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District fills all its vacancies

By Dale Mezzacappa on Sep 2, 2011 06:02 PM

Despite a tense summer marked by a legal stalemate over layoffs and a long delay in placing teachers in their assignments, the District is reporting that it has managed to fill all its vacancies before students show up for the first day of school on Tuesday.

According to spokesman Fernando Gallard, every vacancy except one for a librarian has been filled and more than 600 of roughly 1,200 teachers who were laid off due to budget cuts were recalled.

With teachers due back to work on September 1, the District had more than 1,000 openings as of mid-August and still had 200 vacancies as recently as August 30.

Staffing up was accomplished during two weeks of marathon sessions in which teachers came to pick assignments according to their qualifications and seniority. Generally, that process takes place much earlier in the summer, giving teachers more time to prepare for their new school and position.

The sessions were jointly staffed, as always, by the District and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

"This was a heavy lift, folks here put in long hours, weekend hours, and the PFT was working with the District to try to get this done," Gallard said.

The question has been raised that the District didn't need to lay off so many teachers in the first place, but Gallard said that there was no way of knowing exactly what the needs of individual schools would be back in June, when officials are legally required to inform teachers of their status.

He said that, among other things, more teachers took advantage of an early retirement incentive and principals cut their budgets by cutting fewer teachers than the District's budget mavens anticipated.

The latest numbers from the District:

  • 1,260 teachers were laid off overall
  • 600+ teachers were called back; an additional 332 did not respond to call-backs (meaning it is likely that they had taken other jobs during the delay in finding out whether they would be called back). This means all but about 300 laid-off teachers got call-backs.
  • 563 other teachers opted for the District’s voluntary early retirement program, which was designed to reduce the number of layoffs.


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Comments (93)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 2, 2011 7:08 pm

So, for those 300 of us who didn't get callbacks.... does this include no-shows or not? If there are still probably 200-250 of us waiting at home for a letter/email/call, and that's about how many people don't show when school starts--- might we all get called back?

If this doesn't include no-show vacancies that they would just today or even Tuesday be finding out about, has anyone noticed at your school that there are no-shows? Is it more or less than typical years, for veteran teachers?

btw, my hire date is Oct 2010. I am ESOL, and I must be getting up there on the list now.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 2, 2011 8:01 pm

There were about 200 no-shows on last year's first day of school as I remember. Just hang on for a couple of weeks.

Submitted by anonYmOUs TEACHer (not verified) on September 2, 2011 10:24 pm

I already heard about a no-show at my previous school (PE) -- person didn't show up for either day this week.

Submitted by MacMaven (not verified) on September 3, 2011 7:06 pm

Yes, hang tight. There are always no-shows, plus there will be leveling until October. When classrooms are found to be seriously overcrowded, they will have to reinstate even more teachers.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 6, 2011 5:43 pm

Overcrowded, please our 6th grade teacher has 40 kids! That's overcrowded!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 6, 2011 7:59 pm

What happens in these circumstances? It violates the class sizes written in our contract to have so many students, so what can teachers do?

Our spec. ed. teacher last year had almost twice the legal caseload (state law legal) and got the PFT involved and everything and NOTHING was done about it. Will they just expect everyone to deal with it? Will the PFT do anything?

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 6, 2011 8:45 pm

How about 45 first graders in one class?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 6, 2011 8:01 pm

That... Is criminal!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 3, 2011 8:02 pm

To those that are still waiting to be called back, I know it's hard, but please, HANG ON! I was reading this article on Friday night as a First year LAY OFF (hired in 8/2010). I am writing this word of encouragement to you as a RESTORED teacher for the Fall. Hold tight, keep the faith, Hang On! You will be restored, and now that Ackerman is gone, hopefully will I faith in this system be.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 6, 2011 12:13 pm

For anyone who did not get called back. I would definitely go to 440 and check with the district and the union. I did get called back. But although I submitted a change of address and contact information in the spring, my call back letter went to an old address. Luckily, that person got to me that day.

Good luck!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 6, 2011 6:17 pm

My understanding is that virtually ALL the laid off folks were summoned back. The very few who have not been called yet WILL be summoned by very early October. It was ALL about Ackermania !! Thank God, it's over.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 6, 2011 9:33 pm

There are still hundreds of us. I have three certifications (K-6, English, ESOL-- none intern nor emergency) and a hire date of Oct 27th, 2010.

