Non-renewed contract what to do?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by fallen, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. fallen

    fallen Rookie

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    Mar 27, 2007

    Hello, I am finishing up my third year of teaching. I have had quite the roller coaster career so far. I have been having problems with my principal through out the year. My first two evaluations were pretty good. Out of 18 areas evaluated only 3 were areas of concern in December and 2 in October. My last evaluation was a nightmare. 13 out of 18 areas of concern and recommendation to not renew my contract for my tenure year.

    Since January my principal has been questioning everything I do. She keeps digging and digging. She questions me about why I am grading a certain way, even though the other teachers around me do it exactly the same way. I mentioned this to her and she tells me it is not about them it is about me. She is constantly comparing me to other teachers concerning what they are covering, and how many grades they have in. She wrote in my evaluation that I do not work well with other teachers and do not ask for assistance from experienced teachers, but in the same evaluation she wrote that I asked for the district's curriculum from other teachers and complained to her when it was not given to me. I found out recently that she has the master copy of all the curriculum for all grade levels in her office and she did not give me a copy.

    Now I am stuck with the option of trying to fight the non-renewal and probably loosing or resigning and trying to find a job in a state that has very few openings. I just don't understand how in December I was doing a good job, and three months later I am a failure. I have tons of parent support (they don't know about this yet) and the students like me. I help and get along with all the staff (teachers, office, custodians).

    Any comments would be appreciated. thanks.
     
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  3. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Mar 27, 2007

    are you part of a union in your district? maybe there's a rep you can talk to?
     
  4. fallen

    fallen Rookie

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    I talked to the union and my mentor just happens to be my union rep. In Michigan teachers are at will for four years. I did talk to the union president and the MEA lawyer. They said they would love for me to fight it, but it would not be in my best interests. I can resign and they will pull anything negative from my folder. The thing that gets me though is that the only thing negative is this last evaluation.

    In December my principal said that I had met the goals for my IDP but in March I failed everything. Just overwhelmed, disappointed, scared. I am supposed to keep the whole situation to myself. Kinda difficult. I hate to put this stress on my wife and daughters.
     
  5. Mrs.Bran

    Mrs.Bran Comrade

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    Mar 28, 2007

    YIKES......this sounds like a really difficult situation. I don't have any real advice for you, except to try to work with the other teachers at your grade level and show them all of the great work that you are doing. If they all have high opinons of you then maybe she will figure that she has got it wrong. Although I am not sure if this is someone that you would want to work for anyway.
     
  6. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Seems like she is sabotaging your efforts. Why? I don't know, but I'd say leave and don't look back. Things like this can make good teachers bitter.
     
  7. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Mar 28, 2007

    I have to say I had a problem with a principal about 7 years ago. He was hired 3 months after I was. The first year of teaching was fine. But the second year was a different story. He tried to sabotage me in every thing. The staff that I worked with was wonderful and supportive. At the end of the second year I was not rehired and my summative evaluation was horrible.

    Well, I wrote a rebuttal to go along with me summative evaluation. I felt that I could not let him get away with what he was saying about me. My union was for it but did tell me that it might cause problems to find another job. Well I did write the rebuttal and send it over to the superintendent and left that year.

    Within 2 weeks, I was very lucky to be hired for another district. I also had 7 other interviews lined up that I had to cancelled because I found the perfect place for me and love it...

    Good luck and keep us posted!!!
     
  8. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Mar 28, 2007

    I have a friend going through this same exact situation. There is some political issue in the background that they are not filling you in on...Maybe someone has a neice that needs a job or something.
    Don't take it too personally - it is not your teaching ability. But if you are not tenured, you really don't seem to have any recourse.

    The good news - if there is any - is that once she agreed to resign, the principal offered a glowing letter of recommendation - further proof that it is probably more political/personal than talent involved in the decision.
     
