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Off Topic :
I found out I'm losing my job :(

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 teacherjoggergal (original poster member #70442) posted at 4:26 AM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

I'm devastated right now. Then again, I probably shouldn't feel devastated since I saw it coming for a while now. But my biggest worry all school year about my job has come true: they're eliminating my position, and I'm forced to find another school to work at next year.


I wrote previously about the mean male teacher colleague who has been belittling me and disrespecting me for years now. He really amped up the rudeness to me this year. He also spends nearly everyday in the principal's office after school, schmoozing and playing Teacher's Pet while probably gossiping about others. I've worried that he is trying to lose me my job here. I heard rumors that the reason he wants me gone is so he can get my classroom. My classroom is bigger than his, has a large walk-in closet for lab supplies, and an attached semi-outdoor greenhouse. He keeps insulting me for not using the greenhouse (as if it's so easy to control such large out of control classes of students with activities like that!! easier said than done). He has somewhat bragged about all the things he'd do and do differently if he had the greenhouse. I have always worried he's been out to get me.

Another person who seems out to get me has been one of my students. She was very rude and rowdy, probably my absolute worst behaved student. When the principal came impromptu to do that observation earlier this year, this girl kept acting up while literally shouting from her seat in the back of the room that she didn't get it, that I can't teach, that my class sucks, and other very negative things. Then when the principal was walking out of my room, the same girl yelled, "Nice knowing ya, Miss [my name]. I know you won't be coming back next year!" I've never felt more humiliated at this job by a student. She purposely made me look bad in front of my boss at a time that I was already having a terrific day beyond my control. Yes, the principal cited her comments and misbehavior for reasons she issued me low ratings on my evaluation. I was so angry at that girl and still angry about it.

That girl ruined my career. As a result, I vowed to never give her anything better than an unsatisfactory behavior rating on her report cards. In our district, we issue two numbers on report cards for each student: a percentage grade, and a number from 1-3 for behavior. 1 is the best, 2 is ok/satisfactory, 3 is bad/unsatisfactory. The behavior rating has no effect on GPA or retention but obviously 3s don't look good. I have given her only 3s on each report card and will never give her any better than a 3 because of what she did. Her behavior has actually improved slightly since then, but screw it, I'm still giving her a 3 this report card.

A few months ago I was using the copy machine after school in the roster office because the usual copy machine was down. I happened to notice a paper left in the copy machine from hours earlier, which indicated that they were looking to cut a few more positions at our school for next year. It indicated that next year they're looking for a biology teacher that's dual certified in biology and Chem, instead of just biology. Since then I worried I would get cut.

In my large urban district, getting cut doesn't necessarily mean fired or laid off (although mass layoffs have definitely happened before). But it does mean having to shop around for teacher vacancies at other schools in the district, and interview at each of those schools as if you're restarting a jobsearch process with a whole new employer. They call this the forced transfer process. I've witnessed people going through it before and it's never fun. It's a lot of extra work and stress. For example, the one former colleague friend I wrote about went through it three or so years ago. She complained a lot about it afterwards. She was a really good teacher here and the principal seemed to like her too, and even my mean male colleague was nicer to her than he is to most. But she ended up force transferred with 3 others when they cut positions here due to lower-than-expected student enrollment. She ended up screwed over, transferred from a school she loved 15mins from home, to a nightmare work situation at a much harder school an hour away. She got a really raw deal. I worry now I will end up like that too. Also, I haven't written a resume or attended an interview in years, decades in fact! Usually it's the newer teachers who get force transferred. I've been here over 20 years. It's mortifying.

I worried for months now that they would look to get rid of me, force transfer me. All year my mean male colleague has taunted me about it, claiming no one likes me and to expect to be force transferred. Today I received confirmation from the principal that yes, I'm being force transferred. She said it really was nothing personal but due to the need to have the biology teacher also teach chemistry. I'm certified in biology and math but not Chem. In fact, I haven't done any Chem since college, and that was over 30 years ago by now.