I am still sitting here, wishing I could have started school today.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 6, 2011 9:27 pm

I agree. It won't be long.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 2, 2011 9:55 pm

I am also one of the teachers that were laid off. My hire date is 11/2010 Elem. Ed.. I am definitely feeling morepositive that there are about only 300 teachers who haven't gotten called back yet. However--how many of the teachers didn't get notified that there was a spot for them...hmm.

Submitted by Teach (not verified) on September 2, 2011 11:18 pm

Good luck to anyone not yet recalled. Thinks won't be right until you're all back!

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 2, 2011 11:16 pm

For those of you who didn't get called back yet, I know it is hard and unsettling, but hold on. I really believe that many if not all of you will get called back, particularly since many of the classrooms have on roll 42 children in one classroom. It may take as long as October, when they level off the classrooms, I really believe that you all will get a call or a letter to return to the SDP.

Submitted by Are you kidding (not verified) on September 3, 2011 8:37 am

There are so many people that got ripped out of their schools and were stuck where they don't want to be - I guarantee that many people will quit, and after leveling, all will be recalled. If you are recalled and want to go back where you came from, fill out the Voluntary Transfer form and check the Right to Return box, have it signed by your new principal and return to Professional Staffing. That way, if something opens up in your old school, you have the right to return to that position. If you decide that your new school isn't so bad, you can always rescind that request in writing.

Good luck everyone, and just hang on!!

Submitted by NoLongerALaidOffTeacher (not verified) on September 3, 2011 4:39 pm

I've heard conflicting information about the Right-to-return form. I thought your former principal has to sign it. That's what my former principal told me and did. Why does the new principal need to do it. I would think you need the permission of the former principal to come back. The union and the SDP gave different information.

Submitted by K.R. Luebbert (not verified) on September 3, 2011 4:43 pm


Submitted by NoLongerALaidOffTeacher (not verified) on September 4, 2011 10:04 am

My former principal says that he needs to sign it. who has this information in writing? I don't want to mess this up. I want to return to my old school.

Submitted by Are you kidding (not verified) on September 4, 2011 10:09 am

I was told by PFT that the new principal needs to sign it, and my new one did without question. I will double-check with both parties though - I would like to go back to my school too!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 4, 2011 11:07 am

It doesn't make sense for the old principal to sign it, since you are not returning to their school. The new principal did (well, would have done in other years) the site selection for this school year.

Now, that doesn't mean the district does things the way that makes sense. But a lot of people can't even find their old principal, so for the former principal to sign would make many people unable to do the form.

A lot of principals like to claim powers they simply don't have. Maybe yours wasn't like that, but too many are. Hopefully we will see a decline in that in these post-Ackerman days...

Submitted by NoLongerALaidOffTeacher (not verified) on September 5, 2011 10:25 am

Actually, it does make sense to me for the former principal to sign it because it is his school that I will return to. It shouldn't really matter who signs it. Why do we need permission anyway? I loathe this system.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 10:08 am

Just asked my principal, he said it doesn't matter which principal signs it. Just as long as you put the school you wish to return to, you will be fine.

Submitted by NoLongerALaidOffTeacher (not verified) on September 6, 2011 6:54 pm

Dropped it off at 440, had both principals sign a form each. They only took the former principal's form because they have to grant permission for a teacher to return.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 6, 2011 7:22 pm

I think I misunderstood. I meant... if your old school has a new principal, you would have him/her sign it as opposed to the old principal of the old school.

I forgot that some schools have the same principal for two years in a row because I have never worked at one.

Submitted by K.R. Luebbert (not verified) on September 8, 2011 2:35 pm

RIGHT TO RETURN INFORMATION DIRECT FROM JERRY JORDAN today: **note your CURRENT principal must sign it and cannot refuse.

Right to return to a previous assignment

Teachers who have been force-transferred and would like to return to their former work location must file right-to-return requests. Right-to-return requests have priority when there are vacancies that will be filled during leveling.
To ensure that right-to-return requests are considered before leveling begins, the PFT recommends that members file their requests immediately.
Use this link to download a Teacher Request for Transfer form, and check the box that says Preferential Right to Return. The form must be signed by your current principal, who cannot withhold his or her signature.
Teachers whose right-to-return requests are honored are considered to be in permanent assignments.
Right-to-return requests are good for one year and must be re-filed each year to be valid. Teachers who were on special assignment in their previous school and teachers who have been rated unsatisfactory cannot file for the right to return.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 3, 2011 8:24 am

Hang in there! There will be no shows the first day!