  9. mrs.teacher5

    mrs.teacher5 Companion

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    Mar 28, 2007

    I have heard that if a principal needs to get rid of a teacher..budget, etc. they have to have a bad evaluation. This has happened to two teachers that I know. Everything was great until they knew that they needed to cut teachers. I was also told that they do this so that you can't sue the school for dismissing you. Good luck...unfortunately a principal can make or break you. I say start the job hunt and look at it as a learning experience :)
     
  10. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    Mar 29, 2007

    can you still get a letter of rec?
     
  11. mnteacherguy

    mnteacherguy Companion

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    Mar 29, 2007

    Not true....even tenured teachers may be let go for budget cuts (based on senority). Maybe it's different in your state?
     
  12. tea

    tea Rookie

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    Mar 30, 2007

    I understand you, fallen, and I agree with the members here, that it can be the budget issue. It's sad things like this happen, and no interventions have been done.
     
  13. fallen

    fallen Rookie

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    Mar 31, 2007

    I am turning my letter of resignation on Monday. My mentor is just devastated that this is happening to me. It just so happens that my principal's daughter has been subbing in the school and will be doing a long term sub position for another teacher going on maternity.

    Oh, well. It is hard not to get angry and bitter about the whole thing. I just want to go screaming through the halls about the injustice of it all. What really stinks is that I have 32 sick and personal days that I am not going to get paid for.

    Thanks for the supporting notes. I guess I just needed to talk to someone, because I am not supposed to be talking to coworkers at school.
     
  14. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Fallen, that really stinks - I'm so sorry that you have to go thru this. Ask for letters of rec, just so you have them, from other teachers and administrators.
     
  15. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    Apr 22, 2007

    Fallen,
    I too, have been non renewed, but I have an overall question, okay, so I was new to the position, to teaching to structure to all of it, not really new, I had just been out of the teaching field for about 16 years. I am in special ed so a lot of things are new and different since last I had a class of my own. I had a mentor teacher who just wanted me to be retained, I feel as though I am being thrown out with the trash, but I really am not finished yet. My principal, who I also had the roller coaster ride with, put on my summative eval, that my class was typically off task, now I ask, who will see this? I want to apply to a school just down the road, and I feel very strongly that I can do a good job. I can get the recommendation letters that I need, but they ask the question on the application now, have you ever been non renewed, now I have to be truthful, but how can I make it sound that I have learned so much from my mistakes and this somehow makes me stronger and more competent and yes more determined. My principal is here and there, and he doesn't really know me or what I am capable of, he wrote me off early in the year. I feel that this isn't fair-that I just need more time. anyway, I want to know if it is possible that I can be hired somewhere else, he told me I could-do I believe him? any help is welcomed, even if it hurts. thanks.:confused:
     
  16. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Apr 22, 2007

    Wanateach and Fallen if you can get a recommendation letter you may be hired. It can be difficult. This happened to me 7 years ago. Tell the truth on your applications. You might want to try private schools as well as other districts. In my case no one would hire me when I was non-renewed and I ended up just subbing. You may have to do that for a year to restore your reputation. I managed to get hired at a school where I stayed for 3 years. Another option is try to get into a district no one wants to work for a even a charter school. The next thing would be to try for TA jobs. Good luck! Fallen let your wife and daughters know as soon as possible. Maybe you can sub next year. Terry G.
     
  17. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Apr 25, 2007

    Fallen,

    You might be in a better position than you think in the job search process. You have three years experience. That certainly looks better than having no years of experience.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You have no nepotism rules in your district?
     
  19. shapeshifter

    shapeshifter New Member

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    May 15, 2007

    I have the same problem -- have great reviews, have gotten tenure twice before, have studied with the best people, met my professional "improvement" goals for the year, and yet am not being renewed and no discussion about it. It is TRULY HORRIBLE.

    I guess we sink or swim. Keep moving and see if you can get great letters of rec. from your mentor, happy parents, other colleagues, collect them. Allow a month turn around. Apply, apply apply. I too am in a state with little protection.
     
  20. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 15, 2007

    yeah,
    I hear you, thanks so much for commiserating with us, I have just decided to sub for a year and see if I can get a job through a school through just being visible.

