Teacher Vent/District Problems 1

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeacherProbs14, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. TeacherProbs14

    TeacherProbs14 New Member

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    Jul 24, 2021

    This will be a very long post.
    So I took a new as a reading specialist at a middle school in a new district a few years ago. (Previously I taught reading at the elementary level at my other school). My principal had no idea how to organize students for remedial reading so she told me “classes will cap off at 12” and she also put self contained and special education students in my classroom along with students reading 1-2 grades below grade level. I would have a range of levels 1st grade to 6th grade in the class at the same time with no way to reorganize or regroup the kids.

    I’d have 5 sessions of 40 minute classes with 11-12 kids in each setting. I don’t know how she expected me to accommodate for their individual needs based on the time frame and lack of organization. Her excuse was “we can’t reorganize the groups because they move and will keep reading at higher levels”. We’ll isn’t that the point of consistently regrouping the kids at the 10 week data meetings for RTI (which never happened at my school) so they can be grouped with the same levels?

    I sat down with my principal one day to try to reorganize my class list and have the students regrouped with their appropriate levels (putting all kids at a 1-2 grade level in the same class, 3-4 in same, 5-6 in same) and we couldn’t make the switch because then there would be two behavioral students in a Math Teacher’s class and she didn’t want them there at the same time. So I had to keep my current schedule with kids of wide ranges of reading in Reading AIS.

    During this reading time, I also had special education students that I became responsible for because a resource room didn’t fit their schedule if they were in band, so the belief was that Reading AIS would accommodate their needs. Luckily I’m also certified in sped so I’d work with these students in small groups on their IEP goals while my other students focused on independent and group work relating to their reading goals. I’d relay the data I collected to the special education teachers I worked with.

    Also, in my Reading classes the principal used this as a place to put students who had no other place to go in their schedule. I had a student in self contained who needed an exploratory so he was put in Reading AIS because the principal thought he “needed reading”. But he was in self contained why is he getting other services??

    There were students in 7-8th grade who either came from new schools and had no experience with foreign language or stressed out taking a foreign language so they were put in remedial reading. Some didn’t even need it! I had a 7th grade boy who came in reading at a 7th grade level who then began reading at an 8th grade level! He had to stay in remedial reading! I suggested that he go to the 6th grade exploratory 5 weeks of French/5 weeks of Spanish class but they said they had to keep him in reading!! The year before they decided to put a 6th grader in an 8th grade class because she “needed reading” but really she needed an exploratory and had no where to put her.

    I tried standing up to my principal and ended up getting written complaints to the superintendent such as “cannot collect and analyze data, and cannot differentiate instruction” because I told her with the large class sizes for AIS, inability for students to test out of reading if they no longer needed the service, and the student reading above grade level that I wasn’t sure if this was right for AIS and that it was a lot to handle.

    I tried going to the union, but you know how useless some union reps are. She would take long periods of time to get back to me, I’d call and she’d only email or text back, she apparently “took my case” to the union and apparently they “shut it down” but I was provided zero documentation of what had occurred.

    The district went through a reconsolidating plan and a few principals got fired or moved around. I ended up quitting my job with the thought that I’d have another job lined up. I also took a summer school position so I’d have income over the summer. I am currently looking for employment for the fall and it’s very difficult to do when pregnant. I guess it was just bad timing for everything.

    Do you have any suggestions for me? Is there anything I can do about what happened at my former school? When I apply for jobs I made it to the superintendent round but then didn’t hear anything so I’m worried my principal said something bad about me. I need advice.
     
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  3. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jul 25, 2021

    It sounds like you were hired in a Title I position. If you hadn’t quit, you may have some recourse within the district if they non-renewed you. It seems like you have a lot of experience in reading, and certification in special ed should make you very employable. Generally principals are told by HR to not say anything about an employee except to confirm their dates of employment.
    Is there any chance of going back to your original district? Who are you using as a reference besides your last principal?
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.

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