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sped74 sped74 is offline
 
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Contract?
Old 09-29-2009, 07:00 PM
 
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I have not been on this board in awhile. I am curious how to get out of my teaching contract. Well, these couple of weeks I have been in the doctor for testing on lab work,etc. I have been diagnosed with ulcers. I am a special education teacher. My job is mainly a lot of paper with stressful situations in the classroom. I want to resign my position due to this issue. I want to start subbing in another district and reduce my stress level. I am in Texas. I am curious can I get out of my contact or do I take medical leave. I am very confused. I feel I need some type of break before I get worse. My doctor has me on medication and has warned to lay off the stress. I am wanted to take at least a year off teaching or so. I feel I need to heal from this. I am planning to resign and give the board time to find someone to replace me is that possible. Yes, I understand I am going to take a pay cut but I feel my health is at risk. I donít know how to start this letter, if anything. Help.


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I did that.
Old 09-30-2009, 05:07 AM
 
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I resigned for health issues from a teaching position that I had several years ago. My doctor wrote a short note explaining that I could not continue at the job because of health issues. I shuddered even now to think of myself in the doctor's office so traumatized that I couldn't speak, and had to write notes to her. My resignation letter was very short, as was my time line--2 days. I just stated that I was resigning, and when. I was not willing to wait around for them to find another person, because if they hadn't been so horrible I would not have been resigning in the first place. As an important aside, I was the second sped teacher to resign that year. As an even more important aside, we are both still working for the district and love our new schools.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:42 PM
 
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I resigned last year. A special ed student broke my arm, and I had been extremely stressed out over my job for 2-3 years because of the administration and changed and paperwork and all kinds of things. It was making me ill. Ulcer, headaches, backaches, on lots of medications I had missed 45 days of work in ONE year
Last November I went in intending to give 15 days notice and had my letter ready, (nothing from the doctor but my arm was still in a cast) but my principal was really nice and she understood I didn't want to go back in the classroom at all. She said I could resign that day if I chose to. So I did. I just went to the HR dept and signed a bunch of papers and left. No penalty, no fees, no broken contract junk to deal with.
BTW, I am in Texas also--DFW area.
It was the best decision I ever made. Since quitting, I haven't had so much as a cold.
My letter was short-- I hereby resign from the position of _____ at ______ elementary effective ________ (date) due to (whatever, health concerns I think I put). Sincerely, _____
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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I am in the same shape. I have an enlarged heart, heart palpitations, chest pains, upset stomache, you name it. I have been on leave for about 3 weeks and I am supposed to go back on Oct 25. I have been having nightmares and chest pains realizing that it is soo close. I do not want to go back there but definitely need a job to pay my bills as I am the only person working in the home. I am a single mom. I see other vacancies posted in the area but not sure how it would look if I actually apply for another position elsewhere and if principal will give me a bad reference for leaving. Also, I would not mind subbing, but it looks as if all other schools in the area are not hiring subs!! I am going to call them Mon to verify. I wanted to be off atleast for 12 weeks to think this through. I am being harrassed and bullied at my job by co-teacher and AP.

Please advise. How long did it take you to get another job in district? and did you not work when you resigned?
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:52 PM
 
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Sped 74 what did you decide? Please let me know, people think I am even crazy for considering leaving, but my sanity and health comes first!


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My story of loss and redemption--long
Old 10-10-2009, 10:11 AM
 
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At a time when all the horribleness was piling on top of me, I met a substitute IA at the photocopier. I did not have an IA, and had never even thought about IAs having substitutes. (It was only my second year.) I greeted the substitute and asked who she was there for, and she explained about being a substitute IA. She went on to tell me that she was a certificated teacher, but had let her certificate lapse when she was home with children. She started substituting as an IA with the goal of renewing her license, but discovered she loved the freedom and flexibility of subbing as an IA. She was like a guardian angel showing me a way out of that situation, but also a way to keep working while I was figuring out what to do next.

