Should I resign?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by CGriswald309B, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. CGriswald309B

    CGriswald309B Rookie

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    Mar 1, 2010

    Here's a brief history of my situation.

    I'm a first year teacher who is enrolled in an alternative teaching program.

    I work in one of the most difficult schools in my district. There is a very high crime rate, drug/alcohol problems, high drop-out rate, etc. Many of my students have horrible home lives.

    I started on October 1st. The other two 2nd grade teachers had to choose students to send to the new classroom. The new classroom started with a sub, then I arrived 3 weeks later.

    I didn't end up with ALL the behavior problems but it does seem like I ended up with the worst behavior problems. I'm going by what all the other teachers are telling me.

    Anywho, I had seventeen students to start out with. Five of those students were reading on a 2nd grade level. The other twelve were at a 1st grade level. Of those twelve students I had five who were reading below a 10. None of them are in Special Ed.

    Is it realistic to expect that these kids would be ready for 3rd grade (DRA 28) when they came in so far behind?

    Today I was informed that if I stay next year I will be moved to a lower grade level "because my kids are not prepared for 3rd grade." I was also told that there is a good chance that grade would be Pre-K. I am a 31 year-old male who has no children (that I know of) and really do not want to teach toddlers.

    I have to let them know of my decision before March 15th.

    Thanks in advance for any input/advice/kind words. :D
     
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  3. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    I could never do pre-k...good luck in your decision...how is the job market in your area? You may be better off doing pre-k than nothing!
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I'm confused as to why your administration would decide to move you to a lower grade. What do they hope that will solve? Preschool students must be taught as well. It would seem more reasonable to move you to third grade so you could continue working with these students.

    I really should be in bed, but I'll consider this more tomorrow. :)
     
  5. CGriswald309B

    CGriswald309B Rookie

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    The job market isn't great. However, they aren't laying people off left and right they are in other places.

    Since this is only my first year I can't transfer. However, I could resign and try to get re-hired.

    I really want to teach, but I just don't think I can handle Pre-K.

    I think it may be time to head back overseas. Maybe I'll give China a shot this time...
     
  6. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Mar 1, 2010

    1st PRe-K is not toddlers. 2nd-so what that you are male. Best teacher that I know that has so much compassion for his students is an early childhood teacher. 3rd--don't resign...not before visiting. Maybe if you spent some time in pre-k you might find it is more to your liking than you thought.
     
  7. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    ...don't forget to investigate the private/charter school route, no certification necessary for many of those schools...
     
  8. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    I just want to second that pre-k'ers are not toddlers.

    Pre-k is a grade level where the enrollment fluctuates so much that it's a possibility that your admin is reassigning you to this grade level so that, if the school's pre-k enrollment is low, the district may reassign you to a different school where the enrollment is high and you're no longer their "problem".

    I live in the Austin area and the job market is TIGHT and you would be wise to hold on to any job you're given.
     
  9. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Mar 2, 2010

    I don't mean to poke fun at a serious situation, but the "that I know of" part make me laugh out loud :) Nice addition to the post LOL

    On a serious note, March 15th is right around the corner! From what I can see, you have already made your decision. Good luck in whatever you choose to do.
     
  10. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Mar 2, 2010

    If you are assigned to PK, make the best of it. Many of us think that PK is the most important grade for children. You will have great influence upon preparing the children for later learning. Just remember that you are there to teach the basic skills.

    You never know, you may love it. What a wonderful experience for the children to have a male teacher.
     
  11. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Are you certified for pre-K? I'm not sure they can force you to teach something you are not certified for. Ask if they plan to cover the costs for courses and testing you would need to be able to teach pre-K. Some states have very strict laws about who can teach pre-K. I'd look into that before I made any decisions.
     
  12. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    As a large 26 year-old male teacher, I have worked in daycares with toddlers, as well as with preschoolers (again, different things)... I loved them both.

    But I've also worked with people who DIDN'T love it... and if you don't want to do it, do the kids a favour and don't do it.
     
  13. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Where else have you taught overseas?
     
  14. FCLaura

    FCLaura Rookie

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    Personally, I'd rather teach something I didn't really want to teach than be unemployed. Even if they aren't laying people off left and right, they might not be hiring much. Have you tried explaining the situation to your administrators (i.e, they came in low and they're still low)? How is your financial situtation? Could you go for a year or two on substitute pay (which around here is about 1/2 of what regular teachers make)?
     
