Quit rather than be non-renewed--what now?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Kenz501, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    ....but even if I do need a little extra help, most of that is related directly to my disability, right? They aren't supposed to be able to discriminate against me, are they?

    Let's say I agree with you--student teaching should have helped me compensate for my problems, but I didn't really know what they were, and I still don't, to be honest. I just know that I hit these "brick walls" sometimes. There are quite a few things that so-called "normal" people can do fairly easily that I can't, and I feel like a total idiot for asking certain questions and struggling so much, especially since I can pass a written test on the subject with a lot more ease than most of them could probably; often, I don't even need to study. The only exception is mathematics and subjects that are related to it. Certain mathematical concepts lose me. I think I passed Calculus with sheer luck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  2. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    They were not discriminating against you. If you continually underperform at any job, then your employer has meritable grounds for terminating you. You had support, you just didn’t think you did or agree with the method of delivery.

    As a teacher, if you are not teaching your students effectively, then do you think you should stay employed as a teacher? After all, teach is in the name of your previous job title.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  3. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    No, I guess I agree that it wasn't the school's responsibility to give me any extra training; it was the responsibility of the teacher preparation program I attended. It's humiliating to do so well on the academic stuff and then fail when you're expected to put it into action, though. I bet my supervisors thought I lied on my application or something.

    I'm afraid that college doesn't really teach more than the academic side of things to teachers, and that can be learned nearly by osmosis on the job, so what's the point of it, really?
     
  4. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I bet under the direction of a mentor telling you what to do and how to do it you were able to do what was necessary. You most likely had very defined responsibility when you were doing student teaching. Your mentor probably didn't say, have at it for the next month and let's see what you do.
     
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  5. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    No, they didn't, but they should have...
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    If you read the post, by adulthood, you may also have other contributing factors, including ADHD and other mental health issues. You are right that they can't discriminate against you based on a diagnosed disability that you disclose during the hiring process, but I don't think that you can use it as a "get out of jail free" card once things are going wrong. It is the process of disclosure - you know what you need, and are explicit about those needs while interviewing. That is very different from making demands later based on a disability that wasn't disclosed, IMO.

    I am going to go out on a limb and say that you need to take a really good look at the section that guides you on how to be evaluated as an adult. The professionals involved are fairly explicit, and I am certain that the testing is pretty well documented as well. Once you have a well documented diagnosis, you are more likely to get help. However, you should realize that some of the things that might have helped as a young child will not be relevant now. I did note that they mentioned ASD support groups for adults, and that might be beneficial - you wouldn't feel so alone, misunderstood.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Did you disclose that you suffer from ASD? If not, it isn't up to them to diagnose you.
     
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  8. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    ...I don't know the groups I've joined kind of just complain about society and such. I guess life does feel unfair if you have a disability and don't know how to compensate for it or even that it's going to play a major role until things go wrong. I'm tired of putting up with this. I hate that I'm probably going to have wait a long time on vocational rehabilitation. I guess they're speedy considering the type of service it is, but job skills training, and knowing what to say about my disability during interviews so that I'm not "shooting myself in the foot" but also not ignoring the accommodations I need, is more or less essential if I want to have any kind of career.

    I meant they should have just left me alone in the classroom (well, not alone, but the program should have made the experience better mimic actual teaching) and seen how well I would fare. I probably would have failed, and that would have been bad, but it really wouldn't have been worse than having a teaching license I can't use. At least I wouldn't be qualified to teach, and I would have had to have found my own way somehow.

    No, I didn't disclose during student teaching because I didn't know. I got the diagnosis shortly before receiving my master's degree.
     
  9. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I managed 9 fast food locations in a small theme park before I began my teaching career. My salary was about the same as I make teaching, but it was not rewarding work. Everyone was assigned one task with in that environment---I had a burger guy, a hot dog guy, an ice cream/shakes gal, a cashier at each location, etc etc. etc.. so they got to know their one or two tasks quite well.