I am devastated because the job I've been at for most of my career will be no more. All the hard effort, all nighters, and holiday breaks spent working nonstop from home on this job's paperwork has been unappreciated I feel. Even worse, when I told my former colleague friend about it today (the one who got force transferred from this school 3 years ago to a school she hated), she had an I told you so tone while telling me "you should have taken my advice to apply for sabbatical." I don't know if that would have worked either. She claims I would have been untouchable from my position and placement for the duration of time until a year after returning from sabbatical. She claims it's a way I could have avoided the news of a force transfer if I anticipated a possible force transfer. She claims that that's why she extended her maternity leave last year, to avoid possibility of becoming force transferred if she returned to work before the end of the school year. I don't know if that would have worked for me or not. The whole idea of a sabbatical just seemed lazy anyway. I was always raised to work, and work hard, or else I'm doing wrong.

I feel humiliated because I'm worried that word about my impending forced transfer will spread like wildfire and then kids will respect me even less. I've seen and heard of that happening to other teachers who were getting force transferred. Kids stop listening to them or even doing their assignments because they know the teacher will be gone soon. Kids have done this even when it's obvious the teacher is still going to be here for the rest of the school year and isn't leaving until next fall, when these kids will no longer have that teacher's course anymore anyway. It's all about respect and rapport. I dread work tomorrow for fear they'll taunt me about leaving. I fear that same girl will say "I told you so" like my mean colleague and even my former colleague friend.

How can I get through the next month and a half, knowing I won't be back? I'm so hurt by this. On top of all the other stress and work tasks I've had to deal with, now I have to polish up a resume and attend interviews at other schools during my limited after school hours too. Why does it seem like when it rains, it pours? When will it ever get easier?

posts: 128   ·   registered: Apr. 29th, 2019
id 8733638
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 2:23 PM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

I've had similar situations, and in my last situation, I ended up working for someone who is the BOMB. He recognizes what I bring to the table, he supports me and he acknowledges what I do for the team. I wouldn't be in this position if I hadn't been laid off from a competitor. So you have an opportunity to make lemonade here, and I would seize that with both hands. I would start researching opportunities NOW and get your resume polished. Take advantage of learning opportunities on LinkedIn, as well as others, so that you polish some skills and feel confident in promoting yourself.

Now is the time to network. Join groups on LinkedIn, touch base with former colleagues and strengthen your network.

Talk to your union rep about next steps, if applicable.

You've been unhappy--I would turn this as an opportunity to be more fulfilled career-wise.

Therapy can also help with the normal feelings you're having around change. Have you thought about at least trying therapy to improve your perspective and strengthen parts of your life that need improvement?

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 33052   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8733670
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 10:10 PM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

I’m sorry this happened to you.

I hope you end up in a better place for the years you have left.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11864   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8733743
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humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 10:47 PM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

The situation sounds stressful. From your posts, im guessing you are close to being vested in your pension and possibly retiring from the job if you want to. Ensuring retirement would be a concern for me. It sounds like you have options. You have been successfully doing your job for a long time. That hasn't changed. You likely have become better at it!

Hopefully, this change will include opportunities to be in a better situation. Your male co-worker sounds like a difficult person. I'd welcome getting away from that. Maybe there are opportunities for different positions you've never even considered, and you could broaden your search to all state jobs.

posts: 529   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8733753
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 4:50 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

Hi TJG,

I have to wonder if you're mourning the loss of the job you used to have in the beginning. Kind of like BS's here mourn the loss of the marriage that they thought they had.

I can't help but feel like you're gaslighting yourself about so many situations in your life. For this particular case, you've stated:

-Male co-worker harassment

-Disrespectful and bullying kids

-All nighters for paperwork

-Weekends for grading

-Little to no life outside of school

-Stress, stress, stress

Really, what are you going to miss? Other people you're close to are moving on, the students are mouthy and horrible, your male co-worker is unhinged- and encouraged by your BOSS.

I think you may be buying into the "sunk costs fallacy." It's a pattern in your posts- 20yr "relationship" with uncommitted, uncaring and selfish BF, 20yr career with ultimately no loyalty shown by your management, long time relationship with a CHEATING NARCISSISTIC brother.

You mentioned your parents mistreated you too- talked down to you and didn't support you.

