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MrsPhysics MrsPhysics is offline
 
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MrsPhysics
 
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WWYD? Iím miserable!
Old 09-25-2019, 04:51 PM
 
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I am getting to the point where I almost feel like throwing in the towel on this whole teaching thing.

A little background: This is my 8th year teaching but only my third in a permanent position at my current district. I have lots of certifications and have taught lots of different subject in both MS and HS. I was hired in this district at a HS math teacher, and I loved my first year. However for the last two years I was forced into a position that is split between the MS (about 75%) and HS (about 25%). I absolutely hate the MS. The administration is okay, but behavior is absolutely terrible. I teach a computer class that all the students hate, and I have 350 students rotating through in quarters and semesters. I cannot stand the course either - I have no control over curriculum and it is just not engaging. Itís hard to explain.

I spend about 80% of my time at the MS dealing with behavior problems. We are 4 weeks in, and my discipline binder contains sheets for 24 of my 100 students. I have made about 15 phone calls home and administered 6 lunch detentions, which of course involve me giving up my own lunch period. We have a four-step discipline procedure and finally some of my students are getting to the point where they are seeing some consequences from the office. In 5 more weeks, the whole process will start all over for me with new students.

I still absolutely love my math teaching at the HS. My students are constantly commenting on how Iím always in such an obnoxiously good mood. But then my stomach turns and I become miserable at the MS. I am also very alone at the MS, isolated.

I was told that this split position was supposed to be temporary because of a temporary need for additional teachers for this computer course. Two of my daily periods will be obsolete next year. However I do not trust my district at all that they will bring me back to the HS as promised. They have been ruthlessly cutting teachers any chance they get.

I have been looking for another teaching position for about 1.5 years with no luck. At this point, I am so miserable that I am starting to consider getting out of teaching altogether. I need a job with benefits, but the money isnít that important.

Sorry so long-winded, but my question is: what can I do to try to salvage this position? Should I ask for a meeting with my principals or super and let them know how I feel? I want a guarantee that I can get back to the HS, at least for a better part of the day next year. Do you think thereís any chance of getting that assurance from them, or will my asking just annoy them?


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Old 09-25-2019, 06:27 PM
 
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I am in a very similar situation as you are in.

I honestly don't know the answer completely. My guy friend finally convinced me to look into his district, in another state. I am waiting a call back but I most likely got the job. My guy friend taught in the district I currently am in and he said it was so much better there. I am so skeptical but also optimistic.

My only suggestion is to maybe look beyond where you are.

I was so miserable I made myself sick and got myself put in the hospital! I love my job but the behaviors and the empty promises (I too am waiting on my district to put me where they promised, year #5 of empty promises).

Hang in there, but maybe hang in there at a different location.
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:11 AM
 
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A teaching colleague said, "I can put up with anything for a year." I get the feeling (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that you can put up with this for a year but you need to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
I used to think that things were bad everywhere and that the problems I experienced at my previous school were true everywhere. I have a new job this year and it turns out....it's much better and I'm not dealing with the same issues. It reminded me of why I like teaching. Things aren't perfect but they're better.
I guess my advice would be to talk and see what you can find out about plans for next year.
I'd also continue to apply and look around for a new position. It sounds like you have multiple endorsements. That makes it more likely that you'll get in someplace. I'd apply to as many positions as you can and to as many different districts as possible.
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You are being taken
Old 09-26-2019, 10:47 AM
 
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Advantage of...

Good math teachers are hard to retain. Simply inform your boss that you will not be "teaching" at the middle school. If she asks why simply say, "I am a math teacher, and this middle school position is draining my energy. I am willing to continue until a replacement is found." Say no more.

Give them time to find someone for the middle school. Many people do like this population.

You clearly enjoy teaching math. I would not let this assignment wreck my career or take away from my mental health.

You might be pleasantly surprised at how easily things change for the better.

Again, don't complain or criticize anything or anyone.
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:14 PM
 
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Quote:
A teaching colleague said, "I can put up with anything for a year." I get the feeling (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that you can put up with this for a year but you need to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
I used to think that things were bad everywhere and that the problems I experienced at my previous school were true everywhere. I have a new job this year and it turns out....it's much better and I'm not dealing with the same issues. It reminded me of why I like teaching.
Yes! This is exactly it! But for me itís one more year. If I knew that it would be over after this year for sure, the light at the end of the tunnel would allow me to make it through.

My HS job reminds me every day how much I love teaching, but then the MS part takes that joy away.

Believe me, I have been looking far and wide. There is a surplus of teachers here (yes, even with multiple secondary certifications) and I had to search for 6 years to find a permanent job. I was lucky that I always found LTS jobs that lasted the whole year, or for two years I taught private school. I use a search radius of about 45 minutes drive, and with my proximity to highways that puts literally hundreds of school districts in reach. But it always seems like you have to know someone, or that they want a young teacher fresh out of school.


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Old 09-26-2019, 12:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Good math teachers are hard to retain. Simply inform your boss that you will not be "teaching" at the middle school. If she asks why simply say, "I am a math teacher, and this middle school position is draining my energy. I am willing to continue until a replacement is found." Say no more.
The situation is a little complicated. Our union has retained a bid system that makes it easier in some ways, yet harder in others, to move positions. In theory the district canít force a teacher to move anywhere. We get a list of all of the open positions, and on the last clerical day of the year the teachers all meet and there is like an auction of the jobs. In times f plenty, when the district is creating new positions or there a many retirements, this is awesome. Unfortunately the last two years weíve seen cuts, which have made the bid like the hunger games or a sick game of musical chairs.

So each of the last two years, my position has been curtailed, and a new position has been opened just for me (I am literally the only teacher with the qualifications) to bid into. There is nothing else for me to bid into. So, if the district decided to add back a math position at the HS, I could bid into it. Or if a teacher retires. Sadly, I donít think I would be guaranteed the job even if it opened back up, because teachers with more seniority could take it. Unless my current position is curtailed at the same time. Even then I could theoretically end up teaching something else that Iím certified in.

I am actually kind of scared that they are going to curtail my position again and make me bid into something even worse!
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:13 PM
 
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Are you able/willing to move away from where you are?
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Old 09-26-2019, 04:04 PM
 
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Are you able/willing to move away from where you are?
No, unfortunately I have kids in HS and a husband who probably wouldnít be too keen on the idea.
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:33 PM
 
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Well, things have only gotten worse at the MS.

About two weeks ago, I sat down with the HS principal and explained how miserable I am and that I need to know whatís going to happen for next year. I got very emotional, which I hate but seem unable to control. I havenít heard back from her yet.

I was getting really depressed, because I felt like I had no other options and I was just stuck. Then, my husband told me how much he would love for me to work for him and how heís been wishing I would do that for a while but he never brought it up because I was passionate about teaching. After some thought, I decided that this may not be a perfect solution, but it would really play to my strengths and give me so much flexibility. I do think I could make a big positive impact on his business.

So now I have an alternate plan! I sent the HS principal a follow-up email yesterday that I hope gets the point across - guarantee me a HS math position for next year, or at least that I can be out of the MS, or I am pursuing other career possibilities. It felt so liberating! I can tell that it was the right thing to do, because I am almost hoping they will say no so that I can give my two weeks and be out of there! I havenít heard back yet. Iíll post an update when I do.
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