Quit before non renewal Help!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Dragonfly1, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Dragonfly1

    Dragonfly1 New Member

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    Jul 30, 2015

    Hello,
    I would appreciate some advice please. This is killing me here. I worked as a hs sped teacher in a resource room for three years at a very small rural school (after initial trial year was offered 3 more continuing contracts) I did a great job and have great letters of rec from principal, glowing reference from superintendent and had proficient to exemplary on my evals. Then I wanted to move back to the city I came from. I applied for one resource room job, and based on my successful record, and recommendations I was immediately hired. I did not visit the school first before deciding to accept the job, which was a mistake. I was just so eager to return. The people there were great, but I did not have my own classroom, (shared a very small cramped one with another teacher) As I did not have my own room, I would have to take preps in the teacher’s lounge or library. I had to teach in four different locations. To get around, I used a cart. This not having my own classroom, where students came to me, really threw me. I found it difficult to do and I was not as effective as I was at the other school. Sometimes dealing with different technology was frustrating. Early on I knew I was not the same teacher I was before and I was very stressed, and felt anxious and nervous by this. (Even had high BP) My evals were not like before, which made me feel horrible, as I knew how good I was before. I was told I might not be renewed, and on the last observation the students behaved, but some were bored and not engaged (drawing a picture, one had cell phone out that I missed) and this hurt the eval. I went to my eval meeting and I felt it was better to resign at the end of the year, then get a non-renewal letter, which I did not, but would have. I asked if this was it for me and teaching and both supervisors said no, and that I had a lot of good things and that they were not trying to sabotage me. Both are great people who I respect very much. It really was not the right fit for me. I was not able to adapt to not having a room. I was not so effective. (Though students most showed growth. One student went from below average to above average 60th percentile on a norm referenced standardized math MAP test.) Also, my caseload of thirty sure kept me working non-stop. I rarely had any personal time, even on weekends. A much larger load than before. So now, here I sit, applying for jobs again with six years successful gifted ed experience, and three successful years sped experience and one year of an unsuccessful experience. So how do I explain this on applications that ask have you if you have ever resigned because of an impending non-renewal? I am looking for sped positions at small rural schools where I believe I am most comfortable. I am really feeling bad here. Thanks.
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jul 30, 2015

    You didn't resign because of a non-renewal. You resigned because it wasn't a good fit, and it sounds like you'll get good recommendations from them. You are under absolutely no obligation to anybody to disclose the fact that you thought you might receive a non-renewal. Resigning in lieu of a non-renewal means that you actually got a letter telling you that you were being non-renewed, but still giving you the option of resigning. From your description, you resigned before you ever got the letter. That's it then, end of story.
     
  4. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Jul 30, 2015

    I had a semi-similar situation last year. I spent seven years teaching with great evaluations and a happy, productive classroom. I, too, had moved away from home and eagerly accepted a job only a few miles from my hometown. I had very violent students - threw chairs and desks, got into fights. (They had a history of this behavior long before I arrived- dating back to second grade for most, kindergarten for a few.) I had my wrist broken by a student, I received multiple death threats, and I had a weapon brought into my classroom. I was not an effective teacher. I dealt with discipline all day, had terrible anxiety and fear due to my students, and admin was worthless. I felt so terrible because I know that I am a great teacher, but I wasn't allowed to teach. My first evaluation had almost all proficients (I was marked down on just 4 or 5 out of about 100 areas). In December, I started becoming more vocal about my situation. I quickly earned myself a spot on the sh*t list (for lack of a better word). My next evaluation came back half proficient, another 3/8 minimally proficient, and 1/8 not proficient. I already knew I was resigning- I knew in October/November. So I resigned then. Good thing I did because my walk-through evaluations were even worse. (At this point, the superintendent now knew what was happening- he requested a 1:1 meeting after receiving my resignation. He didn't know about any of it- and he wasn't very happy. He was appreciative that I was finishing my contract and I was told to use sick days if I needed them, and if I needed a break, the principal was told she had to come cover my class. I'm sure she got in trouble over the situation.)
    I would have been non-renewed, as I ended up scoring 'ineffective'. My union couldn't do anything about it even though I have documentation to refute a good portion of my mark downs. (Like good record keeping- my grade book is freaking color coded and immaculate.)

