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LightBulbMom LightBulbMom is offline
 
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Terminated ~ Will I ever be hirable?
Old 11-16-2018, 05:57 PM
 
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I was working the maternity position for Special Education. We were understaffed and trying to get students to the bus. I had an administrator trying to assist along with one other assistant that was having behavior issues. One student fell asleep, I had gotten his coat on. We were having difficulties getting others to line up and follow the assistant. We got all but two to go to the buses with the assistant and Vice Principle. I had to briefly catch another aid in the hallway & ask her to give one of my students their coat & backpack they had thrown down in the hallway. One of the two remaining students tried taking off from the sensory room connected to the life skills room. When he came out, I forgot about the other child that was still asleep. I had gotten the one to the bus & had to help with some of my students that were struggling to wait for their bus. As soon as I realized that my sleeping student was still in class, I ran back to get him. When I came around the corner, there were three adults (two staff) standing there at the doorway. One was a nurse for one of my students, said told me she had been there the entire time, I thanked her & quickly got the student. I walked him to the bus. I realize I should have called for additional help but I made a mistake. They had to terminate me for, as they said, PR reasons. I was told they didn't want to have to let me go but it was a PR nightmare. They told me they realized all the great things I had been adding to the curriculum for that class. I'm still devastated and it would never happen again.


If the child hadn't fallen asleep he would have lined up, we had been documenting this because it has had been a chronic issue. The other student has needed multiple adults to get him to the bus, if I hadn't been concerned about him taking off or if we had had a substitute for our absent Assistant. If I had called for additional support before the Assistant and Vice Principal had left.

Prior to accepting the position, I had been asked by the Principal if I would consider taking it. I had renewed my license and even started on my second Masters in Special Education. I had asked if this would make me unhirable but the Principal did not give me an answer other than they "wished me the best & it wasn't what they wanted."


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Old 11-16-2018, 06:22 PM
 
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Do you think someone would give you a good reference letter? I knew someone who had left a preschooler on a bus snd got another teaching job with the same age group.

You obviously learned from the experience and hope you find another position. Sped is short staffed many places so I have a feeling you could be hired.
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I think you'll be fine
Old 11-16-2018, 06:38 PM
 
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It seemed to me, from how carefully they phrased things, that they were covering themselves in case of a lawsuit. My district's special ed parents are very litigious, and are always suing the district for something.

I agree that they won't prevent you from getting another position. Best of luck to you- sounds like you were in a lose-lose situation and did your best.
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Sleeping child
Old 11-17-2018, 02:25 AM
 
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Just wanted to say I'm sorry this happened.We all make mistakes and usually they turn out ok. You just lucked out

As a matter of fact, a similar thing happened to me once. I have a little tent in my room for kiddos to have a rest in if they are tired, unwell or emotional. One fell asleep and I forgot about him. I sent my students out to eat lunch & went to go do some work elsewhere. The kid just slept on & woke up about 10 minutes after we all came back from break! Where I teach, this was a non-event. My aide & I laughed about it and so did his mother. Obviously my context is different but I'm just saying, well all miss something now and again!

I think you'll get hired again! Especially with a good reference, as others have said.
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Old 11-17-2018, 09:09 AM
 
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I don't see how this is a massive problem. Okay other staff were waiting at your class, but you went back. You didn't leave the student there. You remembered to pick him up.
Is there any room for learning at this school? If you have a union, get them involved.