Submitted by Anon and anon (not verified) on September 3, 2011 9:16 am

"332 did not respond to callbacks"

I am willing to bet that a fair number of these people never got the message that they were supposed to report and pick a job. The school district says they sent letters, tried to call some people, but....

Submitted by NoLongerALaidOffTeacher (not verified) on September 8, 2011 9:52 am

I'm certain of this! Had I not called the district to inquire, nothing would have been left. My letter arrived the day after I was to pick, which was on the 30th. I called on the 31st and they told me to come right down for the next session in the afternoon. That means I missed out on a bunch of schools and got stuck with one that I'd have never considered. How fair is that? There must be a legal issue in this. Some people got phone calls and/or emails as well as letters. But, not everyone was called or emailed. I think there should be an investigation. Why should some people higher on the list not be in a position now because of the mail and the hurricane and the unfairness of the recall system?

Submitted by unemployed (not verified) on September 3, 2011 9:27 am

Do they have stats on how many recent grads applied to the district this year and were turned away because of the hiring freeze? I'm pretty sure that's in the thousands. That's two summers in a row that new applicants were turned away unless they were TFA or teaching fellows.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 4, 2011 1:19 am

One summer. This summer TFA and Teaching Fellows were not guaranteed spots. None that I know of got spots although it's possible that a science, bilingual, etc. teacher got a position.

Submitted by Are you kidding (not verified) on September 4, 2011 7:26 am

I know of PTFs that got positions in music and science. The district laid off zero music teachers to my knowledge..

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 6, 2011 8:54 pm

There is a Teaching Fellow at my school. The Teaching Fellow will teach English Literature.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 6, 2011 8:40 pm

Yes. But 2011-2012 isn't their first year is it? They started in 2010-2011?

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 6, 2011 8:28 pm

I really don't know. Perhaps they did start in 2010-2011. It at least I hope it is 2010-2011.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 3, 2011 12:53 pm

Yes, the vacancies are filled but at what cost? Teachers and counselors placed where they would never want to be. Many of which are now working with emergency certs because their area of certification was already filled when they were recalled. I was recalled and attended a reassignment session. I walked into the room with about 60 other people. All nervous and exhausting after spending this summer worrying about the future. First we were greeted by some woman from staffing who tells us all to "shut up" because they had a lot of people to "deal with" today. Then when it's my time to select I am told that my area of certification is no longer available. I would have to choose another position and go upstairs and apply for an emergency certification. Then at some point by the end of the 2011-2012 school year I must take several more college classes and pass the praxis exam. If I don't do this I will lose my job...again. With all this new information looming over my head I took a moment (literally a moment) to process all of this. The evil witch from staffing told me that I needed to hurry up and pick a school or move out of the way. That was when I decided that the School District of Philadelphia is a complete waste of my time. "Children First" my ass. The last thing this district cares about is the children. Actually the last thing they care about is their employees...then the children. Thankfully I will be starting my new job with a suburban district on Tuesday. I won't have to deal with anymore of the PSD's complete lack of disrespect for everyone it encounters. I'll also be making thousands more dollars and year, won't have to pay the city tax, and won't have to worry about getting laid off again at the end of the year. To all the new rehires just remember, the budget is still a mess, This could all happen again! Good luck with that!

Submitted by Quiddityrox (not verified) on September 3, 2011 1:17 pm

You must have excellent qualifications (and youth) to have been chosen for the very few jobs offered in the suburbs. I don't blame you for being thankful for having secured a new position outside the PSD. I am also sorry that the overwhelmed personnel downtown abused you and those other folks awaiting their turns to pick from a list. The part of the lay-offs and recalls which is most upsetting is that the teachers were not allowed to come back to the schools from which they were laid off. This was not a good way for young teachers to have begun their careers. Hopefully my wonderful partner will be well-received in her new school and they will benefit from her energy and ideas. My newest partner is a voluntary transfer who is equally talented and I'm glad she is at our school.