    As far as advice- try to focus on the good years. I know I'm not a bad teacher and it saddens me that one year in a terrible place can ruin a good career. I haven't gotten a single interview this year. (I am also limiting my search to very specific schools.) I officially resigned for safety reasons, and I fear that people think I'm a drama queen when they see that.

    Good luck. I'm sorry this happened to you :(
     
  5. Dragonfly1

    Dragonfly1 New Member

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    Jul 30, 2015

    Thank you gr3teacher. I see what you mean. But if I leave the box blank and put "NO" I don't feel that is right. I will have to put an explanation down and choose yes. Thanks again. Enjoy your summer!
     
  6. Dragonfly1

    Dragonfly1 New Member

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    Jul 30, 2015

    Thanks for replying giraffe326. Wow you really had it rough. Weapons and chairs thrown! I had some verbal abuse, but it was special ed kids with problems, so that comes with the territory and I tried not to take it personally. Good luck to you too.
     
  7. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Jul 30, 2015

    I get what you're feeling and saying here, but honestly, gr3teacher is right. You were not let go because of a non-renewal. You quit because it was not a good fit. That's the truth according to what you were stating.

    I wish you the best.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jul 30, 2015

    You need to do what you need to do for your own conscience, but you are under no obligation to answer yes to that question. I'd argue you're actually lying by answering yes, since it isn't actually true. You're also putting your teaching career in real jeopardy, depending on where you live.
     
  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jul 30, 2015

    I agree with applecore and gr3teacher. It doesn't sound like you were asked to resign to avoid nonrenewal. Rather it sounds like you and the principals mutually agreed that it was not a good fit. I would answer "no" to that question and not give it another thought.
     
  10. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jul 30, 2015

    I also agree that you should answer "no" to the question. You are not lying- the school didn't tell you that you would be non-renewed. In fact, I'm not 100% sure from your explanation that you would have been non-renewed anyway. It sounds like the admin may have given you another chance. Like gr3 said, you'd really actually be lying if you answered "yes" to the question. The question is not asking if you believed you would be non-renewed, it's asking if you were non-renewed. Answering "yes" to that question would be a career killer around here- admins just use it as a weed out question. It doesn't matter if there's an explanation. We're actually having a really hard time filling our open sped position right now, to the point where we're pretty desperate (school starts in less than 2 weeks) and even in this situation my admin will not look at people who have been non-renewed.
     
  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jul 30, 2015

    I advise you to answer the box with the factual "no". You have personal feeling and even documentation to show you're a good teacher. Don't blow it with the potentially troublesome non-renewal when you simply were not non-renewed. I agree it's pretty much lying.
     
  12. savyteacher

    savyteacher New Member

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    Aug 3, 2015

    Don't put that district down as a reference and you will get those interviews again! I have had so many jobs in my lifetime that there is no way there is room to put them all down. You have several years of successful teaching, don't let one nightmare job ruin your record. Be tough and don't listen to people telling you that you have to. Districts are not protecting their new employees enough and making it safe to learn which requires years. One principal can boot you from a district, which is too much power for many ogre-types. HR needs to ask questions to see if the employee can be retained and interview at other schools in the districts and the superintendent/board needs to look a little closer at hiring/firing decisions. Unions need to negotiate more protection for new hires too. It is a mess!
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 3, 2015

    Here, they require you to give your last employer and they do contact them. I would have an entire year gap in my employment history. I worked at a crappy charter in August one year. I always leave that off. But since I can do that since it was only a few weeks.

    Education reform is necessary in just about every component...

    In my situation- I was considered a new teacher despite 7 years of experience, but I was not treated like a new teacher. It was assumed that I would gain knowledge of district-specific programs and policies instantaneously on my own. I was turned down for leadership opportunities because I was a new teacher, but marked down for not being involved. I had concrete proof refuting some of the things I was marked down for on my evaluation, but the union told me that evaluations are subjective and they couldn't do anything about it. I could go through a lengthy process to add an addendum stating that I contest the evaluation. I chose to walk (run) away from the school and not look back.

    Anyway, I have options. I'm just not 100% which one I will choose yet.
     

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