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HELP! Don't want to change teaching assignments!

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intoit33 intoit33 is offline
 
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HELP! Don't want to change teaching assignments!
Old 05-20-2012, 08:15 AM
 
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I have only taught in the primary grades during my whole career and I love this age group. I teach in a very low income community. With education changing in my state, we no longer have any seniority. ( My principal is younger, and thinks I am "old school". She doesn't back up the teachers when it comes to problems with parents and only worries about pleasing the parents so they won't withdraw their kids. ) I now have been told I will have to teach sixth grade next year!!! NOT HAPPY WITH THIS PLAN. I will be retiring in a few years and don't want to start over! I have invested ALOT of money and time in the grade I teach. Any thoughts?


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Transfer
Old 05-20-2012, 08:39 AM
 
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That is what I am trying to do. I am being moved involuntarily from primary to upper intermediate. I have 700 books for little kids but only 2 baskets of chapter books for strong readers, which I might be able to use in the new assignment. I have spent the last 15 years at my grade level and have tons of materials for it. I have almost nothing for the new assignment. How can I be successful? I don't want to spend my $$ on a position that I will want to get out of ASAP.
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changing grades
Old 05-20-2012, 08:51 AM
 
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I hate to say this but you may not have much choice in the matter if you want to keep your job.

Changing teachers' grade levels is a tactic for new principals to exert control. They want to show that they have the power to do anything they want in their new school. Teachers who are entrenched in their grade levels are very powerful because they know what works and doesn't work, they know the history of the school, and they are usually the leaders in a building. Changing grade levels shakes up the staff and makes them more pliable. Principals believe those teachers will be forced to reinvent themselves, which is not necessarily a bad thing. This is one of those things they learned along the way when they were getting their administrative credential. If they are new principals, they often have mentors who advise them to shake it up.

Moving teachers is also a ploy to get rid of the teachers they do not like, either because they are "old school" or because of personality clashes, or simply because they have been told by the superintendent to get rid of "dead wood" (expensive teachers who have been there for years). In my district one superintendent told all the principals that they had to get rid of at least one expensive teacher per year. A principal from my school was lauded as the "top rookie principal" because she got rid of not one, not two, but three "dead wood" teachers in her first year. The teachers she got rid of were 25-year veterans, and incredibly strong teachers. They were much-loved by the staff, students and community.

Any complaints will be seen as insubordination and those teachers can then be written up. The teachers either transfer if they can or get early retirement if they can, or are fired after a failure to thrive in their new grade level.

I have seen this policy more times than I can count, and those principals do not understand that they leave chaos and disaster in their path, especially in a low-income school.

I wish you the best.
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agree with previous posters
Old 05-20-2012, 01:28 PM
 
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There is little you can do. He / she is the principal and has the right to place you where best meets the needs of the school and students. But I know exactly how you feel. I teacher kinder and do not want to go above 1st - I have actually told my principal (we get on well) that I would resign if assigned to 6th or 5th - so she know what to do if she wants to get rid of me!!!

What to do? You have built up a huge range of resources, and if you are planning to retire soon it is a waste to invest in a lot of 6th grade stuff you may only use for a couple of years. But if you are being moved, so are other teachers. Is there a 6th grade teacher who is being moved down? Maybe even a three way swop of resources - you lend to the teacher from 4th moving to 2nd, she lends to the teacher from 6th moving to 4th, and she lends stuff to you - do you see what I mean? It may not
be exactly waht you would buy or make yourself, but you need to use and make the best of what you have - this is not teh time to be working all hours to make new stuff - I speak from experience and should have known better. I am now getting out of this school because of other issues and am rerady for a new start. This time I will find a way to use what is there and will try to heed my own advice.

In 6th you will be required to teach new programmes - are the resources available in the room for you to do so - every time you need something to teach a concept etc. send a note / email to the principal asking whether the school will buy it or you can hand in a reciept for reimbursement. Regularly send messages about the progress your class is making in reading, and pointing out that you need more class novels to support the children's learning. eg This month we are learning about XYZ in History. Reading the novel 'ABC' would be a great way to integrate learning across the curriculum, and would bring the period to life for the students. Can you ask the office to purchase 25 copies of ABC - and give details of where it can be purchased.'



Best of luck to you.
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I understand
Old 05-20-2012, 02:36 PM
 
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I was told last week that I am being reassigned to 4th grade. The new teacher in my grade level and the fourth grade teacher I have to switch with got the p to go along with this. I cried for a couple of days. My DH reminded me that my contract does not say a specific grade and they can move me wherever they want to. The teacher I have to switch with wants me to leave everything I have bought over the last 24 years. Not going to happen! She caused this and at this moment I don't feel like helping her. I have a very good friend who is retiring from 4th and is going to let me have some of her things and I will buy some of her things also. I am lucky in that way. My classes have always done very well so it isn't the fact that I am a bad teacher. It's politics and that's the way I think it is in most schools. If you don't think you will be going back down have a garage sale. Teacher garage sales always do quite good here. Are there other teachers in your building who could help you out? Since this was made public I was surprised by the out pouring of sympathy and help offered by others. By the way, I have decided to go in and do the best job and prove that I can be a great teacher wherever she puts me. Plus I am going to enjoy watching the fireworks when they both can't be in charge. (That thought is getting me through at the moment.)


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It happened
Old 05-21-2012, 06:03 AM
 
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at our school a few years ago. We had a new principal. She was on a power trip and moved a bunch of teachers around/. One K teacher that had been in K for probably 25 years refused to move. She let it be known that she would have to be dragged out of her room. She was a strong teacher and was well liked in the community. I don't know if she was written up, but she stayed in K and outlasted that principal.
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Change is HARD..but embrace it!
Old 05-28-2012, 12:43 PM
 
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Change is hard and the politics behind it are very hurtful, but the best thing you can do is tell yourself you will be strong and be the best 6th grade teacher they have ever seen. Find your friends and support, paste a smile on your face and show the principal and her supporters what someone with skill, experience and class can do. Don't let the principal see your dissatisfaction or hear you grumble--it will only prove her deadwood theory. Give those 6th graders the kind of teacher they deserve. The skills and intuitions that primary teachers develop are truly needed with the older kiddos too. It will bring a whole new focus to the grade level when your fresh, positive attitude arrives.

Don't get rid of your stuff. Loan out what you want to the friends who can use it and box the rest--change happens all the time and you just might be dragged back to primary one day (probably protesting because you came to love 6th graders in all their little quirkiness!)

One of my friends, who had been a long term sub and a primary reading teacher ended up with a permanent 5th grade position. Her students love to see their names in stars as rewards on a big bulletin board, they kick off units with picture books, add a little fun & novelty to those rote lessons with stickers and games. She has enlivened the grade with her child centered ideas. You can too!
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i know someone
Old 05-29-2012, 07:32 AM
 
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who went through the same thing. She taught 3rd and younger her whole carreer and then transfered to 6th just 2 years shy of retirement. She said she loved it. Yes the middle school age is tough and the kids are sassy but she said she loved her schedule and how the middle school collegues all worked together for the children. She enjoyed how she could have a sense of humor with 6th grade and how she worked to create an environment in her room that allowed creativity to thrive. I just spoke with her last week as I helped her clean out her classroom and she told me that if she knew she was actually going to like 6th so much she would have transfered years ago.
I know every school and situation is different but maybe you will like it in the end. Good luck!
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