  15. WhatchaDoin?

    WhatchaDoin? Comrade

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    Mar 2, 2010

    I second the idea to visit PreK and observe. I graduated college with my sights set on 2nd grade. I was offered a K position (many years ago) and loved it! I recently have been subbing in a PreK classroom, and I am finding out that there are many benefits to this grade level!
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Mar 2, 2010

    It does sound like you have already made the decision. But I would much rather have a job, than not know whether I would have a job next school year or not.

    To the person who suggested going up to 3rd grade~that is a tested area in Texas where the students have to pass the test in order to go on to the next grade level. It is very high stressed and districts like experienced teachers in that grade level.
     
  17. CGriswald309B

    CGriswald309B Rookie

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    Mar 2, 2010

    Thanks for all the responses. All of my co-workers have pretty much said the same thing as all of you.

    I'm going to talk to my assistant principal this Friday.

    I just feel that what they expected of me was a bit unreasonable. 12 out of 15 of my students came in "not ready" for second grade. Now I am being told that my students "are not ready" for third grade.

    Is that really my fault?

    And as for pay, no, I would have to go overseas. I've taught in Korea and Spain as well as a brief stint in Peru.

    I could sign a contract within a month in either South Korea or China. I'd be able to pocket about $10,000 a year working in either of those countries. However, I'd always be worrying about what I'd do when I returned to the USA.
     
  18. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I have two friends that are in South Korea teaching right now. They are enjoying the heck out of it! If this is something you really want to do, then I'd go for it. Worry about finding a job in the U.S. after the stint is overseas.
     
  19. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Mar 2, 2010

    You seem to b dreading teaching pre-K already, so if your heart isn't going to be in it, don't do it. I wouldn't want it, I'm really picky. I wouldn't want to do a lot of grades.

    If I were you, I'd start fresh & just look for a different teaching job.
     
  20. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Yes, it is realistic. I started out the year with 31 second grade students. Six of them were on grade level or above, the rest below. Five of them were reading at level 8 or below.

    As of this date, I now have 5 of them reading below grade level. The rest of them are now on or above grade level!

    However, I am not a brand new teacher. To expect such results from a first year teacher is unreasonable.

    Can you observe a PreK class? Then you can make a more informed decision.
     
  21. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Mar 3, 2010

    I started teaching 25 4th graders this year. More than 50% of them were about 1 year below grade level. I had 6 kids between the k and 2nd grade reading level. Most of my students are now on grade level or advanced. My really low students improved somewhat. They want me to stay in 4th grade, but I would like to move with my class.

    I think it is detrimental to our students if they keep moving teachers around. That is how students lose trust in their school. Students need consistency. Most don't get it at home, so we need to provide it at school.

    I wouldn't resign. I would try out pre-k. In the fall you may be teach 6th grade. Teachers quit suddenly and admins switch teachers around. For all I know I may be teaching K, which would be a nightmare for me. Massive amounts of little kids frighten me, but that is my issue.
     
  22. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I teach 1st grade and love it, but I would never want to go lower; however, if that's your only choice right now, you might should take it. This will help to give you experience, and later perhaps you can move up. In addition, you might end up loving it.
     
  23. CGriswald309B

    CGriswald309B Rookie

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    Mar 4, 2010

    Some more info.

    I just spoke to the other 2nd grade teachers. I started out with more kids who were reading below a DRA of 10 than any other 2nd grade teacher. I was also given the only kid in the entire 2nd grade who came in reading on a 4th grade level. I had the largest percentage of low level kids and the most advanced girl in the entire 2nd grade.

    They also gave me the girl who is legally def in one ear. She doesn't have a hearing aid. She came in at a 4. And because she gets speech lessons she isn't able to go for extra reading help. She is now at a 12.

    I was also given the worst behavior problem in 2nd grade. All the special area teachers and my team admit it. He came to me at a 4 after already having been retained. He is now at a 6.

    I was also given the student who has been an emotional wreck since her father was sent away to prison for molesting neighborhood children a year ago. She too was below grade level.

    Does that sound like something a first year teacher should be presented with?

    And remember, I am the third teacher they'e had this year.
     
  24. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mar 4, 2010

    The idea that the teachers there prior to your arrival loaded your class in this way seems unprofessional, but the circumstances and scenarios you described could be found, unfortunately, in far too many classrooms. The stories we all could tell... :(

    Best wishes, truly.
     
  25. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    No, first year teachers shouldn't be presented with those situations, but the truth is...is that sometimes they are, and we have to make the best of the situations that we're given. We just have to find what works for those kiddos and go full force. Make sure they know they are loved and cared by you as their teacher.
     