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 4, 2011 10:07 pm

Good bye and good luck in your new position. You don't know what your future holds, my dear. You must be young and full of ideas. Continue with your current trend of thoughts, you will go far. Again, enjoy your new position.

Submitted by make something (not verified) on September 3, 2011 1:07 pm

Hang in there! There will be no shows the first day! Ivan @ make something

Submitted by make something (not verified) on September 3, 2011 1:54 pm


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 3, 2011 3:45 pm

If you were laid off but recalled and offered a position for which you aren't certified and you refuse or decline to take a position that requires you to get an emergency certification, will you still be considered laid off for the purpose of unemployment compensation? Can you be forced to be rehired in a position for which you are not qualified?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 3, 2011 3:01 pm

I was caught in this situation. While at the reassignment session I asked that very question. I was told that I would be put back on layoff status and could keep my unemployment. Later I heard that they were sending resignation notices to anyone who refused to take jobs they were not certified for or did not show up for their session. I have yet to receive anything in the mail though. Unemployment states that you cannot refuse "suitable work". In my opinion, being offered a position in which you are required to get emergency certified for and take expensive tests and/or take expensive additional courses for is not suitable work. The unemployment office may feel differently but you could always file an appeal and explain this at your appointment should they deny your eligibility. Hope this helps!

Submitted by NoLongerALaidOffTeacher (not verified) on September 3, 2011 4:05 pm

Also, I believe that you can opt to be laid off and allow another less senior teacher to take your position. At least it is in the contract and in the information given in the lay off session the PFT held in June. I'm not sure though if it applies to being recalled once laid off.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 3, 2011 5:16 pm

There was a deadline for taking layoff in lieu of someone else. I don't think you can show up and say you want to stay laid off (when there's no reason to refuse).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 3, 2011 8:48 pm

I would be really interested to know the outcome of this whole situation....You really can't make someone teach something they are not qualified for and then make them become certified, can you really? Optional yes, but take it or leave it....Glad the classrooms all have teacher..

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 6:54 am

Thanks for your reply. It doesn't affect me personally, but the question is important because of all of the teachers -- do we know how many exactly? -- who were told to switch their area of appointment via an emergency certification. It's not like the SDP reimburses teachers for the cost of the courses. Maybe some teachers will not mind having a new area of certification and going through that process. It's just a CYA thing that the SDP has to do -- can't have teachers who aren't highly qualified and after all, the loophole that exists in PA is the "emergency certification" (key word "certification"). Does anyone know the true purpose of emergency certification status? Is it just a mechanism so that hard to fill positions can be filled with anyone with a teaching degree? Is it something any teacher can use to secure a position for which they aren't certified if that is what they WANT to do as opposed to being forced? I guess I can investigate this. How many emergency certified teachers will the state even allow in a school district? Better yet, does the state even care? haha

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 7:16 pm

Emergency certification can only be issued in extreme cases. In which the district states a "hardship" to fill certain positions. The application must come from the district, you cannot just get one. About 10 yrs. ago when the district could not find enough certified teacher to fill the spots, college grads that has not passed praxis exams, but did have a degree were allowed to apply for an emergency certification. The EC is only good for 2yrs. Before my time, once a teach got an emergency cert., the district rarely recheck teachers qualification, but NCLB changed all that....Many teachers (who had been teaching uncertified for years) were terminated at this point, causing a shortage of teachers in the district. Hope this helps.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 4, 2011 11:44 am

Year in and year out, staffing is nothing new, how come they can't get it right?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 4, 2011 11:29 am

I no longer believe anything that the SDP says about the number of people laid off, the number of people recalled and especially the number of people that did not respond. They are so unorganized, and they don't seem to be through and really do not care, so how can you trust anything they say? It's awful. I am laid off and at this point I am looking for other work maybe use my other degree.
Getting laid off, told your were restored, only to be told your laid off again. When I asked what was my lay off number I was told "oh were not doing it like that."
How will they know when to call me in to select a position then?
How will I know they haven't called others down before me?
This was an awful experience.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 4, 2011 11:23 am

So they restored you, then laid you off again, how did that happen? This situation is just making me nervous now.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 4, 2011 2:18 pm

They restored me since I was working in a school that was slated to become a promise academy but since it did not become a promise academy I was told I was laid off again because those that had interviewed to stay was now also laid off, then recalled since they were there before me. I have only two years of teaching and they had three or to four years in.
I will focus on finishing up grad school since I am so close to finishing.
Maybe our economy and therefore everyone's budgets will pick up and I will be able to teach some where one day. I truly loved it.

