You're at the top of the list, but...

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by loss4words, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. loss4words

    loss4words Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2011

    you are too educated & I'm concerned... This is the comment from my most recent job interview & has been a common thread since I began teaching. I have an advanced degree in an actual subject, not education, & find more resistance because of it than I could have ever imagined (no offense to the ed majors but I haven't yet been treated very well by them). I have contract taught for 2 years & earned teacher of the year my 2nd, but chose to leave my old district, which was run by morons. Never have problems with students & the level of learning is just unreal & I love teaching. I'm losing it. I subbed 2 years, did my internship, spent a fortune on that joke that's called teacher credentialling, passed all the tests, jumped through all the hoops, & still, not enough to convince these people I'm in it, the real deal, & **** good at it. What do you want? I feel as if I'm being discriminated against because I busted my butt in something else, then found teaching, & I'm an outsider! What do I have to do in this industry to find admin folks who aren't stuck in the little strange world of "education" that, as far as I can tell, is worried more about politics, money & butt-kissing, than actually educating. Imagine someone in the education world actually saying the words, "You're at the top of the list but my concern is that you have too much education & will be hesitant to follow different procedures." In other words, I get it, teaching isn't that hard...if you constantly keep your students as the priority...but I need to remove parts of my brain apparently so I can sit in these stupid meetings & say, hmm, amazing, students learn in different ways; my god! My brain literally soiled itself when this guy said I'm too educated. Someone help me. Tell me I'm not going insane. Tell me someone is out there in charge of these schools who has at least some clue. I guess I lied, I'm not at a loss for words.
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jun 24, 2011

    I don't have any advice, but I clearly hear your frustration. The market is a bear right now but being overly educated shouldn't be the concern, UNLESS they were referring to being too expensive but from your words it doesn't sound like that's the case.

    How are you portraying the fact that you left your last district? Could they be worried that you left because you thought you knew more and had a hard time following the way they do things whether or not you agreed with them? Not saying that many haven't been there and done that. I'm just trying to figure out where the downfall lies in how they are perceiving you.

    You know, it might not even be you at all. It could very well be that they just had someone on the staff in the past that had the same level of education as you did and caused a thorn for them. Guilt by association type thing.

    I don't know. I'm just trying to lay some random stuff out there. The bottom line is you gotta keep trying and move forward. Good luck.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 24, 2011

    A good, positive attitude helps.:sorry:
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 24, 2011

    It's difficult, but you have to keep a positive attitude and then be willing to try things the way that the administration want you to for a few years.
     
  6. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 24, 2011

    Have you tried charter school and places like Yes! and the Kipp Academy? Because they often aren't tied to federal funds (and sometimes state regulations) with all the "politics, money and butt-kissing" that goes with it , they may be a better fit for you.
     
  7. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jun 24, 2011

    How are you coming across in interviews? I can sense your frustration in your post, but if you give off the attitude in your interviews that you are better than people who were education majors, or that you know more than the people who are hiring you, it won't go over well. There is too big a divide these days between people who received a degree in education and those who received a degree in a core subject--which should be eliminated. ALL teachers have a bachelors degree, and many have a masters degree, so ALL teachers should be treated with the same respect in regards to their education.
     
  8. loss4words

    loss4words Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2011

    You all made good points

    The way I come off in interviews is that I'm dedicated to one thing; making sure my students learn how to analyze, to be smarter than their future competition, to understand the world around them... There's no doubt that I'm seen as sincere, but I have to say, some of you hit it right on, it's a question of control. The vibe I get from the micromanagers is that they perceive me as one who will resist things that make no sense when it comes to accomplishing my mission for my students. Ya know what, it's true. So what I have to do is find a boss who understands what all successful leaders understand--use the strenghts of your people to promote an environment of success. That's how I roll. I have to stay away from the ones who see my past as a detriment; they aren't the kind of leaders I want to serve under. I'd rather clean toilets for someone who let's me clean the toilet than someone who stands over my shoulder. Thanks. Let this moron find a yes man, & the only thing that sucks is that I could've helped those students.
     
