Ready to throw in the towel...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Nikkiski21, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Nikkiski21

    Nikkiski21 Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2017

    I'm a certified teacher who was laid-off due my previous district being involved in a lot of debt/corruption. Unfortunately there weren't many teaching jobs posted where I live this past summer so I ended up taking a media specialist position within an urban district. They were clear that I would not be paid as a contract teacher and hired me on the same pay grade as a media clerk, but would bump me to a classroom teaching position should one open up next year. I was content with this, but I was warned by other teachers that I'm the 5th person to fill this job in the last four years. Apparently no one stays because of how terrible it is and now I'm seeing it firsthand.

    All staff is required to fulfill duties, which I understand but I was put on three cafeteria/recess duties in a row for the entire year. So that's two and a half hours of my day spent clearing trash from tables (kids aren't allowed to get up) and supervising playground behavior. I also am in charge of what my principal calls a 'siblings babysitting program' for an hour after school. I was not told about this and only knew when about 35-40 kids showed up in the library at 3:00 to wait for their siblings to be released from the primary school next door. Just yesterday I was told anytime we have indoor recess it will be held in the library and I need to be present to make sure things don't get too out of hand...so when am I supposed to do actual library things?
    P expects me to teach language arts skills, keyboarding, and research skills within a 35 minutes time period. I could put up with this if I was being paid well, but to be frank, I made more money waiting tables in college.

    At this point, I don't even know how I will scan out books. The library's computer is sluggish and ancient. Half the software doesn't work. There's no word processor so I can't print out reports, library cards, late fee notices, etc. I tried downloading Office 365 (free to all teachers in my district) but it wasn't compatible with the versions of Windows. And I'm not allowed to update Windows because last year the computer crashed when they tried. To top it all off, there wasn't a book scanner when I arrived so I ordered one only to plug it in and find out the computer can't recognize it as a device. It's been three weeks and I still don't have keys for the library and get locked out constantly, the time-clock rarely ever works when you need to punch in, It's just a mess and I feel I am being taken advantage of and am very unhappy with the conditions of the job and feel some information was kept from me.

    I think I'm at the point where I just want to put in my two weeks and go back to subbing until I can find anything else. I don't know if I'm being ridiculous here but I can't see myself doing this for an entire school year....I guess my fear is quitting won't look good on a resume. I know employers frown upon job hoppers, which is what I would be if I resigned, subbed, and kept applying for better jobs.
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 13, 2017

    Oh, yeah. I would seriously consider leaving asap.
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Sep 13, 2017

    The good news is, you're not a contracted teacher (right?). You will not break a contract if you do leave, which means you're free to do so whenever you like.

    Make sure you're able to pay bills. Have something else lined up. But if you are really unhappy, I see no harm in leaving, unless you need to work with this district in the future and it may hurt your chances.

    Then again, you may be able to make it work. You're unhappy with the duties and that's fair. Is there a way you can change your frame of mind and just make it through the year to see if you do get offered a position for next year?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  5. Nikkiski21

    Nikkiski21 Rookie

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    I really was trying to be positive at the beginning, but it's difficult. I was told by 5th grade teacher just the other day that they usually have a handful of teachers quit mid-year, which opens up the possibility of a job. But that doesn't make me eager to get that classroom position if people are constantly leaving those positions. It's an urban, lower-income district which probably plays a role in why the staff has such a high turn-over rate.

    I'm applying for other jobs and looking into subbing in a district closer to home so we'll see what happens. Thankfully, husband is very supportive about all of this!
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 13, 2017

    Clerks are not teachers. You should not be asked to teach. If they want you to teach, then they need to pay you as a teacher.

    There is a growing trend of staffing school libraries with clerks and secretaries. Admin see it as a cost-cutting measure because they seem to think that the only thing that happens in a library is book check-out, but this isn't accurate. There is a ton of teaching that happens. I am a teacher-librarian and I don't even check in books or shelve them (I have student aides do it) because I am so busy with my teaching responsibilities. Information literacy, literacy literacy, research skills...all these things are so important, and a licensed teacher-librarian is the perfect person to teach them to students.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  7. Nikkiski21

    Nikkiski21 Rookie

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    That's my thought process as well. I'm a licensed teacher, so of course I want to teach. However, I don't want to be paid as a media clerk...I want to be paid as a teacher or media specialist. I do think they are trying to cut corners and save money in this scenario.
     
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  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I hear you. Why would they pay you as a teacher if they can get the exact same thing out of you as a clerk, you know?

