate information. I did speak with the union about this so it is on file with them that she was threatening my job and giving inaccurate information. Right around the time this mistake was make, I found out I was pregnant. Hence the reason my brain was not functioning so well and it made it easier for me to make this mistake. Any moms out there I'm sure can relate to the initial pregnancy fuzz that is so disorienting. Especially because this is my first and while very welcomed by my husband and I, unexpected. Fast forward to just after Christmas break. I was 12 weeks pregnant and went in to tell her. I was TERRIFIED! I mean feeling sick to my stomach terrified. She put on a positive face, but she made some extremely inappropriate and unprofessional comments. The first thing she said was, "Was this planned?" I was so taken aback I answered honestly. She then followed this up with "instead of maternity leave have you considered taking a year off and maybe just subbing [which is though a nondistrict system, no benefits, etc.]. I think it's better for women if they take a year off for their babies anyway." I didn't respond because I was so floored. I didn't just finish up 2 Master's degrees to halt my career. Comments like this have plagued me all year. Two weeks ago, a situation occurred that led another (tenured) teacher to yell at me. Two SPED students who I only know are SPED came up to my resource room during math. They said they had a sub and this is pretty normal for kids to only come up when they have a sub. I'm the only resource room available at that time, so of course I let them in. They went to work on their math and then asked to go back to class with 10 minutes left. I let them go. I guess some teachers caught them wandering the halls even though their classroom was only one floor down. The sub wrote this in the notes for the regular teachers so the boys would get consequences. The regular teacher came back on Monday, barged into my room while I was teaching a class, and proceeded to yell at me about how the boys played me, etc. I didn't get upset and took her comments with grace. The principal took a 30 second walk through my classroom as this was occurring and walked through to the SPED room next door. The teacher next door assured me she would speak to me about it because the other teacher was so out of line. Nothing ever came from it. Now to yesterday afternoon. Friday, 3:10, I'm on the way out to coach the sub-section speech meet right after school. She walks into my room and asks if I have a minute. I really only had a minute, but I said yes. She said, "I have watched you grow this year and I feel it's time we part ways for next year. If you want to know why, set up a meeting with me. I'm telling you now so you can find a new job. Have a good weekend." And walked out. My mentor, the union, etc. was floored. Not only with how she handled it, but because they had no indication I had been doing anything wrong. My evaluations have been good. Truthfully, I think it's a mix of me being pregnant and me wanting to go to elementary eventually. She knew good and well I was waiting it out until a specific teacher retired. There is another non-tenured SPED teacher hired just after me, but he only has a bachelor's, is single, no kids, and has influential family members in the area. HE IS NOT A BAD TEACHER! Let me say that I have no problems with him at all. He is a great person. He's just cheaper to keep on than me. I'm due at the end of July. I have a non-renewed contract on my resume now (presuming it is brought to the school board, because as of yet that hasn't been done). Who is going to hire the teacher who cannot come back on the first day of school who didn't have her contract renewed? I won't resign yet, because as of now it hasn't gone through official channels. Plus, it's an area with a ton of small towns. It wouldn't matter if I resigned or got canned, everyone would know the truth anyway. The union says they will help me find a new job, especially since they really can't get mine back. Truthfully, I don't want to work for that awful woman again. I'm dreading finishing out the last 38 school days. I have 18 sick days to use... since I'll lose them once the year is done anyway, I probably will actually use them. The only reason I'm able to walk back into that school is because of the students. That school is already hemorrhaging students which is sad for a school with such high test scores. This principal is not just awful to teachers... she's a snake in the grass to students and parents too. No one has just been able to get the ammunition needed to stand up and fight. I'm seriously afraid I'm going to be black listed because I'm pregnant and didn't get renewed. Anyone else end up on the other side? I know she's an awful person.., I do. I just can't help feeling like the abysmal failure.
     
  2.  
  3. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    75

    Apr 1, 2017

    i was non-renewed. I wasnt pregnant though. I cant see the pregnancy being the final straw. (I am fairly certain that is illegal) Congrats to you and your husband. I was able to find a job after the non-renewal. Its a great job and a better district. This really might be a blessing in disguise! Its crappy to be in this situation and can be overwhelming. However, it is not the end all!