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 4, 2011 10:56 pm

That is interesting because I remember hearing them say that Promise Academies were now traditional vacancies and so there was no interview process to go through.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 8:52 pm

I heard that too. I feel tricked on so many levels and this is why I am letting go and letting God.

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 5, 2011 9:18 pm

God already knows the outcome of this situation. He is control, not us!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 4, 2011 10:20 pm

How about I was called on august 30th to pick a school on august 31st, by the time they got to my name it was only three schools left!!! I am a secondary counselor, and the positions left were elem/bilingual counselor positions . I was told I can pick a school but would have to get an emergency cert, so I did the paper work got a money order got my assignment slip and was about to leave only to be stopped by a pft staff member telling me I can not have the position because the remainder people after me were all elementary bilingual counselors although I had more seniority and they came after me...

I was heart broken so now I have to hope to be called back again!!! I was at peace with the situation only to be devastasted by getting my hopes up high and not getting a job after being called back. The union person told me do not worry you will get a call back some time in october..smh By the way I came to the district sept 2009 when there wasa high influx of counselors hired.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 4, 2011 10:41 pm

I don't understand how they are making people get emergency certifications. I thought that we were being recalled by seniority in certification, just like we were (supposed to be) laid off by seniority in certification.

Has anyone hired after October 2010 been recalled? I was hired at the end of October, have three certs, and would love to return in any of them.

I really don't get how they would try to put someone who isn't bilingual into a bilingual position. This whole thing is a mess. I hope you get called back soon for a secondary counselor position!

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 4, 2011 11:46 pm

When I was there, I heard them say that if you weren't bilingual you couldn't take the position.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 4, 2011 11:30 pm

That is interesting because I was not told that.

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 5, 2011 10:02 am

Perhaps you were not in the same session. August 30th, 12 noon. And that was exactly what was said. Different session, different information passed on. Bizzare!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 4:27 am

I don't think the District recalls you based on all certifications you have on file. They recall you based on your 'primary certification'. I've heard people talk about being only recalled when they changed their 'primary' from math to science.

Submitted by Namaste (not verified) on September 5, 2011 5:19 am

My heart goes out to all of you in these difficult times. SO MANY of my former teaching colleagues who are still in the classroom are caught up in this maelstrom. SO MANY have been placed in schools they dislike, teaching subjects for which they have never been certified, and working under principals whom they either don't know or cannot tolerate. The general resentment (and, judging from comments in this forum, open hostility) felt by PSD teachers is quite palpable and does not bode well for the next school term. In my 36 years of teaching, I have never witnessed such chaos on such a grand scale. I cannot even imagine the dreadful effect this will have on students, whose home lives are already in dire upheaval. These children depend on schools for stability and continuity - and this has all been pulled out from under them at a time when they are ALREADY in open rebellion (Think this summer's flash mobs.) The consequences for schools - for TEACHERS - this school year I fear will be devastating. I am just stupefied by all this - stupefied by the horrifying consequences of Dr. Ackerman's thoughtlessness. (The idea that she was awarded a million dollars for creating this devastation makes my OWN blood boil!) My sympathies are especially with those who've been laid off and have been told to "hang on" for "a few weeks" .... or "until October" .... or "until November" .... or "until next semester" ... or "until next school year." No one enjoys being played in this manner. It would be far more honest to simply tell these good people to put PSD out of their minds and move on to something else NOW - when there is a better chance of finding other employment than there is in the traditionally "down" months of October and November. This is all so overwhelming, it's hard to know where to begin addressing it. My payers and my best wishes go out to the entire city of Philadelphia ... for the nightmare about to begin.

Submitted by tom-104 on September 5, 2011 7:01 am

The chaos in the District is deliberate. Ackerman may be gone, but the affects of her agenda will be with us for a long time and the new leadership, given Nunnery’s history, may be little change.

