Culture among staff is good but there is a general tension between teachers and administrators. See other comments for my explanation of this.
Support from management
Very little to none. Administrators are largely critical of teachers but spend little-to-no time in the classrooms actually supporting the teachers. There is clearly a feel of distrust, marked by a number of unspoken rules (men must shave and wear a tie, even though this is not in the contract) that are use to justify not rehiring teachers.
There is little-to-no support with regard to student behavior issues.
Freedom to work independently
As long as by autonomy you mean do whatever the administrators say without question or find a new job next year (or earlier)
Communicating with staff is clearly not a concern.
Example: Last year, there was a sprinkler issue that caused the school to be evacuated. The students were informed before the teachers that students were being sent home early. The teachers, who were tasked with supervising students, were forced to handle a deluge of students exiting the school grounds without any idea what was going on.
Although the district asks teachers to provide lesson plans one week out, there are many times where the schedule is changed at the last minute, sometimes without any notification to the teachers except for a morning announcement. This despite the constant demand to check emails daily.
There is also next to 0 communication about student behavior issues unless you ask an administrator directly. Sometimes, administrators do not even respond to behavior referrals.
Overall compensation for your work
Good compensation compared to neighboring districts. Fairly generous pay scale for credits earned in excess of degree (+6, +12, +18, +24, +30)
Office / Work Environment
Not trusting, teachers not valued
As a teacher, there already is none.
But then, in this district, you are asked to do crazy administrative work.
The district uses these cards called ADP cards and census cards to keep track of student information on paper. The entire district is on a computer system and the teachers are seriously asked to copy the information over to these cards for each student for the superintendent's reference. The cards then sat around for months.
No one has job security in the first three years. You are given a layoff letter at the end of the year.
In late July/early August, you are either sent a letter saying you are rehired or you are not sent anything at all. This means that you are either forced to look for work every year, you have to frantically look for work in August if you haven't received a recall letter, or you have to hope you were rehired. This happens for three consecutive years, but if you didn't start your employment on the first day of school, that year does not count toward the three years (even if you start the second week of school).
Inclusive / Diverse
The entire school board is comprised of white men. All of the principals are white. Most of the curriculum directors are either white, men, or both.
75-80% of the students are minorities.
Suggestions for improvement
- Shake up administration. Get a new superintendent and change the school board up so that the administration looks like the students. Start holding students accountable for their behavior. Treat teachers better.
What I like about the company
Fairly good pay, decent hours (only need to do one total hour of after school help per week)
What I dislike about the company
Negative work culture, administrators put parents before teachers without giving teachers a chance to explain, ridiculous "rules" make teachers feel like children, not open to change.