    I think you and @a2z are misunderstanding. I am not explicitly recommending fast food. What I AM saying is: why are you latching on to teaching so long when it clearly doesn't match your skill set, and I don't really see any passion for it? You gave up fast food so quickly, why not this?
     
  10. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Maybe it's sort of an unhealthy addiction? I've wanted this ever since I got to college and saw it as a career option. I love speaking in front of people and interacting with kids. I also love teaching people things. I'm actually not bad at it at all.

    What I am bad at, unfortunately, is staying organized and keeping large groups of people on task. Really, my skill set is better suited to tutoring, not so much teaching. I don't know how to make lesson plans for my subject area (it's hard to explain; I can't read the curriculum guide and gain any understanding from it as far as building a lesson--the standards might as well be in Greek). A lot of districts have things to make up for this and get teachers used to planning lessons, but I didn't know what it was called or how to ask for it on my last job, so I went without it and frustrated myself trying to "wing it."
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    No. I don't think I misunderstood what you said.

    What you said and what you are claiming you meant are two different things. How does your inability to properly convey what you meant become my fault for misunderstanding you?
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    OP, in previous threads from a few months ago, your diagnosis didn't seem to be made by the professionals that are suggested in my previous post. Has that changed?
     
  13. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    The college did its job as I really doubt that they never had you prepare lesson plans or teach lessons on your own under the supervision of a mentor. In my program, I had to observe a fully-credentialed teacher for 72 lessons (50 minutes each) for my preclinical experiences. After which, I had to write up a detailed report of their classroom setting and pretty much everything that was done for each of the 72 lessons, and then and only then could I teach my own lessons. Following this, I had to submit very comprehensive lesson plans that ALL had to have a measurable objective, lesson of the day, guided practice, seating arrangement, etc. This went on for months.

    I don’t understand how you could have passed your program without having successfully completed a teaching practicum under the guide of a mentor teacher.

    Again, you did learn what you need to learn for your formal education. However, not everything can be learned in an academic setting. There is a certain aspect of learning ON the job. For example, in my biochemistry classes in college — I have an extensive scientific background in addition to being well-versed in math — I had to practice using all of the laboratory equipment for hours OUTSIDE of class in preparation for my lab practicals. It was ALL on me to learn to do it. Yes, my TA’s taught me how to use them in lab by demonstrating to us how to do so, but I had to learn the tricks of the trade myself; e.g., how to use aseptic techniques to transfer microorganisms, such as passing an inoculation loop at an angle through the flame of a Bunsen burner; how to prepare miscroscope slides for viewing using the right kinds of dyes and in the proper order to see certain microbes (this was very labor intensive), how to grow single bacterium in a Petri dish, how to work all the different kinds of microscopes, how to identify bacteria based on smell, morphology (through microscopic visual inspection), etc, etc.

    I don’t know why you can’t get past the fact that college didn’t teach you EVERYTHING you need to know. In my math program, for instance, which was very intensive, I was not taught how to do mathematics proofs. Instead, I was taught mathematical techniques that I would need to know in order to FIGURE OUT the proofs myself. I had to teach myself Matlab (a type of computer program) to write my code for my Numerical Analysis courses, I had to teach myself Putty to do my Linear Algebra assignments, etc, etc.

    That’s how life works. There is always a certain degree of self-help and you HAVE to realize that. No more, “I know, BUT...” No more but’s. Seriously. Accept our advice please.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  14. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Ok so there you go----you have been given plenty of options by people across this thread and others that meet that bill. Now it's time to pursue them.
     
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  15. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    ...Yeah I told one of my professors that I didn't feel like I knew enough to become a teacher, and she told me something similar to this. I guess I do have all of the pieces. I'm just not good at putting them together. I'm really not trying to make excuses. This is all very frustrating to me.

    I guess I should probably just do a skills inventory and find out what I can really do:

    I'm not good at teaching myself if I set out to do it; I tend to absorb new knowledge organically, and it's hard for me to achieve any kind of deep learning this way. I guess that's because I depend on someone else to set the schedules.

