Reassignment of staff to other grade levels

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by AuburnTeach, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. AuburnTeach

    AuburnTeach Companion

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    We had a staff meeting today, and at 3:50, which is when the meeting is supposed to end, the principal told all staff except classroom teachers that they could leave.

    Then, she handed classroom teachers a piece of paper that read as follows:

    I have mentioned on a number of occasions this year (staff recalls one mention) that we will be looking at making some staffing reassignments. Reassignment of staff withing an elementary school is an educationally sound practice that especially enables staff to be part of the larger scope and sequence. They see how different units of study fit into the larger picture. It also enables staff, who are versed at more than one level, to use those skill to increase differentiation opportunities for students with whom they work. Lastly, it allows staff increased opportunities to work closely with other staff members in the building.

    We will begin the process of staff reassignment with the 2006-2007 school year and will have the goal of reassigning on a five year rotation. I would like your input to help accomplish the process.


    After these paragraphs, we're asked to name our first and second choice for a grade level move and our rationale for that choice.

    Staff members were stunned. The principal mentioned reassigning staff once, in the context of a discussion about five elementary staff members retiring. We had no clue she was talking about reassigning her choice of staff members in the coming school year.

    The principal stated that this has been successful in many school districts and is widely implemented. Do any of you work in a district that reassigns staff to different grade levels on a rotating basis whether the staff member wants to move or not?

    This is just the tip of the iceberg; top-down management based on some new idea the principal read about runs rampant in our school. Teacher morale is at an all-time low, and teachers walk into school looking like they've just been slapped in the face. Staff have talked to the principal and, because nothing changes, to the superintendent. I'm just one of many staff members who called a school board member tonight because the superintendent has done nothing to help.

    Thanks for letting me vent, and please let me know if you have the "rotating reassignment schedule" in place at your school, and if so who decides where/when staff members get moved and whether or not staff has any input.
     
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  3. Rosieo

    Rosieo Enthusiast

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    I don't think that would go over very well with our teachers and I don't think the union would allow it.
     
  4. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I know that our principal and/or supervisor has the right to reassign us at will. I changed grades this year and I am really glad that I did. I was becoming too "comfortable" in 4th grade. I have to admit, the shake-up really helped me. I have the challenge of changing grades which is making me really step up. I don't know that I would want to change every 5 years (this is year 9). There's just too much stuff to move! How many staff members would be moved at a time? I would assume that there would be at least one "veteran" at each grade level. Otherwise, it would be really scary.
     
  5. AuburnTeach

    AuburnTeach Companion

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    Christy, I commend you for viewing your reassignment as positive. Did you get to choose what grade to teach? Which grade did you teach before you taught fourth graders?

    Our principal hasn't told us how many teachers would be reassigned, just that if possible she'd use our "choices" to reassign us, and we'd know if we got reassigned and to what grade after spring break.

    Change can be good, even when it's difficult, but I think changing grade assignments arbitrarily without considering the teacher's strengths, areas of expertise, and willingness to seek feedback and use it to improve teaching skills is detrimental to students as well as to teachers.
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I had the choice of 1st or 5th (I had only taught 4th before). I went for 5th with no hesitation. I don't think I have the patience for 1st. Our numbers went down and we had to lose a 4th grade teacher, last one hired, first one moved. Even with 9 years in I was the "newbie". I really like 5th. (I have to admit, I loved 4th more, but that is another story!) I had to move, no choice, it was only because we had a teacher leaving that I had the choice between 1st and 5th.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Our school is in a quickly growing area, and it has been a reality since the school opened (3 years) that every year there will be changes due to the make-up of the population and our staffing numbers. (We are assigned a certain number of teachers based on our enrollment). We had a reorganization at the beginning of October this year which saw one of our grade 8 teachers move down to a 4/5 split. Next year, he'll be back to a 7/8 split. We have some input into our preferred assignments, but it doesn't always work out. Next year, we will be losing about 1/3 of our grade 4-8 students when a new school opens, so that has a huge impact on our staffing in those grades. I am now teaching grade 5 and was offered a grade 1 or 2 for next year (due to seniority, etc, there weren't any older grades available for me). I wasn't at all comfortable with that, so spoke at length with my principal, and will be doing Special Ed full-time next year. I am actually quite excited about the change (but not the moving classrooms). I think that sometimes a shake-up is good. I've taught in schools where teachers have been teaching the same grade "forever" and do exactly the same thing every year. I know that here reeassignment is not a union issue (as long as you are qualified for the position you are being offered). The attitude is basically that if you aren't happy with where you are being assigned you can always transfer to another school. Good luck!
     