  9. loss4words

    loss4words Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2011

    Problems with public ed

    The funny thing is that I know teachers, some good & some bad, & the bad ones always drank the koolaid. It's so interesting to see some new ed theory on how students learn, from a person who just wrote the newest book on this groundbreaking discovery...that was already done in 1918 but called something else. I can tell you what's wrong with the underperforming schools, they focus on everything but the infantry; the teacher teaching his or her students & what can be done to support them. Get a former business owner in there to manage a school...watch it turn around. I know, negative attitude...well, that's only because I care. It's not negative, just trying to problem solve. It doesn't matter, it's gov't work. Eh, I'll just keep lookin & try to temper my thinking. Maybe that'll work.
     
  10. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jun 24, 2011

    Just a quick question ~ where do you think you can work where you can "resist things that make no sense to accomplishing" your mission? Every job I know has rules, procedures, protocol, boss, etc. . . and to work there successfully you must follow these. Just because I might not be priviledged to understand the rule/procedure, doesn't mean it isn't necessary. I really don't know where you will find any job where you get to do what you want without ANY oversight.
     
  11. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jun 24, 2011

    Dear Loss,

    It must be very frustrating to be in your position.

    However, I think many of us find the balance. I'm not a "drink the koolaid" type person, but I am someone that dedicates my life to creating success for my students.

    Part of this dedication means that I have to "grin and bear it" or "play the game" every now and then. I do this for a couple of reasons. 1. I know school decisions don't revolve around me or my classroom, but the entire building. 2. I want to keep my job to continue to be there for my students. 3. I want my school to be a positive place and not one full of nags.

    But, I trust my admin to let me be the expert of my classroom, and they do that.

    A crummy attitude is the quickest way to either never be in a classroom OR hate every minute of being there.
     
  12. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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  13. loss4words

    loss4words Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2011

    ok

    play the game. I get it. But one person asked where I could expect to work where there aren't rules & procedures, inferring that's what I said. However, I can think of dozens of industries where successful people are left to their craft, as long as they are good at what they do. That doesn't mean they don't follow policies & procedures, but, rather, the policies & procedures encourage success rather than hinder it. Will you expect the Ferrari engine builder to write a report about what he's going to do before he does it? You'll lose your expert. If the engine blows up, you hire a skilled person rather than forcing everyone to go through retraining in what they alredy know. Does the dentist write out a plan each day as to how he will be cleaning teeth?
    Does the fisherman require retraining in setting hooks for all the other fishermen on the boat & require that they attend meetings weekly where someone who used to fish will now walk through the way to set the gear up? Does an executive require retraining for his staff for no other reason than money has been set aside for it? If students are engaged, participating, learning, motivated, does the teacher need to explain why & attend mandatory training about getting kids engaged? Yes. There are rules & regulations governing teaching & most are relevant...standards, behavior, laws, duties...but don't try to tell me that noticing most of the crap we have to go through-that the politics & total lack of real world leadership qualities, or that the waste of billions of dollars on budget slushfunds for cronies who kiss up is in any way a benefit to the students, and that by pointing it out is akin to a negative attitude. I know teaching. Let me focus on that. Who could possibly want to mess up what works? 2 types: Failing businesses & government.
     
  14. loss4words

    loss4words Rookie

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    good article, but wrong focus for my point

    we do take our products at the dock no matter the condition & that's a great point. However, business can get rid of those workers who suck & hire people that perform, focus on their strengths & improve from there. & that's what's missing in many public schools. I've personally experienced top performing teachers being forced to play the game, to even it out, because of a strange desire to cookie cutter the staff. In the area of leadership, public ed could learn alot from business. Um, one last thing...public ed could learn alot from business with regards to waste of funds, fraud, & nepotism. But my philosophy works for me. You leave me alone, in any industry, and I'll bust my butt to make sure your life is easier & success becomes the culture of your place. I've worked for folks who get it & they got everything I could give, including respect & loyalty. I've worked for folks who must micromanage & they still received success, but nothing more. I'm just frustrated. You guys help though, who else can stand listening to this crap. Just saw Bad Teacher...it's worth the wait to video, but the years been over a couple months & all I could think about was how much I miss teaching. I had a bad couple years...best students in the world, worst leadership ever...crooked, liars, vindictive & controlling. Hope they didn't ruin me. Had to get out before I lost my love of teaching. Anyway, see ya. Thanx for the discussion...
     
  15. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    Jun 29, 2011

    I agree. Being a transplant to my area, having two degrees, two certifications, and a lot of varied work experience under my belt, I have been asked "Why do want to teach here?" or "Why isn't your Master's in Education?" I've also run into the "good ole' boy" network that exists around here. In my district, all of our top administrators and school board members grew up here, went to college locally, came back, worked or taught here, and now have grandkids in the system. I had a board member say to me once "Oh, you're not from here, are you? They must do things differently in New York." in a very condescending way.