    What is a person supposed to do-all I want to do is be a better teacher, expect more out of my students as I expect more out of myself, be a better communicator, facilitator and teach first and foremost with all it entails-paying attention to the right thing, developing my lessons, following through, getting parents on board, and offering rewards for doing the right thing and raising the bar, making them work for rewards that the world does not give easily-prepare them for life after school-that is all I want to do. :angel:
     
  21. thechangingtabl

    thechangingtabl Companion

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    May 19, 2007

    I have not been having an easy time of it trying to get an interview. The non-renewal is the problem. I had to change my online application with the county I work for to a YES-I have been non-renewed and now the phones are NOT ringing. I have been emailing principals, sending out hard copies of my resume and nothing. I had two principals call me and then all of a sudden the positions are not available/filled, etc.

    I go from being angry to relieved. I took the job to get into the district, they knew I had no experience, but I guess I expected more support/help. They expected me to work a miracle in a position no one else wanted.

    I think that I am facing two problems: 1) now I am labeled Special Ed because that is what I taught this year, and they say once you are ESE, it is hard to get back into General Ed. 2) the online application just shows I have been non-renewed, not that I have been non-renewed because an old teacher wanted her job back (after losing it because she could not pass the state test!) and that I was teaching emotionally handicapped students and needed more training/experience with my classroom management!

    Anyway, I am wanting more interview experience because I really need it, plus, I want to find out what other schools do for their new teachers so that (hopefully) I do not make a mistake like this again. I am also going to sub to find out what grade I do want to teach in regular ed. I don't want to just work ESE, but it seems as if a lot of career changers are stuck there.

    EDIT: I am feeling sorry for myself and need to get out of my funk. They could have non-renewed me for any reason.
     
  22. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    May 19, 2007

    When my contract wasn't renewed, I put in a formal resignation letter BEFORE the non-renewal paperwork went in. I'd decided I probably didn't want the job next year anyway, and that sealed it. So I've decided I can "techincally" mark "no" for the "have you been fired, etc." question, because in all technicality, I quit first.

    There isn't any way you can do that, is there?

    I essentially took a "step back" and am teaching preschool in a full-day childcare setting (we're not supposed to call it daycare because we really stress academics)... they didn't really make a big deal about the fact that I left public school. My phones are ringing for next year a LOT earlier than they have in the past. It's a tough job market around here, too, but I really think this has helped.

    Is this a possibility?
     
  23. thechangingtabl

    thechangingtabl Companion

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    That question is on the application also. It says have you ever RESIGNED in lieu of a non-renewal or something like that! Ugh!
     
  24. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    yeah, i know... my view on THAT one is that I was going to resign anyway. ;)
     
  25. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    May 19, 2007

    the same thing happened to me. I resigned.

    When you resign, a future employer does not have to know your reasons for leaving. You can simply state "Personal Reasons." However, this may throw up a red flag at interviews so make sure you word it diplomatically like "I wanted to gain a wider variety of experiences to further my professional growth."

    After I began looking for jobs, my principal bad mouthed me to the other schools that I interviewed at. I have no proof that I did so, but I have a real good feeling that she did becuase I had a job offer taken from me the next day after my references were called.
     
  26. thechangingtabl

    thechangingtabl Companion

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    I know that my principal has told potential schools that I did not accept help or something like that, early on, during my 97 day probationary period. I tried to explain to him that I was caught in the middle of power trips between my mentor, my behavior specialist and him/AP because they all wanted me to do something opposite of the others. I should have resigned early on when I saw how unsupportive and how negative they looked upon the behavior unit. They all tell me that they have spoken to my principal, so that is how I know that they are interested enough to call, but then they start talking about how important it is to ask for help, be a team player, etc. So I know he has said that I have not done those things, but I did but it was to the wrong person, my mentor who I thought was helping me but instead told the principal all these lies about me because I was not doing everything her way. Anyway, she is doing it to the new teacher they hired and now she is wanting to leave too, so they get what they deserve, another empty slot. I am outta there next Friday!
     
