When a New Position Isn't a good fit

Discussion in 'General Education' started by PatTm, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. PatTm

    PatTm Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2015

    Wondering if anyone has faced this tough decision.

    I am a PE/Health teacher working at a small charter school in the city. I have been teaching 5 years. Bounced around between long-term sub positions, part-time, and subbing before landing my current job. Apologize in advance for the long back story.

    This first year has been decent overall, but I am strongly considering leaving after finishing the year. Compensation and the commute have been a big source of stress. These issues would be manageable if there weren't other problems that have left me burnt out.

    Our student population is composed of 7th, 8th, and 9th graders who are in danger of falling behind and dropping out. One of the main problems is the school's mission statement is not clear. The school's original mission statement (paraphrasing) was to take students who have not succeeded in a large school for benign reasons (ESL, Diagnosed Learning Disabilities, etc) and get them ready to enter high school. According to other teachers the last 5-10 years the school has been accepting many students who have been either kicked out of other schools, or are performing below grade level due to serious behavior issues.

    As I said before this is my first year but at this point 70% of the student population have serious behavior issues. While the student population has changed the school hasn't really changed to accommodate. We are understaffed and have no behavioral specialists/interventionists/assistants. As a result, on a good day 50% of class-time is monopolized by management. The students who have behavior issues aren't getting the services they need, other students don't get the attention they need and want to grow, and minimal learning takes place.

    So with 50 days of classes left I potentially have a tough decision to make. If no new opportunities appear I only see two choices. Go back to substitute teaching on a daily basis, or return to this school next year. Becoming a sub again will likely hurt my resume, but at the same time I feel like a glorified babysitter not a teacher.

    I'm curious if anyone has faced this dilemma or a similar one. Even if you haven't what would you recommend. Tough out another year to build the resume vs role the dice and move on?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 18, 2015

    I had one not-a-good-fit position years ago. I knew by December that it wasn't where I wanted to be but stayed the year. I got my resume out that spring, worked my connections and landed my current job that is the perfect fit...my situation wasn't as frustrating or difficult as yours and I might have stayed had I not found something else....focus now on finishing the year and polishing up your resume. Good luck!:love:
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 18, 2015

    I have also experienced a bad fit year. I went to a new district the next year.
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Mar 18, 2015

    If it's wearing on your health, whether physical or mental, I'd go back to subbing. If you think you can handle another year, even though you won't be entirely happy, then tough it out until you can find something else. Hopefully, you'll find something else for next year soon, but, if not, that would be my advice to you. Never keep a job that is wearing you down physically or mentally out of fear that it might hurt your resume.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 18, 2015

    Are you willing to relocate? My district has quite a few PE positions open.
     
  7. PatTm

    PatTm Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2015

    Want to look into relocating, but on hold for at least another 12-18 months. My wife is in the final year of her PHD so we can't move until she finishes. Appreciate the words of wisdom and glad to see others have effectively dealt with the same situation

    Also I know I painted a pretty negative picture of the school. While there are serious issues the teaching staff is great overall, best group I've worked with. The school does a lot of great things. Most of the teachers are just as frustrated but, at same time of the 12 full-time teachers 6 have been there 25-30 years. So while they are professionals and not mailing it in by any means they are ready to leave soon. Including myself the remaining 6 teachers have between 3-6 years in the profession. Myself and another are looking for greener pastures. The remaining 4 are crazy idealists and love work in a way I wish I could. They live for the job, last to leave the school then volunteer at YMCA or Community Learning Center, vacation to other parts of the world to do more volunteer work, attend conventions and run Saturday School on weekends. If I was the same way I'd be happy to stay another 30 years, but I know that's just not me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Mar 19, 2015

    If you're not into that situation, I'd take the substitute risk and leave at the end of the year. It sounds like the school had originally great intentions (and still could if they modified the mission statement and looked into solutions of teaching these kids--being all gung-ho and passionate is great all but doesn't get you very far if the school doesn't have a real strategy) but it doesn't seem like something you're wiling to ride out and I don't blame you.
     
  9. andyguitar331

    andyguitar331 Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2015

    The current position I'm in isn't a good fit for me at all. I got a phone call from a district I applied to last year and accepted a new job. So far I don't regret the decision. If it's a bad fit I would consider a new position.
     
  10. PatTm

    PatTm Rookie

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    Thanks, knowing that others would feel the same is a reassuring School definitely has great intentions, the founder and principal is a great guy, passionate and works hard. A lot of students have had there lives changed or saved. Your right though, huge conflict between ideals and reality. If admission and continued enrollment were dependent on certain student responsibilities the school would be amazing. Administration has shot this proposal down consistently, because it would be "giving up on certain students."
     
  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Mar 19, 2015

    Call me cold and heartless, but I disagree with administration. Sounds like the current system gives up on the original intended student body. Holding students accountable isn't giving up on them. There comes a time when a student needs to stop holding the school responsible for his behavior and step up to the plate.
     
  12. PatTm

    PatTm Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2015

    My bosses would definitely call it cold/heartless, but your 100% right that they have unintentionally given up on other students. Had a perfect example of it today.

    PE/Health is my main responsibility but since I have a Special Ed cert I co-teach an English Class at the end of every day. Had 9 of 18 students trying hard to revise work to receive full credit on a paper due tomorrow. Had to send a student to the office for distracting others & telling me to F off when confronted. Principal called me to the office shortly after. Principal wanted to facilitate a discussion so we could understand why this student acted out. Wasted 20 listening to the student give an unsatisfactory explanation and forced apology. Student was allowed back in class and thrown out again 5 min later by the other teacher. Only 4 of 9 students got the corrections they needed to revise their work. Before leaving my colleague and I had to meet with the principal about why the one student was thrown out again and how we can better meet his needs. I mentioned that 5 students (who were working hard) are now behind, but got no real response.
     

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