Time to find a new school?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Toast, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Jul 25, 2011

    When do you know it is time to find a new school to teach at?

    What working conditions would/did it take to make you want to look for a job somewhere else?

    Distance? Your principal? Coworkers? Lack of funding in your district for things like lunch duty aids and specials?

    I have been teaching for 3 1/2 years at my school (the only school I have ever taught at) and there is talk of only 15 minutes for lunch and no specials for this upcoming school year.

    I must also state that my state does not have a teacher's union.

    I am planning to stay for this school year because I need the maternity leave benefits, however, I am contemplating finding a new district for 2012-2013.

    Thoughts? What would it take for you to look elsewhere?
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    When you are no longer happy going to work most days, it is time to find a new school.
     
  4. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I agree with Mopar.

    None of the things you listed in and of themselves will make everyone unhappy. If YOU aren't happy with the changes, then it is time to move on. Just be sure the next school really fits you needs and you don't go from one situation you are unhappy with to another situation you are unhappy with and the new person.
     
  5. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    However, check the surrounding schools and districts as well. I know a lot of schools and districts are really struggling.

    I love my co-workers and my job MOST days. Some days though, I really wish I could move to a school closer to home. That being said, the districts closer to my house are struggling even more than the district I currently work for. :2cents:
     
  6. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jul 25, 2011

    In my state you must have a 30 minute no duty lunch (although I eat with my kids by choice). I can't imagine any state allowing a 15 minute lunch - if for no other reason the kids.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Our special ed director has brought up several times that back when "she was in the classroom" people did a lot more inclusion and the special ed teachers spent a lot of their time in the regular ed classrooms. I HATE that. You end up either sitting there watching the teacher teach or walking around helping kids like a para. Luckily my P totally agrees...but if the special ed director ever attempts to take away my teaching time in order for me to stand around the regular ed room, I would be looking for a new school right away.

    I do plan on looking to move either at the end of next year or the year after that though, but not because of my school. For numerous reasons, I don't like the geographic location I'm living in and I want to relocate to a better area. I am generally happy with my job and I love my coworkers, but I'm often unhappy with most things outside of work because of the area I live in.
     
  8. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    School politics would push me away... administration of the school repeatedly seeming disorganized and things not in place where I can effectively teach.

    Then I agree with everyone else... if you are unhappy with working, going to school and you can't seem to pull it together. Then its time to go and reignite your love of teaching.
     
  9. wvteach

    wvteach Rookie

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    I just think this is really sad. Whenever our special ed teacher is in my room we team teach together. Some days he does more of the lead teaching and some days I do more. We compliment each other well. I think that is how it should be. You are exactly right to feel that way if you are sitting around "watching." What a waste!!!
     
  10. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Jul 25, 2011

    If you can find a different opportunity that you believe would be better, you go for it. There is not always that opportunity out there right now, so you might have to look hard. In the end it is really hard to know if a different situation will be better or not until you are already there, in part because schools constantly change how things are done.
     
  11. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I stayed in a school for 2 years with a mean and horrible principal. I could deal with the "mean" but she ran our school into the ground and our good reputation went out of the window. I loved my students and the other teachers that I worked with. My principal offered to release me after my 2nd year (we have to stay for 2 years after getting our continuous contracts -- so 3 years in total), but I didn't want her to use me a scapegoat and win, since she was the problem not me. I decided to stay on and I WON! The district removed her and she was placed in a general ed. school. I for sure would have left after my 3rd year if my old principal was staying though.

    It has took my new principal about a 1 and half to to rebuild our school.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm on my 5th principal and second supe in 11 years in my district. Administrators are like buses...a new one will come along...so a principal wouldn't necessarily cause me to go unless it was REALLY unbearable and I was REALLY certain I was going to a school that was a better match for me.
     
  13. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jul 25, 2011

    Agreed :thumb:

    I usually do at least one duty during school per cycle and one after-school duty per cycle (a cycle lasts 6 school days). We are sometimes called to sub for other teachers-- emergencies where the teacher has to leave, sickness, etc. I know some teachers would hate that, but I have to be honest and say that I love subbing for other classes especially when its with students I already have (and since I teach grades 3 to 6 it usually is).

    I love the students, I love the teachers, and I enjoy most of the parents. I adore my principal and how she trusts and supports me.

    Some days are still hard to get up and get going, but overall I have no plans on leaving this school.
     
  14. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    That's the hard part when deciding to leave. The grass is not always greener on the other side. I think I will have to talk to the teachers before moving to a new school. I do know my present principal will dig around for me and give me the inside scoop on any school that I may consider going to.

