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Hpylife 09-08-2019 07:21 PM

Improvement plan question
Hi all!
This is for those with experience regarding being put on an improvement plan. I preface this by saying my admin is wonderful and I have a great working relationship with them.. I was put on a plan last year. All four- yes four- of the admin that observed me said to look at this as help and not negative. So I did, I took the critical parts and took the information they gave me and have gotten positive feedback ever since but I remain on a plan.

Fast forward to now and I am getting extremely anxious working now and itís impacting my health. Iíve even had to go to therapy for how to deal with it. Iím constantly worried /anxious that Iíll be observed - they do random observations, and Iím worries/anxious that the improvement plan was just one step towards them getting rid of me. Iíve seriously contemplated quitting and the thought of that brings me peace. To me itís just not with the stress.

So, what do you guys think? Do you think improvement plans are really just a stepping stone to being asked to resign?

Haley23 09-08-2019 07:59 PM

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but IME the only reason to put someone on an improvement plan is for documentation to get rid of them. If they really just wanted to help you with something, why would they waste their time filling out documentation forms? They'd just offer the help. Do you have any kind of tenure/non-probationary status? What is the process for non-renewals in your building/district? If I were put on a plan, I'd definitely be looking at other positions as soon as their posted for next school year. If you have any indication that you're going to be non-renewed, I'd resign first so you don't have to put it on applications. If you wait until you're officially told, resigning won't help as every application asks if you've resigned in lieu of non-renewal. But if you do it before being told anything officially, you can honestly answer "no" to that question.

That said, I would not quit right now. Many districts have penalties and that will be extremely difficult to explain to another district even if there is no penalty. If you need an exit plan, resign effective end of the year in January under the guise of wanting admin to have plenty of time to find the perfect replacement. They'll probably leave you alone if they know you're leaving, and you'll have a greater peace of mind. I did this when I was in an awful school and it was incredibly freeing. I closed my door and taught how I wanted to. What were they going to do, fire me? I had already quit! They also never stepped foot into my room after I'd given my resignation- I guess just figured it wasn't worth it.

As far as figuring out if you need to take any of these steps- you say you have a great relationship with admin, so why not ask them? I'd say something like, "I've been working hard on these steps for my plan and I feel like I've met the goals. What is the process for getting off of the plan?" Or if your relationship is that good, tell them how anxious it's making you feel and ask that since you've already implemented the steps, if there is any way you can continue to receive help without the formal plan. If they're firm on you staying on the plan, you can flat out ask "why" and ask for the specific steps you need to do to get off of it.

If they're not interested in helping you get off the plan (vague answers about steps you need to take, silly reasons they need the documentation), etc. I'd have a plan in place to leave. If they give you a set plan, set a date to review the plan by, jump through all the hoops, and see what happens by the date you set.

Hpylife 09-09-2019 05:31 PM

Thanks for the insight.. I was put on the plan for last year....continued to be employed, and am again working this year in the same school. I agree it seems strange to put someone on a plan if they just want to "help"....that said I am up for tenure this year. The plan involved steps to get off the plan, as well as some trainings that I needed to do...I have done those with flying colors. I'm supposed to get a final "review" after my first observation this year to see if my status of this plan is done//complete or not.

I have told them about the anxiety as well, and they are sympathetic, however they still need to do the observations but they did offer me contacts with our HR dept that has contacts for therapy/counseling to help . I don't really want to resign as of right now because that may not even be something they are thinking at this point so if I jump the gun then I'd be out of a biggest reason for staying is because of the health benefits--they are spectacular and I'm worried I won't be able to get as good or even similar bene's elsewhere..

Thank you so much for the insight--it seems most agree that once you are on a plan it's just a matter of time before they ask you to go-

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