  8. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I view this like I did about our neighbor that had no
    TV for his kids. Early in my life I thought he was a curmudgeon
    then later I thought he was WAY ahead of his time.
    I know that most people fear change and wish to avoid it.
    My experience personnaly and in observation is that most people
    become energized and kicked out of a rut when they have to
    do something new. I have seen it over and over again.
    I know it is much easier to go in with the same grade, expectations
    and knowledge along with the materials some have spent years accumulating but I think you soon discover that new can be
    rewarding and challenging. And even fun. Good luck whatever happens. But whatever you do dont hang a picture of Jesus
    in your room. ;)
     
  9. Teacher379

    Teacher379 Companion

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    My school does it every year. I'm not sure whether or not it's done district-wide, but it's not necessary that you would get your choice either.

    Last year I asked for K-2 and ended up with 3rd. I can't stand the pressure of FCAT on the teachers and students...I really hope I get what I want next year, if not I'm out the year after.

    The "reason" that was given to me is that I'm certified in K-6 and should be able to teach any of those grades.

    What sucks about my administration is that they don't tell you what you're teaching next year until AFTER the voluntary transfer period. So even if I wanted to transfer out, it is probably too late to get a position you wanted.

    Good luck with your assignment for next year.

    -Crystal
     
  10. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Our school is talking about the same thing. Basically I want to stay with my school another 2 years minimum (though a school closer to home would be nice) but if they move me to 4th I am so out of there!! I HATE teaching writing and sure don't want to be responsible for the FCAT writes. My hope is that I will get to stay in 3rd grade at least another year. I'm not so worried about the FCAT reading. I just really love this age level.
     
  11. AuburnTeach

    AuburnTeach Companion

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    I agree, but I think it depends on the teacher. I want to become a master teacher, and I get tired of teaching something using the same activities and materials every year, so I'm always looking at ways to "shake things up" using activities based on student interest, readiness, and learning profiles. Every year is rewarding and challenging because the make-up of the kids I teach changes, so I have to make shifts in how I change and the materials I use.

    Students whose strengths, abilities, personalities, and learning styles are addressed take ownership of their learning and become invested in and excited by what they learn. That holds true for teachers, too.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I've seen many of our elementary schools do this. It's done somein the upper grades as well, but not as often due to certification issues.
     
  13. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I have to speak up as a former 4th grade teacher who spent 8 years teaching 4th and dealing with the LEAP (the high stakes criterion referenced test). It's a little disheartening to hear others say they don't want to be responsible for the test scores. (At my school, not on here.) First of all, everyone who teaches that child from PreK to 4th is responsible. Second, the stress is so high, it's not fair to keep putting the same teachers through that. After 8 years, it was time to move on, even though I LOVE the age group. I don't know that I could have dealt with the stress much longer.
     
  14. Irissa

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    Please dont take what I said wrong I don't want to be responsible for our 4th grade writing because I HATE WRITING. Hate hate hate!! Now would you want a teacher that hated what they taught no. If I feel unsuccessful as a writer so will my children thus making a miserable year for all of us. Not to mention I'm still on annual contract and I NEED to have a successful year. If my administration places me in that position I don't think I would feel succcessful.
    I teach 3rd grade in Florida which IS our high stakes testing and I love it. I love teaching reading. I get great JOY out of teaching reading. In florida 3rd grade is the end all be all of accountability for test scores. My kids don't pass 3rd grade unless they can pass the FCAT.
    Do I teach writing? sure. Do I like it? no way! Move me to any grade but 4th is my only plea.
     
  15. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I wasn't responding to you, it was just a comment based on what the teachers at my school have made. It's frustrating dealing with that.
     
  16. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I was in a building a few years ago where the principal "threatened" to move 3/4 of the staff, but didn't follow through with it. Now I am in a building where it is virtually impossible to move. I would like to change grade levels for many reasons, some personal and some professional. Until this year 4th grade was the only high stakes testing grade (5 tests in all!) in Ohio, and nobody would even consider moving there (I teach 4th). While I don't think constant movement would make sense, I would welcome the change and a chance to see the "bigger picture" of several grades.
     
  17. SusanMc

    SusanMc Rookie

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    I don't have a problem with reassignment when say a teacher isn't being successful in his/her current position. I know it is difficult to keep changing grades repeatedly. Every 5 years wouldn't be so bad...to break up any monotony.

    I would just be frustrated with your principal for saying she mentioned it on several occasions when she didn't.
     