You've been taught to gaslight yourself into thinking poor treatment is truly acceptable, maybe deserved. You've gaslit your self into believing that negative, unrewarding work and relationships have meaning because you've put so much time and energy into them.

You're so selfless, do you even have a self?

[This message edited by MIgander at 4:51 PM, Friday, May 6th]

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 656   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8733976
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 9:52 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

((((TJG))))

Finding out you are losing your job because of no fault of your own absolutely sucks.

It has happened 2 times in my career. Once as a downsizing of a medical center, and being the last in the role, so the first to go, and of course at the beginning of Covid.

Honestly I am a firm believer in the old adage "Everything happens for a reason". For me it certainly wasn't the reason I wanted at the time, especially the first job I was cut from. I absolutely loved that job and thought it was a dream job, and it was impacting patients, and making them have great outcomes after hospitalizations.

But it happened, and honestly I was just as pissed about losing the PTO time as much as the job.
The next job I got was low stress, and I liked the people, the next job was awesome.

My current job is not the best job in the world, but the stress level is low, and this working from home thing is pretty awesome.

I guess the point of all my ramblings is this, while you may feel anger, upset, embarrassment or like it is unfair (and it is) that you will come out the otherside in a better place.
Honestly you are not respected, and there are kids out there that would appreciate an enthusiastic biology teacher that can make it both fun and interesting, and those kids don't need chem yet. LOL God I hated Chem.


Hang in there, keep your chin up, and know something better is in store.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19250   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8734018
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 teacherjoggergal (original poster member #70442) posted at 12:34 PM on Sunday, May 8th, 2022

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I will say I am not laid off or terminated though, technically, at least not yet. But I'm stuck having to find and brush up my interview after more than twenty-five YEARS. I am so lost! R did offer to help me, (yes he still calls and checks in regularly) but I'm going to try to do it myself before I consider his help. (I mean, he hasn't worked since his company's mass layoff at the end of 2010? When has he last gone through this?)

Work was okay this week. Thankfully, that bratty girl has been a LITTLE better behaved for me but not by much. I do wonder if maybe I'm just getting more used to her disrespectful behaviors. No kids mentioned my job loss but I am bracing myself for when word gets around that I'm "out".

Meanwhile, that mean male colleague is still saying stuff to me. I've gone to our principal more than once this year but she is fed up with us it seems. Last time she just told us she's too busy to get in the middle of our bickering and we need to work it out ourselves. :( My friend said to call the union but I worry that if I do, he could retaliate and then call them on me, and make up more lies about me. He's already falsely accused me of "cheating" on the city assessment tests, then telling me the only reason my scores were lower than his were because I had wrong answers on my answer key they supposedly got from me. I worry he may have already said stuff to convince the principal to cut my position and that he might say more if I provoke him.

I've been busy nonstop with grading papers this weekend, and still making it up for all that lost time from when my brother's friend came over to sell me the annuity. I'm so fed up right now. I feel like I never get a break.

posts: 128   ·   registered: Apr. 29th, 2019
id 8734182
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 teacherjoggergal (original poster member #70442) posted at 1:06 PM on Sunday, May 8th, 2022

I just saw there were more responses. Thank you everyone for your concern and advice. About the job outlook,

Yes, I am vested in a state pension. I absolutely NEED this pension. I have only 5 years left before I qualify for full pension. I cannot get it before then due to minimum age and years of service to collect. I. Must. Stay. Until. I. Get. That. Pension. I have no other financial option to ensure my retirement. I have no husband, no kids, and no living parents. This pension is my entire retirement security. That is why I cannot just up and quit my job. That is why I am stuck going through the force transfer site selection process just to ensure I have a position available next fall. And you're right, I've invested way too many years and missed out on stuff in my personal life these last 30 years to lose out on my pension NOW. I might as well at least get this prize of financial security at the end of the long rope. Otherwise, it would prove to have been an entire failure.

The problem is, most likely I WON'T end up at a better school. Our school isn't perfect, obviously, but it's only a 5 minute drive for me and it has much less problems than a lot of the high schools in this city's school district. It is a special admit high school, although not as prestigious as some other special admit schools in this district. If anything, I'm more at risk of encountering issues of high disrespect at one of the neighborhood schools, where kids end up if they get kicked out of our school. Every time people get force transferred from our school, they usually end up in a worse school. I don't want to end up driving far away to the opposite side of the city to some ghetto school where students and administration will treat me even worse than I get now.

