{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I am a reading teacher, involuntarily transferring from a K-3 building where I’ve taught for 22 years to a 7-9 middle school. A new principal has decided I don’t fit in 🤷‍♂️. I’ll take any and all advice, suggested readings, webinars, good resources . . . Trying to get myself prepped.", "post_id": "60a40151abd588001cb79e1c", "reply_count": 46, "vote_count": 5, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers", "feed_type": "crowd" }

I am a reading teacher, involuntarily transferring from a K-3 building where I’ve taught for 22 years to a 7-9 middle school. A new principal has decided I don’t fit in 🤷‍♂️. I’ll take any and all advice, suggested readings, webinars, good resources . . . Trying to get myself prepped.

likesmarthelpful
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I am in a similar boat though I have decided to retire before being transferred. May I ask are you tenured? How strong is your Union? It helped me and saved me from being let go (the new principal for some reason didn’t like me) to have the Union President back me and speak on my behalf. Are there allies on the Board? Any allies that could speak on your behalf? These are questions to consider. I though am in the belief that “one door closed means another opening”. You may be blessed to move to a more “chill” environment and to a school where you’d feel supported. Do a couple years and then retire??

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Great attitude. Not all Admins are good at what they do .... but for your sake , you’ve got a great attitude. Who knows? You may like it better in this different setting!❤️

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What will you be teaching, special education? English? Language Arts? Will you have your own room? If so, can you see it before break? Or take a tour of the new school? Personally being able to visualize it would really help me. Then contact the department chair at the new school of your new department & ask for assistance: links to curriculum, names of people that taught whatever it is that you are going to teach so you can email them, ask is there anything else I should look over or know before the new year? That person will be helpful & even happier to help you now, compared to August. The best of luck to you, I hope that this will become a blessing for you, even though it doesn’t appear so now. I firmly echo another teacher, you are so lucky & much better off to be out of that environment!!

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Thank you for replying... realize that just because he said that doesn’t mean that even he thinks that it is true, it’s the lever that he is using to make the change. I was laid off 30 years ago after my second year teaching, I was told by the new principal who was going to take over in June that I “wasn’t a good fit” however I found out in the fall he hired a friend of his who had just retired from a public school system. It was a private school with no union, I was just out of a job. They let go a bunch of us for that reason, I didn’t know this then but my actual principal who was fantastic & also being replaced for the same reason (new principal a friend of the Monsignor, a Catholic school) fought for me so hard that they waited until she was on the senior field trip (imagine! a principal on a field trip! she loved it and actually taught one English class every day all year!) and out of the building for the day to tell me I was out of a job, they didn’t dare tell me when she was there. They told her she was losing her job 2 days later, the morning of graduation, and she was master of ceremonies. I was unemployed for 5 months but ultimately much better off.

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It won't seem like it anytime soon, but that principal may be saving you. They are about to shake things up. If it is not a good fit, apply somewhere else, but give it your all inspite of the powers that be. Although change, especially unintended change is difficult, you are probably better off. Anyone who would do that can make your remaining years a nightmare.

likesmarthelpful

You’re right. I’m past the anger and hurt. I only have three years til retirement so I’ll tough it out but I do want to do my best. That’s why I’m asking for advice.

likeuplifting

Will you still be a reading teacher or are you being put in a core subject? Is there a curriculum map to follow? Get advice from people that are there now and start making plans. If you are teaching reading or English do a survey on the first day to get a feel of how students like reading and what they are reading. Let them vote on books that you have already chosen for the year. A good title with lots of meaning is Freak the Mighty and there is a movie to do a compare and contrast between book and movie. Look at it as you were just sent a blessing. Wishing you luck and sending good vibes your way! 🍀📚😇🕊

likesmarthelpful

I’ll still be a reading teacher. I’ve emailed my director but no response yet. I guess I’m just trying to get busy to feel like I’m doing something productive instead of just worrying. Lol.

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Dealing with the same thing! Was teaching 4th grade for 23 years. 4 yrs ago a new principle thought I’d be better in 3rd grade because he wanted to split me and my 15 yr partner. (4th grade is too strong) so he moved me to 3rd and tried to force me to travel 1 1/2 hrs to get OG training when he offered it in district the summer before. So I would have to leave my house by 6am and battle traffic on 287 towards NY, get home around 6 pm depending on traffic again and still do plans for the 5 days. OG is primarily for K-2 and emergent readers which my 3rd graders didn’t fall into but now he want uniformity in k-3. So I said I couldn’t for multiple reasons like taking care of my in laws who both have cancer too. I cook for them every night. Oh and there would be no be yea incentive for me. Well, after 4 yrs I haven’t been able to. Now he tells me it is offered online. Again do the class and make plans for the teacher while teaching hybrid and having my own health issues. He informed me last Wednesday he is moving me to 6th for 1 Year then I’ll move again. He has been nasty many times to me in his time here. I had a knee replacement today and am still contemplating returning at all. I sympathize with you. I am the longest tenured teacher in the district and he is trying to drive me out. I have no suggestions but know you are not alone. I heard of a teaching shortage coming. I believe it. Thoughts anyone? Good luck with your new position. It might be good to get away from your boss and start new.

likeuplifting

I too, am at the top of the seniority list. Is it because we’re more expensive than new teachers? Not sure why. What you’re going through is far worse than my situation. I’m sorry and will keep you in my thoughts.

