International Schools Review
Teachers Keeping Each Other Informed

Best course of action

Best course of action

Postby Doctor » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:18 am

So this job isn't working out, which is kind of heart breaking because I was really looking forward to it and I relocated the whole family but it isn't working out. I talked to my principal about it and we agreed on an end of academic year departure but my headmaster is considering an end of semester departure, which would be really hard but I did open the door.

For a January departure, they would have to pay me severance; in fact since we have a contarct, by local labor law, if they dismiss me w/o cause they should pay me 1/2 remaining number of months left, that would be like 9 months. My headmaster wants to give me 4 months severance at most plus ä B refernce" as he calls it. I already contacted Search and they said they would need that B refernce plus an assurance from the headmaster that he is ok with the change in contract. What they won't do it just ghost the job on the Search site. It has to be on there as part of my profile.

My question is this: is it even worth it just to maintain my Search account? If a recruiter on Search would see that I left a school after 1 semster, wouldn't that basically end it for me? Maybe I should go for the money, forget about Search and just use TIE or signup with UNI and totally ghost this job on my resume?
Doctor
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:28 am

Re: Best course of action

Postby sid » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:19 pm

I’m not really understanding. If you’re going by mutual agreement, and definitely if you requested the early departure, I wouldn’t expect to see any severance at all. You’re not having your service terminated without cause, you’re being released at your request. You’re lucky that the school isn’t trying to claw back the costs of your recruitment and family relocation.
If you’re offered anything, sign fast and smile. Count yourself lucky. If you make waves, you’re likely to find the school decides to honor your contract, or in other words, insist that a) you stay and work the full contract, b) you stay and risk termination for cause if you mess up, or c) you have to officially quit, making you liable for repaying costs as mentioned above.
If you’re actually facing termination against your will, that changes everything, but your post makes it sound like you requested release.
sid
 
Posts: 1086
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Best course of action

Postby sid » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:39 pm

As for Search, you can be fine with a half year stint so long as the reference is ok and everyone agrees the departure was just about “fit”, nothing more serious. It’ll be a little harder to recruit but not too much. Then in your next post you have to ensure you stay long enough to offset this anomaly. Do that and it will never be an issue again.
If you try to ghost this, you risk getting caught out. How connected are your principal and director? How long have they been on the circuit? What fairs and agencies do they work with where they might see your redacted resume?
sid
 
Posts: 1086
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Best course of action

Postby Doctor » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:39 pm

sid wrote:
> I’m not really understanding. If you’re going by mutual agreement, and definitely
> if you requested the early departure, I wouldn’t expect to see any severance at
> all. You’re not having your service terminated without cause, you’re being released
> at your request. You’re lucky that the school isn’t trying to claw back the costs
> of your recruitment and family relocation.
> If you’re offered anything, sign fast and smile. Count yourself lucky. If you make
> waves, you’re likely to find the school decides to honor your contract, or in other
> words, insist that a) you stay and work the full contract, b) you stay and risk
> termination for cause if you mess up, or c) you have to officially quit, making
> you liable for repaying costs as mentioned above.
> If you’re actually facing termination against your will, that changes everything,
> but your post makes it sound like you requested release.

Sid - did you not read the post?

I went to my principal not to resign but to let him know that in my opinion, it was not a good fit for me or for the school. I did not resign or anything like that. It was a discussion about my suitabilioty for the post. My principal agreed. He achknowledged my hard work (I'm here by 6:15 am every day trying to make this work) and he appreciated that I accept his feedback. We agreed on an end of academic year departure. The headmaster is thinking sooner, which I also get; why should they keep me if I'm leaving at the end of the academic year?

Anyway, I'm not resigning and there are no grounds for dismissal and in this country, labor laws are quite strong. Expat's on contracts have specific rights. My question is, do I insist on the extra coin over a B refernce all so that I can maintain a Search account? I'm thinking if a head of school sees that 1 semester along with a B reference, he'll just say no way. He'll think this guy must have done something really wrong or they would have let him finish out the year.
Doctor
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:28 am

Re: Best course of action

Postby Doctor » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:42 pm

sid wrote:
> As for Search, you can be fine with a half year stint so long as the reference is
> ok and everyone agrees the departure was just about “fit”, nothing more serious.
> It’ll be a little harder to recruit but not too much. Then in your next post you
> have to ensure you stay long enough to offset this anomaly. Do that and it will
> never be an issue again.
> If you try to ghost this, you risk getting caught out. How connected are your principal
> and director? How long have they been on the circuit? What fairs and agencies do
> they work with where they might see your redacted resume?