    I would ask that they switch your position to a licensed teaching position. If they won't do that, then I would do zero teaching. Zero. And I'd look for a job elsewhere.
     
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  9. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Sep 13, 2017

    I think the larger question is whether or not you would want to teach for this district at all, knowing what you do now. Seems to me they are highly dysfunctional on every level. Do you really want to work for that?

    Having seen how badly a district can be damaged through mismanagement, I've wondered why there isn't more oversight at the state level. Any knucklehead can get on a school board and ruin hundreds of jobs by way of apathy, ignorance, or greed. Who is there to go to when a school district is being ran into the ground? Worse, who is there to go to when the state itself wants school districts to be ran into the ground?

    Excuse my somewhat related rant. Again, are you sure you would want to teach for these people?
     
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Sep 13, 2017

    I will say...

    I know someone who was in a similar scenario at a rural school. This person was hired to teach, yes, this was the whole job, computer skills to pre-k and kinder kids. The person was hired as an aide. I don't know how the school possibly justified that, but the person was a licensed teacher and had their own classroom.

    The school did hire this person with the same promise - teach this year, and we'll find you a teaching job next year. The school did actually follow through on that. This person is now a teacher at the school and has been for several years, and is very happy in their current position.

    BUT, when the person originally took the job I thought it was crazy. Why take a teaching job that pays aide wages? It shouldn't even be allowed for the school to offer that position as an aide job. The person ended up happy and with a job though, in a market where jobs were hard to find. I suppose it all comes down to what you, personally, are willing to accept and do. And, accept that they might never follow through on their word to get you a teaching job next year.
     
  11. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Sep 13, 2017

    Personally, I'd go back to subbing and not include this stint on my resume.
     
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  12. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Yeah, if they're not willing to make some big changes to make this work for you, then you need to get out. Maybe the 5th person leaving the position will be enough to show them that something needs to change.
     
  13. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I doubt they'll learn anything lol.
     
  14. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    That was my thought too.

    It is easy to say "Quit! They're taking advantage of you and need to learn a lesson." In reality, they will probably keep hiring someone for that same position until they are not allowed to do so.

    Bottom line - OP, you are completely justified in leaving if you want to, and yes, you can leave the position off your resume if you'd like (unless it's the same district).
     
  15. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Sep 14, 2017

    I would ask myself if I would still stay if the position was paid as a teacher. If the answer is no, I would just sub till I found something more permanent. If the money on a teacher rate is good enough that you could put up with it, then I'd have a frank conversation with the P about the job being more of a teaching role than a non-teaching role and request the pay increase to a teacher rate. Don't give the P an ultimatum or anything but politely let him know that you will be giving your notice.
     
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  16. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Somehow, I can't see what being a media specialist has to do with clearing lunch room trash, indoor recess in the library, and trying to cast magic spells on an outdated computer. In other words, I agree with you that you are being taken advantage of. First of all, surely the kids can carry their trash to a trash can and sit back down, even if they have to do it row by row. Secondly, the library is not a gym! And concerning computers, it only costs $1,000 and perhaps less for a workable computer; surely a district can afford that. I know money is tight, it's tight in our district too, but I'll bet there's a bunch of less important stuff that could be sacrificed to afford supplying needs to this school--at least $1,000. Yes, I think you and these students are being taken advantage of.

    Enough complaining, but concerning a workable solution, I would not recommend deleting this job from a resume if you decide to quit. Future employers can easily track down empty space between jobs on a resume. If quitting, it wouldn't be hard to honestly describe your reasons for quitting, but I'd advise that low pay shouldn't be one of them. Employers seek candidates who work for the school system not just get from the school system, and it might be a bad mark on your resume. If you decide to stay, perhaps you could devise some suggestions for the icky periods. Indoor recess in the library, assuming these are elementary kids, could be coordinated with physical activities that don't take up much space. One thought might be an exercise program on TV or DVD, possible if Mousercise is still around, or even an adult calisthenics program. Action songs are another possibility. As far as the computer, I think I'd push for something, possibly even a donation from a local computer store. Yes it's true that schools existed for centuries without computers, but those schools didn't have that many students with 21st century situations to deal with, either. Cramming language arts, keyboarding, and research into 35 minutes is quite the challenge. Is there a way you can kind of push your own agenda into those 35 minutes? If so, what I might try is to combine research and language arts together, just emphasizing perhaps reading some information and writing about it. Maybe spend 5 minutes beginning class and ending class with keyboarding fingering certain letters--and trash the rubbery keyboard coverings if they have them. I've tried typing correctly with them on a keyboard and so did my teaching partner when we were teaching keyboarding--we couldn't even come close to proper finger usage. I'd allow the kids to check the letters on the keys while they're typing--as they gain proficiency, they'll stop eyeing the keyboard. (I'm not a fan of the keyboarding software, either. I like the old fashioned way for that). During research, when they Google they should practice proper fingering, and if they type any papers, again, they should practice proper fingering, even if they're hunting and pecking. Again, eventually, as long as they're using proper fingering, speed and accuracy will replace hunt and peck. Just some thoughts that might help.
     