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Middle school is going to be very different. Reading (or struggling with reading) has higher stakes. Kids can be cruel in middle school. Your students will need protection. You will have to help them to grow but also to mask their inabilities. Middle schoolers don't respond well to "fake." That fake upbeat happy-go-lucky thing works great in elementary schools. I'm not suggesting be miserable- but be real. Acknowledge when things are not ideal, or don't go how you would like. Middle schoolers often feel like they are alone. They are the only ones suffering. They don't see their own self-defeating behaviors. Middle schoolers need someone to listen to them, and love them right through such an awkward time. As for reading materials- I have used A Long Walk to Water, The Skin I'm In, Touching Spirit Bear, Freak the Mighty, Monster, Girl Stolen, Amal Unbound and The Hate U Give (that would probably not fly in most districts). I also use a book of short stories called The Best of Friends from greatbooks.org. The stories are super engaging for middle school, and the reading level is challenging, but they are short stories.

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Thank you! Actually my husband says I’m better suited to teaching the older students. He says they’ll get my jokes. I hope he’s right. Lol.

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Wishing you the very best next year. You are obviously a strong person with a great work ethic. You can do this!!!

likeuplifting

Change and the unknown are usually quite difficult. It does seem that your attitude is very positive and I’m sure your years of experience will be a huge benefit. Blessings going forward.

I also think if you are able to give the students a voice you will have more buy in from them.

likesmart

Thank you. I think you’re right.

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I am so very sorry. I have been through a somewhat similar situation. Just know you apparently fit in fine for 22 years. There is something that will work out for you elsewhere. It is not you. I agree with all that has been said already. Think of all the students you have helped out over the years. I truly wish the best for you and whatever decision you make.

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Thanks for your kind words.

One thing that could work in your favor - You might have former students in your middle school classes. (My district is small & most years I have a 7th grade science class in addition to my high school science classes. Seeing the kids multiple years - & more mature each time - is really nice.)

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Someone brought that up. I am looking forward to seeing some of my former students!

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Are you a member of a Union or the NEA? If you are, fight it, otherwise it just plain sucks.

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I don’t think the union can fight a transfer. It’s a personnel issue. If they were firing me, it would be different. I don’t want to go back now. My life would be crappy. I’m ok to move. I just want to start prepping correctly.

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Wow, maybe this NEW principal doesn’t fit in?? Wow, rash decision? How long have you worked together? What could BOTH of you do to rectify the problem?

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In my district if you’re certified to teach it, they can transfer you and there is no discussion. The problem has been rectified. I’ve been transferred.

Think of it as possibly the best thing to ever happen to you...You might really like it.

uplifting

Thank you. You’re probably right!

This is the perfect opportunity to try something new! Look at this in a positive way. I have been teaching 24 years and have never spent more than 5 years at a single grade level and I love it (I’ve taught 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8th grade).

uplifting

I know you are right but I’m so close to retirement, have aging parents that need care and grandchildren that live out of state, that I’d hoped to do what I know til the end. Being thrown into the totally unknown will require a lot of prep and time that I’d rather not do right now. I’m leaving and trying so hard to see the positives but I’m stressed. It’s helped a great deal to hear from people like you that have navigated changes successfully. Thank you.

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The Administrator is supposed to be the "leader" and manage the group of people under his/her supervision. It's his/her job to help you acclimate and fit in as best they can! Wow!

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In theory, yes. In practice . . . 🤷🏼‍♀️.

I’m in a similar boat. I’m in my 5th year, but this is my first year in a new district and in a new state. I love my school but I’m getting transferred into another school in the district based on need. I was told it could be high school. I did high school my first year and I was at a very rough high school and it traumatized me to the point that I switched to elementary the year after. I’m scared to be a high school teacher again but admin said they will help me if I do get placed in high school.

I hope it all works out for you. It sounds like you’ll be getting support which is good. So far, I’m not sure what I’m getting. I fear the unknown. Lol.

I taught reading and lit. to seventh graders and I loved it. I used PBL as the main platform, and it worked out really well for most of the students.

Sorry . . . The Project Based Learning.

I have been involuntarily transferred 3x throughout my teaching career and all but 1 (because I ended up with a principal likes you seem to be leaving), I have actually been happier at the next school. You will find your niche and are getting really good advice. The biggest hurdles to overcome are the difference in age levels and learning the new curriculum. The tools that you have used for your current position will still work but may need some modifications. I'm sorry that you have ended up in this situation.

Thank you for your kind words. I know it will all work out and leaving is the best thing to do. I just don’t like being unprepared and I don’t have any idea what I’m walking into. That’s stressful for me. Hopefully I’ll be able to meet with someone over there sooner, rather than later.

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I know you have unions out there in New York. GO to your union leadership and seek their guidance

Thank you. If it comes to that, I will. I haven’t heard from anyone yet but we don’t finish school here until the end of June. Even in a ‘normal’ year, it’s a busy time. This year is even more so.

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