so glad this year is almost OVER!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by imissjerryg, May 14, 2014.

  1. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    May 14, 2014

    So this is a rant... I just need someplace to do it because I'm beyond fed up.

    Long story short... I have had some major issues with the teacher I work with this year. I am a parapro in a self-contained classroom and am getting my masters is special education. The teacher I work with is only a couple of years older than me and to say we have had some issues this year is an understatement. She reprimands me in front of the kids, talks to the other parapros in a very friendly manner and looks at me like I'm an idiot when I say anything, and is never really even in the room teaching. We, the parapros, do all the lesson planning and instruction. Since it is the end of the year and this teacher is not coming back, it's gotten even worse. She misses at least once a week and sometimes takes two or three days off to use up her sick time. This puts a huge burden on us and although it's annoying, honestly the work atmosphere is much nicer without her there anyway.

    I have field experiences I have to complete for my grad program and the one I had this semester had to be in a kindergarten classroom (I work at a high school). I told my teacher about this in December and she agreed to let me take an extended lunch break on the days of the field and not take a lunch break on some days to make up for the hours I missed. No problem right? Wrong. She made some excuse up why I couldn't finish my field saying that me being gone put a "burden" on the classroom. This is probably because the teacher is out of the room literally all day and the parapros are having to lesson plan and instruct. Anyway, after a meeting with the teacher in which she attacked me and barely let me speak, we came to an agreement that I would only leave once a week instead of twice. I even went to my professor and got this okayed since I would not be able to meet the 30 hour field (I came up about 5 hours short because of this issue). So, things have been going well until this week. The teacher came to me this morning and said my timesheet had some discrepencies on it that the principal pointed out to her and that I needed to fix it. The teacher said something about me having to run to my house one day to change my contacts and put on glasses (I literally live less than one block from the school and it took me about ten minutes to do this) and that I needed to reflect this on my timesheet. I come in 10 minutes before my contracted time (I work 7:30-3:30, or 7 hours per day with an hour lunch) and frequently miss lunches because we are on a field trip. Before the teacher told me just to put 7:30-3:30 on the timesheet instead of the actual times because she didn't "have time" to add all the hours up herself. So, I've been doing what she told me and now she says the principal has an issue... I told her I wasn't sure what day I left to go take my contacts out and that I wasn't sure what to put on the timesheet. I went to speak with the principal after school to make sure I wasn't making any mistakes and the principal said she didn't reject the timesheet... the principal told me that the teacher actually was the one who emailed her saying I left for two hours one day and that I claimed those hours. WTH?!?! The day she is talking about is the last day I did my field experience. We talked about me doing my last visit at the school that day and how I would meet up with them on the field trip they would be on afterwards. We even planned on me picking up food for the teacher and the other para and they gave me their order so I could get the food before coming to meet up with them. Now she is emailing the principal saying I left for two hours? I frequently work without lunches since we take so many field trips. I also come in early to get the kids off of the bus. This is a long rant, sorry. I'm so ready for May 30th to get here! I am beyond fed up with this miserable person!
     
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  3. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    May 15, 2014

    This teacher sounds like a nutcase. If you can, email the principal and just mention some of the important points (not everything you told us). In the future if you are working with this type of person you should probably email questions/requests to them and have them answer by email so that you have a written record of the permission you had to do such and such instead of having to rely on what she told you and then proceed to lie about.
     
  4. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    May 15, 2014

    So, basically it is the same issues you were having as before when you posted, right?

    My best advice to you is fly under the radar. I fully understand that you feel slighted by the whole field experience thing-but as many stated in your earlier threads, it is not your school's responsibility to provide you with opportunities to leave to observe. They hired you to be at school. From Time A to Time B.

    Which brings me to another grievance you have-leaving school for your contacts. It really doesn't matter if you live 1 block or 1 mile from the school, the fact is that it is yet another time that you are leaving your duties to go home. I believe the others you mentioned were a landlord issue and a flood? Here's what the principal hears:

    "missjerryg is leaving school AGAIN for blah blah"

    The principal doesn't, and shouldn't have to, care for what reason. The fact remains that you have, repeatedly throughout the year, had reason after reason to leave your duty.

    I'm not denying that the teacher you are dealing with is whackadoodle. She may be the nuttiest nutcase this side of crazytown, but you were hired to work in her classroom, following her (however misguided) policies. It may suck, but that's what you signed up for.

