What to do with a job offer I don't really want...

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Pisces_Fish, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Apr 25, 2008

    First off, I'd like to say that my heart goes out to all the great teachers out there that struggle in a job market that's so tight they can barely score an interview, let alone a job. I've been there, and ultimately decided relocating was the best thing for me.

    With that said, I just received a job offer in the district that I want to teach in the most. It really took me by surprise, since this offer comes after a 15-min interview I had at a job fair a few weeks ago.

    The offer actually came from a Human Resources rep within the district. He offered my a 5th grade position. My concern is that 5th grade isn't where I feel comfortable at all! I was hoping for a 2nd or 3rd grade position. I kindly asked the HR rep to have the principal contact me directly so that I might visit the school (did I handle that ok???)

    Now I don't know what to do. My gut tells me that if I hold out a little more, that 2nd or 3rd grade position will come in time. How should I handle this situation??? I'd ultimately like to kindly decline the offer, explaining why, but asking her to please keep me in mind for any possible future primary openings. Is this "kosher?" Can I do that? I feel lost.

    I'm feeling rather down about this whole thing. Although I'm immensely grateful at the prospect of having a job so early in the year, I'm terrified of accepting it. I need advice, please!
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 25, 2008

    This is a tricky one. I think it'll come down to how much you like the district and how likely it will be for you to transfer within the district after a year or two in 5th grade.

    For me, I would likely take the less desirable position in a great district in hopes that I could transfer to a more desirable position later. Besides, you might turn out to love 5th grade! This could be one of those Big Things in your life which leads you to greater happiness.

    Good luck to you in whatever you decide! :)
     
  4. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Apr 25, 2008

    I would have to agree with Cassie on this. If this is the district you want to work in and got offered a job position that you do not want ultimately want to teach, I would still take the job.

    You need to put yourself out their and take on the challenge. As Cassie said, you might end up loving 5th grade. I had a friend who was determine to only teach 1st grade. The grade she was offered was 4th and does not regret her decision to teach 4th. She has been teaching 4th grade for 6 years and absolutely LOVES it.

    Even if you do not like teaching 5th grade, you will al least be exposed on what is taught. Even after a year or two in 5th grade and you decide to transfer to another grade, you could use that experience and do buddy reading or other projects. GOOD LUCK with your decision!!!

    Send you a hug for support!!!:hugs:
     
  5. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Apr 25, 2008

    I would say take the job. It is in a district you love! It might not be the exact job you were hoping for but it's an in to the district you want to be in. Eventually you could transfer down to 2nd or 3rd grade.

    When you talk to the principal tell him that you would really like to teach grade 2 or 3. And if something opens between now and the end of the school you could you transfer from 5th down. Of course word it a lot better than that.
     
  6. Lives4Math

    Lives4Math Comrade

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    I'd take it. I was in the same position. I was offered a job in a close district but it was a 5th grade position. I didn't want to teach anything above 3rd grade but I took the position anyway and actually liked teaching 5th.
     
  7. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Apr 25, 2008

    Hmmm...

    I definitely see where you're all coming from, especially JamieMarie, since I love the idea of asking to "come down" between now and August if something pops open.

    Here's the killer that's driving me nuts - as of today, there are still a total of 14 job openings for grades 1-3 alone. I've applied for 2 so far, 1 of which I interviewed for. Tomorrow I was going to mail out cover letter packets to at least 5 more schools. This district is close to Raleigh, so it's been growing fast.

    Does it make more sense why this job offer made me a bit leery? I hate sounding so ungrateful :( I just have my heart set so much on the littler kids. (And yet I've advised people on this site to do EXACTLY what I'm scared to do by taking a job offer even if it's scary!:rolleyes:)

    I think my biggest fear is that if I do not take the job, and explain why, word might spread that I'm unflexable. :unsure:
     
  8. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I would make a list of pros and cons of the district school grade and so on. That way you can see if it's a good fit. If you feel comfortable in the school and with the staff than you should really take it. Have you been to the school to meet any one yet? That might sway your decision.
     
  9. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    That's another thing. I don't know much about the school. I have never visited. All I know about the school comes from the short meeting at the job fair and their website (and I'm racking my brain trying to remember what the principal was like that day. I vaugely remember her as being a bit cold, but maybe I'm confusing her with other schools from the fair.) I am going to ask for a visit when the principal calls me back.

    I also find it odd that they wanted me to take a job offer at a school still sight-unseen. Maybe HR had mistakenly thought I'd visited or something?
     
  10. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    So...are you saying that there are 14 positions open for primary in the same district that you just got offered the 5th grade position?
    Also, have you ever worked with a 5th grade level? I was assigned to a 6th grade classroom during my student teaching, I was terrified! But it was the best experience I'd ever had, the teacher was amazing, the kids were great...the content was a bit more challenging and the grading was crazy, but other than that it was great! Like someone said already...you'll never know how you'll feel about it!

