Originally Posted by Anemic Dog
The personal commitment expected of teachers is not easy--it's tough! And they get crappy compensation for their commitment. Yes, they typically get 9-10 weeks free in the summertime, but normally are allowed only 2 personal-leave days during the entire rest of the year. That's a much more stringent attendance schedule than almost any other professional.
In making the choice to leave before formal approval was given, Rachel took a (implied) stand that she would put her personal life first before her professional life in a rare circumstance. In forcing her resignation, the school board took the stand that teachers must always choose their professional life over their personal life in matters that will exceed the 2-day leave limit. Both have their reasons, neither is right or wrong.
And, they both win.
The school board had to hire a substitute. (They would've had to do this whether or not they granted Rachel's leave.) But in forcing her to cancel her contract, they now save money during the rest of the school year, since they don't have to pay the substitute as much salary-wise as what they paid Rachel, nor do they have to cough up benefits for the substitute. The cost to them is that they've disrupted the education continuity for the students MUCH more than what they would've if they'd just granted Rachel a couple weeks leave. But they were willing to do that to send the message to their other teachers that lengthy personal pursuits are not allowed during most of the year.
Rachel wins as well. There are tons, TONS, of teaching openings. With her experience and intelligence along with massive vacancies, she is basically guaranteed a job as long as she shows up for an interview. She will have to explain the past resignation, but that's an easy past to overlook, from a hirer's standpoint. She will have a job next school year. The biggest downside for her might be the inconvenience of having to move if her new job is too far away. Big deal. She's young and talented and flexible.
And she's a risk-taker. That's a great character-trait to model for students. It didn't work out perfectly for her in this instance, but it didn't hurt her either. Losing a teaching job is no big deal. 20 opportunities calling your name for every 1 opportunity closed.
My own opinion is that the school board made a mistake, and they know it but felt backed into a corner because she left prematurely. Rachel probably also felt backed into a corner, having used the proper procedure for applying for leave but then needing it (due to producer demands) before the monthly school board meeting. School boards don't deal with issues daily--in most towns the school board is a group of volunteers who meet and approve issues once-a-month only. In this case, timing was off.
The only ones who don't get any benefit out of this are the students. It's unfortunate that the school board did this to them--the board permanently stripped those kids of teacher who wanted much less time off than a teacher usually gets for maternity/paternity leave. Timing of a pregnancy is very much a choice these days--yet teachers who choose to have children during the school year are NOT forced to resign for missing 30-40 teaching days for newborns. Two separate issues (marriage pursuit vs. children), yet both are equally PERSONAL and would require professional leave. IMO the school board took too strong of a stand, at the expense of the kids, but at the benefit of the school's pocketbook.
P.S. I could get time off from my job any time I want without fear of being canned, and I certainly get higher pay than a teacher's salary and . It's too bad that teachers don't have the flexibility of personal leave that the rest of America's employed have. No easy answer here.
When I was working for a major corporation, if they had offered me the same schedule (2 weeks at Christmas, plus spring break and a three-day October break, and the other regular holidays, plus two personal days) instead of the two weeks of regular off days and five personal days and regular holidays, it would have been a tough choice. Add in the ten-week summer, and it's a no-brainer. Teachers have it great when it comes to schedule.
I could have had a longer leave if I had wanted one, but it would have come at a price - less responsibility in the long run. Teachers have one of the most powerful unions this side of baseball protecting them.
Teacher pay really isn't bad, compared to other jobs requiring a similar level of education, especially when you factor in the shortened work year. I think that's just one of those stupid myths that just gets repeated so many times it's taken as gospel.
You can't compare Rachel running off to play kissy-face with Adam with giving birth. First, there are legal protections for new moms - the government requires that they not lose their jobs. And second, they have a few months to plan, and a medical reason to require at least a few days off (though for the sake of the infant and the rest of the family, they generally take at least a month or so off). At my sister's school, though, her principal was actually back on the job three days after a C-section. Don't know how or why she did it, but she was there, and apparently doing just fine.
Rachel made a choice to go AWOL. I agree with the school board. I also believe that even with all the teaching vacancies, Rachel might have a tough time getting a good position because she displayed questionable ethics in abandoning her post.
Finally, as a relatively new parent, I can safely say you can't always plan even when you're trying. Even the most fertile women are successful about 30% of the time (including miscarriages, most before pregnancy would ever be detected) they have intercourse during the fertility window.
Originally Posted by Anemic Dog
You have some good points, but my opinion just differs. I am certified to be a high-school educator, have done it, and was raised by a professional educator, so I'm familiar with the profession. I definitely think the less-flexible leave schedule coupled with the low pay (for a job requiring a Bachelor's AND state certification) makes it a less desirable career. Even considering the summertime freedom. It is so HARD to postpone your personal life for 5/6 of the year so you won't miss school. Everyone looks at the "summers off" and think teachers have a CAKE schedule, but that's a skewed perspective. It's complete freedom for 2 months, but complete imprisonment for 10 months, 24/7. Not a terrific balance, and not a really healthy one, either. That's one reason year-round schools are on the rise in America.
About getting another job: considering that it's not even tough these days for a teacher who left another job mid-year for personal reasons to get a new teaching job, I can't fathom that Rachel would find it difficult to get a job when she lost her old one simply for requesting 15 days off. There is a huge teacher shortage. Rachel is in the driver's seat. 15 days off is not an exceptional request for any profession, especially one that is so low-pay.