    You will land something. It might not be the ideal or even closest to your home but you will get something. There is a teacher shortage. You are a Sped teacher with experience. That counts for something. Take some time to reflect, organize your units and things. Use this time to look forward to bigger and better things! My previous district was close to my home and what I thought would be my dream job. My current district is 36miles from home, pays better, the insurance is great, and I seriously love my coworkers and boss. Have an open mind and remember interviews work two ways. Yes they interview candidates but you want to ask hard questions and make sure its a fit for you!
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,279
    Likes Received:
    2,807

    Apr 1, 2017

    You have a baby on the way. Resigning before you are not renewed will only guarantee that you will be denied unemployment benefits. Being non-renewed is hard, but losing your job and all financial benefits from the state seems worse than taking the resignation since you feel everyone will know what happened anyway. The alternative is to fight this with an attorney, if you have the solid evals to back you up. You don't want that job back, but it could possibly put you back on the payroll. That is out of my area of expertise, but a lawyer could tell you more.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,958
    Likes Received:
    2,112

    Apr 1, 2017

    I couldn't get past the question about whether your pregnancy was planned. As a nontenured teacher they can probably let you go at will. But stop blaming your actions on 'fog' die to early pregnancy brain. That doesn't make You look good.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
    Backroads likes this.
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,712

    Apr 1, 2017

    I'd like more information about that initial mistake. Can you clarify what exactly happened?
     
    czacza likes this.
  7. BETS

    BETS Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 2, 2017

    I didn't to them. I took responsibility. Had I not been so sick, tired, and emotional it's not something I feel I would have done. But that's an opinion I kept to myself.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  8. BETS

    BETS Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 2, 2017

    A student was making extremely inappropriate comments about teenage pregnancy. I was so taken aback, I made an inappropriate comment in response. Not my finest moment and I accepted the responsibility for it. This whole exchange took about a minute and a half during a longer period of about 10 minutes where the student was engaging in conversation with others in the room. This is the same story all adults in the room gave. However, she reported I made inappropriate comments for 10 minutes. Not remotely true. It was 2 sentences. Yes, she does falsify information. There is a former student who is in the process of taking this to the superintendent and a current student who's parent threatened the school with a lawsuit last year because of it. I'm not perfect. I made a mistake. But, I was honest about it.
     
  9. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,262
    Likes Received:
    748

    Apr 2, 2017

    It is difficult for me to read about the inconsiderate comments your principal made to you when you told her you were pregnant. I can understand you being upset. It must have been horrible to go through that situation.

    Before you even announced your pregnancy, it sounds like this principal was, at the very least, considering not renewing you. The pregnancy might have some effect, but I bet even if that didn't happen, she might have still gone the path down to not-renewing you and/or making your job a bit more miserable.

    If your goal is to make sure that you are not black-listed, maybe the union can help you with this. Try to keep focused on what you want for yourself, your future baby, and for your career. Good luck to you.
     
  10. BETS

    BETS Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 2, 2017

    I wish I would have done this a year ago. Interviewing back. The high school is actually my Alma mater. It has changed drastically since I left nearly 10 years ago and not for the better. I thought it was still the premier district. Had I only listened to people who have kids in the district I would have realized there were serious troubles brewing. It's not all on the principal nor did it start with her. Some of the problems are starting to be fixed, and therefore the elementary schools seem to be rebounding somewhat. Not until the last staff meeting did I realize the high school is actively getting worse. According to the numbers, we lose more students as the year goes on to other schools than we gain through open enrollment. It used to be THE school to go to.
     
  11. BETS

    BETS Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 2, 2017

    First call I made was to the union.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,712

    Apr 2, 2017

    Is the issue with the inappropriate comment still unresolved and ongoing? What was the comment? Was it racist, profane, or in some way worthy of the attention of the superintendent?
     
