Received 2 Offers - Give Advice + need advice

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by consciousteach, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. consciousteach

    consciousteach Rookie

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    I’m a first year alternate route candidate in NJ who just got my Science/Student of Disabilities cert two months ago. Since then I have applied to about forty positions in many districts, including a private and a charter school. This afternoon I received a tentative offer from a charter school to teach middle school science and another offer form a public school. I still have have an interview tomorrow. The charter schools is having their board meeting tomorrow. But I told them yes. I do not know if I should choose from the charter school or abbot public.

    The charter school is longer hours. They said it would be more work, but we would have more flexibility. I do not know how much micromanaged it will be as I tried to find reviews on Glassdoor but couldn't. The salary is decent, but I do not know about the benefits. They gave me the offer after the interview. They don't have a smart board and students share Ipads. I don't think it has too many discipline problems since it is a charter.

    The public school has more resources. It is in an abbot district that is known for problems. But this offer came after the panel interview. The HR person called, and didn't even tell me the salary or benefits. I feel so rushed because they both came so fast. I didn't officially sign anything yet though even though I kind of committed to the charter.

    Can you help me?
     
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  3. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Can you look at the salary benefits on Website/HR section?
    I am unsure how Charters work in NJ. However, I know that in CA many if not all Charter schools are At Will employers. Which means they can fire you at any time for any reason no matter how long you have been working there. Whereas, in CA if you are teaching at school with a union it is based on Seniority after your first 2 years in the district. In my district many of our behavior students are sent to the Charter school primarily because they have shown to not do well in the traditional setting and Charter seems to have lower classes sizes and or room to get in to too much trouble. If it were me, I would do the public schoool....but do what is best for you! Get back to the ASAP so as to avoid burning bridges.
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Abbott districts do have funding and money. Many/most are in urban areas. I would choose a public school position over a charter school position any day of the week. I was an AR candidate when I started, and I was thrilled to find my first job in a public school. Many of my cohort members were in charter schools and I saw the hours they expected to put in while being an at will employee. For me it would be no contest.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
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  5. pennyandme

    pennyandme Rookie

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    I'm coming out of lurkdom for this! Granted my experiences may be the exception....this may help you a little.

    My first year of teaching was at a charter school and it was absolutely the worst year of my life. I was given a lot of "freedom", but that was code for no curriculum and micromanaging instructional practices on a teacher by teacher basis. Basically, what was okay for one teacher was not okay for the next. Our evaluations were verbal and we were given nothing in writing. The bosses cherry picked what they wanted and their expectations changed daily with very little direction or warning.

    Because there was no union, teachers were picked on and bullied. They were suspended without pay or warning for reasons that would never fly in a public school setting. If the students misbehaved, it was because of the teacher (even though many were late transfers because of behavior issues in a public setting). It was easier to punish the teacher than the student because if a student is out the school doesn't get funding. At a charter school you have no rights. You are expected to work longer hours with more work for lower pay and no union. Administrators are able to get away with this because you are at will and there's no one there to monitor them or keep them in check.

    I would choose a public school based on more protection and rules that have to be followed. Public schools have a set of rules and expectations that both teachers and administrators have to follow, while charters tend to fly by the seats of their pants.

    I hope I didn't scare you too much! This charter may be great but I would definitely research. Maybe check the school report cards and any social media they may have. Good luck deciding!
     
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  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Welcome to the forums. It's always fine to "lurk", but we're glad you've taken the plunge into member status. Let us know if we can be of any help.:welcome:
     
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  7. consciousteach

    consciousteach Rookie

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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I have until Wednesday to tell the public school. And the charter school is signing the agenda tomorrow. I found kind of fishy how they offered me the job after just 90 minutes. This is so hard.
     
  8. pennyandme

    pennyandme Rookie

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    One good thing about charter schools and being "At-Will" is that you have the right to leave at any time. If you do decide last minute to take the public school job, you won't be penalized unless it is explicitly written in your contract that you can't leave.
     
  9. consciousteach

    consciousteach Rookie

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    Also wanted to add that they mentioned contract. So would you guys still choose a traditional public school over that
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    IMHO a contract with a public school has clout. If you don't want that job, don't take it. What I witnessed was that the "contract" from the charter schools protect the school much more than the teacher. I have heard about the bullying and lack of clear agenda that is the same for every teacher from teachers trying to live through it. Granted, I was on the outside looking in, but I wouldn't have wanted to switch positions with them for all the tea in China.
     