Thank you Sid; good points.
This is a very reputable school and my headmaster is well connected. He's also very honest but I think he can be cut throat if pushed. I don't know. I seem to be doing a lot of work and getting nowhere here.
Doctor
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:28 am

Response

Postby PsyGuy » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:15 pm

I understand what your saying, you talked to your leadership about leaving at the end of the year, but because you brought it up now your HOS wants to dismiss you at the end of the term.

The issue of having to pay costs is fear mongering the IS cant make you unless they file a lawsuit against you. Even then they likely wont be successful and they probably wont win.
All leadership like to convey the impression they are a lot more connected than they are, its smoke and mirrors they arent.

The quality of the reference is worth zero both in value and effect if you ghost it, the HOS is trying to sell you a poor quality something you dont need for coin thats actually valuable. The reference will mean nothing if whoever calls the HOS gets a negative endorsement of you. Which it sounds like this HOS is entirely capable of doing. You have no control over any of that. Once you sign off on the reduced severance you are entirely at the mercy of their good will on what they will say for the future. You cant come back later if you somehow find out the HOS is trash talking you and demand the full severance or demand they stop. This leaves you with the only option of ghosting the term and you did it for a cut in coin. You may as well get all the coin and ghost it now.

Ghost it, theres no black list, SA isnt all that, and this is a semester (assuming you get a job for the spring). Register with ISS/Schrole and TIE for the next go round and max out the coin. After your next contract you can add the semester back into your contract if you really feel that the HOS would give you an honest endorsement, but for a semester on your resume it not worth it. The only way this might, may be worth it is if the HOS is going to give you a top shelf glowing reference, and find you a new job for the Spring through their connections, because if its really just about fit then your still a great hammer and the ISs problems are just all screws.

This is not your fault, but leadership like to frame all issues as somehow a failing of you the IT, and because its your failing, they like to put the responsibility square on you and make you liable for everything. Thats what they are trying to do. They are the customer and they are always right and they are not happy, and you are responsible for them not being happy. Thats all bunk. I dont know what they repped as the job and the conditions or the environment, but if your doing a lot of work (effort doesnt equal work) but if its not happening its as much their responsibility as it is yours. If youre the engine, than theyre the transmission, and their part has to work as much as your part does. If your pumping out the horsepower but the car isnt going thats something wrong on their end.
PsyGuy
 
Posts: 9273
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Re: Best course of action

Postby Doctor » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:17 am

PsyGuy wrote:
> I understand what your saying, you talked to your leadership about leaving at the
> end of the year, but because you brought it up now your HOS wants to dismiss you
> at the end of the term.

Exactly what happened but I framed more like, "Do you think this is working out?" initially with the principal and after discussion, he agreed to an end of academic year departure. The HOS wants to find someone now to replace me.
The HOS is unique. I just saw him standup to parents and support a teacher in a way I never thought an HOS would and all over some stupid book. He has integrity. He is also cut throat. I know he is looking for another teacher but he asked me to wait on sending out resumes until a week, which is a long time since I'm looking for something in Spring.


> The quality of the reference is worth zero both in value and effect if you ghost
> it, the HOS is trying to sell you a poor quality something you dont need for coin
> thats actually valuable. The reference will mean nothing if whoever calls the HOS
> gets a negative endorsement of you. Which it sounds like this HOS is entirely capable
> of doing. You have no control over any of that. Once you sign off on the reduced
> severance you are entirely at the mercy of their good will on what they will say
> for the future. You cant come back later if you somehow find out the HOS is trash
> talking you and demand the full severance or demand they stop. This leaves you with
> the only option of ghosting the term and you did it for a cut in coin. You may as
> well get all the coin and ghost it now.

Actually this is a big concern for me. He seems like a trustworthy guy but you never know about people.

> The only way this might, may
> be worth it is if the HOS is going to give you a top shelf glowing reference, and
> find you a new job for the Spring through their connections, because if its really
> just about fit then your still a great hammer and the ISs problems are just all
> screws.

I agree - if he is well connected, he should be able to use those connections in my favor.

> This is not your fault, but leadership like to frame all issues as somehow a failing
> of you the IT, and because its your failing, they like to put the responsibility
> square on you and make you liable for everything. Thats what they are trying to
> do. They are the customer and they are always right and they are not happy, and
> you are responsible for them not being happy. Thats all bunk. I dont know what they
> repped as the job and the conditions or the environment, but if your doing a lot
> of work (effort doesnt equal work) but if its not happening its as much their responsibility
> as it is yours. If youre the engine, than theyre the transmission, and their part
> has to work as much as your part does. If your pumping out the horsepower but the
> car isnt going thats something wrong on their end.

Oh yeah - that's exactly the feeling I've been getting from day 1. Anything that's wrong is wrong because of me and honestly, the leadership isn't even all that polite about it. It's a very well established and well known IS, and its like I should be honored to work here. And the pay isn't even all that great!

