Quitting In-Contract (California)

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by richierich, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. richierich

    richierich New Member

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    Sep 19, 2015

    QUESTION: If I break contract in California, what are the worst case scenario ramifications?


    Here's the story... I got my first teaching job. Throughout the interview process I said that I didn't want to co-teach because I had a bad experience with a co-teacher in my teaching program. Then I was sitting through orientation, 2 days before kids arrived and I found out that I had co-teaching classes. I also found out that I had to do other things that I had told them in the interviews that I didn't believe in.

    I was going to quit then, but I worried about quitting since I had already signed. But this has worn me out completely. I'm only 1.5 months into it and I have been sick twice from the work. I don't have a balanced life, etc.

    So I notified them that I was going to quit because I feel like I got a bait and switch. They keep ignoring my requests and just state that I'm under contract, trying to strong arm me. They said that the board most likely won't accept my resignation and hasn't accepted them in the past.

    This district is not where I want to be and has made me not want to teach in general. How bad are the ramifications for quitting in contract? Especially with these circumstances?
     
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  3. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    I don't know California's rules but I will say that most positions nowadays involve co teaching. You seem to be at the middle school/high school level, and it's going to unavoidable throughout your career. It's just not realistic to think you'll get a position without co teaching at some point.

    This is your first year of teaching, your work/life balance is going to be out of wack until you get into your groove. Some weeks/months will be better than others. It's all part of being a teacher. It's not a 9-5 job.

    I think you really need to think if teaching is something you want to do as a career if these are the major complaints you have.

    On the other hand, not every school is the right fit for a person. If you don't agree with certain practices your school implements, then maybe the school is not for you. You didn't name what things you have to do that you don't believe in, but this could vary school to school.

    If admin is not supporting your decision to resign after you told them that's not good either. But at the end of the day they do have to run a school so they may not want to go through the hiring process again if you leave, so it may not be something personal. Most admin want teachers who actually want to be there, and if teachers express a desire to leave, admin who usually grant that request so they can find a replacement that wants to be there.

    Some states/districts will suspend or take away your license if you quit/try to resign mid-year within a contract. You should read what your contract says, but I'll let someone from California clarify that.

    I have a question, is this district/position a hard to staff one? It seems by you expressing things you didn't want to do or agree with they shouldn't have hired you, well most admin wouldn't unless they really just needed someone to fill the position.
     
  4. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Sep 19, 2015

    In my state, you must give 60 days notice. Not sure what the laws are in CA. I'm also not sure what it is that you teach, but many of the teachers who work at my school co-teach. It can be a good or bad experience depending on who they put you with I guess. I imagine if you are placed with an experienced teacher who has done this for years, it can be a great experience and you can learn a lot from them.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    My advice may sound a little harsh, but you can't dictate to the administration what you will or won't do. You may need to come to the realization that you just need to dig in, complete your first year, and learn all you possibly can from the veteran teachers around you. Sure, things may not be ideal, but we all have to do things in any profession that make us uncomfortable.

    Use your experiences this year to decide if teaching is really for you. I knew a teacher once who quit mid year because she didn't realize that she had to lesson plan and bring work home to grade. Don't know how she got through student teaching...

    I'm sorry you don't feel that you have obtained your dream job the first time out the gate.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I'd suggest to just tough it out for this year and then find another job somewhere else.
    Reasons:
    - quitting mid year could really hurt your career
    - first year is always hard, with or without co-teaching
    - you will often end up doing things or even teaching subjects you're not crazy about what if you're qualified and the school needs you to do it you have to
    - co-teaching: why is it so hard? I like to teach just by myself and would absolutely hate co-teaching, but if it came down to it, I'd try t find a way to make it work. Does you co-teacher have a very different teaching style? different personality? Can you work it out? Either way, you can learn a lot. Maybe it's what to do and how to teach, it might be what not to do or how not to teach.
     
  7. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Sep 19, 2015

    I reneged on a contract in CA but it was with a charter school, before school had started and my reasons were more extensive than those you listed. Even then, they still threatened my credential even though charter schools are considered at will.

    Your school doesn't sound ideal, but it doesn't sound too bad either. Coteaching isn't a deal breaker. You aren't entitled to requests made in an interview, just what is in your contract. I would stay because it sounds like they will definitely report you and you will lose your credential.
     
  8. richierich

    richierich New Member

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    Sep 19, 2015

    Hi Bunnie,

    I understand that many schools employ some aspect of co-teaching and every school has a different philosophy, just like every business does. That is why, when I had multiple job offers, I selected this one because they acted like they were all about my teaching philosophy and beliefs. But now I can see they just wanted to get someone in the position. Outside of the co-teaching aspect, which I had told them I didn't believe in, one of the big things is that I did student teaching in an innovative school that practiced project based/social constructivism, etc. I was adamant about saying that I don't believe in direct instruction and then on day one they handed me a 2" thick manual on direct instruction and said if I wasn't following it I'd get bad reviews.