    I have a tendency to misunderstand people or misread contexts. This can really get in the way, especially if I'm expected to learn from those people.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    OP, do you absolutely have a diagnosis of ASD, or could you have ADHD, or other mental health issues? I ask because they all can share traits, but can be treated differently. Some with medication, others meds don't work. I would suspect as an adult, the diagnosis and rule outs could be fairly time consuming.
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I bet they did. I bet those who diagnosed you did, but you probably didn't understand what they were telling you.
     
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    But now that you DO know, what are YOU going to do about it? (Hint: See my previous post about lesson planning.)

    Are you going to let this disability beat you? Are you going to let it run your life?

    If someone offers you aid, even if you don’t understand their motivation or why, then take it. Listen to their advice, take notes (I wrote down everything my teacher mentors told me verbatim), learn how to take constructive criticism to improve and self-reflect (Was what I did effective? How can I do things differently next time? What worked? What didn’t work?), watch educational videos, find what works best for you. Get to it.
     
  19. Kenz501

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    I'm not one-hundred percent sure, no. I've been diagnosed with several different things. Some popular go-to's are some form of depression and maybe schizophrenia or one of its variants, even though I don't know where they would get that because I don't have most of the symptoms of that disorder--it's characterized by hallucinations, delusional thinking, and other traits that I don't really think I have enough of to make a convincing case. I do talk to myself, but that's OCD-related.

    ASD makes the most sense, though, because I struggled with social relationships as a kid. It was nearly impossible for me to make friends in elementary school, and the kids hated me for some reason. I do not know why. I've also always had these weird fascinations, like in elementary school, it was mental illness. I might have given them some bad ideas about me somehow. Empathy has also been something I've struggled with grasping. When I was a kid, I just assigned feelings to other kids, usually negative ones. Plus ASD is hereditary, and most of my dad's family is high-functioning autistic.

    I eventually learned to ignore everyone, kids and adults, and trust the people I knew.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  20. Unetheladyteacher

    Unetheladyteacher Rookie

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    Honestly, as an ENL teacher, 50% of my job is coteaching, and even the teachers that others hate still expect you to do some work. Co teaching is more about communication than other aspects of teaching are, and if the person you work with fails to understand you on a regular basis, or is not committed to understanding you because you guys don't get along, it can be a rocky road.

    Seriously, focus on finding something that suits your talents instead of saying everything people have suggested is not for you. I'm not being mean, I'm just trying to help by saying the best way to get things is to be proactive.

    Colleges are not held to higher standards because that is just the way the program is now. A lot of my professors in the teaching department were former teachers who had been out of teaching for quite a while, and while they had contacts and they knew how things were going in the teaching world, they hadn't had a chance to use a lot of the new methodologies they were teaching in the classroom. There is a disconnect between schools and the institutions that prepare teachers for schools. I just had this discussion with a student teacher who came to observe one of my ENL classes. I asked her if she was required to spend an entire year at the school, so she could shadow me at various points during the year to see how students are tested, taught, and then tested at the end of the year. She said no, that she was leaving soon for another school.

    I was also trained in another state, and I also got my first teaching job directly after I finished almost a year of teaching in Asia. The disconnect between the two states and teaching in Asia was huge, and it required a ton of work outside of school to adjust. It is possible to adjust, but it looks like you don't have that option anymore, and you might not want to go back into teaching at this point.

    The point is, if you felt like your college didn't help you, you should have gone and asked for help from people like a curriculum planner or someone else who is there to help you. Now that you are out of the public school system, reflect on what you could have done better and move on. My first priority, in your shoes, would be to get a survival job so that I could live on my own or get back on my own two feet. Next, I would go to an agency that specializes in job searches, so they could do an interest and skill inventory and tell you what some potential career paths would be. Career counselors, I think they are. They will not, however, get you a job, they will just point out what jobs are good for you and where you might look for them. The rest is up to you.
     
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