  17. Nikkiski21

    Nikkiski21 Rookie

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    Thanks for the input everyone! I have a touch choice to make, but I just don't think this job is going to work out. It's not just my position, but I'm starting to see that the entire school is just run very poorly. For example, I was sick earlier this week so I put in my absence the way I was shown how during orientation...apparently the school told all new employees to put absences in through a new system but haven't advised the rest of the staff on this change. So I'm at home and getting bombarded with phone calls and texts around noon about why I'm not at my cafeteria duty?! And I was amazed it took them that long to realize I wasn't there...even though I called off the way I was told to. I know that's a little silly thing to complain about, but my gosh it's like the icing on the cake at this point.

    I've put in some application to sub this week and had an interview after school so I'm planning on giving my notice soon. I don't want to walk away from the health benefits but this is just miserable for me at this point.
     
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  18. Nikkiski21

    Nikkiski21 Rookie

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    More icing on the cake-- just viewed my first payslip and I was not compensated for the hours I spent at staff orientation in August. The hits just keep coming!
     
  19. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I've never been compensated for any orientation hours and I've been oriented 3 times.
     
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  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I've always been compensated. Orientation days are part of our assigned teaching days. Teachers return to work on a certain day and students return a few days (or more) later.
     
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  21. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I was viewing the OPs comment as more of "New Teacher" orientation kind of thing as opposed to the days teacher return before the students. (I'm guessing maybe Always was too.) I am paid for the 2 days before students return, but I was not paid during my first year when I had to attend New Teacher orientation.
     
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  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Well, I was paid for those as well. I think teachers should be paid for any event where their attendance and participation are mandated.
     
  23. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I was referring to new teacher days like this person. I get paid for the days without kids once our contract starts for the year.
     
  24. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    I agree with others that if you do choose to leave the position early enough then you can omit this position from your resume altogether. Potential employers will assume you just never got hired over the summer which is common for specialist teachers where I teach because there aren't many available positions.

    In regards to the orientation days, is it possible you could have gotten PD hours instead of a stipend?
     
  25. Nikkiski21

    Nikkiski21 Rookie

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    I know some districts are different when it comes to New Teacher orientations. It was a four day stint and I was told I would be paid for those days only to not see them reflected in my paycheck. It's being handled, thankfully.

    Also got a call with a job offer today so I'm going to be bowing out of this position. Thanks again for everyone's words of advice!
     
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  26. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Job offer in teaching?
     
  27. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Same here. When I started at my new district, my contract stated that I had five additional contract days added on than returning staff, but I did not receive additional pay for those five days. I received the same pay that a returning teacher with my same level of education and experience would receive, but I had to be at work five extra days.
     
  28. Nikkiski21

    Nikkiski21 Rookie

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    It's not in teaching, but I'm fine with that. The last three years have been a struggle and I'm burnt out. I just don't want to teach anymore. I've registered to go back to school in the spring so I at least have a plan.

    As far as resigning, I have a letter in hand. I want to email the principal and ask to speak with him but I don't want to be specific in the email about why. I'd rather break the news in person. Is something alone the lines of 'Would you have a few minutes to meet with me today?' alright? He's never in his office so I think that's the only way I would ever be able to hand over my letter.
     
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  29. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Teachers are contracted, not hourly, so I can see (although wouldn't agree) them not getting paid for training. But, it sounds like you are/were hourly, so there is no doubt you should get paid.

    Congratulations on the job offer!
     
  30. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Is this a private school? If not it sounds horrible.
     
  31. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I was in a similar situation about ten years ago, and I walked off halfway through Day 1. If I as unprofessional, I was merely meeting them halfway (no compensation for my Orientation, Open House time, or the half day I "taught").

    So glad you're landing somewhere that will most likely be much better.
     
  32. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    Sep 18, 2017

    Sometimes with any job, we have to say goodbye. I understand educational jobs require hard work, but the original poster seems to be taken advantage of. Things aren't even working correctly to do the right job. Most jobs aren't worth fretting, being anxious, and constantly stressed. I would look for another job if it was me.
     

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