ProTeacher Community

ProTeacher Community (
-   New Teachers (
-   -   Other Hired for one grade level, but assigned another (

TheNerdyProf 07-11-2017 09:03 AM

Hired for one grade level, but assigned another
Hi all. I can't seem to find anything on this and if it's normal or has happened to anyone before. I start my first teaching position this fall. I am excited because it is at the charter school my daughter will begin Kinder at. When the AP contacted me that she had a position open, she told me it was for 1st grade in a self-contained(meaning not departmentalized and I teach the specials too) classroom. Well as I am very nervous/excited for this opportunity, I decided to email the AP yesterday to find out if there is anything I could be doing now to prepare before we go back in August for PD. Her reply was that I couldn't come into the building yet because they still needed to clean which is fine, but then mentioned that I as of right now I am in second grade ELA, but it could change. I had to do a double take because I wasn't expecting the grade level change. Has this happened to anyone before, where you sign a contract thinking you have one grade level, but at the last minute they give you a different grade level? I am glad I hadn't started doing much curriculum planning for 1st though. Sorry just want to know how common this is. Thank you all

pretty usual 07-11-2017 11:07 AM

It has not happened to me (yet) but I have heard similar stories from a number of teachers. The contract usually has some language on placement and many times it is something like 'administration can make placement changes based on school/student needs'. It seems to me that every administrator has there own philosophy of how often/ for what reason they like to switch teachers around. In some schools teachers are rarely moved and only after asked for input and at other schools it seems to be a random yearly thing. If you know any other teachers at your new school you might get an idea if this is normal or unusual. At my school it seems that mostly the new teachers get shuffled around. Sorry.
Maybe you could just sent a friendly email back asking the AP for a heads-up on when final placement decisions for the year have been made so you can start planning.

essence253 07-11-2017 12:00 PM

It Happens
Its not unheard of for placements to change between the time a position is secured and the actaul start date. My firt year, I interviewed and was hired for a 3rd grade position. I week later I went to the school to get teacher's editions and curridulum maps and found out I was going to teach 6th.

Principal's make hiring decision based on projected numbers. Somtimes the numbers change and a section needs to be added or eliminated. Somtimes there is a last minute resignation or retirement. And somtimes a person with more senority asks to be moved. It happens, and the P has the authority to move teachers anywhere in the building as long as the teacher is certified.

SusanTeach 07-11-2017 12:01 PM

I think it's more common in some schools. Our contract doesn't specify a grade, so they can move us wherever they want. When a P finds out a teacher is leaving or that another unit is necessary, he/she may begin the interview process. Then later in the process other teachers may decide they want a grade level change and ask. That means the new teacher gets whatever is left.

It's not ideal, but it does happen. I know other teachers who didn't find out until the last minute (a few days before school started) because the school wasn't sure of their numbers yet.

It has to be frustrating to not know what to plan!


Maybe you could just sent a friendly email back asking the AP for a heads-up on when final placement decisions for the year have been made so you can start planning.
I like this idea!

mommy9298 07-11-2017 01:07 PM

Congratulations on your new teaching position. I work in public education and it happens in my district all the time. A teacher can be placed in any position they are certified for. The jump from first to second is not that big. You can always come to PT for help. Have fun!

TheNerdyProf 07-11-2017 04:24 PM

Thank you all
Thank you for looking the suggestions and support. I am certified to teach up to 3rd grade so I know there is always the possibility. The AP told me to call her next about the progress of the classroom cleaning so I think when I talk to her at the time I will also ask about the final placement and maybe if I have a mentor teacher I can speak with to begin planning. Enjoy your summer break everyone. :)<!--watermelon--><!--bbqgrill--><!--flipflops-->

cali11 07-13-2017 01:05 PM

Congratulations! Although it's not necessarily what you planned for, it's still exciting to get a teaching job in this tough economy. At least you have a little while to plan (depending on when you start school.) I know of people that have gotten jobs a few days before school starts... now THAT'S nerve wracking! Best of luck!

woodstocktchr 07-13-2017 01:29 PM

Not uncommon
I know at my school, positions can often shift, especially in August, as the new students are registered. Sometimes the need shifts from one grade to another.

Lottalove 07-13-2017 04:45 PM

Very common
around here. Not just for new hires but for returning teachers as well.

In my first district, there was even wording in the contract that stated we "could be placed in any position for which we were qualified..."

It's tough when you start preparing for one thing and get another but still... It's manageable.