I resigned right before spring break, and applied to substitute as an instructional assistant the first day possible after. I was called for substitute orientation within an hour of dropping off my application, and my phone was ringing off the hook within days after the orientation. I had a good long term position within 4 days of starting, and did three more long term positions at that school.

Eventually I gained enough confidence to substitute as a teacher, and to apply for full-time teaching jobs again. The whole process took about 2 years. The first year I was still too battered and disheartened to even apply for full time jobs. My job search was long and tedious partly because there had been a lot of cutbacks and partly because I wanted to be careful with my choices. I am now established at a good school, and am happy there.

It was through my work as a substitute that I gained excellent references, and so much more. I got to observe how many kinds of classrooms were structured, multiple teaching styles, and was exposed to many curricula. I considered it an apprenticeship into many kinds of specializations, and decided to hone in on the one that interested me the most--inclusion.

The downside was that my income was drastically reduced. Substitute IAs are well-paid comparatively speaking in my district, but I lost all my benefits. I am not single, but our household income was compromised with my leaving my full-time job. However, I am convinced that my career and health would have been far more seriously if not irreparably damaged if I had stayed. I had violent students, and was not only getting no support from administration, but was being actively targeted by them. All those individuals who seemed to support me while I was going through all that, and who vouched for my teaching skills and care for students disappeared when they might have stood up for me. I had no references or support from that school. I think that when people are going through horrible situations others can treat them like they are contaminated. Maybe it is only natural. To this day, I can not think of anything I did other than be inexperienced to deserve such treatment and lack of support, but there you have it. It took a lot of come out on the other side, but the start was with that angel in the copy room.
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I'm so sorry
Old 10-10-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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for all of you, that you've had to go through all of these difficult situations. It makes me sad, upset, and a little nervous, because I think we hear so much about these types of circumstances and with the right (or rather wrong!) administration....there but for the grace of God, you know?

Right now, I only have one terribly difficult student (I'm in a resource room position) and I am stressed out enough as it is with him....BUT, I have a supportive principal and team. The team being supportive wouldn't be enough, sad as it is, but it does help some that I know that they are at least paying supportive lip service to me, . The principal and district sped. admin., along with the teacher of the behavior program in our district are supportive in that they agree that this child needs another placement (behavior program). They've asked me to hold on for a couple of weeks or so, just to get things in place. If he were beating on me, it would be impossible to wait even a day. He pushed me (he is tiny--2nd grader and only 44 lbs so he didn't hurt me) for the first time on Thursday and has been 'spitting' in my face (more like a 'raspberry') and saying rude things, "In your face" etc. when disciplined. Not to mention I can't teach with him in the room 99% of the time. Luckily, he is in the gen. ed. classroom the rest of the time. He has a male teacher who can monitor him w/an IA in the classroom. I supply my IA for cafeteria supervision and pm recess, while I am out there for his lunch recess. I can't imagine being physically abused....I feel what he is doing is emotionally wearing me down as it is. I don't feel as effective with my other students. I just started having trouble sleeping during the school week. Hopefully, it won't be long until we get him properly placed. He is very troubled. I have an idea that this placement will not be the complete answer either. The psych thinks he could have a pretty serious conduct disorder.

Didn't mean to hijack your thread. I just am so sorry that you all did not get the support you so deserved as professionals in this highly stressful and tough profession. Good luck to all of you.
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:36 PM
 
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Thanks so much for responding! I feel so down and stressed. I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow. I have been having panic attacks just thinking about going back to work.

I have been in tough situations with admin and collab teachers for the last few years, but with last year being so bad that the spec ed staff tried to get the dept chair removed by signing a petition. Well, it did not work, and the only thing that happened is that the dept chair eventually found outw and we think the AP actually spilled the beans. The Dept Chair actually then became more hateful! She had the AP in her hands, he then gave myself about five of the sped staff a PDP. I had never been written up and had never had unsatisfactory evaluations. I was so shocked and stressed! I wanted to quit right then. I would not have signed my contract, but I was afraid due to the economy.

