06 May 2014

NAILED IT: post interview part 3

A while ago, I mentioned keeping your options open...

I'm not here to tell you to be flaky. I'm not here to teach you how to work the system if you truly don't deserve to be influencing the lives of our future. I'm definitely not here to tell you how to switch to a better district for the sole purpose of making more moolah (because I would literally be the last person you'd want to ask for advice in that scenario*). But, read below. These are the things that I've found no one really wants to talk about when you are getting started, but I think you need to know:

45 day policy- If you are getting really nervous and considering not taking that first teaching job that you impulsively snatched up because it was your first offer (and you were terrified you may never find another offer ever, ever again in a million years), you have 45 days before the first day of school to submit a resignation letter to the board and have no penalty associated with your teaching certificate.  Just FYI: JULY 11th is that magical day this year if your school is following da Texas law and starting school on the fourth Monday in August. Here's the way the professionals say it.

Quitting policy: If you resign after the magical 45 day window, you could potentially face a "ding" on your teaching certificate. You could even have it suspended for up to 1 full year. Read what our good buddies at TEA have to say here (number 12). Long story short, it could be bad news for your future as a teacher. SO: think about the job you are taking long and hard before you sign the contract. And then, if you take it and you're still having a really hard time, think about choosing to change just a few little things that will make it better so that you can finish out the year. I guarantee, from experience, that if you act on even just one idea to help make your predicament more livable, you might just stay even longer than a year. **

Get some back up: I think my last piece of advice is incredibly important. Think about joining a "professional organization" when you begin your school year. I am not here to advertise, but a couple that I know of in the Lonestar State are Association of Texas Professional Educators and Texas Classroom Teachers Association. Often, they provide free or low-cost continuing ed hours, professional liability insurance, staff attorneys who can assist your with concerns (aka, answer your frantic, 2am emails about legality issues) in regards to your teaching job. Email me if you'd like to know more about my personal experiences here, but I can say that I found their help to most certainly be worth every penny of the annual fee.
P.S. Are you currently STUDENT TEACHING? ATPE will let you join and provide free coverage during your pre-professional experience. Hook yourself up- you will likely never need it, but better safe than sorry!

*There is an elementary school literally about 100 steps from my back door, but I choose to pay for gas to drive 45 minutes one way into the boonies every morning. And make about about 20% less per year. My husband thinks I am a lunatic, but when it's right... it's right. (:

**It's a long story. Email me!

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