Principal from tour yesterday emailed me this morning. What does this word mean?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by tripletsteacher, May 14, 2008.

  1. tripletsteacher

    tripletsteacher Companion

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    May 14, 2008

    The interim principal from the school I toured at yesterday responded to my thank you email for the tour. This is her email
    It was good meeting you too, Brenda. The assistant superintendent told me on Monday that we are not to hold interviews until all teachers who were Riffed are placed. I want you to know that if we can hold interviews, I will be sure that you are called.
    Thanks again for your interest.
    Cathy Wilson
    Interim Principal

    Just as I suspected, she for some reason can not hold interviews. What does RIFFED mean? Do you really think she will forward my materials to whoever can interview? I am excited she responded but am wondering if she is just being nice? I guess I am thinking too negatively
     
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  3. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    "reduction in force" it means any teachers who are low man on the totem pole that lose their job etc etc
     
  4. tripletsteacher

    tripletsteacher Companion

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    So does it mean they lose their job but are hired back for the position I applied for? What month do they typically know for sure?
     
  5. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    The admins. try to fill in their vacancies with the teachers they had to let go in March/April, due to enrollement, retirements, and LOA's.
     
  6. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    :)
     
  7. tripletsteacher

    tripletsteacher Companion

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    I do not understand how they can lose their job but then are placed in the hiring pool to be hired back. Why don't they just move them rather than pink slip them and then hire them back? So many of the postings for jobs are probably not even legitimate jobs right? Sorry for my lack of knowledge in this area but it is hard to understand the process. thanks
     
  8. alphabet

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    The school I was long term subbing at this year Riffed 5 of their teachers at the end of the year. And apparently, they do this every year. For them, it's a cost saving tactic.
     
  9. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Reduction in Force is simply that - because of funding, low enrollment, ect. . the district will not need as many teachers next year and places them on reduction in force list. These teachers are then first in line for any job openings that occur in the district in which they are qualified. Many districts routinely RIF teachers just in case they are not needed. The reasons they are placed in the job pool is because they were not fired or non-renewed, they were "laid-off" to use an industry term. Many times they will post a list in the central office of RIF'ed teachers and what they are qualified to teach.
     
  10. Master Pre-K

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    Sometimes, an entire staff can get the rif letter...since it is next to impossible to make tenure...because once you do, you can't be riffed.

    interesting game, isn't it?

    I say, smile...but keep looking. She may like you, but if they call back everyone else...they can't find a spot for you too.

    JMO

    good luck!
     
  11. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    also a sticky game for unemployment office...they ALWAYS assume teachers and aides will be called back. RIF letters don't mean much to them. :( They can't tell the difference between a layoff and a termination.
     
  12. tripletsteacher

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    I was also told this was a way to get rid of teachers that the administration does not like or teachers that are not doing well before they get tenure. Is that true? Do you think that happens very often?
     
  13. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    It happens all the time, especially in bad economic times. I've never been rif-ed myself, but I've heard many stories from people who have been but are hired back over the summer.

    It's really a shame that school districts are so business-like. I wish we could just teach and not have all of the other crap. But we do... :(
     
  14. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    To answer the other part of your question that I missed-

    Yes, a rif can also get rid of unwanted teachers, but those people are generally just not rehired period. We've had several people who have been asked to resign because of that type of situation. Rif's as far as I know, are usually more about money and enrollment.
     
  15. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    In our county, if a school's enrollment is down and fewer teachers are needed, then the teachers hired last will need to transfer to a new school. This is different from teachers whose contracts were not renewed. I believe that tenured teachers to whom this happens are guaranteed jobs elsewhere in the county (we have 15 or 20 middle or high schools in the county, so it's not like a district where there might not actually be an opening).

    Teachers who have put in three years with the county are also eligible to request a transfer. These teachers traditionally are allowed to interview for openings before potential new hires. So positions that open up when teachers announce retirement or when contracts are due usually go to transfers first. New teachers are more likely to get positions that open up later in the spring/summer when teachers unexpectedly announce that they won't be returning.