I see what happened to my one friend. She was always such a great fun teacher, and always cheerful at the job, and kids respected her better than I've gotten. But she got force transferred midterm one year and ended up driving much farther away to a ghetto school where she was very unappreciated and walked over. The much longer city traffic-filled drive also ended up destroying her car that same year. With the transfer, she went from liking her job to hating it, and then got stuck going through the whole force transfer site selection process all over again only half a year later when the unappreciative school decided not to keep her. She was stuck going on interviews at other schools at the worst possible time too, same week as her final exams for her Master of Education degree courses. She is now struggling with some very unfair sounding issues at her current school and is so fed up that she's quitting without even having another job lined up. But she's smart and young so she'll probably find something soon. She also has a husband and two kids (one baby born recently) so while it seems she has more than her fair share of stressors in her home life, she also can fall back on her husband to work if need be. I don't have that. At all.

posts: 128   ·   registered: Apr. 29th, 2019
id 8734184
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Jeaniegirl ( member #6370) posted at 5:47 PM on Sunday, May 8th, 2022

I see that someone advised already that you talk to your union representative. I think you should set up a meeting with that person and relate all that has happened to you. If for no other reason, the documentation should help. My daughter is an administrator in public school and she says she can almost always see through those teachers trying to create problems for other teachers and she nips it in the bud. Have you tried to have a heart to heart talk with your principal?

"Because I deserve better"

posts: 3110   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2005
id 8734218
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 8:16 AM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

It doesn't sound like this transfer is personal at all. Both the documentation you found and your boss's statement made it clear it was for staffing reasons. Stop stressing about what other people think: the students, the "mean" other teacher, your brother, etc. Just focus on doing your job to the best of your ability, and take pride in that. Try to enjoy the students for who they are and not be afraid of them. They won't just not turn in assignments. They have to turn them in or else their grades will go down. Remember that everything isn't about you, and you might have less stress.

I've dealt with both one experience of being surplused and having to transfer within my district (nothing personal) and one non-rehiring to a district (personal) in my 21 years of teaching. Both times, I had to deal with the stress of switching schools, but both times, I ended up in a better place than where I'd started. You've not been happy at your current school, so it's hard to imagine the new school being much worse for you.

Because you are overwhelmed by life, I recommend you get therapy. Therapy is what solid, sensible people get when they need help coping with life. Just like solid, sensible people go to the doctor when they break their arm.

[This message edited by morningglory at 9:28 AM, Monday, May 9th]

posts: 173   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8734304
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 teacherjoggergal (original poster member #70442) posted at 10:27 AM on Thursday, May 12th, 2022

Thank you and I think you're right. It wasn't personal. It's just bad for me that I'd be force transferred after over 20 years here. Usually force transfers happen to newish teachers, usually not this far in. It's just sad for me that I end up in this situation and after such a hard year too.

I'm trying to stay hopeful that I get in somewhere better but it's difficult. The website portal shows teacher vacancies by certification area at each school so teachers going through the force transfer process know where to apply. I looked and not many decent schools at all have available vacancies. It is in fact mostly the more ghetto schools. I have to brush up my resume. I'm getting really nervous. I never thought I'd be in thus situation again. I really was banking on staying at this job for my last 5 years until retirement.

posts: 128   ·   registered: Apr. 29th, 2019
id 8734821
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Carissima ( member #66330) posted at 6:26 PM on Thursday, May 12th, 2022

First of all I want to say I do sympathise that this change hit you out of the blue. I've had to restart my working life several times in the past decade and it's not easy.
I would like to know what makes a school 'ghetto'? If you mean a school in a deprived area with little resources then say so. Your attitude to these schools, and arguably their pupils, does not sit well with me.
Have you ever thought what a good teacher can do to further education in situations like these. To help these pupils find their way in life?
To my mind schools facing these troubles need the best teachers they can get!
Maybe it's time to change your mindset, think about what benefits you could bring to these schools instead of having longer to drive.

posts: 947   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2018
id 8734878
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