    They do not keep principals around for long periods in my district. Usually they move principals after 3 years. It will be my principal's third year this year. A couple of us are planning on asking him to take us when he leaves...hopefully it is not middle school or high school placement:lol:.
     
  15. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I have only worked for one principal and I do not see that person leaving any time soon (never know though). There are good points and bad points, just wish the principal was easier to get along with.
     
  16. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    That's awesome! That is really how it's "supposed" to be. Yet that is sooo rarely a reality. So many things can get in the way and it takes a really special relationship to be able to do that. I did a little of that in my student teaching, but I was only in charge of one grade so I only had two gen ed teachers to plan with. Even if I wanted to do something like this at my current school, I have 6 grades and 9 different teachers that I work with. I just can't possibly joint plan with all of them! Also, many of my students are really, really low. It's great to have a differentiated lesson, but that doesn't change the fact that they're not getting a small group lesson focusing on skills at their level like they get in my room when I do pull out. For example, I had a 4th grader who was working on basic addition and subtraction. If I co-taught in her math class, we might be able to differentiate a little more, but that doesn't change the fact that we'd be doing a lesson on multiplying fractions when she still needs to work on basic skills like the adding and subtracting of whole numbers.
     
  17. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I knew it was time to leave when;
    I was sharing a classroom with another teacher/grade, for the whole year,
    No professional development, no professionalism at all, with anything
    Favoritism shown by administration regarding rules and procedures
    Pitiful hourly salary, w/o any benefits
    Was required to wear a uniform to work
    No discipline system for the students (I had kindergarteners cursing each other out, seriously)
    Having to guess what time of the day you were going to get your paper check on payday
    If you weren't the director's favorite, she sure was going to let you know
    Lack of staff-somedays I worked from 8-6pm, with out a break

    I would go on, but you get the idea. I am more than thankful I do not have to endure another year of that foolishness!!!
     
  18. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Jul 26, 2011

    This is true that the grass always looks greener elsewhere. My district definitely does an administrative shuffle as well. My current principal was demoted from superintendent. :(

    I will probably make a decision after this upcoming school year.
     
  19. Ellensmom

    Ellensmom Companion

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    Jul 26, 2011

    My change happened for 2 reasons: distance and school future
    We had moved a little further away, and I had a 45 minute commute one way. This included dropping off my daughter at daycare. I felt I spent too much time watching her grow while in the car. Also, I was able to read the writing on the wall for my school. It had already been said that they would be closing, we just didn't know when. I found a job only 4 miles from home that next year, and my former school closed a year later. Thankfully, I found my job at the right time, because there have be A LOT of layoffs in the surrounding public districts (I'm private). I fear ever NOT wanting to work at this school anymore because I know it will be a challenge to find a job.
    Follow your heart, and you will know when it is time for a change.
     
  20. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    I left my first school because an opportunity presented itself that allowed me to move to a new school with my principal.
    My other moves after that all had to do with life circumstances taking me to a different geographic area
     
  21. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    You know it is time when you dread getting up and dealing with whatever you are dealing with. When you see your job as hopeless. It is time to get out and try something new. That can be a simple district transfer. Also, if you are complaining all the time, please get a change of scenery and try some other grade level or school. Good luck!
     
  22. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    I know I am going to have to change schools next year as our school just put in a policy that staff kids MUST be enrolled in our school and we will have to pay tuition for them as well. Both my kids are in a wonderful public school and my oldest is in band and drama. Both are in the pull out gifted program too. they would loose all of that, on top of having to leave school where there friends are etc....I love the school I work for, but I can't do that to my kids. On top of those concerns, our pay isn't very much and I'd basically be paying to go to work by the time I pay two tuitions. So, I know will have to begin looking again in the spring solely based on this new policy. :(
     
  23. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Wow, Mommyserenity! I wonder how many teachers will be joining you in looking for a new job...
     
  24. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 26, 2011

    That seems like an odd policy to me! At my school, the staff's children get free tuition. Sorry you are forced to look elsewhere.
     
  25. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Our PreK3 teacher , PreK4 teacher, and Office Administrator all have kids that do not go to our school either. They both pulled them out this year to put them into Public school or our local charter school for various reasons. So I won't be the only one affected with this new policy. I was a bit blindsided with this new policy. I do understand where the school is coming, but at the same time I feel they need to realize our school may not be a good fit for every child. We are a good school, but small and can't offer some of the activities and classes the bigger schools can.
     
  26. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Many private schools around here that do have policies in place for mandatory enrollment, but offer free tuition. I do not feel a mandatory policy AND tuition is free, exp knowing what we make salary wise.
     
  27. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    In order to teach at your school your kids MUST go there? AND you have to pay the school?

