Switching Grade Levels

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by BB0211, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. BB0211

    BB0211 Companion

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    Jan 21, 2008

    This is my first year teaching and I am in 3rd grade. There is one other first-year teacher who was an aide last year (so her second year in the school).

    The prinicipal came in and told our whole team that one of us (5 teammates total) would have to either switch to 2nd or 4th grade, because of low numbers coming into 3rd next year. She said "discuss it together and let me know what you come up with"

    I went to the other new teacher (because it will ultimately most likely be between us two) to see what she thought and she basically said she wasn't moving, almost in an entitled manner. (She's gotten used to this grade level and next year is HER year to improve and shine, blah blah)
    I agreed and said I felt the same that I did not want to leave either, but said if I had to I would (she did not offer the same feelings of being okay with it)

    She then stated that it would probably be whoever signed the contract first (being her because she was an aide).
    I simply shared my opinion that I hope they choose the teacher who is most fit for the grade and grade level team.

    She is not giving in and I don't think I should have to either. I am extremely fortunate for the job and LOVE the school, but I feel that I have really contributed to the grade level as a whole. (I spent extra hours creating activities, lessons, etc. and shared with the whole team, which they implemented.) I also feel my personality is really fit for this age of students. It feels natural.

    The way I look at it is....I was chosen by this team/administration at random from thousands of candidates all competing for the position. She kinda already had a foot in the door (an advantage). So I am hoping they feel the same way and recognize these factors.


    Any suggestions on how to handle this situation? Any connections?
     
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  3. MsTeacher98

    MsTeacher98 Companion

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    Jan 22, 2008

    I think its kind of strange that they told you to decide amongst yourselves. What does the entire team have to say? Do the other teachers have an opinion one way or another? Maybe someone else is interested in a grade level change for some reason. I guess if it's t he team suggestion, maybe you all could vote on it. Good luck!
     
  4. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jan 22, 2008

    I think before you do anything you should get with your union and read your contract. There are usually very specific rules dealing with moving teachers. As to the new teacher, in my school her time as an aide would not count towards her "teacher" time. So technically I bet you both are considered first year teachers. But read your contract, know the date and time you signed you contract and try to get ahold of a senority list from your central office.

    I agree with MsTeacher98 - it is very strange and somewhat unprofessional for your principal to approach this situation like he/she did.

    keep us posted
     
  5. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    Jan 22, 2008


    The fact that you were chosen from random could have the oppposite effect on you that you are thinking. They may think you are more qualified and better for the other grade levels because you had proved yourself a great teacher in your interviews.
     
  6. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 22, 2008

    strange is putting it mildly...

    I think that sucks!
     
  7. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 22, 2008

    ditto... been there, done that...ain't pretty! :unsure:
     
  8. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 22, 2008

    I see you are in IL...

    What is your credential? Type 09 - Elementary?

    Wish I could help, but this is one of my pet peeves. This is exactly why I went for the Type 04, only! I heard nightmares of people getting bumped down or shoved up another grade level. It personally had it happen to me, second semester!

    But, I can't be placed in any grade higher than 3rd.

    and that's why I did not go for elementary. I have no desire to teach 5th grade math! Or fifth graders for that matter. Great job for somebody else.Great kids...just not my cup of tea. I think we all have our strenghts and weaknessses, and hopefully your princpal will see that.

    My guess is, they already picked who they wanted, and they just want to see you squirm! :sorry:

    And when one of you decides to be the vicitm, them may sing some lame song about how the other needs 'more experience' or this is a 'welcomed challenge.' And the victim will get a pat on the head.

    I say, find the union steward...

    lose-lose propostion! :unsure:
     
  9. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jan 23, 2008

    That sounds lousy to me... but I would totally take second over fourth if you have the choice!! Fourth grade is a testing year and you will feel the pressure from the first day of school (though I imagine third is a testing year is as well.) At least in second grade, you can probably relax a bit.
     