I do understand your point about AWOL. If it was truly an in-your-face "screw you I'm going to CA", then she does deserve to be fired. But the fact that they demanded her resignation RATHER than fire her indicates that was NOT the case. It sounds to me like something where she requested it, then had to leave either earlier than anticipated or prior to the monthly meeting--either way, prior to formal approval. Just a bad situation, and regretful that she could not have the flexibility most of us have. Ultimately, if she wanted to fight it the decision she probably could. The fact that it's already been decided/announced gives the impression that either she wasn't yet tenured, or didn't think it was worth it considering the open teaching market these days.
No way is it a shortened work year. Arranged differently, yes. Fewer hours, no. Although I've been one in the past, I'm not a teacher at this time because the pay is simply too low for the hours that job requires. I commend the people who do it because of their passion, regardless of pay. But for people who have never taught and simply see the "summers off" as a big perk, I say "Try it, then you'll see". It's not what you think. It is a HUGE COMMITMENT, 24/7 and weekends too, more than any other profession except clergy. 10 weeks off in summer plus 2 in winter does not make up the sacrifices you have to make for the other 9.5 months. You have to completely postpone personal pursuits for most of the year, except ones that can be done on weekends, but they're under continual public scrutiny even on weekends. I love my current job and don't miss much work, but I know that if I ever WANTED TO, I COULD. Teachers do not have that freedom--no way, no how--24/7 obligation to their career.
Originally Posted by Anemic Dog
There IS a reason there's a teacher shortage in America. If you don't believe me, try it yourself. We need good people who are willing to commit their daily lives & actions to their job...if that's you, then there's a $27,000/yr. opening for you.
Originally Posted by Anemic Dog
The way this works is that you ask your principal who agrees but must forward the request on to the school board for final approval.
The principal said yes. Rachel was called to leave for the show with minimal notice from NBC and before the board could act. Later, the board said no. She was already in lock-down for the show and NBC said they would not inform her of the board's decision. She did not know the board had said no until after the show concluded. ( all facts gleaned from AP and other interviews from NY/NJ newspaper reports and www.rachelgoetz.com)
Any one who leaves a job on short notice to star in a Tv show...probably has some disatisfaction about the job anyway...
but it is clear that Rachel began the process to keep her job and followed the procedures outlined within her school district. Not sure since most school boards meet twice a month how much time would be required to approve the request if she actually did get the offer...
It may have been that they opted to table it...then she had to go and by not waiting they felt obliged to terminate her employment....actually by requesting her resignation under threat of termination....and her agreeing to do so...she both waives considerable rights of appeal and probably is expressing additional job disatistfaction which appear to be inherent in her choice to go on the show in the first place....
That being said the reaction of people of late to teachers going on dating shows..and in one case winning the most revealing dress on TV since J. LO award....proves a different moral standard is expected of those who teach our kids...and given the low pay...and expectations of perfection inherent in the job ..I am surprised anyone wants to teach anymore....
What a shame.....
It sucks that she got fired. These things happen only once in a lifetime--I am sure she can get another job a lot more easily that getting on a show like that--I mean, really?
I guess she followed her heart and things didn't work out. I am sure that anyone else would have done the same. Besides, with her fame now, she might be able to move on to bigger and better things. Good luck Rachel. I think not getting picked worked out for the best for you and the guys will be lining up for you!!! :)
Wow, that's harsh. And the lockdown too. Death must be the only news that gets thru the lockdown (as in Meredith's grandma)? Of course, Meredith was on ABC and Rachel was on NBC. I realize losing a job isn't equal to a death, but still, it's losing your income, your life insurance, your health insurance, future retirement benefits, and maybe your home, depending on whether you have financial savings to help you keep it until your next source of income--a pretty big whammy in one's life. I have heard that these TV shows give no payment to the contestants, so I wonder in this case if NBC will be liable since they had the news that could've allowed Rachel to keep her job but instead they prevented her from getting that news, so the show could go on...
Originally Posted by zeus
Hmmm. Well, that's at least 2 teachers out of jobs because of their reality-TV stints. Rachel, plus the girl from Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance. I guess the lesson is that if you get a chance to do reality-TV, you'll be entertaining millions, BUT you'd better be willing to give up EVERYTHING else in your life, since the opportunity may just cost you that, in the end. Especially if you're a teacher.
Regardless of how the principal felt, she had to understand that the leave might not be approved. She still decided to go, knowing this. She still abandoned her responsibility.
That's solid pay given the educational requirements. It's just not a hard job to get into. One reward is more job security than you'd have in most professions, once you've made it through a few years.
Originally Posted by fireflyer
Any professional is going to spend a lot of extra time working. Teaching is not on the high end of hours spent working compared to most non-hourly professions, even when school is in session. It just isn't.
Part of the problem with teachers these days is once they've been in a slot for a few years and have enough lesson plans filed away, they aren't doing much outside of school and adapting to the changing needs of students today.
Originally Posted by fireflyer
I feel more sympathy for Rachel, since she wasn't tricking her family into believing she was in love with someone else for money, but rather trying to find love... however, I think that it should be obvious that teachers really shouldn't apply for reality tv shows. It just burns them in the end.
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