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Teaching Placements from year to year?



I cant say too much because I'm always afraid someone from my school will read it and go "Oh my god that is Mrs. so and so at school! but I am very curious about this topic.

Our principal has decided on her own to move some teachers to different grade levels for next year without regard to whether the teacher wanted to move grade levels. In fact, I would say 90% of the teachers who are affected are not at all happy about this. I am definately happy to have a teaching job but this concerns me greatly. Luckily I was spared this year and can stay where I am but now I am getting the impression that this is something she likes to do each year and is not bothered about whether the teacher will like the move or not.
As a new teacher I have spent a small fortune getting my classroom prepared for the grade I teach. I would be devastaed if I had to leave my grade and go teach a different grade. Is this common in education? I will now be scared to death each March wondering if I will be moved. Granted the teacher can request a transfer and leave but I like this school. I just wondered how common this is.


Full Member
At one school I taught in the principal did it pretty regularly. Her reasoning was that she didn't want anyone to get stuck in a rut where they were and just do the same old thing over and over.

Another one I was at would change if a teacher requested a move and it could be done. Occasionally changes would have to be name in order to accomodate losing a slot (for instance we are going from 6 6th grade teachers to 5 next year so one teacher will have to move unless one of the teachers moves/leaves)

I have been moved a few times, but then again, at this point the longest I have stayed at one school is 3 years!


Senior Member
Very common....

I don't buy grade-specific materials, just things I can use regardless of level!


Senior Member

I remember teachers getting upset at the first school I worked at. Apparently they hadn't switched grade levels in several years and were for some reason going to have to change.

At my new school, we don't change much unless it's necessary or wanted by a teacher.

Oddly enough, I've never taught the exact same classes/subjects several years in a row. I haven't been teaching long, but it seems that something is added, or I have to move before I can have the same thing. I keep feeling like a new teacher!

Bonnie gr. 2

Full Member

Some years we have no changes, some years we have a few. One time I requested the change. Another time I was told I would be happier. Of course, the next year was the worst in my career. I had been in a rotation of 5 years in a grade. 4 1/2 in second (came in mid-year), a year of small group, 5 iin first, 5 in third. Then paranoid when he finished 5 back in second. I have actually stayed there for 7 years!

Last year we had a teacher in another bulding moved into our building after over 20 years in the same school. She was very upset but now is very happy where she is.


Full Member

Our principal likes to do this sometimes so we don't get stuck in a rut. Sometimes people are moved because of personality conflicts within their team. A lot of teachers loop up with their class and then back down, which creates open positions within grade levels. As a new teacher, I understand your concern. Since I knew she did this, my first year I talked to my principal and told her how uncomfortable I would be moving. She ended up keep me in the same grade. In the case you would have to move, a lot of materials can be adapted if you are teaching a grade close to yours.


Senior Member
Changing grades

When I was hired by my current (and only!) school, I was hired to teach 6th grade because I had a journalism and radio newswriting background. The admin. felt I'd be better suited to teach the older ones, since I could introduce journalism into the curriculum.

About a month before school began, I got a call that I was now going to be a 1st grade teacher. No reason given. It was a very interesting first year for me. In my 4 years teaching, I've taught 1st, 3rd, and 4th grades. It really is a bother to move grades because of the amount of grade-specific (or even primary- or intermediate-specific) books we amass. It gets very expensive!


Senior Member
Yep, it's common!

A few years ago I was hired to teach fifth grade and bought tons of stuff. 2 weeks before school started I was moved to a primary grade. I had not opened a lot of stuff, so I exchanged it for lower grade stuff. 9 weeks into my first year I was moved to (wait for it...) fifth grade! Of course I had opened and used the primary stuff so I went out and re-bought all the stuff I had just returned. Next year (#4) I am possibly facing another move!!!!! Oh well, I guess they MUST have a good reason for all of the madness.


New Member
Involuntary moves

I can understand when enrollment numbers change and principals have to move teachers where they're needed. But moving people to prevent them from becoming "stale" or because they're just sure "they'll be happier" indicates the principal views teachers either as idiots or infants. The first reason implies that we lack either the ability or the initiative to grow and improve as teachers on our own, and the second implies that the principal knows better than we do what we want.

In what other field would professional employees put up with being re-assigned at their bosses' whims every few years--being forced to pack up and move from one office (classroom) to another and redecorate, scrounge for necessary furniture and equipment, and set everything up single-handedly; learn new policies and procedures (i.e. a new grade level's curriculum); and be expected to spend their own money to purchase supplies they need in order to be successful in their new assignment?

It's insulting, and it's terrible for morale. Principals who do this are counting on teachers to keep saying, "I'm just grateful to have a teaching job." If they were smart, they'd be saying, "I'm just grateful to have a talented, professional teaching staff," and making efforts to convey that gratitude to their staff members before they lose them.


amen, Monica

I so agree. I taught one grade level for 15 years and was always changing things on my own. It shows a complete lack of respect for teachers to move teachers so they don't get "stale". If a teacher has that problem, then address it with THAT teacher.

I just moved grade levels and it is a BIG financial investment and I spent a lot of time learning the content, curriculum and standards. Most books and materials are very grade level specific, so you can only take so much if you move. 15 piece puzzles are not going to thrill a third grader.

Moving at my building is almost always voluntary, thank goodness.


Senior Member
Where I used to teach, the contract had a phrase in it that went something like: your teaching assignment may or may not be the same as what you were hired for. It's just a reality of being a teacher, that comes with the job. I think it all depends on the administration. There are teachers in my building that have (seriously!) spent 25 years in the same grade level. Some teach the same year 25 times. Some keep it fresh, learn new things, teach with enthusiasm. In our school, I haven't heard of anyone at elementary level moving without being totally behind the move. If there are openings, those who request a move are considered. Our population is growing, though, and if it were decreasing it might be another story, I don't know.


Senior Member

Moves in my new school are very uncommon, but the school I taught at for the past 4 years were common. Because of numbers, each year, people moved. I went from 5 to 4 to 5 for three years. It got a little troubling knowing that you were never permanent until you were there for a while. Then, I finally got to the point that I would no longer be moved and I left the school. The school I student taught at moved the teachers on an 8 year rotation (if they stayed that long) But get this-they had a classroom lottery every other year, so if you did not change levels your moved trooms


Connie, I agree with you 100%. Our principal plays favorites when making moves. She consults her sorority sisters within the building (can you imagine such nonsense!) to see if they are happy. If they are, they stay put. If they want to move, she moves them at someone else's expense. As annoying as her unprofessional ways are, I know that karma has a way of biting when you least expect it. She ought to be hearing the chomp chomps right about now.


moving grades

I was moved to another grade level the day before school started and I already had my room ready, so anything can happen.