Terrible 1st post

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jr1973, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Jr1973

    Jr1973 Rookie

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    Jan 27, 2020

    I was offered and accepted a job at a school mid year. I am a new grad teacher. I am certified. I was "onboarded" which included HR and then being sent into an unruly 6th grade science class that has been through 1 permanent teacher and 10 long term subs since sept. I have no access.....no curriculum and the kids say because I'm white and male I don't care and I'll leave anyway. I want to say they are wrong but if I can't get their attention longer than for them to tell me they aren't going to do the work or listen they may be right.

    This maybe a good time to mention I didn't sign any contract because the system was "down". I am getting an offer from a more stable school today. I am considering it. It breaks my heart because I see brief moments of high intelligence in the students. However I feel I am doing more harm than good if I can not reach them at all.

    Can anyone tell me if I am obligated to stay if I have not physically signed a contract?
     
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  3. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Jan 27, 2020

    The kids are used to having temporary teachers. It's detrimental to long-term stability if the school can't keep a teacher in the classroom for more than 2 weeks..... Being white and male makes no difference in whether you want to stay or go. They've just give you your first test, sort of.... Will you bail on them as they've probably seen other white males do the same? Since you asked about being obligated to stay, looks like the kids succeeded in getting another teacher out. And hey, I'd probably do the same!!! I'd get out of there fast!! Seems like a toxic place to work.... Takes a certain and special teacher to handle the rough crowd... I'd jump ship if I had a better offer.
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jan 27, 2020

    Maybe they didn't make you sign a contract yet to see if you'll stick around a bit before they go through all the trouble of processing your paperwork.
     
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  5. Jr1973

    Jr1973 Rookie

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    Jan 27, 2020

    To be fair there is so much more that was going on in this class but it is irrelevant as I was not just coming on to complain. I know why they say it, and I have asked the admin to help me come up with a solution. I honestly would rather not leave. I see potential. The problem is the only time there is even brief control is when another teacher comes in and demands their attention. A teacher they already know. I have asked that they give me some kind of assistant until I can reach the kids. I know this is unlikely but the recommendations they give me make me feel like they are not understanding the issue. I have also asked (these requests were literally just made btw) that they discreetly observe what is happening so they can make recommendations based on what is actually happening. I so badly do not want to be another teacher that bails. The fact that I just made the requests means I have to give them time to react , and I will. Anyway, thank you for the input. I will continue on the path and hope for the best.
     
  6. Jr1973

    Jr1973 Rookie

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    Jan 27, 2020

    In fact let me rephrase my post.... The kids are broken and feel abandoned and I don't want to be another stat to them. From the moment they walk in the room they verbally refuse to sit, listen, or do work (not all the students obviously but out of 34 per class I have 2-4 that will oblige me). They will talk so loudly the students I try to engage can not hear me unless I yell loudly. The other students ignore anything I say and this starts from the moment they walk in so I can not teach a lesson, set routines or make classroom rules or expectations. When one of my colleagues comes in the students will stop while the other teacher tells them they have to behave so I can teach them. As soon as that teacher leaves they return to the previous behavior. I feel like not only am I frustrated but I also feel like I am causing more harm than good because I have 4 months to try and get them progressed enough to move on to the next grade.

    I know in my initial post it seems like I am trying to bail, or escape, or whatever. That is not to say it is not in my mind, I am losing sleep over this because I want to run away and I do not want to make the kids feel like I am running away. What I really need is some advice, things I can try or suggest to admin. To be honest I do not even know the school rules or policies, I have found out some of them by me letting the kids do something and then being told I am letting them break a rule, which then leaves me in the awkward position of having to now tell the kids they can't do whatever it was ..... ugh...... I am heartbroken and need some advice.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jan 27, 2020

    You have the benefit of teaching science, so why not try some simple experiments to go with whatever they are supposed to be studying. Even the most outrageous students often find themselves sucked in by hands on stuff.
     
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  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jan 27, 2020

    How many days have you spent in this teaching assignment to date?
     