As of now, I am being singled out and mistreated already and school just started. I was called into the APs office because my collab teacher was absent, did not call me, and did not leave an assignment. She did tell one of her teacher friends to write down the assignment on the board. Well, the AP blamed me and said that it was a waste of time and that I should have just continued teaching what we had done last week. The problem was that the prior week, we were doing a pre-EOCT and so, I assumed that this is what she wanted done being that she was out. He then brought up some other bogus things about my lesson plans and teaching. How I know it was bogus was because I asked all other sped teachers about their lesson plans, and they were doing exactly what I was doing. Also, he had only observed me twice and both times I was told that I was doing fine! I am thinking that the dept chair or other AP must have gotten him to do this being that I am at a new school and this current AP was the instructional coach at old school. The new school that I work at now has the same principal from my previous school! He already does not care for me because he says that I went over his head when I took my contract to the county office. I am just tired and do not want to fight. I am knowing that I am going to have to pretty much start over as far as references are concerned. I know I need the salary, but I also know that I can survive through God because all things are possible! I just want any advice on how to handle this. People think I am crazy for wanting to leave my job, but my other co-worker who became burned out last year feels the same as I do and says that she feels jealous because I am off sick! I do not know what to do. If anyone else has any suggestions, please give them as I am desperate in need of advice. As of now, I am scheduled to go back to work on the 25th. I know I am not ready, but the Psychiatrist who I am seeing now says that because he only saw me a couple of times, this is all he is going to do. Please assist! Thanks!
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Get a letter, and get out!
Old 10-12-2009, 04:58 AM
 
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It may be the best way to save your career. What can happen is that you do back flips and contortions trying to show what a cooperative, compliant, team playing, improving teacher you are; and you get slapped with a non-renewal. I've known of several cases where it has happened in my district, and have heard a few stories on PT. It is possible, but very difficult to rebuild your career after a non-renewal. I think it would be even harder these days when it is much more challenging to find a teaching job.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:28 AM
 
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Wow, this is exactly what I was thinking and have been hearing from other people on other teacher boards. I was thinking to myself that when and if I go back, it is only going to get worst. The therapist today stated to me that if I go back, I could probably talk with the AP and play the game. Playing the game is just what you were suggesting as far as the back flips and contortions. I know it is not going to work because when I talked to AP about placing me on duty and being treated on fair, he just went on like it was not what he was trying to do. Even the day that he called me in to state that he wanted to give me three observations, etc, I was about to fall apart right there crying, I stated that no one has given me any suggestions and I would do whatever he thought would improve my teaching, he just went on saying that a PDP would be for my own good. This had not even been a month after school started, so go figure. It is a bunch of B.S!!! Hearing what you are saying, I am going to have to follow my instincts and do what I think is best, no matter what others say who do not have any idea about teaching. Thanks again. I will keep you informed.


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No school systems are excepting subs!
Old 10-12-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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ok, I was all positive a few minutes ago but after calling most of the surrounding schools in the area, I found out that none of the schools are accepting subs! I am becoming fustrated again because I am again wondering how I am going to survive if I quit. I am going to call some private schools tomorrow and see if they have any vacancies. This is the wrong time in the economy to be going through this stress. I have been having anxiety and still is worry about this. I need a lot of prayers right now!
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Did you ask about the sub IA
Old 10-17-2009, 02:31 PM
 
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positions? There is usually a shortage of sub IAs in my district, and jobs frequently go unfilled. The pay isn't as good, but it's a start. Also, check out other districts.

Are you in contact with your union, and are they helping any? Should you ask for another representative? If you are getting put on an improvement plan? Do you feel like you have a chance to demonstrate improvement? Do you feel like no matter how much you tried to do exactly what they asked you will be non-renewed in the end? Some one needs to give you some very honest answers. Have you made an appointment with the employee's assistants program.

My prayers are with you.