    I have always had a beef with all these Ph.D's out there who have their degree in Education. I have yet to meet one that uses their education for anything good (no offense to anyone who may be the exception). They seem to know nothing. My dept. admin is a Ph.D., and can't seem to understand that AP Language does not follow the same curriculum as 11th grade English, and that my standards are not the SOLs. They can't understand why my students are not drilling for a test daily. They can't understand why their essays are in their notebooks, after a weekly one-on-one conference with me, instead of sitting in a dusty crate of writing portfolios. They can't understand that my theatre students do not have a lot of objective assessments. They don't understand how my lessons plans can say "Rehearsal" for three class periods "You must be doing something else." "No, I'm not, they're rehearsing" "But what do you do?" "I monitor, consult, advise, direct, suggest, etc." "But what are you teaching them?" "How to develop a monologue, scene, play, etc." "Oh, . . . but how are they assessed?" "Their performance." "Oh . . ., but how do you know they're learning?" "By improvement." "Oh . . ."

    I understand your frustration.
     
  16. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    Jul 4, 2011

    my B.A. is in math and my M.A. is in education, i didn't have problems finding a job in that regard (i think the most common is the teacher with a B.A. in education and M.A. in some educational specialty (i.e. curriculum, special ed., etc) since I had a content degree.


    however, if you come across as you do in these posts, i wouldn't hire you either.
     
  17. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 4, 2011

    Maybe it's the state you're in. In California, where I was credentialed, you just have to have a BA, then your teaching credential. My BA is in English. I think it's great when secondary teachers have a degree in the subject they teach. Keep looking, there has to be something out there for you.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm not sure what your past is, but your present attitude will affect any future potential you have to be hired as an educator. Clearly interviewers are picking up on your 'vibe'. Many many successful and high achieving districts are not looking for 'yes men', but they are looking for teachers with a positive, can- do attitude despite the challenges, constraints and parameters under which we all work.:2cents:
     
  19. MrsKP

    MrsKP Companion

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    Jul 4, 2011

    I'm with Fonz on this one.

    It's likely that you're frustrated and venting, so you're coming across differently on the internet than you would in a live interview. If that's the case, by all means, get it out! We all use this forum to vent!

    However, if you're using the same phrases and attitude in an interview as you are here, I would not hire you. Here, I get the impression that you feel like you're the best and have nothing to learn. They may not be the case, but that's the way you come across to me through your posts. Most schools are interested in people who will collaborate with peers, do what it takes to keep favor with the higher ups, play the game a little, AND do the best thing for the kids. If they get the impression you can't do all of those things, they'll find someone who can. Unfortunately, it isn't just about the students. You need to be able to work with parents, peers, and administrators, too. All of that is important for keeping morale up at a school.

    Being "over-educated" is just a line they are using. I seriously doubt that's the reason you aren't being hired. Teaching is a competitive field right now.
     
  20. tired.mom

    tired.mom Companion

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    Jul 7, 2011

    Yep...BTDT, and I am going back to grad school full time because of it. I'm burned out and admit it. I don't know if I will teach again; you cited a lot of my feelings as well and I understand your frustration.

    I hope things get better for you--take care and hang in there.
     
  21. philateach

    philateach Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2011

    How do you answer interview questions about receiving 'Teacher of the Year' and then willingly leaving the school?
     
  22. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Jul 16, 2011

    loss4words........Your name does not really do you justice but that is just a small joke. You make great points about how stupid we run schools. Mandate after mandate essentially scripting and micro-managing school until you either run screaming to something else or
    fall in line as the cookie cutter victim you describe. Luckily, some of us like the drama teacher, art people, PE are somewhat immune from that
    dictate of complete objectivity regarding assessments. But where your business community does not get it is in raw materials. When you make a product your material is uniform or you pitch it until you get the right
    stuff. Human beings or in our case human beings far from finished are our raw materials and FAR from uniform. The demands that we have kindergarten children or 3rd graders ALL produce the same results is beyond insanity. I learned a thing in grad school about developmental stages in children and they don't follow a clock or calendar. The key here is very young to young human beings.
    The people dictating policy and curriculum in many cases seem oblivious to this and there lies one of our biggest problems.
     

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