  10. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Jan 23, 2008

    Grade level switches happen all the time. I would be happy to just have a job again next year. But that being said the others gave great advice. Don't offer to move, wait until the principal comes to you. Maybe she/he just said talk about it amongst yourselves because sometimes a teacher does want to switch grade levels.
    Also, I doubt that the other teacher being an aide counts towards seniority as a teacher. Check the list. It should be posted in your teacher lounge or on file in the office. Let us know what happens.
     
  11. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Jan 24, 2008

    Maybe that was the principals lame way of trying to get someone to voluntarily switch. I would look at the hire dates and talk to the union. If you were the last hired you may not have a choice.
     
  12. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jan 24, 2008

    I'd wait patiently and see what happens. I also would rather teach second graders.
     
  13. BB0211

    BB0211 Companion

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    Jan 26, 2008

    slight update!

    No news yet regarding the decision but... I went in and briefly spoke with the principal about the protocal for this type of decision. She just stated it was between the other new teacher and I and that she and the AP would then decide, when no one volunteers. (Notice I say when...because no one will)
    I then asked what the decision in based on (seniority between us two, who is more fit for the team/grade) and she gave a vague answer, telling me she has no clue yet.

    I realize this is one of those stepping stones in life and I will overcome, but I am having trouble reminding myself of this daily. At work, I feel uncomfortable around the other girl (who I work closely with bc she's on my team and we are a very cohesive team). She makes condescending, nasty remarks on the side...she always has. Before we even started the job she was telling me how "I" might not be in third grade the following year if there wasn't room...implying SHE would be the one to stay. I didn't even bring the subject up. She just said it out of nowhere. I never saw it as a competition, but obviously in her warped mind it always has been between us.

    I feel like telling someone , anyone how nasty she is!
    But I don't want to be "unprofessional" even though she has been for months. Sigh...I hate being the "bigger" person at times.

    I'll keep ya posted on the results!

    THANK you for all the advice. It is really helpful.
     
  14. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 26, 2008

    well, if it's any consolation

    Not to sidetrack...but just wanted you to know that this seems to be a disgusting trends among principals not doing their jobs! You would think office politics and employee harrassment has no place in the schools. We have children that need our care, and we can't retreat to cubicles and just 'do our own work'!!

    You may want to peruse thru this thread too...

    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?p=551654#post551654

    We have aides who think they rule the world and the teachers are supposed to just sit back and deal with it! :help:
     
  15. MelissainGA

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    Jan 26, 2008

    BB021,

    I don't know if it will help or not but I have taught both (2nd for three years and 3rd this year). If you are concerned where the grade level differences are concerned there's not that much of a difference in content you go more in depth in 3rd but the basic topics are pretty close to the same other than we added a couple of more things in writing and social studies. I have absolutely loved both. I am hoping to stay in 3rd for the next year but my reasoning has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that I teach better in the building (our second grade is in trailers and after doing that for two of my 3 years I am definitely a building minded person).

    From the post you have made you seem like the type of person who will make most of the situation no matter which grade level that you end up teaching. Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  16. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 27, 2008

    I think if you are not happy with older kids, you will not enjoy 4th. Truth is, it is different..IMO. No, I have not taught this level, but I subbed and worked as an aide in many schools. Watched my kid go thru this stage, and it was harder than teenage years.

    They have failed a few times, some of them are going thru puberty early, they are the oldest or the youngest. You could have 9-12 year olds in your room.

    You have to teach cursive writing and long division.

    They need critical thinking skills, when they have been used to teachers coaxing and giving them prompts. They may have mandatory science fairs, volunteer work and this is the age where after school clubs, band, music class, and sports really come into play. More responsiblity, and time is required of them, and their parents. some parents choose music recitals over parent teacher conferences.

    ..and some may even have chores or part time jobs. Lots of kids work at their family's business.

    In many schools 4-8th is another building. The intermediate grades are a time of change. They want to be grown up, and they are ashamed to cry. No more Tooth Fairy or Santa, things are starting to change in their world at it's hard.

    Lots of cliques, and boys are very competitive.

    Just my opinion.
     