Last edited by blueheron; 10-17-2009 at 02:45 PM..
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:25 PM
 
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Well, I have been able to locate a couple of districts that are actually accepting subs. I even checked private schools and a couple of them are which is why I am going to have to act fast and try to get out of my contract. The psych that I am seeing has been willing to extend my leave, thank God. I am not sure for how long though. He did not tell me an exact date when I left the office. I am to call back tomorrow and get a letter.
Unfortunately GA does not have a union. I am a member of GAE which was a waste of time for me last year!!! I was placed on a PDP last year for no reason. The only reason was because my sped chair was powertripping and the AP listened to her. The same day that he observed me, he gave me a PDP. Have you ever heard of such foolishness? Not to mention the fact that I only received one NI and it was for not calling on non volunteers, which I did. It was just to cover himself I am guessing. The Sped Chair had the AP put 5 of us on PDP. It was crazy, this is when all of the health issues started last year. I guess that is why I am not willing to put up with this crap this year. I went through too much! As for being non-renewed, I had never thought about that until reading the boards. I am tenured if that means anything. But, I do recall the sped chair saying that anyone who had a PDP would not be renewed, well I was, but what if it happends again, I may not. Who knows? I do know that it is a process that they will have to go through if I am non-renewed I think. I just do not trust anyone because the AP is willing to give me a PDP and three observations for no reason, only because he is listening to what others are saying about me. I did call the HR dept and asked them who I needed to talk to if I was not able to come back. They said that I would have to complete a form from the bookkeeper and write a letter to the principal. Is that what you did? I was thinking the process was different being on FMLA, but maybe not. In my heart, I feel as if things will only get worst when and if I return. Thanks for the prayers!
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:30 PM
 
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Oh, I am just praying that trying to get out will not be a long drawn out process. I hope they do not try to tamper with my teaching certificate. I am guessing that your process was not a difficult one being that you had a note from doctor.
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I sent you a couple of PM
Old 10-25-2009, 08:10 PM
 
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telling you of my story. I thought it might help somehow. The note from the doctor was not hard to get once I asked. The rest of the process of getting to that point was very hard. Also, being the second teacher to leave in a school year was very hard on the students.
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What was so hard about the process?
Old 10-27-2009, 06:09 AM
 
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Wow, what was so hard about the process? Was it the process of actually being released from your contract? I am out on leave, so I wouldn't think I would actually have to go back to work, would I ? Also, did the admin try to give you a hard time or were they understanding? Just want to know what I am getting into. Thanks!
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I assume that you are asking me.
Old 10-28-2009, 05:07 AM
 
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What was hard was making the decision to leave. For months I thought that hard work, passion for teaching, and compassion for students would carry me through. I also worried about the affects of the student of being the second teacher to leave in a year, that they are going to feel powerful for driving teachers away or unteachable because teachers were quitting? (I am certain that if I had been supported I would have stayed. There were also financial considerations and my stubbornness. In the end, it came down to my survival in both life and career.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:31 AM
 
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I know what you mean when you say financially. I was asked the other day by someone that if I quit, where would I find another job to pay me the same? I am not even thinking like that. I just want out. I will admit that part of my trying to make up my mind is wondering how I am going to survive, but in the end, I am thinking that I am not able to go back to that school not even for a couple of more months! My instincts are telling me that I can not even go through the drama and anxiety!

I am not even sure if the principal will try to stop me, but I do have documented medical issues, so hopefully he wont. I also feel guilty about the students and worry about what my department chair will think about me for bailing on her. I was told yesterday by the front desk clerk at my psych that the doctor has me scheduled to go back Monday!! I was so depressed all yesterday and all I could think of was how could he do this to me!! The last appt he told me that he would extend my leave, well he only extended it for a week. I called and was told the date. I have an appt tomorrow with him. I am going to have to do this before Monday it seems. Please pray for me, it is hard. I am just hoping that whatever I decide, I can live with my decision and not regret it either way.
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