    Honestly, if I were you I would take it. I have a dream district in my area as well...very hard to get into...and if they offered me any regular teaching position I'd take it!
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Okay, this advice is coming from someone who hasn't even gotten one interview yet and who would love to teach 5th grade so take it for what's it worth.

    This is your dream district. Like others have said, you can always transfer to a lower grade after the first year. I would ask the principal if you could be considered for a lower grade level should one become available, but this is your DD.
     
  12. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    Take it! :p

    It may not be the grade you want, but it is the place you want to be. More versatile you are, the better it will be!
     
  13. Briana008

    Briana008 Companion

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    Apr 25, 2008

    Pisces, here's my perspective. If you have to really talk yourself into a job, then it probably isn't the best fit for you. I will certainly admit that it is possible you would really enjoy 5th grade and won't know until you try, but if you dread the thought of taking the job and there are still so many other positions open you should hold out.

    The reason why I say this is because during my job hunt I was offered a 6th grade position. I did a 6th grade rotation during my practicum, but I always felt a bit out of place. I did my student teaching at a high school and it was much more natural. After hearing about the 6th grade offer, I got lots of advice that I should go ahead and take it. I warmed up to the idea, but was never really excited about it. I had just about decided to accept it when the next day I was asked to interview at a high school. After leaving the high school (they offered me the job on the spot) I was so much more excited and I just knew that it was the better choice for me.

    As for turning down the offer, if you decide to do that, the principals that I talked to were very understanding when I had to turn down an offer. They understand (or at least they should) that the job search is as much about what is best for you as it is what is best for them. :2cents:

    Good luck in whatever you decide!

    ~Briana~
     
  14. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Yes, there's still 14 open positions in grades 1-3. I have had experience with 5th grade, but my experience was limited and it was awhile ago. I taught a Language Arts practicum back in 2002 for about 25 hours....not much experience. I wish I had more to go on!
     
  15. Tay

    Tay Companion

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    Apr 25, 2008

    first off....congratulations! I would take the job even if it wasn't exactly what you wanted. You can always move down at some point. But this will at least get you in. And as others have said....you may come to enjoy 5th grade.
     
  16. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    I would normally say to take the job, as it would be an "in" to a district. But in an area with as much growth as the area you are in seems to have you can really hold out for exactly what you want. Really I think you have decide how good of a chance you have at your dream grade in good district and if you think that there is about at least a 90% chance you will get that than wait for it. It's still so early in the hiring season that you can wait. But definitely visit the school and see if being in that school would be worth giving up the opportunity to teach at a lower grade this year. Good luck with your decision!
     
  17. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    Apr 25, 2008

    Ask to meet with the principal and tour the school. That way you can make a better educated decision, since you had never even been to the school before! If you like your future administration team and school, take it. Then you always have the opprotunity to move down.


    Honestly, I would have said third wasn't the grade for me when I was searching last summer. I was offered third at my dream school and I took it. I've had the best year, in the classroom at least, and I love third grade. You never know, you might like it. Compassionate, good administrators are hard to find. If you feel comfortable with the principal of the school after meeting with her again, I would take it. But that's just my :2cents:

    Good luck with your decision!
     
  18. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Congratulations!!! I am happy for you. I know you have been working hard at this.

    Okay here is my 2 cents :2cents: I am sorry if I sound mean, I don't mean to.

    As I see it, you have three things that are making you leery:

    1- not the grade you wanted
    2- many positions still open
    3- you don't recall the P and have never even seen the school

    I don't think reasons one and two are strong enough reasons not to take the job. It is your dream district and you can always move to another grade or have an opportunity to transfer in such a growing district. Also, I hate to say this (so please don't be mad) but it is possible they may have already ruled you out for the other positions and feel this is the best place for you.(sorry, it probably isn't true but it is possible)

    As for reason three, that would be the one that would get me thinking. However, it is fully understandable that you want to meet or talk with the P and take a tour before you accept. So do that and then make your decision. I bet you will like it. If not, and your gut says no way, then don't take the job.

    Lemonhead
     
  19. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I think you should make arrangements to meet the Principal and tour the school (and meet the faculty.) As lemon said, after you do that, if your gut is telling you no, then don't take it. Always listen to your gut.
     
  20. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Apr 26, 2008

    Go see the school and meet the 5th grade team, maybe even see if you can spend a day in one of their classes. You might find that you like what you see.
     
  21. ddb23

    ddb23 Companion

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    Apr 26, 2008

    As others have said, I would say to take the job - once you're in the district, you can move through positions and grade levels much easier.

    Most districts view their teaching positions in 4 buckets - kinder, elementary, middle, and high school.
     

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