Can I interview while on leave

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Gert, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Gert

    Gert Rookie

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    Jan 10, 2018

    About a month ago I was put on administrative leave because 2 students got into a fight while I was unlocking my classroom door. It was said that I wasn't supervising my students properly. Im a 1st year teacher in a tough building with no support. I spend the majority of my time breaking up fights. The students involved are ones who are constantly in trouble. I am awaiting the results of the investigation. In the mean time, I have an interview in another district for next school year. As of now I haven't been terminated or charged with any kind of neglect. Is it ok to interview for other positions? Would they ask about my current situation? Any tips or words of advice?
     
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  3. gerijamieson

    gerijamieson New Member

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    Jan 10, 2018

    Gert, I feel for you. It doesn't sound like its been easy at all. Don't forget that YOU are the one who calls the shots in your life, including where you want to work, what you want to do, and when you want to do it, not a student, parent, administrator or principal. You have every right to seek out the best job for yourself at ANY time, regardless of what anyone in the office or classroom next door tells you. If you have an interview, follow through with it. My advice would be to tell your prospective employer the truth: you are a highly qualified teacher, but your current job is not a good fit for you. Then continue with a list of your strengths, and why they should hire you based on those strengths. Sometimes when we get in super stressful situations we blame ourselves for the bad things that are happening around us, even though we can't control them. Remind yourself on a daily basis that you are worthy of what you want, and that you can move forward into a better situation if that is what you choose to do. Do not stay in an unhealthy or toxic teaching environment. Sooner or later, the stress will gnaw at your physical and metal health in very bad ways.
     
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  4. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Jan 10, 2018

    I don’t understand how you are put on leave when it didn’t happen in your classroom. Even so, you can’t help kids getting into a fight. And you can’t be expected to physically stop a fight. Did you get a hold of security? Was it before the period started?
    And yes definitely start applying.
     
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  5. Gert

    Gert Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2018 at 9:58 AM

    I teach elementary so I was bringing my class back from the restroom. Unfortunately we don't have security available all the time.
     
  6. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Companion

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    Jan 11, 2018 at 9:00 PM

    My goodness! Someone has it in for you. I've been there so I know. My old principal had it in for tons of people she didn't care for and I can 100% see her doing something like this.

    I teach elementary as well and have had that happen. Not a full on fight but a scuffle. Administrative leave sounds pretty extreme. That's like you looking down while working with a student and two getting into a fight in the classroom.

    Yes you are watching them at all times but there is no way to literally watch them at all times. We're humans, not robots with 360 vision.
     
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  7. Gert

    Gert Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2018 at 9:41 PM

    It certainly feels as if my principal has it in for me. He constantly mentions me having "poor classroom management" but has done nothing to help me with it. There's only so many teacher blogs and Pinterest posts I can read but none of those are tailored to my students. I'm hoping to find a more supportive school and district for next year because I'm having doubts about me continuing in this profession.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 12, 2018 at 12:52 PM

    Can you share more details about this incident or previous ones that might have led to such an extreme result as administrative leave?
     
  9. Gert

    Gert Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2018 at 1:04 PM

    Not trying to share too much. The 2 fought and one ended up getting hurt. Not severe but still injured. I had my back towards my class while I was unlocking the door and didn't know there was a fight until I heard my class shouting. As I said, I'm in a tough building and have a very confrontational class. But this is nothing new to administration.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 12, 2018 at 1:14 PM

    Had your back been turned for just a moment, or had it been longer than that? Was there a concern that you had been somehow negligent or that any other person would have identified a fight earlier and been able to intervene before someone got hurt? I'm just trying to get my head around the justification for placing you on leave. I think that it can make a difference as you begin to interview elsewhere.

    If it was one of those things that happened out of the blue and would have happened under anyone's watch, that's a lot easier for you to explain that a situation where you weren't paying attention and didn't see the warning signs or had left students unsupervised or something.
     
  11. Gert

    Gert Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2018 at 1:36 PM

    In the time it takes to unlock a door is how long my back was turned. Fighting among students is a very common occurrence in the school building so I'd say it could have happened under anyone's supervision. I believe if this incident happened with a veteran teacher that teacher would not be on leave. I'm more so looking for advice on the upcoming interview. I want to be honest but not say too much since I'm not even sure about the results of the investigation.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 12, 2018 at 1:39 PM

    The biggest hurdle you're going to face while interviewing, in my opinion, is that you were placed on leave for this. It gives the impression that you were negligent, even if you were behaving in a reasonable and professional way.

    Do you have a general sense of the reputation of your school and/or its admin? It will help you a lot if, say, a principal at another school knows that your admin places unreasonable expectations on teachers regarding egregious student behavior.
     
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  13. Gert

    Gert Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2018 at 3:12 PM

    My district is notorious for its behaviors and the reputation that the teachers don't stay for very long.

    Do you think that topic will come up. I'm reflecting on previous interviews and I'm trying to see where this situation would come up.
     
  14. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jan 14, 2018 at 10:20 PM

    I 100% think it will come up. The first thing I've always looked at on any hiring committee is job history. I'm intensely suspicious of anyone who can't keep a job or is mysteriously not working, and I tend to be right. Twice, in two different schools, my P's hired the candidate that switched schools every couple years, and the one who was "laid off" and accused of "executive functioning issues." Both ended up fired.

    You aren't tenured, so they might take a chance on you. But I'd definitely have some sort of honest explanation for this story.
     
  15. Gert

    Gert Rookie

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    Jan 14, 2018 at 10:34 PM

    On my application I answered "no" to questions asking about termination/resignation because that's the truth. I'm still under contract and if they tell me I can come back I intend on finishing out the year. Prior to this I taught preschool for a year and a half and I have great references from that job. I just think I was put in an unsupportive environment and I was not prepared for the types of behaviors my students exhibit. Since this situation is not mentioned on the application how do you think it would come up during the interview?
     

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