During her three years as Superintendent, Ackerman was on the board of the Broad Foundations. This organization is a major promoter of privatization of public schools. The blog City Stories described its strategy like this:

“Broad believes that public schools should be run as though they are businesses. He advocates for the continual reorganizations of schools, staff firings, and experimentation in order to create chaos or churn. The Broad view sees this as a productive strategy in that it weakens the ability of communities to resist change. In order to advance his educational agenda he has created the Broad Foundations.”

The full article is here:

Be sure to read the links within the post.

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on September 5, 2011 8:23 am

I read the link about Eli Broad and the Broad Foundation. It is eye opening and so true. Our district is clearly infected with the "Broad Virus" and it is scary. The article describes exactly what is happening in our district.

I was particularly interested in the "Cultue of fear of reprisal" that is created by the management because it has effected so many of us in recent years.

It just inspires me to speak up more about what is happening that is not in the best interests of children, our school community, or our city.

If anyone cares to listen to anything I say, please remember this, "Democracy is the purification process for the ills that plague our puiblic schools -- the Constitution cannot be allowed to stop at the schoolhouse door."

We must all read and educate ourselves about what is going on and have the courage to speak up about the injustices that we see. A free and zealous press is essential -- Go Notebook Team!!!!

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 5, 2011 10:14 am

I wanted to read this article, but something is wrong with the certificate so I am fearful of opening it.

Submitted by NoLongerALaidOffTeacher (not verified) on September 5, 2011 10:09 am

It's too much upheaval and will negatively impact student learning without a doubt. I was called back at the last minute after letters not arriving on time, etc. I picked a school that I am extremely unhappy with. The principal told us to teach like our jobs are on the line because they are! Coming from a lay off situation, I had to shrug and deep inside me thought that I wish I'd never been recalled, at least not to leadership like this. What a way to motivate your teachers! Threats never work with me. There is the option of right-to-return, which I hope comes through for me because I had so many community ties to the my school which is within my neighborhood. I see the kids all the time but won't see them in the classroom this year. Instead I'll be across town, in a dirty, mice infested building with not enough desks for all of my students, even though there are plenty of available desks in the empty classrooms. I know I'll hold out until leveling is done, but there's no guarantee that I'll stay longer if forced to stay in this mess of a school. Call me ungrateful if you wish, I don't care at this point. The SDP disrespected my years of experience by laying me off as part of a game, then sticking me in a school like this. No child should ever have to attend a school like this. Why do more administrators and teachers not stand up and speak out about these things? It's as though everyone's tongues have been cut off and people just want a paycheck with health benefits (understandable as it does make live more comfortable.) But, for me, I can't work like this. I'd gladly give my job to another and stick it out on unemployment a while longer. These are the words of a disgruntled, jaded, been-beaten-down-too-long, SDP teacher.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 2:14 pm

Good, GO. Let someone who wants to work take your spot, you will be useless to the kids with that attitude, and all teachers will be stuck being labled at your school based on your attitude.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 3:09 pm

Hi, Mr. Nunery. Welcome to the forum.

Submitted by tom-104 on September 5, 2011 3:07 pm

It is not, in my opinion, cool to bash a teacher who is expressing their frustration at the way hundreds of teachers have been treated this summer. She did not criticize her students or parents. She criticized the politicians and School District officials who have been shuttling teachers around with their political games with no consideration to the consequences to the teachers or to the District as a whole. Why are you not outraged at what has happened to the educational system in this city this summer and instead bash this teacher for expressing his or her frustration about what they have been and are going through?

Submitted by NoLongerALaidOffTeacher (not verified) on September 5, 2011 4:24 pm

Exactly, thank you. I know I'm not the only teacher feeling this way. There are a lot of us out there feeling the heat already, and the kids haven't even arrived. I just with the SDP and all of its administrators respected teachers and let us do our job, teach. Good luck to all teachers tomorrow. God knows we need it!

Submitted by NoLongerALaidOffTeacher (not verified) on September 5, 2011 4:38 pm

I just arrived there. The teachers are labeled whatever they are labeled not because of me. I don't understand your comment. I never said I won't teach or give 100% while there, I'm a professional. It's ashame that the SDP administrators don't treat me (and other teachers) as such.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 6:09 am

I know two teachers who were asked/forced to switch their area of appointment. One was told that he/she would have to resign if he/she refused to switch (was originally laid off from a spec ed position). Each of these teachers had one to two years in the system before they were told layoff or switch and/or resign or switch.