    We did have an unusual situation one year. A teacher was RIFFED who was not the last person hired at her school, and she sponsored a huge publication that it is hard to find a sponsor for. We needed a sponsor, so our department chair snatched her up. She should have realized that since the school retained the teacher hired last (under the agreement that she would assume sponsorship of the publication), something was fishy. Was it ever. She left midyear in the possession of school equipment, for which we had get a warrant to search her home! And she hadn't taught her English students any books or assigned any essays. AND she had been sending the publisher blank pages and telling faculty and students alike that they were on schedule! I still affectionately call her "Crazy [Last Name]."
     
  16. tripletsteacher

    tripletsteacher Companion

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    This particular school district is 20 minutes away and not my district. I did do my field experience there though. The school strikes every 2 years from what I was told -which again I do not know any of the politics involved in schools. They were on strike for 2 weeks this year at the beginning of school and have to go longer this summer because of it. Does that have any meaning to anyone? It is also a Title 1 school. I really loved the atmosphere though which was a complete surprise to me. I expected something else and just felt quite at home there.
     
  17. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    In NJ, we are no longer allowed to strike. If there is a conflict with contract talks, we continue working at the same pay as the last year in our contract. When the new contract is ratified, we get a retro-active paycheck for the money that is owed to us. I like it that way:)
     
  18. RainStorm

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    They can't move them until contract signing day. You don't know until contract signing day who is coming back.

    Teacher contracts run through the end of the school year -- which is usually in June. You have until then to notify them if you are going to return. Some schools give you until July 1st. So schools absolutely don't know until the very end of June or the beginning of July if they really even have any openings. Then openings have to be filled by internal candidates FIRST. Those are the ones who were laid-off because of budget cuts or low enrollments. Then they have to look at internal transfers -- those are the teachers who have a job, but want to change schools or grade level.

    Then after all that is done -- usually sometime towards the middle to end of July, they start seriously interviewing and hiring external candidates.

    What the principal is telling you is that she can't even formally interview you until then -- so you will probably be waiting until AT LEAST then end of June -- before they can give real interviews.

    Remember -- as I said in your other post -- this is NORMAL! THis is how getting a job in teaching works. It is a waiting game.
     
  19. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Wow - we were working with a status quo contract for 5 years and never even thought about going on strike. I can't even think of a school in our area that has ever been on strike. I can't imagine going on strike EVERY two years.

    If the RIF policy is the same as in my district, you can't get rid of teachers this way. If you have teachers on the RIF list and there are positions open they are qualified for, they get that job. In my district, teachers that have been RIF'ed don't have to interview or anything else to get the position. Uusally the polices are very clearly spelled out in the contract.
     
  20. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I've been riffed before. (In my district we call it "staff reduced.") I know it is lousy when you are searching for a job. But they do place internal candidates before external candidates. In my district (a relatively large urban district), we haven't even interviewed external candidates (at least not at the elementary level that I'm aware of) at all the past couple of years since we had so many staff reductions - many due to increased class sizes as a result of budget cuts. But when you do get a job and you lose your position because of changing enrollment, you'll be thankful that doesn't mean you lose your job with the district! You still have a contract. They do have to find out where the positions will be though, due to retirement, resignations, enrollment figures, etc. It all takes time, unfortunately.
     
  21. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Triplets,

    Okay. Look at it this way. This is a simplified way of describing how hiring takes place at schools.

    School XYZ has 20 teachers. School ABC has 20 teachers. They are the 2 schools in the district. The teachers are hired until June 15th on their contracts. At that time, they must either sign a new contract, or turn it down (which means giving up their job.)

    Over the year, two teachers from School XYZ quit and are replaced by long-term subs. The school knows right now that they need to replace these two teachers for the next school year. They advertise the positions at School XYZ. However, in the meantime, the enrollment at School ABC has decreased. They give a RIF to 3 teachers, because they know they won't have need of them at School ABC next year.

    Those 3 teachers HAVE to be given the chance to have the jobs at School XYZ before anyone else can be officially interviewed or offered a job. Those 3 teachers can either take the jobs or decline them. They have until June 15th to decide. Until they decide, nothing can happen in terms of hiring. The jobs may stay posted, but they can't be filled. Everything comes to a complete standstill until June 15th.

    On June 15th, 2 of the teachers who were RIFed accept the jobs. There now are NO openings anymore. No outsiders will even be interviewed. The positions where filled internally. The posting is taken down.

