Some of you read my other posts about not liking my current teaching position. To make a long story short, in case you didn't read my other emails here's my dilemma. I a 2nd grade teacher in a town right outside a big city. My school is the most challenging in my town. Some of my students are incredibly disrespectful, steal from me, and do not follow directions. I have tried several strategies to improve student behavior. I've started reading books on classroom management as well. I meet weekly w/social work and psychology team and have individual behavior plans for specific students. I phone parents, but many times parents are not there, do not call me back, or their phones are turned off. I dread going to work everyday. On top of that I am "terrified" of my prinicpal. I know that sounds silly, but it's true. She's very demanding, not understanding, and shuts you down if you try to prove your point in a situation. She hardly takes kids who consistantly misbehaves as she feels she isn't there to babysit. She does have her good qualities though - she backs you up in front of parents, but still I find it difficult to work for her. About a month ago she told me she was dissappointed w/my teaching. She was saying this due to the fact that several of my students get removed from the classroom to go to a diff. classroom for 1/2 hour (a school-wide policy for children who get 3 strikes on the behavior system we have - traffic light management). Principal is required to get the paperwork hence how she knows about this. She was saying she expected more considering I had experience teaching last year. Last year I thought part time in a pre-k spec ed classroom (so entirely diff. than 2nd grade) in the exact opposite school district. It was a predominantly middle/high class population and parents were incredibly supportive. However, reason I left was b/c contract was 1 year only, it was too far from home (45 mins), and I wanted to teach full time. I was and still am completely taken back by what she said. I've been trying so hard to do the best I can, but I feel that perhaps this school setting isn't for me. I just want the school year to be over. I've thought long and hard about leaving at the end of the year to find a diff. job in a diff. school district. I was all on board to do this until my parents(I'm a younger teacher & very close to them) were saying wait and see if my contract gets renewed or not. I'm afraid that my contract won't be renewed (after what principal said), and I don't want to wait it out that long to find out in April/May. A friend of mine who is in teaching field said that I should be the upper hand and write a letter of resignation before they tell me whether my contract is renewed or not. My parents are also worried about my health insurance and don't want me to be without it next year if by chance I don't get a job next year. I for one know know I'd be miserable working for this principal. I've thought about transfering to a diff. school in district, but it goes by seniority and I'm new to district so I probably don't stand a chance(and many of those school I hear are getting tougher). Anyone have suggestions as to what I should do? Would you wait on writing resignation letter to see if your contract is renewed or would you take the initiative first and call it quits with a resignation letter(to terminate at end of year)? I looked to find policy of when resignation letter has to be put in and they don't specify a date. How would this look on other districts I apply to(having left 2 jobs in a row)? How would it look if I did wait it out to see if my contract is renewed or not? Hope this all makes sense. Anyone been in a similar situation or are in this situation now? Please share your dilemma with me! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thank you!
write the letter of resignation. I've been there and done that because the same type problems with the class. Resigning looks a lot better on a resume than being terminated or not having a contract renewed. I ended up being re-hired by the same school with an increase in salary and a switch to different classes as a result of detailing all of the problems, the lack of resoultion, and the gossip grapevine causing parents to call and complain about me leaving. There was a change in school administration between the time of the events and the time of the letter. The new administration made major policy changes on student behavior.
Before you resign, I would try to talk with the principal. Ask her if your job is in jeopardy, what you need to do, etc....Getting the courage to have this meeting will be hard, and you have to prepare yourself for the worst, but that should help you with the decision.
The principal's response should give you a good sense of what you should do. If you are going to not be renewed, I would say resigning would look better...But dont jump the gun! Sometimes administrators like to go on power trips, but dont really plan on getting rid of you.
I work at a charter school where peoplr quit left and right at various times throughout the year. All of the teachers I have stayed in contact with ahve found other jobs. If benefits are a concern they have to offer you COBRA for 18 months and if you dont find a teaching job you could possibly find a TA job. Not ideal but it will most likely have benefits and get your foot in the door. Worry about your sanity. I left a school 2 years ago and it was the best decision of my life. You have to do what is best for you.
I'm in a similar situation. I teach 1st grade in a school that is seeing more children who have no support at home,were born drug babies, and who see violence on regular occurance, and are acting it out. There is a child in my class that needs psychiatric help- parent refuses. They can receive it free because the family is on medicaid- but she still refuses. I am afraid of this child because of her violent tendencies and afraid of her mother as well because of her confrontational outbursts. My principal has her good points but in a way I don't see that she is doing anything to stop this. The child is written up and sent the office on a regular occurance- stabbing children with pencils, cutting people with scissors, stealing, lying, cussing, hurting children, etc.... My principal has ripped up a disapline slip in my face telling my that the incidence was not that bad- the child stole from me. What? When are you suppose to accept stealing? The parent has come to my room with out going to the office and gotten confrontational. I am pregnant and could not get away if the lady had attacked me. Also- the office personel had decided to leave early that day so if I needed help what could I do? The principal told me to let it go- it was part of their culture and I needed to accept it. What kind of advice is this? There are incidents like this that occur on a regular basis here at my school. Little support for teachers from their principals and people wonder why there is a shortage of teachers. Other teachers have warned me of my principal's wrath and told me to keep quiet. Going to the superintendent would make my life living hell the rest of the year. I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. I need to work this year, but am scared to death. Anyway, I wish the best to you and hope that this letter lets you know that there are others who understand.
You can ask the principal if she plans on keeping you for next year or not. If she tells you yes then you could stay if you want. If she tells you she isn't sure or can't give you a straight answer, then I think it is best to resign. Your parents mean well, but they don't understand the school systems. A resignation looks better than not being renewed. When you apply at other jobs a lot of the applications have a question stating were you ever at a school where you were not renewed or were let go. You probably can't transfer to another school either. But if the principal tells you she isn't planning on keeping you, you could ask her if you could transfer. I would have a resignation letter ready to give to the principal after you give a copy to human resources and had it copied with a date stamp on when it was received. A teacher friend of
mine resigned, gave a copy to HR and later got a letter from HR telling her she was not being renewed. She made the mistake of not getting a copy of it from them with a date.
You can finish out the year and not break your contract. Just have the letter state that you are quitting as of ____the last day of school.
By the way, I think its awful of your principal to tell you she was disappointed with your teaching. You were following the school policy on behavior. You might bring it up on your meeting (if you know for sure you are leaving) that you believe in team work. That just because a teacher has children with behavior issues doesn't mean its only her problem. It takes a whole team to help a child with so many issues. But, don't be negative and try to leave without saying anything bad about her or the school. In other words, "don't burn your bridges". When and if you decide to apply for other teaching jobs you don't want to give her any more reasons to say anything bad about you to other principals. Have the talk though. It will show her that you have thought about your future and are proactive. Continue doing the best job you can right up to the last day. Keep smiling, don't feel ashamed. You know you did the best job you could under the circumstances. Try to take time to give your good behaving kids some extra attention, they deserve it. It will help you feel better too. Best of luck. Let us know how you are doing.
You need to do what is in your heart. I just turn in a letter two weeks ago and the administration office asked me to stay. They think I am doing a great job. I know I have done a good job, but I am not happy with their comments and support. It has nothing to do with the students, but I feel it is time for me to go.
Follow your heart. Your the one that has to live with the situation at hand.