  27. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    They are not renewing you, and they won't give you any reasons... How unfair is that?
     
  28. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    May 20, 2007

    I just want to say,
    Gosh I feel your pain, I really do-but it sounds like nothing but excuses, I am sorry but that is how it sounds. I don't disagree at all, I had the same experiences I did!!! But I have chalked it up to yet another learning experience in my heart and in my mind-the whole thing-the whole year has been yes-riddled with disappointment, fear, misunderstandings, feelings of rejection and some resentment, but also one of insight-and clear objectives, I see now what I could not have seen a year ago right now, I decidedly had to go through this experience, I don't really blame them for not rehiring me-I have ADD, I know that, but I am so proud of my kids-I taught special ed and I am a good teacher, because experience has been my teacher, my parent, my constant companion, friend and enemy all at once.

    I am just saying, concentrate on your skills, on your abilities to lead and to influence and change the way you think, the only behavior we can change is our own.

    thanks for your time. Lori:angel:
     
  29. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jun 2, 2007

    I'm a 1st year special ed teacher who's also not being rehired. My two observation evaluations were pretty good, then in February on the day of going over the 2nd evaluation...my principal lowered the boom!

    What upsets me is how principals can just do this w/ the snap of a finger & it takes a lot for teachers like us to be rehired again. I'll never know what the real reason is for not being rehired, but if it were something I was doing wrong on my part, the principal should have sat me down & talked over whatever the problem was, which never happened in my case.

    I hate having to answer that one question on all my future job applications that ask if you've ever been asked to resign (or something similar to that). Then always worrying about the most appropriate thing to say on all future interviews when asked what happened. My union president said it's better to go ahead & resign, which I did.

    It burns me up that a good teacher like me isn't being rehired, while there are tons of no-good teachers out there being stupid by doing unlawful things & losing their jobs!

    Now I wouldn't dare ask my principal for a letter of rec, but I got one from my BTSA teacher, support provider, & school psychologist...& maybe I'll ask the speech therapist.

    My main question right now is, what is the best response when asked why you weren't rehired? I'd appreciate as many responses as possible.
     
  30. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I've never been in that spot, but I think I would blame it on my inexperience.

    You can't badmouth the administration or the school. So you've got to take the "blame" (for lack of a better word.)

    I think I would say I wasn't really sure why I wasn't rehired. If there were warning signs, I must have missed them. My evaluations were good and didn't hint of any problems. But apparently I wasn't the right person for that job.

    I'm hoping the next person will have some REAL answers.
     
  31. Bnewteacher

    Bnewteacher Rookie

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    Re: Help!! I have to do READING LESSON DEMO

    Can anyone help me out I just got hired( I have no prior teaching experience and have to do a 20-25 minute reading lesson demo for a Kindergarten class( intermediate general ed ) for the principal on Tuesday. Can anyone please give me some advice!!!!!
    Thank You
     
  32. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 2, 2007

    Hi Bnew, and welcome!

    You'll get some responses by posting a brand new thread on the elementary forum: http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/forumdisplay.php?f=8

    Scroll down a bit and you'll see "post new topic."

    sorry, more than that I can't help with; I'm secondary math.
     
  33. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Jun 3, 2007

    Ms. I I agree with Alice. Tell them you were inexpereinced and that you have learned a lot and can handle a teaching job.
     
  34. Bnewteacher

    Bnewteacher Rookie

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    Jun 3, 2007

    Are there any books that you would recommend????
     
  35. Bnewteacher

    Bnewteacher Rookie

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    Jun 3, 2007

    Thanks Aliceacc and teresaglass!!!!!! You guys have been great I'm so happy to have found this websites.
     
  36. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Jun 3, 2007

    You can try Mr. Wong's book and any others on classroom management.
    Got to the schools website and see if you can find out what programs they use in their school - everyday math or a certain science series.
     

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