Think I Am Being Set Up - Guidance Needed

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Culturanta, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Culturanta

    Culturanta Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    4

    Sep 25, 2012

    Hello,

    I am a secondary teacher who feels very out of place in my new school. I started here in August. My last school had a very different culture than this one and my direct supervisor has a communication style very different from my own. Nothing has been said to me directly but my gut is telling me that things are not going well.

    I just wondered if there are any red flags that I should look for as possible signs that my job could be in jeapordy. There is nobody at my school that I can trust so I cannot talk about my feelings/fears openly with them.

    I am assuming I would need to get at least one written warning before I would be fired, but I work in an at-will state. My school does not have a union.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2.  
  3. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,391
    Likes Received:
    5

    Sep 25, 2012

    What does your contract say? Generally, being non-renewed is a bigger possibility than being fired during the school year. Most disttricts I know of have some kind of professional growth plan or something they implement when things aren't going well - basically identify areas of weakness and ways to improve it.
     
  4. Culturanta

    Culturanta Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    4

    Sep 25, 2012

    I do not have a contract, I am an at will employee. I can be let go anytime. I work for a charter school. I am told that they "clean house" the day before winter break so people are let go mid-year.
     
  5. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,391
    Likes Received:
    5

    Sep 25, 2012

    It is hard to say with a charter school. I hope you are wrong, but it is hard to work in that kind of environment. Is there an area you can improve on?
     
  6. Culturanta

    Culturanta Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    4

    Sep 25, 2012

    I am sure I can improve on a number of things as can all teachers. I have done lots of things right so far such as turning in my lesson plans on time and etc. the problem is that I am guessing as to what to improve on because nobody will tell me directly. I might think I need to improve in one area when the real problem could be something totally different.

    The reason I think I am being set up is because nobody is telling me anything directly, yet based on certain things that have been said, emails that have been sent (and the names/titles of the individuals on this email) and the fact that in my last job I was on the other side of this coin, I think they are creating a paper trail to use against me later.
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Sep 25, 2012

    If they are creating a paper trail, then they have to be sharing of substance with you that would demonstrate they attempted to guide you but you didn't respond. Is that happening?
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Sep 25, 2012

    Are you the OP? Do you have multiple accounts?
     
  9. Culturanta

    Culturanta Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    4

    Sep 25, 2012

    Yes I was the OP in reference to the above. I did have another account but forgot about it. I use both nicks.

    To repeat, the paper trail consists of emails from my direct supervisor cc'ing others higher in the food chain. Since this is a public forum I hesitate to say anything too specific. The emails are not really corrective. More like clarification of policy.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Sep 25, 2012

    I think that emails like that might or might not be part of a set-up. In my district, it's standard practice to CC anything important to the teacher's supervisor. So, like, if I forgot to fill out a form for the secretary, she will send me an email that says, "Yo, you forgot to fill out this form. Per district policy, that form needed to be filled out by last week." and she will CC my supervisor. It's just meant to keep everyone in the loop, not so that they can find reason to get rid of teachers.

    If those sorts of emails are in addition to other things, like more frequent classroom walkthroughs, more closely scrutinized lesson plans and gradebooks, and any sort of investigation, then you might have a set-up situation on your hands. If that's the case, and if you don't have union support, I'm not sure that there's a lot you can do about it. I'd say that your best bet is to work to the best of your ability, try to avoid mistakes, and hope that it's nothing.
     
  11. Culturanta

    Culturanta Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    4

    Sep 25, 2012

    Thanks Caesar - this is a voice of reason.

    Is it absolutely insane on my part to suspect that my students might be spying on me and reporting to my supervisor?
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Sep 25, 2012

    It's not insane. I've seen that happen at my own school. The way I see it is this:

    Students ARE reporting your actions to your supervisor: You need to be above reproach. Do what you're supposed to do, follow your plans, treat everyone respectfully, follow school policy. They won't have anything to report.

    Students ARE NOT reporting your actions: Do what you're supposed to do, follow your plans, treat everyone respectfully, follow school policy.

    It doesn't pay to be paranoid, even if your paranoia is legitimate. All you can do is stay on the path and do what you were hired to do. From what I've witnessed during my career, admin will find a way to keep you if they want to keep you, and they'll find a way to get rid of you if they want to get rid of you. The only control you have in that situation is what happens in your classroom. Control that, focus on that.
     
  13. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Sep 25, 2012

    How many times have these two students asked to leave your room in a weeks time? If it's more than twice a week, then I would curb their leaving and keep them in class. That way, if they are reporting to your supervisor, then if they can't get out of class they can't report. Make sure that you address the issue of their constant being out of the room and missing instruction as to the reason they can't leave the room anymore. I'm sorry you are going through this.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Sep 26, 2012

    Honestly, kids reporting on you shouldn't be an issue. What could they possibly have to say if,as I assume, you're doing your job?

    If you suspect administration is unhappy with your work, why not invite them to come in for an informal observation? Let them know you would love the feedback, and are always looking for ways to improve your teaching. Let your class be an open book. There will be nothing to report, nothing to tattle about.
     
  15. Culturanta

    Culturanta Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    4

    Sep 26, 2012

    Of

    Let us say simply that open communication is not welcomed or appreciated here. If I was to suggest this it would only add to my reputation as a firebrand. Honestly, I already know that this school is not for me. I would simply prefer to leave on my own terms, with another position in hand and my professional reputation more or less intact.

    Kids lie all the time and this is my biggest concern about whatever it is they are reporting back. Students brag about getting teachers fired all the time and they do make things up to achieve this end. But I suppose there is nothing I can do about that. You all are right. I need to simply be a professional, go about my business and look for a new job ASAP.
     
  16. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 26, 2012

    Culturanta - I've been in a similar situation a couple of times, though it was not in a school setting.

    When I first began working in Purchasing at my local hospital, I definitely got the feeling that a specific coworker and the manager were working together on a plan to get rid of me. Fortunately (for me), the manager got caught charging personal items to the hospital and was let go. When a new manager was hired, the coworker started the same thing again. It was very stressful and I began going to the boss myself trying to counter what the coworker was saying. This just made the working environment worse. So I finally decided to ignore the drama and just let my work ethic speak for itself. The coworker eventually left when he realized his scheme wasn't going to work.

    In my next job, as a Purchasing Manager, I began to get the same feeling, only this time, it was the boss that was setting me up. On my evaluations, his comments would be "You need to do a better job", but he would never give any specific areas that needed to improve. He would also tell me other dept. managers complained about my work, but again, would never tell me which departments made the complaint, so I had no idea which area needed to improve. The manager dId eventually fire me, right after I returned to work after having major surgery.

    Both of these jobs were in "At Will" states. I went to the local labor board after being fired and was told I would have some recourse IF I could show the manager did not follow the proper Policies and Procedures of the facility. Unfortunately, the boss created the documentation needed to cover his action.

    As for the school setting, all public school teachers DO sign a contract for the school year, even in "At Will" states. I'm not sure if the same is true for charter schools, though. :( For now, you've already figured out your best course of action is to focus on doing the best job you can while looking a for a different school for next year.

    Best of luck to you. I know how stressful this situation can be.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Linguist92021,
  2. Anna music teacher
Total: 406 (members: 6, guests: 378, robots: 22)
test