Two opposite points of view from psyguy and sid - how surprising is that.
Doctor
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:28 am

Re: Best course of action

Postby sid » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:41 am

It is sad that this is happening. Sometimes the fit just isn’t right. No one’s fault.
Please help me get clarity so I can give you my best advice.
First, you discussed the situation and agreed mutually on an early departure in June. No severance.
Second, the school brought up the possibility of a Christmas departure. Not so much to your liking, and you are wondering how to approach it. This is where I feel unsure about what is happening. Are they forcing you to leave in December, against your will? Or are they negotiating with you? If the first, yes, they owe you severance. How much is beyond my kenning, not knowing the law or whether your prior agreement to leave in June reset the end date of your contract from two years to one. If the second, you should negotiate. Say no if you don’t want to go then, or if the offer is insufficient incentive.
Good luck.
sid
 
Posts: 1086
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Best course of action

Postby Doctor » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:12 am

sid wrote:
> It is sad that this is happening. Sometimes the fit just isn’t right. No one’s fault.
>
> Please help me get clarity so I can give you my best advice.
> First, you discussed the situation and agreed mutually on an early departure in June.
> No severance.
> Second, the school brought up the possibility of a Christmas departure. Not so much
> to your liking, and you are wondering how to approach it. This is where I feel unsure
> about what is happening. Are they forcing you to leave in December, against your
> will? Or are they negotiating with you? If the first, yes, they owe you severance.
> How much is beyond my kenning, not knowing the law or whether your prior agreement
> to leave in June reset the end date of your contract from two years to one. If the
> second, you should negotiate. Say no if you don’t want to go then, or if the offer
> is insufficient incentive.
> Good luck.

Sid - yes, my principal and I agreed on a early departure in June after 1 year but the HOS is "considering" a end of semester 1 departure date in January. What he is obviously doing is looking for another teacher and he will let me know next week if its a January or June departure.

If its a June departure, everything is fine, no severance and I get an honest reference based on my performance between now and June. If its a January departure, he would essentially be forcing me to leave and there would be negotiations about severance. Tied to those negotiations is the issue of a reference for SA. SA is great and all but I could ghost this job on my resume and find a job through TIE or UNI so I have to wonder how much money SA is worth.
Doctor
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:28 am

Re: Best course of action

Postby sid » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:39 am

If you don’t want to go in January, tell him. Force him (don’t say it that way) to choose between actual termination without cause and a negotiated mutual agreement. If he prefers a negotiated mutual agreement, he will have to either let you stay until June, or sweeten the pot to make January more attractive to you.
The risk there is that the school might choose door number three: termination for cause. Be sure they have no reason to see this as an option.
sid
 
Posts: 1086
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:45 am

@Doctor

Im a bit confused, is the 9 months severance not even on the table anymore because you agreed to a rewriting of the contract for the end of year? If thats the case just how much severance would you now be eligible for, because if the new EOC is too early June (so January, January, February, March, April, May) is only 5 months of severance compared to buying you out at term and 4 months salary than 4 months vs. 5 months isnt that much of a difference and you would have to work the rest of the term? Is this severance just salary or comp (includes housing, your childrens education and tuition, etc.)? I could see why staying the whole year and your kids being able to complete the year than having to hustle to make something work for them and how that would be worth it.

Your HOS doesnt have much integrity, they want to replace you for January and this is November, they either were talking about it, working on it, or have nearly done it, and they werent going to tell you until th last minute, your conversation only forced their hand early in so much as telling you.

You dont know that your going to get an honest reference. Even if you do get an honest reference, based on hat youve written, it doesnt seem like the reference would be very strong. It seems like there opinion of your work performance is at best lack luster and at worst is incompetence.

I agree with @Sid, though if you push too much and too hard they may dismiss you for cause but then you would have to fight it with whatever labor, union or arbitration options you have available to you. Based on hat you have said you probably have a very strong case, but maybe thy have a better case then you think, and maybe they have logistics on their side 9can you afford to fight this out, can you get another job in the region while arbitrating it).
PsyGuy
 
Posts: 9273
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Re: Best course of action

Postby Doctor » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:00 am

PsyGuy wrote:
> @Doctor
>
> Im a bit confused, is the 9 months severance not even on the table anymore because
> you agreed to a rewriting of the contract for the end of year? If thats the case
> just how much severance would you now be eligible for, because if the new EOC is
> too early June (so January, January, February, March, April, May) is only 5 months
> of severance compared to buying you out at term and 4 months salary than 4 months
> vs. 5 months isnt that much of a difference and you would have to work the rest
> of the term? Is this severance just salary or comp (includes housing, your childrens
> education and tuition, etc.)? I could see why staying the whole year and your kids
> being able to complete the year than having to hustle to make something work for
> them and how that would be worth it.

