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4 weeks in, I'm ready to call it quits

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4 weeks in, I'm ready to call it quits
Old 09-04-2019, 09:32 AM
 
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Back story: I moved and after a myriad of interviews, I accepted with the only district that offered early on in the summer. I should've waited, but my paranoia about not having a job set in and caused me to take the first offer.
This is a lot so... if you stick with me through the end, thank you for reading my rant.

From the first day of PD I had veteran teachers in the school telling me I'm not going to like it, saying things like "If you're used to structure, you'll quit immediately" and similar.

They were right. We're having so much shoved at us that myself and another new-to-district teacher are drowning. We get zero support. I have students that should be receiving services, but aren't because paperwork wasn't done or was lost (he said/she said situation) so now it's all on me to get it done. I have parents asking me things that I have no idea.

My admin is getting onto me because I don't have 4 weeks of lesson plans done in advance, but we don't even have our curriculum from the district! We have a specialist that does our pacing guide and it hasn't been done past August 30th. Yes, last week was the last week we had curriculum information for. We were specifically told to follow that, but how can I follow something that doesn't exist????

I have severe behavior students that shouldn't be in a Gen Ed classroom, but are and are basically allowed to disrupt my entire day because there's no where else for them to go and "no money to hire anyone." I counted the other day and I had to stop my morning ELA block 10 times to deal with a specific student, in my 2nd block (another classroom) I had to stop 8 times for a specific student.

I've asked for assistance and I'm just told to find new strategies for working with them. I have a special ed student that I strongly believe needs a one-on-one due to his inability to function in a gen ed classroom, I'm told I'm wrong and he's been in gen ed since kindergarten without an aide. I have had kids pulled for sped services and the parents aren't even aware they were tested in the previous school year. No documentation was ever given to the parent.

I've been documenting like crazy to cover my own butt, but I am honestly not sure I can handle this.

I've been told that it looks really bad on me as a teacher to only stay with a district for a year, but I don't think I can do this. There is so much wrong at this campus and the admin are purposefully blind to it. For the sake of my contract, paycheck, and licensure I will stick it out through May, but after that... all bets are off.


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Old 09-05-2019, 09:14 AM
 
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It's not going to look horrible that you stay with a district for only a year. I've done so a few times in my career and have always been hired somewhere else. The key is to not quit in the middle of the year and then go somewhere else mid-year.
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A difficult situation
Old 09-05-2019, 05:30 PM
 
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I agree with previous poster--you can move after a year but it's bad to break your contract and quit midyear.


I'm sorry you're not getting any support--it sounds like your school is not in compliance with current law or best practices. It's good you are documenting everything.


I recommend:


1.Communicating with parents about what you observe their child doing in the classroom -- keep it objective. Be sure they are aware of any formal documentation.



2.Ask for help from counselors, spec ed teachers, district instructional leads, etc.



3.Take days off when you can for your own mental and physical health


4.Set up as much structure as you can in the classroom--students crave it and do better with a well-structured environment.



**You might have already, but be sure to set up specific procedures for everything -- how to come into the classroom, what is expected when the student is sitting at a desk, etc. Write everything up and post if on walls around the classroom. If you can, take photos of students behaving well and begin on task.


**Organize your day in a way that works for you and your students as best you can: silent reading (or you reading aloud) when they come into the classroom, then the next regular thing, then the next.. Don't agonize about whether you're hitting learning targets or standards: you just have to survive the year!


I've had that class--it's hard to stick with it until the end of the year, but think ahead--you can move on! I hope things improve.
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:29 PM
 
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Thank you, both of you, for responding. I'm definitely not leaving mid-year, I don't think I could do that to my kids anyway.

Janylynne -
I do have very set routines, procedures, and expectations. They work great for my 'typical' gen-ed students, it's just that my "big hitters" are pretty much unable to do anything independently. They really really need an aide for assistance. If I'm not with them the entire period, they lose it. My schedule is set by the district, but we do have independent reading time. Those students simply can't function independently past 5 minutes. It's just such a distraction to everyone else. One student has "been this way since Kinder" (my students words) so they've gotten to where they pretend he doesn't exist when he's screaming.

Most of your advice is what I've been doing or I am doing, but I'm glad to know I'm not way off track with it.

We really don't have much of a team to speak of (1 sped teacher and 1 aide for the entire PK-5 campus) and the counselor is.... rarely available. My admin has flat out told us they don't want any students in the office and we are to handle behavior 100%. We call parents, we decide consequences, no matter the offense. Another teacher, not in my grade, had a student threaten to kill someone, but the admin just told her call the parents and that was that. It's a horrible lack of support from the entire admin team (including counselor) and there is zero support from our main office admin team.

I feel like I'm being such a negative nancy about this, but I've never experienced anything like this in 10 years of teaching. I've tried to find the positives but every day it's getting harder to see it.

I will take mental health days, but that will be difficult because we have no subs at all. I was sick Tues/Wed and my kids were split up between the other classrooms which put a burden on everyone else. I hate having to split kids up.
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Thoughts for you
Old 09-07-2019, 05:02 AM
 
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First of all- from reading all of your post- you seem to be a level-headed person. I feel bad for you that you are teaching in a school district such as this one. I am retired, but these are my thoughts concerning your situation.

-Do whatever you need to do to get through this school year and I would begin looking for a job elsewhere at the appropriate time. I would NOT quit mid-year.

-From your statements-you have a plan of action to follow to get you through this year.

-I agree with all of the advice given to you by Janylynne and Maestro2112.

-Do the best you can to get through this school year. I would have a calendar and mark off each day until May or whenever school ends. This way you can see light at the end of this tunnel.

-This school district sounds like a nightmare- especially the students that obviously need help behaviorally,etc.

-After teaching in this school district, it appears to me, that you have nowhere to go but up.

My thoughts and prayers will be for you to have what is needed to do your best, finish the year, and find a new school district in which to teach next year.


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