PLEASE HELP

Discussion in 'General Education' started by NeedHelp, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. NeedHelp

    NeedHelp New Member

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    Jan 1, 2009

    I am in my second year teaching. I just moved across the country (military wife) and had a really bad semester teaching. I taught first grade and did not get along with the principal AT ALL. I didn't like the things I was expected to do, such as constant workbook pages instead of activities I thought would be more fun and more useful to the children. I decided that I would not be returning to the school after the holidays. I gave my two weeks notice and my time at the school has now ended.

    Here is my big concern. In the middle of November, the mother of one of my students accused me of physical abuse against her son. I spoke with the police and child protective services about the case and have not received a decision. The case in discussion was when I broke up a fight between two of my students and I pulled one student off of another. I am certain the case will come back unfounded, so I'm not too concerned about it. However, here is my question. Am I required to alert future employers about an unfounded accusation of abuse? How about a pending accusation? I am worried about this preventing me from finding another position.

    PLEASE HELP. I AM EXTREMELY WORRIED AND CONFUSED.
     
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  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jan 1, 2009

    I honestly have no idea what you should do. The only thing I can advise is to contact your union rep or a lawyer if you don't have a union.
     
  4. pxydst07

    pxydst07 Comrade

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    Jan 2, 2009

    I really wish I could help you out. I hope everything works out for you. I would just caution stepping into a fight in the future. I'm sure you already have that thought in your head. However, kids are quick to turn things around to get themselves out of trouble. It's amazing how they can take something and twist it into another thing without even batting an eyelash.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 2, 2009

    I can understand why you are worried...The official advice is that it's really never advisable to touch a child...I know that's difficult- as elementary teachers we get and give hugs, pats on the back and occasionally need to physically 'guide' a student from one place to another...That said, were there any other witnesses around who saw you attempting to break up the fight? You need to get some legal advice, go to the union if there is one in your district-they may have access to legal aid for you... I'm wondering if your frustration with your job translated into a perceived frustration with the kids and that may be coloring how this parent is reacting...In any case, I wouldn't be looking for a new job until this matter is cleared up- any hiring districts would call this school for recommendations- you don't want that right now...
    Even when and if the accusations are cleared, you may want to do some deep thinking about your career. I posted this same advice in another thread but it fits here as well....I've worked in schools that were drill and skill, basal reader type places that weren't my 'philosophical fit' or dream schools, but I learned a lot there about myself as a teacher, about kids, about how kids learn and I honed my skills. I also enriched my classroom in that kind of placement by complementing what was REQUIRED with what I knew was sound educational practice, with what was creative and engaging, hands on and with lessons that facilitated critical thinking- I didn't throw out or disregard what the school wanted, what they were paying me to do- I did what they wanted and 'my stuff' was the 'bonus'. If you love teaching, you do what you have to do, jump through the hoops, get experience at places that are not your dream school in order to finally get to where you want to be...you don't quit because you 'don't like what you are expected to do'.. You find a way to 'bloom where you are planted'...:2cents:

    Good luck with this. I'm sure this is very stressful for you. I hope it all works out for the best. :angel:
     
  6. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jan 2, 2009

    Wow - I agree with the advice to contact a union rep - they would I'm sure have much more experience with specific situations like this.

    If you are filling out an application and asked about past arrests, etc. maybe it's not legally required to put that situation down because it's not an official action. But, I believe in full disclosure and would think about how an employer would feel to find out about this situation without your side being explained. If that makes sense.

    I'm sure you will hear others talk the way czacza did about quitting, but I know there are times when we just know it's not a good fit and instead of endangering our health because of the stress, sometimes it's the best decision to move on.

    We all know the policies on breaking up fights (here we watched a video of the "right way" to do it - they said make a noise or throw down a clipboard to get the kids' attention-yeah, right). But when you see a child being hurt, regardless of what your head tells you, sometimes your heart forces you to step in. Good luck in your search - I really hope it all works out for you.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 2, 2009

    What was said was :"I didn't like the things I was expected to do, such as constant workbook pages instead of activities I thought would be more fun and more useful to the children." My career advice was based on dealing with work situations that are not necessarily our 'dream jobs'...
    I can empathize with extreme stress, duress and endangered health-...I can see the legal issues causing such stress. Work-related stress, though, that's pretty normal, the kind of stress we must all learn to deal with, to learn from, and to adapt to so we can grow strong and get the experience we need to ultimately land that 'dream job'...
    Again, I wish the OP success in overcoming the accusations against her and in her professional growth as an educator. :)
     
  8. iluvteachin

    iluvteachin Rookie

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    Jan 2, 2009

    I'd contact a lawyer and ask if it was mandatory to report it - I somehow doubt it and would need to double check the wording of the question but I think something like "have you ever been CONVICTED of a ..." gets a NO answer.
     
  9. DallasTeacher

    DallasTeacher Companion

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    Jan 2, 2009

    I'd definitely be in contact with either an attorney or union immediately if not sooner. You'll have to read the applications very carefully as sometimes they asks about accusations, sometimes convictions, sometimes outstanding legal issues. You don't have to provide extra, unasked for, information, but you should take care to provide accurate data.


    Good luck and feel free to return to here if you need either support or have more questions. You're not the first teacher to have a complaint filed on you.

    Were you able to negotiate a letter of recommendation from your former district? Was there anything tied into your resignation regarding the alleged abuse situation? What is your district's policy as to allegations of abuse? I'm asking because in our district, the administration looks into the situation and if they determine just cause, report to cps and the police. Personally I would want to know the status of potential charges against me, but every person has a different level of comfort.
     

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