    I come from the private sector where people are honest in interviews, and if they aren't honest, people quit because that's good business. From how ridiculously different the position is, I mean I'm co-teaching with an intern that knows nothing about special ed, with half the class having IEPs and I'm not a special ed teacher, while also having to practice a different teaching philosophy than I believe in. I'm at a point where I'd rather lose my credential and go back to private because it isn't worth being with an organization that would put me in a position that is the opposite of what I had bluntly articulated.
     
  9. richierich

    richierich New Member

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    Then they weren't honest about the position. Only in the education sector would people think that was an ok thing.

    Any other penalties outside of losing a credential? I'm ok with that at this point. That's bad business to have a verbal understanding and then ignore that understanding.
     
  10. richierich

    richierich New Member

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    The co-teacher is a special ed intern that hasn't taught, and the classes have 40 students with half special ed. She isn't capable of being an aid in the classroom. I can't even give her tasks to do. I've tried everything.
     
  11. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Sep 19, 2015

    You're making demands of your administration as a first year teacher? Wow.

    That's almost a guaranteed way to get nonrenewed where I'm from. Good luck. I hope you find a position where your every whim will be granted.
     
  12. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Perhaps she senses her attitude toward her? I think one of the best lessons teachers can learn is humility in the face of adversity. Not kowtowing, but learning to be a strong leader and mentor to others.
     
  13. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Sep 19, 2015

    Here are my thoughts and take them for what they are worth.

    You really can't fault the special education intern. I'm not familiar with the term intern within the educational system, because all teachers need to be certified and have schooling in order to have a teaching position in a public school setting where I'm from. But in knowing what the word intern means, it seems she was thrown to the wolves and is trying to figure out a position that should be held by someone who has some background in teaching. You can be mad at the coteaching situation in the sense that there SHOULD be someone more experienced in the role, but you can't be mad at who they hired to do that job. It seems they might need bodies in these positions they have and by hiring an intern it might be someone who was a bottom of the barrel choice, nobody else wanted the position or they are being cheap.

    I don't know why they hired you if you didn't believe in their approach to teachings there than my previous assumption that they needed to fill the position with whoever. But I can say that maybe you needed to do your homework better when selecting a position. Sure some schools/admin may be deceptive in their practices but that's not the norm. Maybe. They are switching up the way they want instruction delivered, and this year they decided to try direct instruction. Maybe they always were a direct instruction school. But in this day and age most schools have websites that talk about their mission and what they offer students. Also there are many websites that offer school ratings and comments from employees to parents to students. If you had looked this up maybe you would have realized this was not the place for you.

    I also get that you are a first year teacher, please don't think I'm being harsh, I wish I would have known the first school I worked at was a hot mess and not the right fit for me many years ago. I also didn't have as many tools to figure out if a school was good or what I wanted back then. Today you have may means of knowing about a school without stepping foot into it at your disposal.

    Nobody's first year is perfectly ideal. But if you are severely unhappy, then resigning may be the best option for you. I wish I had done that my first year.

    Also it seems your school doesn't care much about who they hire, as long as they have someone. Do you feel this way too? Does it feel evident maybe with other teachers that are there? I know that most charter schools are notorious for operating this way. And I don't mean to offend anyone who works a a great charter, as some are exceptional.

    Anyways, I hope this was helpful, along with other advice you have gotten on this thread.
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Bunnie, and intern is a paid student teacher. So instead of doing it for free, they get paid, I'm not sure if they get paid as much as a regular teacher, but definitely more than a sub. These interns, just as students teacher are definitely equipped and capable to run a classroom, (don't have their credential yet, they just need the practical experience) but often are not alone. Actually the only 2 interns I have personally known had their own classrooms and did not have a teacher assigned to supervise them.
     
  15. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    On another note my first year co-teaching last year was a disaster. I had a total of four other teachers I had to coteach with in one year. None were successful partnerships. This year I have 2, one is with me all day, the other is going to be in my room a decent amount of time. My full time coteach and I get along great, but haven't got into the thick of teaching as we've only been in school 6 days. But I can already tell it's going to be a better experience because we are both experienced educators who communicate.

    The second person who will be in my room part-time, is a brand new teacher. I'm a little more worried about that partnership. But we sat down the other day and told her what role I'd like her to play in the classroom. I set the expectations. Then I said once things get rolling we can evaluate if things are working. The key is communication and being treated and respected as equals. Without it any coteaching situation is going to fail.
     
  16. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Ok so it's similar to what we have here called Teaching Fellows, although they are certified and have part of their schooling complete and only summer school experience before their first year.

    However it seems they are still learning, more so than a typical first year teacher with traditional training. So they definitely need more help and guidance when they first start.

    I'm all for being compassionate to a newbie, but there's a certain eagerness a new teacher should possess to do their job as best as they can. And I say this because my first coteacher (who did traditional schooling) was in it only for the health benefits. Literally. So they lacked the eagerness to really do their job and didn't last long, even though they knew what they were supposed to be doing.
     

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