  9. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jan 27, 2020

    You have no access to the curriculum. You haven't signed a contract yet. No one is coming forward to help you with this problem you didn't create. The kids have had 11 different teachers so far. Hon, don't walk, Run!

    I'm sorry, but I've been this teacher. My first year teaching, I was a mid-year replacement for a class that had an endless stream of subs, and were totally out of control. I have excellent classroom management skills, and I'm telling you, it was a night mare. I did get the kids under control, but they never did believe I was going to stay, and constantly used this as a reason to misbehave. I couldn't get parent support because they had been through so many changes, they didn't think I'd be there long, either.

    But here's what happens that you haven't thought about. Admin will very quickly stop being helpful and will start blaming your for their behavior. If their test scores aren't very high (and they won't be because of all the changes in teachers, and they have probably missed a lot of material so far because of it) and YOU will be blamed for this, too. It will be reflected on your evaluations, making it very hard for your to succeed.

    I stuck it out, and I went on to have a very successful career in teaching, but it was one of the most stressful experiences I ever had. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't. Sorry -- I love kids, too -- but I'm not the one who let a string of different teachers take over the class for most of the year. That wasn't "my circus." I didn't cause it. I refuse to be responsible for it.

    If you have a chance for a better position, and you haven't officially signed a contract, I'd say get out while the getting is good.
     
  10. Jr1973

    Jr1973 Rookie

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    Jan 27, 2020

    Unfortunately the other offers are taking their sweet time coming. They call me at odd hours,like while I'm teaching, and don't call back when they are supposed to. So I'm not real sure they would be any better. I may just have to tough it out until May. Then start looking elsewhere. This is a tough position for me to be in. I will keep this updated if anyone is watching. Thanks for the sympathy and advice
     
  11. Jr1973

    Jr1973 Rookie

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    Jan 27, 2020

    I have not taught any days because of the classroom chaos, even though I know thats not what you meant.....lol. i would love to do an experiment to grab their attention but there are too many safety issues due to their behavior. Thank you for the suggestion though. I appreciate the thought.
     
  12. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Jan 27, 2020

    I don't want to post all the details now, but 21 years ago I was in a VERY similar situation. I walked. And since I hadn't signed my contract the district couldn't make me stay or hold my license.
    21 years later I still think about those students and wish I could have been the one to make a difference for them. But the truth is I couldn't help them that year. I didn't have the experience, tools, or support. My own mental health was suffering.

    I've gone on to have a very successful career, ironically in that same district who rehired me the following year.
     
  13. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Jan 27, 2020

    Man, does that sound like my job! I got hired after the prior teacher bailed on the first day back. By the time my papers cleared, they'd had 2 subs. I'm the third or fourth teacher in as many years at that school. It took about 6 weeks before they believed I wasn't leaving. I had no real on-boarding, no explanation of the rules/discipline policy, and it took 7 weeks to get me added to classdojo. One of my classes was a mess behavior-wise. What straightened them out a bit was a metaphoric come-to-Jesus class reflection, where some of the kids did own up to their own misbehavior. I asked them 3 questions: What are the problems in this class? How have you contributed to or been affected by the problems? What do you think we should do to fix it?

    My other advice for you is to stop asking admin, but ask other teachers what works with those kids, or observe their interactions with the kids. Where I am, it's local culture to yell at the kids. They don't take redirection seriously until it's LOUD. I can't do that. It's not my style and I'm physically incapable of yelling without causing vocal damage. BUT, I learned to use sound in other ways. When they get unruly in the cafeteria, my referee whistle comes out.

    If you can pull it off- you can try going drill sergeant long enough to get their attention. Tell them if they don't want to take the opportunity in front of them to learn, fine. You're old enough to make your own choice there. But, you are NOT allowed to make that choice for other people. You don't want to do your work? Fine, but you're not going to interfere with others' learning. That really only works if you have a threat of some sort though, like if you fail this class then XYZ consequence that they won't like, like getting held back or not being eligible for sports or not being able to go to prom or sitting in lunch detention. If you have the latitude, let admin know you're going to crack down and to expect some visitors in the office or whatever your school does.

