resigned to avoid being non-renewed, feeling utterly hopeless and worthless

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by maynardsong, May 23, 2016.

  1. maynardsong

    maynardsong Rookie

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    May 23, 2016

    My story: I got a master's in public policy right after undergrad, and worked a lot of internships that didn't translate into jobs. That got frustrating. I was paying bills by tutoring, then I substitute taught and realized I could do real teaching. I pursued world language education.
    In 2014-2015, I was hired to teach Spanish part-time at a middle school in a wealthy area. I really had no idea what I was doing and I cobbled together things and the kids saw right through it and by the time I got the hang of anything, I had lost them. They had zero respect for me. I had ideas on what I'd do differently next year, but I didn't reapply to my part time job. So I didn't get rehired. My principal wouldn't have rehired me anyway though, she told me that although she could tell I worked my heart out, she thought teaching isn't the right field for me. I was a blubbering mess for two days. At the end of the year, my real evaluator went over what I did right and stressed the importance of improving classroom management.
    I got hired in another district and my evaluator told them that lesson planning and making assessments were my strengths, classroom management was my weakness. I got hired after I gave a good answer on how I'd handle disruptive students. I made procedures and I was better organized than I was last year. I had two formal classroom observations with a lot of positives, though yeah, it was noted that I'd benefit from stricter routines. I can pinpoint things I should have done differently at the beginning of the year (for one, I arranged the seating with tables rather than desks because I thought it would encourage collaborative work. I made a gamble and lost. And I should have come up with a Plan B for procedures that I couldn't keep up, and I should actually have eased up on my rules - by making super strict rules, I wasn't great at enforcing them, and being a little flexible would actually have benefited). I'd intended to fix these mistakes at the beginning of next year/over summer. And I would be on the lookout for classroom management trainings.
    As late as March, I was under the impression that I'd be working at my high school again in 2016-2017, and so was my head of department. In late April I was informed verbally (not in writing) that my classroom management is horrible and I need to improve. Two weeks later I got informed that I hadn't improved and hence I would not get recommended for contract renewal. I took two days to process this (and to cry a LOT and feel completely worthless) and then I drafted a letter of resignation, but I still wanted to talk to the principal to try to possibly get her to reconsider. She told me she didn't have time and that the school board meeting was that night and she was going to not recommend me and that if I were her daughter, she'd tell me to resign. I resigned and that got approved, but I didn't appreciate how I'd gotten that done by the skin of my teeth. A lot of my colleagues were surprised that I resigned. As far as students know, I'm coming back next year.
    But what do I do now? I thought I'd shown tremendous growth since 2014-2015. I'd hoped I would grow more at the same school of 2015-2016 in 2016-2017, but basically my growth was just me graduating from turds to maggots and was ultimately worthless. How does it look to future employers that I've not been invited back by two schools in a row?
    I'm feeling very lost right now. I could switch fields, but then what? I actually LIKE teaching, and besides, I worry that I'll somehow botch another field. I failed to get employed in public policy or international relations. I don't understand why I'm so far behind everybody else.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 24, 2016

    Not every teacher is right for every school and vice versa.

    It sounds like you've reflected on everything and that you're being pretty honest and realistic about where you can improve. You didn't blame others for your shortcomings, and you accepted responsibility for things that you didn't do as well as you could have. To me, this is a sign that you have it in you to be a very good teacher--you just have to find the right fit.

    If I were in your shoes, I would start throwing resumes everywhere. There are places with severe teacher shortages--like Las Vegas (CCSD)--where an otherwise good and motivated teacher who might struggle in some areas would be given a chance.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  4. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    May 24, 2016

    Really? I am a first time teacher looking for a job and I am hesitating applying in the "ghetto" low income areas. I am hesitating because I don't know if I could handle title 1 students. I am extreme young looking as well. But you said you had more respect from those students? I may reconsider, especially since those districts are probably easier to get into
     
  5. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    May 24, 2016

    Don't let looking young be the reason you don't apply somewhere. I started at 21 and was asked at several places like eye doctor and clothes stores what grade I was going to be in and if I was looking forward to high school. I taught in the "hood" when I started out.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    May 24, 2016

    OP, I couldn't tell by your post - have you actually completed any coursework in education? If not, it may be helpful to take a class in classroom management. Otherwise, the book that Caesar has recommended is a great one for a teacher starting out (not my favorite, I'll readily admit, but a good place to start).

    I'm not sure if you want advice regarding classroom management, but if you had a few areas you were looking to improve, this forum is a great place to learn from experienced teachers. I've learned a lot from other users.

    I do really think that anyone can be a good teacher if they want to, they just have to be willing to change how they do things. These changes may be major, or they may be minor, depending on the person. I was overly caring and under-assertive my first year as a teacher, and that's kind of a hard thing to change since it's my personality, but I'm vastly better this year as I've learned how to make adjustments. Next year, I'll be even better. And, you can too. :)

    It sounds like your heart is in the right place. Whatever you choose, I wish you the best, and I'm sorry you've had such a rough go at the start of your career.
     
  7. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    May 24, 2016

    How can they not let you know anything was wrong for the whole year and then in the span of a few weeks tell you that your not being rehired. What a mess, in my state you have to be given official documentation of your issues, be put on an improvement plan, ect. Two weeks to turn around a class in march/april is pretty much impossible. That sucks.

    I don't have much advice besides start applying to jobs now. One good thing you having going for you is that in many areas foreign language jobs aren't that easy to fill. You may get a school who is willing to give you a shot despite the issues you had. Also like someone else suggested if you can, you may want to try going to either some classes or even just professional development meetings about classroom management. You may be able to find some free/cheap stuff available online.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  8. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    May 25, 2016

    Title 1 doesn't necessarily mean "ghetto." I would highly recommend re-evaluating your thinking about low-income students, who they are, where they come from, and why they face the challenges they do, before attempting to teach in a low-income school.

    I teach in a Title 1 school that serves a low-income population in a relatively higher-income area. many of our students' parents are immigrants who never completed formal education. These students have been told since day one that their parents brought them to this country to get a better education. They respect teachers and school, although they may not always have the same level of academic support at home as our more middle-income students -- parents may be working multiple jobs to support a family, may not speak English or be able to help with homework, may not understand the importance of the school schedule/calendar, etc. You have to be prepared to be flexible and willing to bridge the gaps that exist for these students.

    If you go into it with the mindset that these kids are "ghetto" and "bad kids," chances are you will get what you're looking for. If you go into it looking at these students as pure potential, they will rise up to meet your expectations, if you are willing to do what is necessary.
     
    phillyteacher likes this.
  9. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    May 25, 2016

    You took what I said WAY out of context. I never called the kids ghetto. I have subbed at title 1 schools in a nice school district before, I get it. But yes, the city that I live in has some really "ghetto" dangerous areas.
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    May 26, 2016

    The basic premise is that you need to find a job in a district that has high needs. The advantage is that you get more chances to experiment with delivery, management, and methodologies with less risk of being terminated. As you improve, perhaps you will choose to find a different school, or you may choose to stay where you have been successful. Title I schools and private schools, especially for the SPED population, may be just what the doctor ordered.
     
    teacherintexas and otterpop like this.

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