    There is so much wrong with that policy. I may get some disagreement on this....but I don't even think it is a good idea to work the same place your kids go to school.

    After having 8 "staff kids" in my class last year I have already decided I will not teach at the same school my children go to when they are of age.

    Wow. That blows my mind.
     
  28. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Toast....I see your side too and feel like we should be given some sort of choice esp. if we were hired prior to the policy being put into place. Our school is great and I enjoy working there immensely ,but it is not the right fit for our kids.
     
  29. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Co-teaching when done right is so remarkably awesome. In my room- you often don't know who the gen ed/sped teacher is or which students have disabilities.
     
  30. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    I've worked at three schools in the district with three different personalities.

    I was quite unhappy with most things at my second school. A 1:20 minute ride each way on public transit into a very unsafe area. (It gets dark here in the winter at 4:15 ish).

    The principal was new (nice at times) but very green. Then we had a bad "walk through" from the area and all he!! broke loose.

    I was supposed to have 2 assistants due to age and ability of my children. They were pulled from 10 - 2:00 daily to assist in the lunch room. Meaning I often had to serve lunch while doing circle time to my children.

    Between safety and my sanity - I came home one day after a 2:00 ride home (must have been weather) and checked the e-bulletin. Saw the school I currently work at had a posting. It was the chance of a lifetime. I debated it for 2 hours sought out advise (was scared they would see me as a "mover" due to being in 2 schools in 4 years) and they were like apply apply apply.

    The rest is history.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  31. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Wow! I'm glad you made the move. Sounds like it was a wise decision.

    I found out today that we will actually have specials 2 days per week. So we will get prep time twice per week.

    However, we will definitely have to cover lunch and lunch recess duty for our own grade level. (this time is usually teacher lunch break as well)

    Last year we had the same lunch/recess issue of not having anyone to cover our lunch break and my principal's solution was "what do you want to do? No ideas? Okay. We will just take volunteers for extra duty"

    I am going to propose the following idea to my team:

    There are 3 teachers on my team. Each day 1 person does cafeteria duty. 1 other person does outside lunch recess duty. The last person gets a 40 minute lunch that day.

    Each day we will rotate who is in each duty position.

    Right after lunch recess we will have all of the kids in 1 classroom for 30 minutes. Whatever teacher had the 40 minute duty free lunch that day is the one who takes the grade level for 30 minutes.

    During this 30 minutes the kids do an independent activity. Silent reading, practice math facts, listen to read aloud, games in small groups, etc.

    Also, during this 30 minutes the other 2 teachers who had lunch and recess duty that day can go take a 30 minute duty free lunch.

    Teachers who are reading this........ if your team lead proposed that to you, would you be game to do that? Considering the alternative is you have lunch/recess duty every day and only have 15 minutes or so to scarf down your lunch?

    Opinions?
     
  32. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 26, 2011

    I guess I'd do it, but I wouldn't be happy about either option, to be honest. I might have missed it, but don't you have a duty free lunch as per your contract?
     
  33. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    We already do recess with our kids. Our lunch break is currently at 2:45 PM there was lots of discussion of that changing, but our track E schools start in 2 weeks and so far nothing has changed as far as we know.
     
  34. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    I will have to read over my contract again to make sure, but I don't believe it is in there. AZ is a 'right to work" state so there isn't a law stating employers are required to give staff breaks.

    In the past it has been district policy to give a duty free lunch, however, as of last year and this coming school year there hasn't been funding to employ anyone to cover lunch breaks.
     
  35. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm not sure that an at-will status is related to no breaks. My state is an at-will state but we are required to get breaks.
     
  36. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Just looked over my contract. Nothing about a duty free break.
     
  37. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    I've also been googling AZ labor laws however I keep coming up on information stating that there are no laws requiring employers to give breaks.

    I don't mean to argue. In fact, I really hope that I am wrong.
     
  38. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oh they may not have a law requiring breaks. I'm just saying that I don't think that has anything to do with whether the state is an at-will state.
     
  39. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    That's how it is when I am doing in-class support as well.
     
  40. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I agree totally.
     
  41. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I am looking for a new school. There are about 500 reasons but I will list a few.
    -210 day school year PLUS teacher work days
    -pay is low and does not take into consideration that we work more days than the regular school year
    -must eat lunch with students and no breaks except short bathroom breaks. Not even during specials. Therefore, no prep time.
    -no union (private school)
    -administration is concerned with how things "look" to outsiders and do not care what is best for staff/students (yes, I'm sure this sounds like just an opinion but trust me it's true!)
    -I could go on and on :)
    I don't dread coming to work every day but I feel that I really need a change.
     

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