Friday, August 22, 2014

Years Improve Everything Including Teaching

The big school complaint used to be that experienced teachers were at good schools and the bad schools were all staffed by newbies.  The complaint was all good teachers took transfers to better schools as soon as they had enough years.  Schools with the neediest populations always were the schools with the most teachers without tenure.

Things have changed.  And now these teachers with tenure and experience are considered the worst teachers.  How sad.  It takes a minimum of three years in the classroom to become a good teacher and the majority of teachers get better every year.  Teaching is a learning experience that never ends.

No one goes into teaching to get rich.  Very few stay past the minimum requirements for retirement just to build a pension.  I don't know about other states, but NY teachers don't need to do this.  Our pensions provide us with an income good enough to let us avoid the torture of a job we hate.  I know teachers including me, who worked non stop up until the day we retired, doing our best to help our students.  We did not sit on our haunches because we could.  Sure not every teacher is like this but there are bad apples in every profession, why single out teachers?  Why don't administrators use mechanisms in place to get rid of teachers who don't belong in the classroom?  (If these administrators did their jobs correctly, documented properly this would not be a problem.)

Tenure and experience is not and has never been the problem.  Schools never did well with only new teachers and they won't start doing well now.  Schools need a mix of old and new.  We both learn from each other all the time.  I personally do not know how I would have survived without the older, tenured teacher's help.

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