  13. BETS

    BETS Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 2, 2017

    No, it was resolved that day. The union even told me not to worry about it. It wasn't racist or anything. It wasn't even directed at the student. I said, We'll it takes two to tango. Another student asked what that meant and I told him he was being made fun of for not knowing so I made a comment telling the kid off saying it was no big deal if kids don't know that. And that I didn't know what the mile high club was until my 20s. Again... inappropriate. But I was flustered and annoyed and I screwed up. Handled in one day and never brought up again.
     
  14. Jerry Dill

    Jerry Dill Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2017
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    25

    Apr 2, 2017


    I do not mean to be rude, but this lengthy passage was unnecessarily long and hard to read. I think you should work on the clarity and conciseness of your presentations. I do not think you should blame your "brain fog" on being pregnant, since there are many pregnant women who are just as clear-headed while pregnant as they are while not pregnant. Why don't you sit down with the Principal? (it was not clear from this passage who fired you) Ask the Principal exactly what the reasons were for the decision? Possibly you can ask whether you can improve in these areas and this can be a warning since you have not been given any warnings before this notification? Can the other teachers write you letters of recommendation if you must look for another job?
     
    czacza likes this.
  15. BETS

    BETS Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 2, 2017

    Unfortunately, this does come off as very rude. It WAS the principal who came in. Needless to say, I have been upset and therefore couldn't care less about clarity of presentation. If you read the comments, see I never openly blamed it to them. It's my opinion I wouldn't have made the comment had I not been sick, exhausted, and emotional. We all say things rash when we don't feel well. And the union told me sitting down to know reasons is not recommended due to her being known for making an answer sound good on paper but not being honest. I'm non-renewed, not fired on the spot. The mistake I made was in November. It's over and done. That is just the one issue brought up to me all year. With all due respect, I feel your comment about clarity to an obviously distraught pregnant woman who just learned she lost her job was incredibly insensitive and completely unhelpful to the situation.
     
    lily1989 likes this.
  16. Jerry Dill

    Jerry Dill Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2017
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    25

    Apr 2, 2017

    She was fired/non-renewed, so she should be aware of her appearances to people. Jobs don't get lost for no reason. There were some reasons she lost her job, and she should be brave and realistic enough to face whatever the reasons are. Part of life is acting like an adult and facing difficult truths.
     
    czacza likes this.
  17. BETS

    BETS Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 2, 2017

    I should clarify the student actions are to her falsifying information not my xomments.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,712

    Apr 2, 2017

    Just to be clear, pregnancy brain is a real thing.
     
  19. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,701
    Likes Received:
    465

    Apr 2, 2017

    Pregnant or not, the mile high club comment was inappropriate. While you feel it is "over and done," your choice of words does reflect on your ability to be a professional. There will be other days you won't feel well, there will be days students will make you so angry you will want to tell them things you cannot say. You have to control your words, period.

    I have two kids. I understand pregnancy brain. I understand how horrible early pregnancy can make you feel. However, none of it excuses you from being a professional. As a parent, I would be livid if my child came home and told me their teacher was discussing the mile high club in class (while it wasn't a full discussion, I can almost guarantee the kids didn't go home and report an isolated comment). I also wouldn't accept, "I'm sorry. The teacher is pregnant, it won't happen again."

    Going forward, all you can do is apply for new positions. Just because you are due in July doesn't exclude you from receiving a position for next year.
     
    cocobean likes this.
  20. renard

    renard Companion

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    97

    Apr 2, 2017

    I think a lot of posters have addressed your points (from both sides of it). I just want to comment that if, for whatever reason, you aren't able to find a position for September, keep in mind that this isn't going to halt your career. I get it, I've had three pregnancies, but babies grow quickly and the next September (or occasional hiring throughout the year) does come very fast. With a new pregnancy (and I'm guessing the first from your posts), it can seem like your whole career will fall off the cliff if you dare take a bit of time off or can't find a position. I promise, it goes fast, and it really isn't as big of a deal to everyone else as it is to you. There are plenty of principals out there who are willing to consider a teacher who has a newborn at home, or needs a few weeks with a sub. I'd recommend going forward and job-seeking as normal.
     
    lily1989 and readingrules12 like this.
  21. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    687

    Apr 2, 2017

    I'm sure the OP is more aware of the clarity of her writing when she is writing a resume or cover letter. I don't see why her job status relates her style of writing when she posts on a casual forum. I personally had no problems reading her post. If you do have issues, I would suggest not replying to the thread since it seems like OP is looking for constructive and helpful advice here.