  18. historyteacher

    historyteacher Companion

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    Our big change for the coming year may be returning to self-contained rooms for 4th grade. We have been departmentalized for three years. Everyone teaches the area they are well versed in especially our two middle school certified people. Now instead of planning two lesson plans each day we may begin to plan for 5 seperate plans. This can be a little overwhelming when you haven't done it in 5 years. The only reason that this is being considered is our current guru of the moment, ***********, doesn't like departmentalization in elementary school. We attribute the model as one of the reasons we have made great gains over the last three years. Getting towards the end of the school year is the best of times and the worse of times. The anxiety just kills me.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2006
  19. ViolaSwamp

    ViolaSwamp Habitué

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    HistoryTeacher I don't really think it's appropriate to post the names of others in a somewhat negative connotation. I know I wouldn't like someone doing it to me. Please consider editing your post to remove the name.
     
  20. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Rather than AtoZ members confronting other members who post here, you can click on "report post" and let one of the official AtoZ moderators take care of anything inappropriate.
     
  21. historyteacher

    historyteacher Companion

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    Whoaaaa....what happened here? I don't remember confronting anyone in my post. I remember posting and hitting the button, but then I didn't see it so I just figured there was problem and I went on to something else.

    What I posted had to do with the fact that this year my adm. is considering self-containing 4th grade after we have worked hard to departmentalize. Many of our teachers are middle grades certified and we are highly qualified in specific academic subjects. The reason given has to do with the Learning Focused model and the opinion of the owner of the company.

    Now that I am in the middle of re-typing this post I see what the problem may have been... if some of you have never heard of Learning Focused----------the person I mentioned in my post is an education guru who is nationally known and owns the company. I think its important to share with members of this forum that sometimes these decisions are made based on opinions from people outside of your school. That's all. I wasn't attacking anyone.

    We've worked really hard to get curriculum in place for each of our subject areas and our students have done well each year. Fifth grade has it much easier because the kids already are adept at changing classes. Our middle schools report they no longer have to go through the training period at the beginning of the school year.

    I think there are certain teachers who adapt well to moving between grades and certain teachers who recover from such a move very slowly. I would rather be given a choice. There are more than enough teachers in my school who like to change often. I understand that it is necessary to move a teacher---even against her wishes. I made a move three years ago from fifth grade down to fourth because it would help other staff members and it would be beneficial to the fourth grade team. However, I object to simply moving people as a power show or moving them based on the opinions of an educrat.
     
  22. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    It is common to switch up grade assignments every 3-4 years at my school. This is my first year, but I already know a move is possible. I will, however, be given a choice and if I am totally opposed they will leave me alone. Today is my meeting with the principal to determine if a) I am invited back for next year b) I want to come back next year c) What grade I would like. I am currently in Kindergarten, but 5th grade is a possibility. I just don't know if that is a move I am ready to make. I am not sure what to tell them and I only have 5 hours to figure it out!! I know I don't want first though...that's the only thing I really know. A switch might be nice though, it would broaden my resume.
     
  23. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I'm in my 5th year of teaching pre-K (I taught Pre-K for four years previously, followed by two years of second grade and two years of Kindergarten). I can't imagine changing grades right now. That would be a nightmare to me. I am comfortable in my room and with my assistant, and it's just gotten to the point where the job is not so hard. I have a lot going on in my personal life with a very ill child, and I don't know if I could give a new grade the attention and time it would deserve.

    If a principal just started switching things up, even with highly successful teachers, just "because," I'd be furious.
    Kim
     
  24. hanvan

    hanvan Connoisseur

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    Our school does it but the prin. will sit down and talk to the teacher she is thinking of moving. Or one year she sat us down and told all of first that one teacher needs to move to second because of numbers. One person vol. and it wasn;t a big deal. We do feel out a sheet with 1-3 choices of grade levels. My adm. is really nice and they have our best interest at heart. They usually only do it when the numbers go up or down. I would rather be moved than loose my job :)
     
  25. AuburnTeach

    AuburnTeach Companion

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    Thanks for your input everyone.

    Since the reassigning teachers announcement was made on Monday, staff has found out that there is one teacher admin wants to move...but, instead of talking with that one teacher, they're moving everyone so "the teacher" doesn't get upset.

    In other words, they lack the respect, professionalism, and courage to talk to that teacher, so they're moving at least three teachers.
    If someone has a problem with me for any reason, I want and expect them to talk to me in a matter of fact way so the problem is addressed and resolved.

    The entire elementary staff is angry, edgy, upset, and possibly moving to a grade they don't want to or can't properly teach...all because of one teacher who isn't doing her job properly.
     
  26. SusanMc

    SusanMc Rookie

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    That truly bites! You're right about the unprofessionalism.
     
  27. wdwteach

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    I have been teaching for 10 years and I am not a bit surprised to hear about your meeting. We have had some staff reassignments every year and I have never had anyone ask my opinion of where we should go. At least you have some warning. Many of our reassignments happened during the summer.
     

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