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I could so relate to what you wrote about
Old 11-17-2018, 10:51 AM
 
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forgetting something/ someone because of what I envisioned as the absolute chaos of getting extremely high needs kids to the bus being understaffed.
It is maybe nothing like the picture in my mind, but I could see 1 taking off, behavior issues , and the need for 3 people to get kids ( screaming) on a bus ..meaning you had a handful of kids w/ major problems.
I have forgotten kids over the years more than once. So I wouldn't feel bad about that at all. ( Not for long periods, but when 1 goes to the bathroom...I have forgotten and remember afterwards that they have been gone way too long.)
Then have to send someone looking for them. I have a friend who put a kid in time out ( many yrs ago), forgot, and went home to dinner even! He was horrified, ran back, and told the kid to walk home. ( not far) He never got caught.
I know it is not cool, but we get busy. If our minds are dealing w/ extreme behavioral issues, someone quiet could slip anyone's mind. I do not think you will have a problem getting another job. SPED teachers are in high demand all over the US. If you HAVE to get a recent P letter of recommendation and can't get 1, you could find a nice, overworked sped teacher, and be an aide even for 1 yr. You could be so knowledgeable and so much help, that they'd probably give you a glowing letter/ reference.
Best wishes!
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you can get hired
Old 11-17-2018, 01:25 PM
 
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Something similar happened to someone I am close with. It was beyond devastating and unfair. He went to a nearby district and subbed for two years - developed a stellar reputation (again because that is what he had at the old job) and was hired. He disclosed fully and truthfully why he left the other district, and I think the honesty was appreciated. You absolutely can get re-hired, especially if you should not have been fired in the first place. Good luck!
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This seems really unfair...
Old 11-17-2018, 03:18 PM
 
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You may have shown a lapse in judgment, but it also sounds like you were doing the best you could with what you had to work with. The alternative would have been to stop everything, call for help, and refuse to budge until you had enough help to load the children properly, but it's hard to think of the "best" thing to do in the heat of a stressful moment. It seems really unfair that you are bearing the brunt of your school's lack of support staff, though. Instead of saying, "Wow, we need some more people to help during bus time", they just went, "Meh, bad teacher", and wiped their hands of the situation. If this is the regular state of affairs, it's only a matter of time before a child IS left alone or something else goes wrong, and the school needs to address that.

You won't have trouble finding a new job. Sounds like admin was trying to cover their butts, not run out a teacher they didn't like. I'm sure they would be willing to verify your employment and say SOMETHING positive about you.
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Old 11-17-2018, 06:27 PM
 
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Why was this a PR nightmare? Did you end up on the news or something?

I forgot a kid once in time out room and he missed lunch. I was mortified. My principal was like _ well maybe next time he'll remember not to get in trouble. She did make him a sandwich though.
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Old 11-17-2018, 06:44 PM
 
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I do have several teachers that would be a reference or write a letter of recommendation.

Unfortuantely, I did not think about joining a union when I renewed my license. It had been expired for a while, because I had been "over-qualified" (eyeroll) for several years. The state had updated the laws so schools could hire teachers with Masters degrees and not have to pay extra.

The Principal had said that when they call the parent, they have to be able to say that I was terminated so that the parent would not get a hold of the news or a lawyer. The Principal just kept saying that is was a PR nightmare. On the aside, we really appreciate all that you have done with those students.

Sadly, I should have called the parent after it happened and been honest with them.


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Thank you
Old 11-17-2018, 06:56 PM
 
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I am still devasted over the situation. I miss school, it has only been four days, well five now. You all have given me hope. I will continue working on my second masters so I can officially get my special education endorsement next fall. I am fortunate that I do have co-workers, peers that know my abilities and have seen me at my best and will write me great letters of recommendation.

Thank you.
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Old 11-22-2018, 10:22 PM
 
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There's a high demand SpecEd teachers.
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Terminated
Old 11-25-2018, 10:47 PM
 
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Not sure Iím understanding how everything happened, the nurse wa at your room with the sleeping child the whole time? Then why didnít she wake him and take him to the bus? Does that school have walkies? Sounds like they donít have a system down for bus dismissal.
They are short-staffed so why would they terminate a teacher? I donít know why theyíd have to call the parent about a sleeping child either. ? PR??? Maybe theyíve been sued before.?

Sounds like getting out of there was for your own good. Best of luck to you and may you find a better school to teach in.
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