  11. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    For me, other things being relatively equal, I would choose the public school over the charter. Did you get a better feeling from either principal? I have to add, the charter making a quick offer doesn't strike me as fishy. It's hiring season and if you have a strong candidate, it makes sense to move quickly before someone else scoops them up.
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I would also take a public school position over a charter in a heartbeat. Charters actually have good reputations among the general public in my area and are well known to have "easier" students. On the surface it seems like it would be a better work environment, but every single teacher I've known IRL who has worked in a charter (and I'm talking 10+ people) has had an absolutely miserable experience. At least in my area, they tend to be run by people who have no background in education but think they know better than the professionals and can "fix" education. The at will thing is no joke either. I had one friend fired mid-year because some parents complained about her homework policy and she didn't change it, and I had another friend let go mid-year because their enrollment declined. The salary/benefits information for the public school should be available on their website. If you can't find it, call HR and ask.
     
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  13. pennyandme

    pennyandme Rookie

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    After my experience at the charter school, I actually took a $20,000+ pay cut and opted for a Teacher's Assistant job just so I could recover and get my head together. I was infinitely happier. I wouldn't go back to a charter school for a million dollars. I know that the 9 teachers who quit in one school year would agree with me. ;)
     
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  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Just a head's up - if you go with the charter, make sure that you specify going with the AR program that works in public schools. Unless something has changed, you can get, in essence, a charter school certificate that can't be used at public schools. I haven't worried about that stuff in a while, but I just shook my head over NJ having a charter only certificate. Never made any sense to me at all.
     
  15. consciousteach

    consciousteach Rookie

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    I really appreciate all this good advice from everyone. This means alot. Now, after hearing all this I am leaning towards the public. It was just that I was receiving so many rejections that I was taken aback and told the principal that I was committing. I didn't even meet the head principal for the middle school. It was an elementary school principal and vice principal that gave me the offer
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Do you have firm offers from both, or only the charter, with the hope of the public school? Makes a difference.

    If you haven't signed on any dotted line, you have the right to interview, hold firm, or change your mind. Make sure that you are happy with the job. You will have to work on your AR coursework, start on your TOSD coursework, and find your way in the system. Make sure you have made the choice that allows you to have the time to learn your job while meeting the education expectations of your job.
     
  17. pennyandme

    pennyandme Rookie

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    That's definitely a normal reaction! I've definitely been there. Every offer sounds amazing when you've been searching with seemingly no end in sight. At the end of the day, the decision is yours. Do what feels right for you. Congratulations on the offer by the way!
     
  18. consciousteach

    consciousteach Rookie

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    Vickilyn,

    By firm offer do you mean verbal? The charter school welcomed me to the team and recommended me to the Board and they are signing tomorrow.

    The HR lady for the public said that I have been offered a position. She told me to come in with my transcript and everything. I told her I would need more time. This was all earlier today.
     
  19. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    How exactly did you leave things with the public school HR? Did you say you needed more time to decide, or more time to get your paperwork together? What time frame did they give you in response to you saying that? If you want the public school job, get your paperwork together and make an appointment with HR. Once you sign on with them, let the charter school know you've changed your mind, and are declining their offer.
     
  20. consciousteach

    consciousteach Rookie

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    mathteachertobe,

    I just asked can I have a few more days to decide? She said I have until Thursday. I told her I will get back to her by Wednesday. But now I will get back to her by tomorrow morning. Now, I'm in a bit of a jam because earlier today I confirmed an interview for tomorrow at another school and I know I'm not even going to accept. But I don't want to tell the principal last minute and burn bridges after he's been emailing me all weekend.
     
  21. consciousteach

    consciousteach Rookie

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    Also would it be rude to just email the charter school principal my decision to withdraw. I don't want to speak to her over the phone. But I do not want to be unprofessional and ghost them either.
     
  22. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    If they gave you until Wednesday, why not go to the interview tomorrow? Maybe you will like it even better? I wouldn't contact the charter school until I had signed a contract.
     
  23. pennyandme

    pennyandme Rookie

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    Have you signed anything with the charter school? If you haven't signed a contract and the agreement is simply verbal at this point, they will probably ask you to come in later to sign a contract and get your documentation in order. Before you withdraw, I would first:
    • Research the salary/benefits package with the public school. I'm sure it's probably of equal or greater value. Also find out what your contract will look like.
    • Go ahead and go forward with tomorrow's interview. I wouldn't want to burn bridges and you might come out with a better opportunity, thus making your decision a lot easier.
    • Let the charter school go through with the meeting but don't contact them until they attempt to give you a contract and you are absolutely sure about whatever decision you're going to make. That should be around Wednesday or Thursday. By then you will have interviewed with this other school and have a better idea of the decision you're going to make!
    Either way, don't ghost on the principals. A simple "Thank you for the consideration but I've decided to pursue other opportunities" is all you owe anyone.
     