My feeling is that by last week vacancies were being filled without regard to any contract rules. I don't think we could ever know what happened other than there was a mad rush to fill vacancies even if it meant forcing teachers to get emergency certifications. As for "primary" certification, some teachers who were forced to switch their area of appointment (say, special ed to regular or special ed to a MY area) could potentially struggle in this new area of appointment -- not all, but some will not be able to handle it. A special ed teacher who had to switch to a regular grade position has to learn the procedures of managing a self-contained class and be a "teacher of record" -- hope principals realize that this transition is going to require patience and understanding. I think it was clarified at some point that teachers who were forced to switch their area of appointment can switch back by next year if that is their desire.

I am thinking there were vacancies that never even got posted to the vacancy list for some reason and people with experience (i.e. the forced/voluntary transfers that got to select first although this year that process was interrupted due to the arbitration case) did not get to site select or choose from the list of traditional vacancies that never appeared on the list at the time they selected. It seems there can be some kind of manipulation of the vacancy list. Not sure if the union even can assure anyone if contractual rules were followed. I would love to see the stats on the layoffs and the dreaded "list" of how teachers were called back.

Good luck to teachers who were forced to switch your area of appointment -- it's going to be a learning experience and you may like your new assignment or you may be stressed out of your mind if it's not something you can handle. Hopefully, you will do your best and not be subjected to criticism if you can't handle what you are being forced to do.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 8:25 pm

I am so sorry to hear this. It is a very painful process. I was hired Oct. 2009 and each time I call I am abruptly told you have not been restored. I give up. I am receiving unemployment and it run's out in January so I have from now till then to find myself something else and try to put this all behind me. The way they called people back was not according to our cba. It just couldn't have been.

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 5, 2011 7:01 am

I too, feel bad about those teachers who were not called back as of yet. I know how my summer was, not knowing if I would be called back to work in September. I was more than depressed. I was watching every single dime of my money, living in fear. In my heart, I did believe that I would be called back, it was just a matter of time. I was blessed to be called back. And I was also blessed to be going back to the school that I was at last year. We have a new principal, who really seems nice and they came in with a good attitude and appears to want to change our school. Yes, I could have selected another school, closer to my home, but I said to myself, why start fresh somewhere else? You know your students and you know the staff. When I returned the staff seemed very happy to see that I had returned. My union rep said, "See, I told you, you would be back. You guys that were laid off were used as bait in the entire situation." If that is so, it is a disgrace. So many lives were put on hold in this situation. Some people had to take other positions because they couldn't wait it out like I could. My hope is that those who want to come back will be brought back and those who couldn't wait, I wish them the best.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 9:05 am

I, too, am one of those many teachers who were forced out of their area of certification. I was given the option of picking a MY subject or unemployment. As a single mother raising two young daughters, I couldn't give up our health benefits or my paycheck, and so I selected from what was left - a subject area far removed from my own, something I have neither an interest in nor an aptitude for. I have incurred the considerable expense and time commitment of getting certified in this rogue area, at the same time that I am working a full-time job and trying to raise a family alone. I realize that there are plenty of other women in this exact same situation, but in this case, misery doesn't love company. I feel so awfully sorry for us all. My girlfriend was also laid off, but she went looking for another school district immediately, and found a job in the suburbs that pays her 17 thousand dollars more than she made in Philadelphia. She started work last week in a shiny new school that looks like something from the Brady Bunch and she is beaming. I'll be in a school that is noted for its violence and low test scores, teaching a subject I know nothing about, and I'm scared and crying way too much. I don't know how all this happened although I realize it's my fault. My honest best wishes for all of us in this predicament. Perhaps if we stick together, we'll all make it through.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 9:28 am

Don't be afraid. Just make sure your admin supports you and maybe you could ask for a mentor. What MY subject do you now teach if you don't mind me asking? Also, what exactly did you have to do to get that emergency certification?

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 5, 2011 10:58 am

I understand how you are feeling and I do wish you the best. I also hope that your girlfriend wasn't the one gloating on this site about her 17 thousand dollar increase in salary. She may have it today and it may be gone tomorrow, one never knows in this current economic situation.