    My best advice: Go to school, every day, and don't leave until your assigned time. Everyone has personal issues. Once is understandable. Twice is probably excusable. Three times (and more?)-suspicious. No matter the circumstances. Have you ever stopped to think about the trust that your school has to have in you? That you are indeed going to the school you say, and coming directly back? I'm sure you are, but put yourself in their shoes. They have to trust that you aren't taking 15 extra minutes to run by the bank, or pick up a loaf of bread, or change your contacts. The school has hours to keep, and books to balance, and personally I think they have gone above and beyond what is expected by letting you leave at all.

    And just a word of advice-I get that you are keeping track of every minute you are working now, because it makes a difference in your pay, but every person, in every profession, works extra time occasionally. Especially teachers. So you may want to tone down the line of "I worked extra on the field trip" business-nobody really cares. Sorry to be harsh. But schools (and every employer, really) will take advantage of what workers can and will do. It won't get you far to nitpick every detail.
     
  5. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    May 15, 2014

    Is getting the pay worth the battle to you? Can you just make do without two hours of pay? I'm not trying to belittle you, I recognize that some people are really living on every last penny, but if you're in a situation where you can make do without it, I would just take off the hours she requested.

    Be careful about who you trust, I have known some supervisors who deny that they were the ones to make specific decisions and shifted the blame onto their employees. Perhaps you can email the teacher with clarification and cc the principal?
     
  6. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    May 15, 2014

    Rox,

    I actually suggested doing this a long time ago. I said I would just take the time off instead of using lunches but the teacher told me it was no big deal to just use the time from working extra hours and not getting lunch breaks occasionally. I feel as if I was stabbed in the back honestly. She acted like it was no biggie to my face but went behind my back to the principal. Pretty sketchy. It's not worth the pay at all; I don't care about a measly 26 bucks. It's the fact that I was told one thing and another thing happened. Totally not cool.
     
  7. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    May 15, 2014

    I'm truly sorry that you work with a nut case but some valid points were made here. I know you are upset when she's not in the classroom think about how she feels (even if she's crazy) about when you aren't there (even if it's for field work). You were hired to do your job from Time A to Time B. Your job doesn't have to be accommodating for that. Even if it's within the same field to get a higher credential.

    Any job even outside education doesn't care that you came in early or left late. If you aren't there when you are supposed to be they won't pay you for it. As far as field trips, every teacher knows that basically you give up your lunch and prep that day. If you're lucky maybe a prep will happen. You should eat lunch while on the trip with the kids so pack yourself a sandwich.

    May 30th isn't far, so hopefully it goes by quick. It's good that you caught her lying to your principal but quite honestly it's poor management on your principals end if he doesn't seem to know or have a record of when you are at work.

    Take all of this as a lesson learned, and if something like this occurs in the future make sure you run things by your principal always. Simply CYA.
     
  8. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    May 16, 2014

     
  9. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    May 16, 2014

    I gotcha with the field trips and all that jazz. However, I am not a teacher; I am an hourly employee... a parapro. I am not contracted therefore I have a certain number of hours I am supposed to work a week and I am not supposed to go a minute over. We get no prep time either. The teacher gets three prep periods (actually more than that since she is rarely even in the room) but the parapros are literally with the kids every second of every day. And I know my job doesn't have to be accommodating for my field... that's why I asked in December. If they were going to have an issue with it, they should have told me then and not when I was three months into the field.

    This teacher is a prime example of how not to act and what not to do when teaching. I suppose it's a great experience for learning what not to do when I'm teaching someday soon.
     
  10. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    May 16, 2014

    It doesn't matter how many absences the teacher has. Her attendance is totally separated from yours. It also doesn't matter how long you left for. Reporting any amount of time as time worked when you actually didn't is considered time theft, and would be a big deal in any job.

    I'm sorry you feel this teacher is nitpicking every thing you do. You can't change her behavior. However, you should take responsibility for your actions. If you left, for any reason, then you have to document that on your time sheet. Own up to the mistake this time and move on. Didn't you say you were hoping to get this teacher's job at one point? You definitely don't want the principal to think you are okay with randomly leaving the school.
     
  11. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    May 16, 2014

    I agree that you shouldn't be reporting time that you were not actually present at school. That would get any hourly employee in BIG trouble at my school.

    It's great that you go above and beyond your duties willingly, but I'm sure no one is requiring it of you. It doesn't make it okay to not perform your actual duties during your regularly scheduled hours. Staying late and doing the extras is all on you, and no one else needs to make concessions for you because of it.

    Maybe the teacher is crazy, maybe that's just your perception. Either way, her performance on the job is entirely separate from yours. Comparing yourself to her and using it as an excuse to get out of your work for personal benefit will not get you anywhere.
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    May 16, 2014

    Have you ever had to change your mind about something? December was a long time ago. Situations change. Something that sounded ok 6 months ago may not be working well now.