    Things are much improved now, but knowing what I know now, I'm probably leaving after this year ends. Admin has held back important information more than once and then blamed me for not knowing. My situation of starting 2 weeks into the year has not been considered at all beyond not having to submit lesson plans the first week.
     
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  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jan 28, 2020

    If you have never done an inquiry box, this could be a great time.
    [​IMG]
    The bottom side of the box must stay on the table, but otherwise, the box can be turned, they can make representations of the 5 sides they can see, and the purpose is to be able to determine what the numbers represent, both in the upper and lower corners, to figure out what will be on the bottom sheet that is down on the table, complete with name, gender, and the numbers in the correct formation. Groups of no more than 4, each group gets 2 minutes to observe and take notes. If there is a bit of time remaining, each group can have an additional minute after every group has gone. You need to keep your hand on the box at all times, but good-heartedly. Let each group answer the questions as they have figured them out, and written their answers. Read each set of answers, going through all the groups. Instead of telling them the answers, simply pick up the box once all answers were read - to win, they have to have the name right, gender right, and adequately explain the meaning of the 8 and of the 4.

    I make multiple boxes, so that there are different criteria for each class. Different name sets, different colors, different numbers. I just use colored copy paper on the sides of a box, use a sharpie to write with, etc. It really doesn't matter which side is down other than making sure you make sure your hand keeps the box from being picked up during the inquiry and group considerations. Not dangerous, not hard, and it will go with any kind of science, since observation is at the heart of all of the science contents. Just a thought.
     
  15. Jr1973

    Jr1973 Rookie

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    Sadly after a violent event in my classroom between 2 students I have had to resign. There was never a contract signed. Of course they are still threating to have me sanctioned if they choose not to accept my resignation. I noted on their official resignation form all the details and forwarded all email I sent asking for help with none receiving responses. I am hoping they gracefully let me go. Otherwise a very dear friend and mentor has told me NEA will defend me on this (she is aware of everything that has happened) so I have the stress of that over my head until they give me a decision but it is less stress than I was dealing with there. On a different note the admin and staff are trying
    ...they should have known a new grad shouldn't be there.....but they are trying to make improvements for the kids. Another time it would have been a great experience.
     
  16. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    You seem to have had the right approach to this. I didn’t read this thread earlier but just went through it all, ending with today’s post. I’m sorry it didn’t work out, but I firmly believe that in the end you have to do what’s right for you. If the school didn’t have you sign a contract it doesn’t seem that they have much ground to hold your license.
     
  17. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 25, 2020

    Even though you resigned here, just remember that the situation will be similar if and when you get hired in a situation where the kids have been through several teachers / subs and they're at-risk students anyways.

    I got hired in a situation like that, 7 years ago, at this same school, I started right after spring break. It was very hard. I did have some control, it wasn't completely hopeless, but it was difficult and emotionally taxing. However, because it was my first teaching job, I was highly motivated and full of energy and ideas of making this work. I was already subbing / long term subbing for 2 years and this was it for me. I even left San Diego and moved 6 hours away for this job, so there was no going back.
    Yes I'm white and female and 90 % of the student population is Latino, and they probably looked at me thinking what is this while lady thinking she's going to do with us? Having a European accent probably confused them even more.

    I kept telling them I was here to stay, there was no going back. Of course actions speak louder than words, so it just had to take time. It was now teaching summer school and it was so interesting to see that one of my most misbehaving students was so happy to see me. I guess he was surprised that I was here.

    When school started in August, I've noticed a little difference. The kids saw that I was still here, so I did live up to my promise so far. After winter break I was still here. And I kept coming back every day, and I'm still here.

    It was easier and easier but it really wasn't where I felt at ease until my 2nd year. All it took was for someone to say they want to teach these kids and stay. Yes they tested me. Why they acted so horrible in the beginning? Because in their mind it was better to really act up and have me leave soon, instead of getting attached, and then when I'll leave it will be a huge disappointment. So you stay and prove them wrong and become a stable part in their life.
     
  18. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 25, 2020

    duplicate
     
  19. whizkid

    whizkid Habitué

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    Feb 25, 2020

    I know I shouldn't laugh but lol.
     
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