All I can say is that I wish you the very best and am happy that you have a JOB despite the circumstances. Was it fair, no, it wasn't. It wasn't fair to any of us who lost our jobs and had to go through a horrible summer, living in limbo, but those of us who have been called back, we will do the best that we can for the students that we are charged to serve. We will do our very best! We will make the best of the situation. Good luck.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 12:29 pm

I don't think anyone was gloating about their higher salaries in other districts. I think that those people are simply stating the obvious fact that other districts pay their employees more. It's okay for people to be happy that they scored a job in a nice district. They were smart to not sit around and wait to see what happens. Good for them!

Are we supposed to be happy with just having a job? I'm tired of feeling like I should be so grateful to the SDP for recalling me. I should have never been laid off in the first place! I deserved to keep my old job. I deserve to not be a pawn in this political game. I deserve to teach what I am certified in. The "take it or leave it" attitude shown to the recalled teachers and counselors is a disgrace.

What did laying off all of these employees actually solve? The budget is still a mess. Teachers are simply looked at as bodies to fill a classroom at this point. We deserve not to be treated this way!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 9:44 pm

I agree. Have any of us taken our concerns to our union president?
Maybe we should all send an e-mail, write or call his office.
I am beginning to wonder if he is aware of the way they called us back incorrectly or if he knows and don't care.
So frustrating.

Submitted by Teach (not verified) on September 5, 2011 9:39 pm

I have been close to exactly where you are - this, too, shall pass. And that extra cert will originally be a blessing.

Get support at your new school from some teachers you trust. Good luck!

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 5, 2011 12:11 pm

I agree with you that staff should not have been laid off. What did it solve? Nothing because again, you are correct, the budget is still in chaos. Go back and read that post where the "teacher" wrote that the SDP could kiss her &@@! Such appropriate language from an educator. I think not. I also agree with you that you shouldn't have to teach out of your certification area. None of us should have been treated the way that we were. But now, we have to move forward and do what we do, teach the children. We also have to work towards getting the respect that we deserve. Enjoy tomorrow.

Submitted by Suzy (not verified) on September 5, 2011 1:07 pm

Maybe only a small percentage of teachers read this site, but here's what I want to say. It is not healthy to dwell on what happened this past summer and to carry anger and resentment around in your hearts. If we just keep a smile on our faces and a happy song in our hearts - if we work and work with all our might and think only of what is best for our students - if we show our deepest appreciation and respect to the school district of Philadelphia and to the administrators who watch over us and guide us and try to do what is best for us - if we are cheerful and LOYAL and tireless in our efforts - then we WILL see a golden rainbow at the end of this storm. I teach my kindergarteners a happy song that goes, "A smile is a frown turned upside-down." Maybe we should ALL sing this song.

Submitted by Audax (not verified) on September 5, 2011 4:38 pm

Can I have some of what you had? Where can I buy that Kool-Aid?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 5:09 pm

Come the revolution, sweetheart, I hope YOU'RE not leading the charge.

Submitted by tom-104 on September 5, 2011 6:25 pm

Yours is an antiquated view of the role of teachers. I suggest you consider the change this article calls for.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 8:49 pm

I don't think mentioning what you are experiencing is dwelling actually it can be a source of release and therefore comfort.
Were still singing, well I am because I know God still has work for my hands to do.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 11:24 pm

Some of us are stil laid off.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 4:22 pm

I think I may show up @ 440 tomorrow. I have a hire date of sept 2009 and feel like i have been passed over. I donot belong @ home collecting uneployment I belong in the classroom!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 5:46 pm

What is your certification in?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 6, 2011 12:57 am

I also have a hire date of Sept. 2009, and I am still home as well. Doesn't it feel strange not to be preparing for the kids tomorrow? All of my friends are going back to school, even those who were laid off have been called back. Tomorrow I will start looking for employment outside of education. This is my second career and I look back and see now that it was not the right decision. Good luck to you! Post back if you go to 440 and get restored!

Submitted by NoLongerALaidOffTeacher (not verified) on September 8, 2011 9:12 am

You were definitely overlooked. I was 9/09 as well. Good luck! Demand answers.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2011 6:23 pm


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 7, 2011 6:32 pm

Morrison has a GR 4-6 position available. Kenderton has GR (prep) and Barry has a MY ENG position open. Call staffing and let them know your available to work in one of these positions. 215-400-4000 and ask for staffing.

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