    Um...do you see the conflict here? You're saying you wanted and/or were willing to take time off...that you don't have. So the school granted you a courtesy. And now you're ****** because they don't want to do that anymore. Mm k...

    Doesn't matter. What she does doesn't matter two hoots to what you do. Call it a class system, call it unfair, whatever...but the fact is, she is the teacher and you are not. And if her supervisor has allowed her to take 20 days off from school, that is not your concern. And the fact that the principal doesn't know about the times you are leaving school...red flag. She finds this information out on a bad day, and that is not going to end well for you.

    Clearly. But, every other person who has commented does see an issue. What does that say to you?

    I didn't say they did not trust you. In fact, just the opposite, I said have you considered the trust they MUST HAVE in you? They have been trusting you since December, and you have repaid that by...running home to change your contacts without the principal knowing. Mm k...

    I don't know what to tell you about this...a simple solution would be to just not go to the concert. It's outside your work hours, so no one can force you to be there. But the part you have so wrong is that they can indeed have "some sort of issue" with you, about anything. And when the school is making staffing decisions, any time they have had to deal with an employee in a not so positive way, you can bet that will have an effect.

    Good luck to you. I hope May 30 comes quickly.
     
  13. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    May 16, 2014

    You're sure no one is requiring it of me? Actually it is being required. I said that we often go on field trips and that I have to miss lunch. This happens quite often actually. And I am performing my duties while at school... I'm actually teaching the class a lot of the time while the teacher is out of the room. I'm not trying to use an excuse to get out of my work nor did I imply that anywhere in my post.
     
  14. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    May 16, 2014

    When did I say I don't have hours to take off? I actually do have my sick time available... 43 hours of it that will not roll over. I was fine with using this time but was told that using lunches on occasion to cover the extra hour I am gone once a week was fine to do. I wish I would have just used the sick time from the beginning instead of putting my trust in this teacher to keep her word.
     
  15. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    May 16, 2014

    And today I was reprimanded AGAIN in front of the entire class for something I did while the teacher was out of the building. On Fridays, one of our paras has to go pick several of our kids up because we have late starts and bus issues on these Fridays. For some reason, the teacher feels that she needs to go with the other para to pick up the kids, leaving me as the only one in charge of the kids who were already there. I was left in the building with six kids, two of whom are brothers. The older brother started picking on the little brother, punching him and calling him names. To quickly remedy the situation and get the little brother's mind off of being picked on, I allowed him ten minutes of free time on the computer while we were waiting for the teacher and para to return. When they returned, she questioned me in a harsh manner, asking why the younger kiddo was on the computer. I told her about the fight and that this was my way to get them to stop fighting (and it worked... usually nothing else works other than removing one of them from the situation which was impossible to do since I was the only adult there). She told me "You have now set up the expectation that he gets computer time right when he gets here. This is going to be difficult on Monday now." I just want to know what else I was supposed to do without getting security involved and causing a huge scene. I can't do anything right with this teacher.
     
  16. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    May 16, 2014

    Oh, and the school has no issue with me. Actually they like me and have asked several times what my plans are for next year. Literally the only person who has an issue with me is the teacher who is quite obviously burnt out.
     
  17. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 16, 2014

    It sounds like you really have learned a lot about teaching this class this year. If they do give you the class next year, you certainly will know how NOT to treat people.

    Just out of curiosity, have you thought about how you will handle an unsatisfactory para if they give you one?
     
  18. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    May 16, 2014

    I think it's important to set the tone of the year with a set of expectations for the students, the paras, and myself. I feel that having a meeting at the beginning of the year in which I, if I was the teacher, and the paras set expectations, develop a schedule, and set a time to meet at the end of the week, if only for a few minutes at the end of the day. If for some reason one of my paras was performing at a substandard level, I would document everything. I would then request an informal meeting with this person and nicely explain what has been done that is unsatisfactory. I would then ask the person for suggestions to improve, including what I could do to help them. If after this meeting the performance is still unsatisfactory, I would request another meeting with the person and explain that the expectations are still not being met. I would then ask again what they need from me in order to perform at a higher level. I would also warn them that if such infractions occur again, I would have to talk to the principal.

    I think communication is key. I also think that meetings are important. It's imperative to set expectations at the beginning of the year in order to ensure success. None of these things were done at the beginning of this school year. I didn't even get a job description or an orientation for my position. I was blindly thrown into a chaotic and unorganized situation with a teacher who loathes the principal and is honestly somewhat lazy. You can't expect anyone to know what they are supposed to do and what is expected of them without letting them know outright. I would hope that I would be more organized and more dedicated to my students.
     