  17. GrandHighWitch

    GrandHighWitch Companion

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    Jan 27, 2008

    Sounds like you're stuck in kind of a crappy situation. I wouldn't want to have to change grade levels after only one year of teaching either. But in case it does turn out to be you who switches, I'll offer my two cents.

    I'm just a first year teacher too, and I'm teaching fourth grade. I student taught third grade last year, absolutely loved it, and had my heart set on a third grade opening in the school I student taught in. As it turned out, the district hired for intermediate positions first, I applied and interviewed, and was offered a fourth grade position at a different school in the district. I took it, afraid to turn it down and then not get the third grade job.

    I LOVE my job! I think fourth grade is a great age, just as third grade is. The kids are more independent, and some of them try to be too grown up, but they are still kids. They still say and do the funniest/cutest things. They are still naive in many ways, but you can have good discussions with them and joke around with them more too. Some of my girls have gotten cliquey just during this school year, and I don't like that, but most of them are very sweet and want to please. The boys, I just love, even the difficult ones. They have cute personalities, and they still want to please too.

    Yes, fourth grade is a testing year, which is kind of a pain especially around this time of the year - I feel like I have no time to spent as much time on certain things as I would like to, or even the things I NEED to spend more time on, but after ISAT in another month, I think we'll be able to relax again and have some fun learning until the end of the year.

    I think second grade would be a blast to teach too, but since I've heard some negative things about fourth grade, I thought I'd share my experiences with it, in case you do end up moving up. As someone who went from student teaching third to teaching fourth, I found it an easy transition and do not regret it in the least.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 28, 2008

    Grade level changes are very common here, as school organization changes depending on enrollment. In my school, in a rapidly growing subdivision, changes of grade level during the year are not uncommon. For us, seniority has nothing to do with teaching assignments, only with maintaining your position within a school. Could the principal have put it forward to your group to see if there was anyone who wanted a change? We are always asked to list our teaching assignment preferences in order and they are "considered", but not necessarily honoured. It is ultimately the principal's decision; I hope all works out.
     
  19. BB0211

    BB0211 Companion

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    Jan 28, 2008

    New attitude!

    Thank you for the replies! It is nice to hear the advantages of both grade levels. I have decided that I truly will embrace the change and am trying to really stay open-minded. I think I kinda went through a rough patch for a few days with it, but I'm workin my way out. I think the change (or not if it doesn't happen) will be great experience and only make me a better teacher. Hmmm....now which one? I think I may peak in a few of each grade level for some observation!
     
  20. kburen

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    Jan 28, 2008

    Good luck with whatever decision is made. Just keep in mind that it's not always a "bad" thing to be switched. When the teachers were coming back to school this year it was said that one of the 5th grade teachers might have to move down to Kindergarten. I actually volunteered for the position if it was needed, but found out later that I was going to be the one to be asked even without volunteering. Why? Not based on seniority (I'd been at my school for a year longer than 2 of the 3 other 5th grade teachers), but based on the fact that the principal said that the Kindergarten team asked for me, (I've never verified this with my team, but I assume that my principal wouldn't lie about something like that). So keep in mind, if you're the one asked, it could be because you're found to be a better fit for that grade, or that someone sees something in you that would be a plus for the new grade!
     
  21. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    wow, you are my hero! I admire you for your comittment and dedication..you are a role model for all new teachers...keep us posted, and be sure to tell your story in the new teacher thread...

    this is definitely something they need to know about!!!
     
  22. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Feb 9, 2008

    I've taught 2nd, 3rd, and 6th (I changed grades every year). Personally I like 6th the best. When I was teaching the younger ones I never would have thought that I would like 6th. I am happy that I did all that switching, I have discovered that I prefer to teach 4th-6th grades. I can't even picture myself going back to a primary grade. You have decided to keep an open mind and that's great. Switching grade levels might be the best thing that could happen for you.
     
  23. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Feb 9, 2008

    You are an asset to your school - anyone that approaches change the way you are should be greatly appreciated. Good Luck in whatever happens.
     

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