  26. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I think often admins think if a teacher isn't performing well in a certain grade-just move them down to early childhood. We are the foundation for these kids, they make so much progress in one year it's just so unbelievable and rewarding. But we also can't complain that they came in unprepared. I agree that you should check it out before you turn it down, you will find out they are definitely not "toddlers".

    You have 3 months left-why not take it as a challenge to do everything you can for these kids and try to get them up to grade level. An ideal 1st year, no, but many of us started in similar situations (I had a 5-year old already on lithium for bipolar disorder). You do the best you can and certainly you can learn from it.
     
  27. CGriswald309B

    CGriswald309B Rookie

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    I don't like to make excuses but...

    The school I teach at is difficult. I realize this. Out of the 74 elementary schools in our district my school is one of the most "troubled". We are one of the lowest performing, we have the highest percentage of behavior problems and 98.2% of our students are living below the poverty line.

    Just an example. We learned letter writing today. I told the kids they could write a letter to anyone they wanted. I had 14 kids in my room. Five of them wrote to relatives in prison. Four of them wrote to their fathers.

    Both of my parents were teachers but never in their life did they have to teach in a school like mine.

    I'm sure I wouldn't have had many problems this year if I would have been working out in middle-class suburbia.

    However, I don't want to work there. I don't want to teach those types of kids. I don't mind working from 7am to 5:30 pm every day. I don't mind having to buy food because my kids come to school without breakfast.

    I just feel that too much was expected of me. I'm not a miracle worker.

    End of rant. :O)
     
  28. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Just know that working in a middle to upper- class school comes with it's own set of problems.
     
  29. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Mar 5, 2010

    Men makes some of the best lower grade teachers. Kids flock to them and god knows so many of our kids need a good male role model.

    I teach kinder and LOVE it. I have taught 2nd -and much prefer kinder. Kinder in my school has a separate PE teacher. He is a 27 year old man - he is like a rock star! The kids adore him and he teaches them so much about how to behave and other important things in life.
     
  30. CGriswald309B

    CGriswald309B Rookie

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    I talked to my principal/vice-principal last week. I told them how I felt.

    The best reason I could get as to why they don't want me back in 2nd grade is because I spent too much time on the really low kids. In retrospect, I probably did. However, due to behavior problems I didn't have enough time to do anything properly.

    I also decided I was going to tell them I would return next year and then closely look at their reactions. If one of them would have said "Are you sure you want to? Have you thought about your health, do you really want to work with 4 year-olds, etc?" I would have went ahead and resigned. However, both of them seemed really excited when I said I would return.

    I asked them to reconsider keeping me at 2nd but more than likely I'll be a pre-K teacher. I'll try my best and if I can't hack it I'll move to China or Korea.

    Anywho, thanks for all the kind words/suggestions!

    I almost forgot. I accepted an ESL teaching position two nights a week. I'll be able to teach adults (which I love). I'm hoping that will balance things out a bit.
     
  31. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    First off, they gave you the "lowest of the low" (that's what we call them at my school), which wasn't fair at all. Yes, there are low students out there, and I truly believe that each and every child is capable of learning, but how could they expect to see tons of progress in a classroom full of intensive readers?

    I believe that by moving you to a lower grade, administration is pretty much telling you that if you can't teach K-5, you can teach PK because it's a no-brainer. My mom has taught PK for over 20 years, and I firmly believe that PK is the new Kindergarten...it's ANYTHING BUT a no-brainer!

    This entire situation is unfortunate, and I truly think that they should give you another chance at K-5. However, there needs to be one stipulation: They need to give you a heterogenous group instead of a homogenous group of kids.
     
  32. CaliforniaGold

    CaliforniaGold Rookie

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    Why is teaching Pre-K a no brainer? You still have to write lesson plans, have themes is the curriculum, not to mention constantly working on social skills with the kids. I don't get why people put down Pre-K. BTW, I teach secondary science.
     
  33. MarieClarie

    MarieClarie Rookie

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    Sounds like you have a lot of soul searching to do and many things to consider. I am sure the state of the economy and whethere or not you will be able to secure another job are weighing down on you heavily.

    That being said I have worked with children as young as 4 and as old as high school level ~ each age group has varied challenges. Pre K-K will be a whole new world, but maybe if you look at it in a positive light you will be able to handle it better. With kids that young its all about setting rule, boundaries, and expectations early on. And the wonderful thing about them is their energy and imagination are bountiful at that age!

    Best of luck in your decision making process!

    Marie
    afterschoolclubideas.com
     

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