References

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JustMe, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 18, 2011

    It seems that so often when an employer contacts a potential employee's former employer, that person verifies the job seeker as having worked for the company in the past, but stops short of providing any details regarding ability, attitude, and so forth.

    I realize that in many cases the one seeking employment benefits from this and should, meaning that the former employer was in whatever way rotten and shouldn't have the power to ruin a former worker's ability at gaining future employment. Again, I do get that.

    But in many cases, it means someone who should not be working is able to land another position. In education, of course, it means that someone who wasn't able to perform his or her teaching responsibilities finds him or herself back in a classroom. I know of teachers who were let go because of their complete inability to teach effectively or even because of inappropriate behavior who were immediately snatched up by another district. With an honest referral from the previous employer, that person wouldn't likely stand a chance at being rehired as a teacher.

    So, two issues are likely a cause: one) allowing poor or inappropriate teachers to resign opposed to firing them, and two) not being able to provide potential employers with accurate referrals out of fear of lawsuit.

    I don't know...I was just thinking about this and it bothers me greatly, I suppose because there is one man in particular who was very inappropriate with students (touching :() and an overall horrible, horrible teacher, who was able to move one county away and get another teaching position. This teacher has skipped from county to county for several years. How many different school populations will he be allowed to hurt—academically or otherwise?

    Any thoughts? Anyone else know of teachers who wrongly benefit from the "Yes, she was employed with us for the 2010-2011 school year as a fourth grade teacher" referrals?
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 18, 2011

    Hmmm. Maybe it's just me. :)
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 18, 2011

    I think that then the administration is not doing their job. If a teacher is so bad or terrible, then they need to be fired from their job...not just nonrenewed or RIFed.
     
  5. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Jun 18, 2011

    I think those people hiring him over and over are a little remiss if he's left job after job after one only year. Maybe he's related to someone??

    I don't really agree that the admin should give a negative referral. In some cases of former teachers from my district, they weren't a good fit for our particular population, or had a personality conflict with a principal. Most of those teachers went on to other districts and have been successful since. I would hate to have their futures ruined because of one job.
     
  6. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Jun 18, 2011

    One word: liability.

    You defame someone to another employer and you're going to be up the rear in legal costs.

    It's just not worth the chance.

    For certain jobs, like teaching, maybe that shouldn't be the case and each individual should be held accountable for their actions/results.

    My only fear with that is a first year teacher learning the ropes in a horrible district, at an even worse school (as in no support at all and a rough student population) being let go for under-performing, and that being a reason they're never hired again.

    :2cents:
     
  7. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Jun 18, 2011

    From what I've seen, it's easier to just move people around than fire them. It's really sad to me. I know that being an administrator isn't easy, but that comes with the job.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 18, 2011

    Pete, I realize it's a liability issue. I just think it's a sad day when an administrator who let a teacher go for inappropriate behaviors with a student doesn't feel the responsibility to share this with every potential employer.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 19, 2011

    I think that any administrator worth hiring should be able to infer what is NOT being said.

    If I'm asked for a reference, and ALL I say is "yes, he did teach math at my school last year"-- that should speak VOLUMES. If I say he wasn't a good fit, or was let go for budget reasons, that's one thing. But if all I can give as a reference is a verification of dates, that should tell the person asking all they need to know.


    But "Inappropriate behaviors with a student" sound like something the police should have been involved in; I think it goes far beyond simply firing a teacher.
     
  10. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jun 19, 2011

    My understanding is that basically an admin reference has to speak between the lines and cannot say anything negative outright. The most admin can do is ask (and answer) the question "Would you hire this person again having worked with him/her in the past?" To elaborate would be going too far, but a simple Aye or Nay is OK.
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2011

    I had a MAJOR personality clash with a former P. She decided from the get go that she didn't like me. She gave me a mentor who was telling me that my kinders, in less then 4 weeks of school should know all of the class routines, even those routines that I hadn't introduced to them yet. My response to this mentor, who was a retired middle school teacher having never set foot into a kindergarten classroom before, was the reason you can expect that is because they have been taught those routines. Some of the expectations that this person had for kinders were developmentally inappropriate! (sitting in their seats for 45 mins at a time while I instruct.) I was constanly telling my mentor that that was not appropriate for that grade level. I was also told by this P that I couldn't do centers with my kinders. By the end of the year I had awful self-esteem! Plus I was tired of constantly standing up for myself and my kiddos.

    If that principal had given my future employers her opinion of my teaching I may not have gotten another job! (BTW the previous P in the building lilked me). Yes, I got a job for the following year that allowed me to teach kindergarten appopriately. This was over 8 years ago & still upsets me!
     

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