  19. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 16, 2014

    It sounds like you have a good plan. Have you applied for the job?
     
  20. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    May 16, 2014

    I haven't. It was just posted yesterday and I can't actually technically apply through the district's website. I'm going to be student teaching next semester but I can get a temporary teaching license and actually have my own classroom. Since I will be graduating with my masters in special ed in December, with some added endorsements I hope, I will be getting my initial license when I graduate. The problem with the temporary teaching license is that I have to be hired before I can get it and schools can only hire people with alternative licensures if no other qualified candidate applies. This qualification involves the proper licensing as well as just whether or not they will be a good fit for the school. I think I may have a leg up though since I already know the kids and the staff. I am going to be interviewing though; I got an email from the principal today regarding my applying for the job! Wish me luck!
     
  21. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    May 17, 2014

    I stand by my belief that the worst part of student teaching is the master teacher (if you're paired with a crazy one). It's hardly ever the students.
     
  22. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 17, 2014

    Good luck! Please keep us posted.
     
  23. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    May 18, 2014

    I'm a special education teacher and it sounds like you've had a horrible year and I feel for you. Is this teacher not returning because of her choice? It sounds like she might be getting fired, essentially. It doesn't justify her treatment of you, but it does explain her behavior (though it doesn't justify it). It sounds as if her behavior toward you and students has been erratic, creating chaos within the classroom.

    The biggest issue at this point in the academic year sounds like the observation hours. Do you have those done by now? If not, I suggest being clear as glass, sending a formal email to both teacher and principal, outlining your need, the exact times and dates you will not be present, and reminding, politely, of the previous discussion. In our district, a classroom cannot be without a teacher for more than 15 minutes- I could not leave my class with my instructional assistant (who is awesome) for 20 minutes without a certificated teacher, or substitute teacher, present. I don't know how long the bus pick-up takes, but it sounds like it took a while longer than a few minutes since a fight broke out between brothers.

    There's very little that can be changed so much at this late date in the year, but it's extremely important that you accomplish everything you need for your program. I'm a sped teacher and I say if you have to get "sick" to accomplish those observation hours, so be it.

    My guess- with the classroom teacher- is that she's bereft, overwhelmed and wanting to quit right now. I'm guessing she's taking any kind or resistance from you- whether direct or indirect- as a personal threat and reacting in kind.

    I'm sorry it's so ugly. You've had an outstanding role model teaching you what you never, ever, ever want to see again.
     
  24. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    May 19, 2014

    Thanks Klippers! Yes, thankfully I am done with the observation hours and got an A in the class! I only have two weeks left in the year and am so ready to be out of this classroom. Luckily, the teacher is missing tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday and we don't have school next Monday or Friday so I won't be seeing or dealing with her much.
     
  25. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    May 30, 2014

    How did your interview go?
     
  26. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    May 30, 2014

    wow... what a roller coaster.

    My suggestion is to always get a second opinion.

    Since you are an hourly employee, i would have documented the extra hours worked. Whether she wanted to do the math (which is her job) or not would be her choice.

    even if they don't pay you the extra hours you worked you can document that you went above and beyond what was required. since she would have to be forced to sign that you worked those hours, you could justify leaving during lunch (which you should have also documented)

    in our school, we would get in big trouble if we left campus without the front office knowing we were gone and for how long.

    sometimes I will run to the store and buy lab supplies during my planning or lunch/dinner if I am staying after school to tutor, but our policy is one teacher from our department and the secretary knows where you are going and has your cell phone in case you are need for a parent conference.

    communication is key.

    the whole situation sounds shady. I gives me chills and goosebumps to tell you the truth. the underhanded currents of "I'll keep your secret if you keep mine" but as soon as i might get in trouble, i'll throw you under the bus, thing is just creepy.

    the way I would deal with it is: its not a secret, you can't black mail me, I have nothing to be ashamed of. lets go tell the principal together to make sure its okay....

    if you ever have to work with someone like that again, make sure you keep email logs and not just verbal. that way people can't lie about it.
     
  27. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    Aug 20, 2014

    GUESS WHAT GUYS?!?!

    I got the job! The teacher from last year was not asked to return. So, I wasn't crazy in assuming she was a horrible person. Anyway, I start tomorrow as a substitute until I get my license in December. Kids come on Monday!

    WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!
     
  28. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 20, 2014

    Congrats, imissjerry!!
     
  29. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Aug 20, 2014

    Wow, that's an awesome update!! Congrats!!!
     
  30. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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