TheNerdyProf 07-13-2017 05:26 PM

Thank you
Thankfully I don't start till August 14th so still time. Just would have been nice to have first and my own classroom.

whatever 07-13-2017 05:38 PM

Well, even if you get
the 2nd ELA position, you will most likely still have your own classroom. You will probably have a homeroom group, and still teach some subjects besides ELA. It is probably the kids who travel into departmentalized groups.

Your group will come to you in the AM for breakfast, morning work and attendance. Then depending on the rotation and schedule, they will get ELA with you, math with a colleague (while you teach ELA to her group) and so on until you teach ELA to all the second graders. It will also depend on how many second grade homerooms there are involved.

You will probably be responsible for teaching handwriting, traveling to Specials, lunch, etc. as well as any end of day activities.

Look on the bright side, if it doesn't change again, you will have fewer major lessons/classes to prep for each day.

TheNerdyProf 07-14-2017 08:14 AM

LOL, very true!!!!
Look on the bright side, if it doesn't change again, you will have fewer major lessons/classes to prep for each day.

This was my thinking too @whatever. I do believe I still get my own classroom, it is just the students that move not the teachers. What I meant was that with the first grade position, they stayed with me all day, it wasn't a departmentalized position.

pausebutton 07-14-2017 09:16 AM

This situation would be very strange in my district. I hope everything works out though!

TLC 07-18-2017 11:29 AM

Very common in my area.
Principal usually tells you what you will teach, but all sorts of things affect the final placement.
If you are qualified, you might be moved.
Sadly, it can happen even a month or two into the year. Last year our kindergarten numbers were down by 4, yes FOUR! (three sections of kinder) That poor teacher had to move to another building three weeks after school started!

PS-I think second grade is easier than first and you will love it!

TheNerdyProf 07-18-2017 04:22 PM

I spoke to a veteran teacher at the school today. She assured me this is very common due to enrollment numbers and current teachers wishing to be moved to a different grade. It should be final by the end of the month. Thank you all for the advice.
And TLC, thank you I hope second is a blast!

Funnystory 07-21-2017 06:40 AM

It happened to me my very first teaching assignment and they told me during new teacher orientation. It was just one grade difference and both self-contained so it wasn't a big deal, but I had already purchased some grade-level specific items.

kahluablast 07-21-2017 07:50 AM

We are a small school and often new people have to deal with this due to our numbers. However, our p knows what the options are looking like. My first couple of years I wasn't sure whether I would be 1, 2 or a combo of both. It really depended on registration the weeks before school started. Usually the decision was made the week before school started. It was frustrating, especially the first time or two as new teachers are really anxious to get to work and get materials and plans...

Good Luck. I usually focused on making some plans for the first week or two that were pretty easy to adapt for the prospective grade levels... Some study of rainforests or something else I was excited about. That way whichever way it went, I had a week or so to pull that specific curriculum together. If you are going to spend the first couple of weeks getting to know the students and teach procedures, you can do that with some rounded activities.

ThatDiva 07-23-2017 11:41 AM

Grade Change
I switched grades two weeks after school started and given one day to prepare. My principal allowed the other teachers to choose who they wanted to be placed in my class. I ended with 20 students and 17 of them were retainees. I only had three kids on grade level. Someone from the district came to observe and was impressed with how I handled the class as they were terrible when they were not with me. It was a true learning experience on how you have to be flexible in the education field. Ironically enough, those are the kids that come to visit me after they had moved on. They were my favorite class.

I said all of this to say that this could be a blessing in disguise. You may actually love your new assignment.

This year, I was hired for a third grade position but will be teaching second grade math. The interview was held before the teacher's resignation went into effect. The principal said that he didn't want anyone else to snag me. True statement since three schools have contacted me since I accepted the job!

TheNerdyProf 07-24-2017 04:45 AM

Thank you for sharing
Thank you for telling me this ThatDiva. Your story makes me feel better that this will be an opportunity I hadn't expected, but may turn out to be the best ever. I would have died if your situation had happened to me. Especially since other teachers got to make the choice of who was in your room. That sounds underhanded, but you showed them. Thank you again.

apple annie 07-25-2017 10:21 AM

I teach second grade ELA. The best teaching job and grade level there is! Congrats!

san2teachgirl 07-28-2017 05:33 AM

Grade Change
Second graders are the best. You'll love it. Congrats!

GreenBunny 07-28-2017 07:51 AM

One year 2 days before school started, my grade level changed 4 times in 10 minutes (I'm not kidding) because of the way the numbers worked. I changed from straight 1 to 1/2 to K/1 back to 1/2 which remained my assignment. This was about Year 7 for me.

If you had been hired for first grade and then assigned 5th, I'd call shenanigans but within the same grade cluster? It's very common.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:27 AM.

Copyright © ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.