    There is still 1 RIFed teacher waiting to see if somebody declines their contract. The contracts make their way to the Human Resources Department around the 20th of June. It turns out that 3 teachers at School ABC are moving out of the area and decline their contracts. So on June 21st, 3 positions are listed. The one remaing RIF accepts 1 of those jobs. So now, one of those positions has been filled -- without interviewing a single outside candidate. There are two open positions left.

    This sounds like good news, right? Not so fast.....

    Now 2 teachers at School XYZ would rather work at School ABC. One wants to be closer to home, the other wants a specific grade level that is available only at School ABC. They take the other two openings -- so those positions show up as filled. And no one outside the school has been interviewed yet.

    Now it is the end of June, and the district knows there are 2 positions open at School XYZ. They post those 2 openings and start "official" interviews. They begin interviewing on Monday, but one positions goes immediately to the young lady who was a long term sub at School XYZ. The principal didn't really even consider anyone else. He had already promised her the job, unofficially. He just went through the motions because he has to -- it is the law.

    Now there is one position left and it is early July. The district interviews about 20 or so outside candidates, and sends the best 5 to the principal. He may choose one right away and be done with it -- or more often, he figures there are 20 possibles who all want the job -- and 5 who are all super and qualified -- so he drags his feet and waits until early August to even make the job offer. His first choice has already accepted a position in the neighboring district. Oh well, he'll offer it to his second choice, who accepts and comes in to sign the contract.

    So five jobs have been listed -- but only one external candidate was even considered.

    That is how it works in many districts.

    The exception is districts that are desperate for teachers -- they aggressively sign "pre-committment" letters. Some are as good as a contract -- others are worthless and don't mean you really have a job.

    As hard as it is, it is a waiting game. It doesn't matter if you are a new teacher, or an experienced teacher who is moving to a new area -- the game goes on.... and on.... and on....

    And often -- when the job is posted, it has already been promised to someone who the principal "informally" interviewed. In other words, the job is posted, but there really isn't an opening. It is a legal requirement that every job be listed -- so they list them. It doesn't mean the job is really available.

    Now does it make a bit more sense?
     
  22. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    You are exactly right - :2up:
     
  23. RainStorm

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    Late June or early July -- just be aware that right after summer school is over, most principals take their vacations -- so you won't even be able to reach them. Even though they work in the summer, they are supposed to take their leave time when school is not in official session.
     
  24. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    In Chicago..they strike almost every year. Suburban districts walk out also. Always for pay. Or working without contract. I used to think it was normal for all schools. As a kid, I had more days off..up til graduation both in 8th and high school. Finally, in 8th grade they all got ticked came back to let us graduate, and made the rest of the kids go back another 2 weeks! Even the city colleges went on strike! :eek:hmy:

    Aides and teachers are hired based on enrollment. In April, they look at their numbers. RIF people they don't like, Non-renew people the REALLY don't like, bring back tenured people even if they suck.

    Sometime in August, there is this big movement of people...guess they find apts and houses and run to school the day before it starts to enroll their kids.

    Now all of the sudden, the princpals have to call you back, hire more staff, and have 2nd/3rd and 4th/5th splits. (some math problem there..always highest enrollment in those 4 grades) I had more job offers in Oct/Nov and especially second semester...because people tend to jump ship after Christmas break.

    It is all politics. If they like you, and the union backs you up, and you have relatives...they will MAKE a job for you. SST (supplemental staffing teacher :confused:), parent coordinator, social service director, reading assistant, library technican...and still pay you teacher's salary. Everyone knows, and they stay ticked off, while this person collects a check, and teacher pension funds.

    I've seen people come back every year with a new title, and a new car! And we still can't figure out what he/she does!
     
  25. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I interviewed for a 1-on-1 sp ed. aide job, and they said..it was an at will position. I asked, "So what exactly does that mean?"

    "Well, if the school, parents, or school board decide that he no longer needs services, or if he moves, your position ends."

    "You mean, you find me another position, right??"

    "No..it ends that day."

    "Uh, you can't make me a lunch aide?"

    Silence...Blank stare.

    Face it guys..we are just paper in a corporate environment that pretends to be an institution of learning.
     
  26. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    RIFs have nothing to do with whether they like you or not. RIFs are based on seniority, plain and simple.

    Non-renews are based on performance.
     

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