Yeah they don't give a shit about me or my family and yeah I'm basically screwed for next semester. Should have kept my mouth shut. As far as severance, the first meeting was severance until June; the second meeting was severance unil April or May and the final meeting was severance through March plus insurance for rest of academic year and we can stay in house until end of January. I said forget the insurance and house; I'll just take it all as severance. Waiting to hear back on that but I'm out of here December 19th if possible.

> Your HOS doesnt have much integrity, they want to replace you for January and this
> is November, they either were talking about it, working on it, or have nearly done
> it, and they werent going to tell you until th last minute, your conversation only
> forced their hand early in so much as telling you.

> You dont know that your going to get an honest reference. Even if you do get an honest
> reference, based on hat youve written, it doesnt seem like the reference would be
> very strong. It seems like there opinion of your work performance is at best lack
> luster and at worst is incompetence.

Like I said, he doesn't give a shit about me or my family BUT he did stay true to providing a good enough refernce because I did get an offer. Unfortunately there was no space for my daughter so that fell through. I don't think the guy is out to get me or anything, he just doesn't really give a shit. I don't know what they were thinking before I talked to them but I did broach the conversation of an early departure.

In all honesty, it was classroom management and I'm not the only one dealing with it but I'm probably the worst at it. My career has largely been in Asia and the reason is, the kids are so easy to manage. I'm at a school in Central/South America and it is not the same here - classroom management wise - as say China. I don't think my performance was lack-luster. I think I lack "strong classroom management skills" and the headmaster has agreed to frame references just like that.

> I agree with @Sid, though if you push too much and too hard they may dismiss you
> for cause but then you would have to fight it with whatever labor, union or arbitration
> options you have available to you. Based on hat you have said you probably have
> a very strong case, but maybe thy have a better case then you think, and maybe they
> have logistics on their side 9can you afford to fight this out, can you get another
> job in the region while arbitrating it).

I'm ok with the deal - its not generous; it's not even on the generous side of fair but they didn't throw me to the wolves either. Nobody wins in a situation like this.
Doctor
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:28 am

Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:17 pm

@Doctor

So you gave them half the severance (maybe more) when you asked for release from your contract for June, and that was agreed too, then you kept going to meeting and gave away 2 months severance than 2 more months severance with each of the next two meetings bringing your severance down from 6 months to a total of 2 months? What did you get out of those meetings for each chunk of severance?

So you get an extra month of housing which you dont want to use. Is the insurance worth anything if your leaving or are you staying in the region? You want to convert those to their coin equivalent but you need leadership to approve it?

So this good reference basically states "lacks strong classroom management skills"?
An IT has two skill sets to master, its what they do in their first two years as an intern class IT in DE. Those are first, develop lessons from curriculum using meds/pes/asst with content knowledge to produce lessons and the second is excising classroom organizations skills to effect classroom management thus minimizing maladaptive student behavior. Your HOS is bluntly stating you cant do the second one. I suppose we have different ideas on what is "a good enough" reference. I wouldnt categorize what youve provided as being anywhere on the good side of the continuum. Could it have been worse, yes, that doesnt make it good. It would be one thing if thats what you got, but I get the feeling you paid quite a bit of coin for it?

Well they won. They knocked down your 8 months+ of severance too 2 months. Its like walking into a auto dealership and driving out with a €40K car but only paying €10K for it. Sure it could be worse they could have come with the special key that opens the prize chest and getting the auto for €0, but getting down from €40K (8 months severance) to €10K (2 months severance) thats a win. At that level of separation costs if the next IT that absorbs your position doesnt have kids, they could actually come out ahead on the ledger.

If your happy with it because it wasnt worse, okay, silver linings and all.
PsyGuy
 
Posts: 9273
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Re: Best course of action

Postby sid » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:39 am

I'm glad you've reached an agreement that you consider suitable. That's incredibly important, and a major achievement for someone looking out for his family. Well done.
Time to move forward. New adventures await. What's the phrase? The past will eat you alive, but the future will save you. Meaning, dust yourself off and don't allow the past to consume you.
sid
 
Posts: 1086
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Best course of action

Postby Doctor » Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:04 pm

@psyguy

I generally have a lot of time for psyguy because his feedback has actually been very helpful for interviews over the years. He does tend to pass over information though. For example, I did say that the reference from my HOS was good enough for an international school in Beijing to make an offer.

@Sid

"The past will eat you alive, but the future will save you.""
This is worth remembering.
Doctor
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:28 am

Next

Return to Forum 1. From Questions About ISS & Search to Anything and Everything About International Teaching

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 27 guests