Should I stay next year?

Discussion in 'Private School Teachers' started by misswteaches, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    Nov 20, 2015

    This is my first year teaching. Letters of intent are due in January, and I'm trying to decide what to do about next year. I'm pretty sure I will be asked to teach again and I'm so undecided.
    The pay is low and the job is undeniably hard due to the intensity of the curriculum and the fact that I teach two grades. I enjoy my kids, though, and I love the administration and staff. The biggest factors that make me want to stay are 1) to have a good two years of teaching experience in one place before I start to jump around, 2) so that I can grow as a teacher in my second year rather than have to learn a new system/school culture, and 3) I do love my students and the school culture.
    The problem is that parents at the school tend to be feel entitled. Many are quite wonderful, but some demand that I teach their way, or the same way as the teacher they had last year, or in such a way that their snowflake (who is genuinely loved by me, their teacher) gets good grades at all times. These are things that I cannot and will not attempt to live up to. Thankfully, admin is very supportive of me and all the other teachers, but I'm getting a little tired of parents trying to have me fired and talking to everyone but me when they take issue with something. Part of me says, "I refuse to be manipulated by these parents and I'm done", but the other part says "Parents, being passive-aggressive and making my first year difficult will not get rid of me...see you next year..."
    I'm torn. I'd like to make my decision independent of the parent problems I've had, but I know I will have some of the same parents next year and it's something I have to consider. Thoughts?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 20, 2015

    Unless you're certain that you want to leave or that you have another position elsewhere, you should submit the letter of intent. It will give you some security and a back-up plan until you make a decision one way or the other. You can always change your mind later--that's why it's called a letter of intent (and your intent at this time is to continue working there next year, at least as far as they need to know) and not a contract.
     
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  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Nov 20, 2015

    Parent issues may vary by groups of kids so you may not have to deal with it multiple years. If you have a good support system with your admin, that's a huge plus. I'd stay just for the admin alone. I had parents similar to yours the first year at a new school. They had a reputation for trying to bully new hires to do what they wanted but wouldn't dare try it with the veterans. That group of parents will probably continue until their kids are seniors.

    Every school has its issues. Helicopter parents are a pain, but it beats a lot of other problems a school could have.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Nov 20, 2015

    My parents jammed into my skull the concept of never leaving a job unless I have a job. This would be the time to put out elementary feelers. However, most schools are not going to start posting openings until the spring, so that letter of intent may have to be rescinded if something better comes up (I'm at an at-will school so I have no idea how binding those are in schools with tenure).
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I understand your situation. I am ashamed to admit that I once hid in the closet when I saw a particularly demanding parent heading my way. We eventually came to a decent relationship, but it wasn't easy. My advice would be to find a way to work with the parents without giving in to unreasonable demands, enjoy the school staff and environment otherwise, and stay for the second year.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 20, 2015

    How binding is a letter of intention your district?
     
  8. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    Nov 20, 2015

    Thanks for the responses!
    The letter of intent is not necessarily binding, but because it's a very small private school, they really need to know what the turnover rate will be as soon as possible. Also, due to the school culture and the personal connections I have with so many people involved in the school, it would reflect poorly on me as a person to go back on my word if I changed my mind.
     
  9. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    I love your honesty! I might have to plan an escape route to the utility closet....
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 21, 2015

    Most likely you would not be hired elsewhere by January so unless you are willing to let them know you're not coming back with no other job offer then you'll either need to take the chance on 'going back on your word'. Truthfully, I doubt it would reflect poorly on you in your current school connections' eyes...it's the climate of the economy and education right now.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 21, 2015

     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Nov 21, 2015

    There is a lot of good advice here! The most important thing is not to feel like your intentions are not set in stone. You can INTEND to stick around but then things may change. Don't slam the door in your own face. That letter this early is probably more for those who intend to retire. Also, don't decide now that you want to leave. See what happens as the year develops.
     
  13. sweetlatina23

    sweetlatina23 Cohort

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    Jan 2, 2016

    I work at a private school. The letter of intent doesn't bind you to stay. However, you don't sign it, at the end of the year, they do not need to offer you a contract. It is always better to sign the letter, and if something does come up, speak to administration.

    You just have to love those private school parents!
     
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