  24. consciousteach

    consciousteach Rookie

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    Yes Thanks again everyone. I will take the above advice. I stupidly burned a bridge because I had an interview Wednesday and I emailed the principal telling her I was not coming in (just a few hours ago). I should have known when she didn't reply back.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  25. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    It would never hurt to tell the charter school that you will need until Thursday to come in. Be honest. There are two offers on the table. It is wise to consider both, and nothing wrong with new interviews either. Assure them that you will have a final answer by Thursday, and then honor that. This is a big deal, and they know that. Don't be guilted into a decision you are second-guessing.
     
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  26. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Following suit with what everyone else said. I would email whoever at the charter school and decline ASAP. You still have an offer on the table from the public school. Go to the other interview tomorrow, tell them after you interview that you have an offer on the table and need to know by later in the day if you feel the interview went well and you really want that particular position. Then you can see what happens and decide from there. Public school jobs are sooooooo much better than charter school jobs.
     
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  27. physteach

    physteach Companion

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    Jul 18, 2017

    I had one charter in NJ that I LOVED working in and a public school that I hated (both science).
     
  28. consciousteach

    consciousteach Rookie

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    Hi again everyone.

    I just came back from the interview today. The vice principal said I did well. But I would hear back something by next week from the principal. That's too long because the charter school sent an email with the contract to sign by early this afternoon to secure my position. I'm going to contact the public school but human resources isn't picking up. Should i just drive down?

    Also a principal of the school I applied to four weeks ago said that he had chosen a candidate. It just so happens that candidate turned down the offer to the charter school I got! He recommended the charter school. This was the same principal who told me not to accept any offers after my guest lesson and that he didn't want to wait too long because I might get taken. Now, he tells me this.
     
  29. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Did you tell the vice principal you had an offer on the table? While a week isn't long to hear back, it is if it's time sensitive if you've been offered another job.

    I hope you got in contact with the HR of the school you were offered the position at.

    Did you officially decline the charter? That other P sounds flaky with the wait for me but no sorry I hired someone else, go apply at the charter. Sounds sketch.
     
  30. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Keep us informed about your choice - we promise not to second guess your decision. We are, after all, invested, but not there, in that moment when you have to make the final call. Let me say that having a job, either job, is better than starting the year still looking for a job (although many will get jobs even as the school year begins - so don't give up hope).
     
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  31. consciousteach

    consciousteach Rookie

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    Hi again all!

    Today I met with the superintendent of the public school where I received the offer. Then I officially signed the contract. I was given a packet of paperwork and forms to sign that's due in a few weeks. The HR lady told me that the board meeting is in the beginning of August, so I will try to get everything in ASAP. I am currently working as a para in an elementary school, but I won't tell my principal I'm leaving until I'm board approved.

    I read through all of these posts. And I truthfully want to thank all of you for helping me make a decision. I could have made a decision that I would have regretted. I wish everyone the best, as I will still be on here to take or give advice as needed.
     
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  32. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    :celebrate: Here's to a new job and a new school year. I agree - get that paperwork in ASAP. The board approval is important, but virtually always a rubber stamp. Congrats!
     
  33. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Honestly, I think you should tell your current school that you are not returning now. You've already signed a contract. Board approval is just a formality.

    By not telling your principal, you are running the risk that he'll hear it from someone else. I don't know where you live, but administrators talk. Unless you're in a very large city - and even if you are, you still run this risk - administrators at different schools usually know each other from various places, and they may engage in small talk where your name could come up. It happened to me.

    Also, you're putting them in a bad place to have to scramble and hire someone to fill your position before the year begins. Again, I don't know where you live, but, around here, school begins in mid August. If someone resigned in early August, there is no way the position would be filled by mid-August, especially a para position (because administrators often don't understand the important role that paras play, so they don't make hiring someone a priority, mistakenly assuming that the sped teacher can deal with until they get around to hiring someone). That makes it incredibly difficult on the teachers and students who rely on having para support, especially given that it's the beginning of the school year when it's important to set the tone and start off with structure. Again, it happened to me, and it was quite unpleasant.

    Really, you have a signed contract in hand. Don't delay your resignation.
     
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  34. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Jul 22, 2017

    Reading this thread just now. Congratulations! I really think you made the right decision. I know there must be some good charters, but I don't hear about them. And politically, I don't think channeling money from the public systems is a good idea. But that's another thread. Yes, there are some not so great public schools, but you will at least have union protection should anything go wrong. And do resign from your job asap. Congrats and have a great school year!
     

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