Where to go? What to do?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by texasteacher4, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. texasteacher4

    texasteacher4 New Member

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    Dec 1, 2013

    I'm a first year teacher at a district in TX and I am miserable. I am teaching at an elementary school that opened this year and really not liking it. I student taught in this district last year at a different school and loved the atmosphere, but that particular school had no job openings. I love the kids that attend my school now, but I am reeeeeeally struggling with the administration. Even the veteran teachers that are teaching at this new school are not happy. I am always very respectful and professional in all matters, but have no luck in ever feeling like I am doing anything right in the eyes of the principal. Needless to say, I am NOT going to be teaching at this school next year.

    My biggest concern is this: I feel as though I had no warnings about the negative attitude and disposition of the principal when I stepped into this teaching position at this school. I know that I am qualified to get a position at a different school next year, but how can I find out about a school's atmosphere/ principal's disposition and temperament before accepting a job at another school where I might just have to wait out another agonizing year?
     
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  3. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    Dec 1, 2013

    That is hard. I am looking forward to hearing what other people say. I have interviewed places where I could tell I would not want to work for the principal when he or she was interviewing me. Other principals masked it better and I have accepted jobs at schools where I later found out that administration wasn't the best.

    One thing that may help in some cases is see if you can find the percentage of teachers returning from the previous year. I know where I am from this is on the state report card. I do think that information you have to approach cautiously because I don't think it always tells the whole story. However, I know I have worked places where other teachers have told me teacher turnover numbers should have been a warning sign to me when accepting a position.

    Good luck to you!
     
  4. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Dec 7, 2013

    I had a principal like that my second year. He had no people skills - was brusque and managed to offend everyone in the building.
    I nearly lost my cool with him after he took me out of my class ( I was teaching) to point out that the paper on my student work board was torn.
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Dec 7, 2013

    I think it's hard to tell. When I was subbing - had my own classroom = then back to subbing my P went through different phases. Out of the almost 2 years I was there she was so awesome the first 6-7 months. Always cheerful, positive, knew she liked me and the things I did, she actually created a position for me to hire me as a LTS. Then out of the blue she started picking on things, her tone changed, I felt really strange. I knew I was doing a good job, and there was no reason for me to worry, but I felt uncomfortable. The other teachers said she's kind of a bully and likes to pick on certain people and I have to stand up for myself. Not argue, but not let her put me down. That helped, and she got back to how she was before. For my last day as a LTS she organized a pot luck going away party at school.
    This P would not give me a letter of recommendation (kept asking and waiting for 6 months or so), but when I went to an interview she gave me a glowing recommendation, and she was raving about me in our district meetings.
    Then, after I knew I had the job, I still worked there for 3 weeks (background check, signing the contract) and she actually remembered my last day, gave me a big hug and wished me luck.

    My current P seemed very professional and by the book type of lady, strict but a great P. She turned out to be so awesome, very reasonable, flexible, personable, goes by the book but also knows teachers are people, knows all students, very hands on and she's just the best I could imagine. I could not have known this beforehand.

    Sorry no advice, just listen to your intuition, and don't make a decision based on what your admin might be like. Ask lots of questions.
     
  6. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Dec 8, 2013

    I also tend to Google news on the district. At my first school, there were some of the worst district politics and administration possible. There were a few op ed pieces in the news, a student walk-out was in the news, etc.

    New school - nothing. I love my new admin.
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Dec 8, 2013

    Don't be too quick to jump the gun on this school. Opening a new school is incredibly stressful for administration. You may find that it is an unworkable situation for you... but you may also find it to be the type of experience you expected once your principal's feet are no longer in the fire.
     
  8. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Jan 1, 2014

    I agree w/gr3. It takes a lot to run a new school. Is this his/her first year as principal? Just like we have to get used to our students, admin & staff have to get used to each other. The grass isn't always greener on the other side.
     
  9. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Jan 2, 2014


    One way that I go about this is to schedule interviews at the close of the school day. I get to the school early and park in the lot. Then I wait until I see an approachable teacher heading to their car. I walk up to them casually, introduce myself, tell them I am interviewing at their school, and that I was wondering if they could tell me - do they feel that this is a well-run school? Are people pretty happy here - or is there a lot of turn-over? Since I work in the inner city, I always ask: are students running through the halls, or is it orderly?

    You'd be surprised about how honest people will be with strangers. Of course, you have to understand there will be disgruntled people at any workplace. But teachers will tell you if there is high turnover, or if the school is out of control.

    One thing to remember though, is that principals can change schools also. So even if you find a well loved principal, the next year may present a different story.

    I find that my best bet is to learn how to be happy no matter what the conditions are at my school. The conditions at our school can be pretty poor. But I'm learning to be happy here in spite of it. I think this philosophy can apply to any job.
     
  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jan 2, 2014

    What the hell is with these stupid bot/spamming messages? I mean, how exactly does that nonsense serve to benefit anybody?
     

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