    In addition, people do get fired for no reason, especially non-tenured teachers. The principal's comment in response to the pregnancy does not make me feel like she has supportive admin.

    I understand that the OP made innapropropriate comments, but I personally wouldn't consider them to be too serious in a high school setting. Clearly, her intentions were positive and it was a mistake. When I was in high school, we had teachers (who were good teachers!) swear and use inappropriate language. I don't think this is ok, but it was not intentional on the OP's part and it seems the school may be unintentionally documenting the issue incorrectly.

    OP, if you haven't already, I would start looking for new jobs. You definitely do not need to tell them you are pregnant.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  22. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    40

    Apr 3, 2017

    Okay, I can comment about the being pregnant while looking for a job and not being able to be in school the first day.

    When I graduated from my teaching program in December 2012, I immediately transitioned into a spot at the school I interned in. It was NOT an ideal placement because it was alternative and I wanted a "regular" ol' classroom to begin my career. I found out I was pregnant about two weeks later with a due date of August 19th, 2013--the first of the teacher workdays. Over the summer I interviewed for a school closer to home and it was the ONLY job from which I was ever rejected--I'm pretty sure being 7 months pregnant had a huge bearing in it because my interview was a homerun. In hindsight, it is quite logical to think that schools would not want to hire a teacher who is going to miss the first day of school in addition to the first couple months of school.

    Meanwhile, my principal wanted me to move to 7th grade social studies (which I wanted, planned for all summer, bought tons of stuff for) only to be told the day after I gave birth (August 15th) that they had to put me back in alternative because they couldn't find a certified sub for my classroom. I immediately fired back with I was taking the year off then (the district allowed for that) and went on the job hunt. I found one, thank goodness, about 6 weeks after I had my baby and resigned from the district I was on leave with.

    If I were you, I would resign on account of the pregnancy and begin looking for work right after you have your baby. You can always interview on the premise that the principal developed hard feelings for you because of your pregnancy and asked you questions about it being planned or unplanned and telling you it is best for mothers to take a year off as reasons why she would likely not give the best recommendations---and offer up other recommendations that would better evaluate you as an educator.
     
  23. Anonymous Barbie

    Anonymous Barbie Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    12

    Apr 5, 2017

    Non-renewal, as I understand it, isn't a black mark on your record. It could be because they're making cuts, having budgeting issues. When you apply to new jobs, you're typically able to give an explanation as to why you were non-renewed, and that would be an excellent time to clarify that you were non-renewed because you became pregnant. This, I'm fairly sure in every state, is ILLEGAL, and doesn't look poorly on you.

    I wouldn't bother trying to get a professional recommendation from this dragon lady, and I would write her a carefully worded letter and drop it in her mailbox the second you leave, informing her that her conduct was incredibly unprofessional.

    In fact, I think you should file a formal complaint with the school board. Get the superintendent involved. Even if you're on your way out, those kind of words (i.e. "was this planned" "moms should take off for children anyway") are unsolicited personal opinions. I would read up and seriously consider reporting her to the state department of education or your union: https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/pregnancy.cfm
     
    lily1989 likes this.
  24. Teacher0909

    Teacher0909 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2017
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    13

    Apr 6, 2017

    Sorry you're going through this during a time when you should be focusing on taking care of yourself. I agree with the others who have said this is surely a blessing in disguise for you, but I wouldn't resign. It's not that uncommon for first year teachers to be nonrenewed. If you're not able to find a job, you should be able to receive unemployment benefits, but you won't if you resign. I wish you the best!
     
    vickilyn likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. YoungTeacherGuy
Total: 308 (members: 1, guests: 281, robots: 26)
test