switching schools

Discussion in 'General Education' started by FourSquare, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Dec 31, 2011

    Another teacher has left my school this break. :( My school has ridiculous turnover. I complain a lot about the school having consistency with staff, but I am really thinking about whether or not I want to stay next year. (hypocritical, I know!)

    I don't think my school is terrible. It's...fine. Like everywhere, things could improve, but there are also good things.

    Pros:

    • I like my grade, but there's no guarantee I'll stay in 3rd.
    • I am familiar with the building, resources, and school culture.
    • If I stay in my grade, I'll be getting a lot of younger siblings of my current students. So I'll know a lot of the families already.
    • It would be nice to do my 2nd year somewhere where I'm not COMPLETELY starting over.
    • School is 15 minutes from my house. Yeah!
    • I know for a fact that 2 of my favorite staff members will be there next year.
    • We are given nice technology like document cameras, computers, an iPad, and a Smartboard. This is awesome for instruction.

    Cons:
    • Charter school with much lower pay. This is my biggest complaint, and I'd love an opportunity to get back to a union school with proper salary and benefits.
    • Culture is not collaborative. My team sucks and they rarely share anything. We have never planned together even though it is an expectation and I have tried and tried to invite them to plan.
    • School is unclear with most expectations and never holds anyone accountable for anything even when they do know what they want.
    • Very little support for SPED issues or behavior challenges. It's gotten a little better, but SPED is a joke. We have 1 teacher for the whole building and referrals almost never happen. I have 2 non-readers who have been waiting for evals for over a year.
    • Lack of curriculum for Anything. They can't even get it together enough to make a pacing guide or curriculum map. My school last year did all that before the year ended and we just planned week by week during the year. I feel like I'm scrambling to figure out what I'm supposed to teach every week and also trying to differentiate...create my own assessments...it's too much!
    • I don't LOVE my admin. They are okay....but we don't really have the friendly and open relationship that they have with some other teachers. We just keep it professional. Sometimes I don't feel like I can trust them, and they have sometimes given me completely opposite feedback, and feedback is inconsistent and infrequent.
    • My team leader is terrible and advises me directly against what admin wants. This person is considered admin too, but the admin "team" never wants the same thing. It's really confusing when they are not on the same page. Also, my TL has advised me to do things that I know are developmentally inappropriate. She has little knowledge related to younger children. Her background is in middle school and high school.

    Are these cons just whiney? I am truly thankful to have any job in this economy....I'm just trying to find a school that I love. Maybe I'm being naive. What would you do?
     
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  3. jwteacher

    jwteacher Cohort

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    Dec 31, 2011

    Nothing wrong with testing the waters. But since it seems that the staff and culture of your school are the biggest problems, make sure the school you want to go to has the collaborative environment you're looking for. That will be difficult unless you already know some of the people who work in the school.

    And no, I don't think you're being whiny at all. You feel you can't do your job because of a lack of intellectual resources, and you don't ever see that changing as long as administration is happy with the status quo.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Dec 31, 2011

    Nothing wrong with sending out resumes and seeing what is out there.
     
  5. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Jan 1, 2012

    Good luck. Follow your heart. I left my first job when I found that the "little things" added up to making me feel unhappy all the time. I knew that I had to leave. Luckily I found a great position and have moved several times since because it was just the "right" time.
     
  6. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Honestly, the only con that would make me want to leave would be the salary and benefits. All the others I don't think can be guaranteed or can be easily predictable when interviewing. You may still have similar challeges at other schools as I see those in your list to be common challenges, in my opinion.

    The drive and the technology would be great incentives for me but if the salary and benefits are way lower then it may not be worth it. Keep in mind that you may not have all this technology available (which makes teaching a lot easier) at another school and the drive would be longer, which can add more stress to your daily life. Just be mentally prepared for that.
     
  7. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jan 2, 2012

    This is a very true about not being able to tell the school culture from an interview, however I feel like I know better about what questions I could ask to get to know a school. They should be able to tell me if they use a curriculum....if there is team time built into PD....what the discipline hierarchy is. A building tour can also tell a lot too. How do people walk through the hallways? What kind of work is on display?

    We'll see! I think I will put feelers out in the spring. I just hope I can do it on the sly. I'd prefer not to advertise that I'm looking. :unsure:
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jan 2, 2012

    Is your charter school connected to a public school?
     
  9. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Yes, it is affiliated with the local school district. We receive funding from them and use their same gradebook software and all that...but as a public charter we operate differently in some regards. (Longer school day, self-created curriculum, no contract/union/salary, etc.) There's no admissions lottery or anything. We take anyone who enrolls, so for all intents and purposes it's a neighborhood school. They're just allowed to change some things.
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jan 2, 2012

    So would a switch to one of the public schools be like a transfer between schools?
    *Keep your seniority, tenure
    *Same place on the payscale
    *Easier ability to move
     
  11. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jan 2, 2012

    I'm not sure if my year at a charter would count for anything on the pay scale. I have a master's, so best case scenario I'd end up Lane 2 Step 2. Worst case I am Lane 2 Step 1. This is only my first year, currently.

    I do not qualify for an in district transfer though. Our district is principal driven, so I'd have to apply to schools individually. It's incredibly competitive, but if the teacher at my school found something MID-YEAR, I'm hoping I wont have trouble in the fall. I feel better than if I had 0 experience.
     

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