Last In, First Out is something we hear when talking lay-offs. If you were one of the last teachers hired, you'll be the first ones asked to go. What about performance? WOW! What a concept I know. But don't we all know some teachers that stay and survive the "pink slip" year after year because they have that thing called "seniority?" Yes, we do. Sadly, there are teachers in our school who are sour, and more interested in drama and politics than the students. Those are likely the ones there a long time, the ones in many cases who NEED TO GO! Do you know one of these?
Surely I will be the first to say I know MANY, MANY lovely veteran teachers with oodles of experience and years of structured know how that benefits students every year, but there are those.... I hate that they "get to stay" simply due to their seniority.
New York has another idea... see this article for a new approach that I wish we could attempt here. But imagine, if we wanted to deal with teachers on a "performance" measure vs. seniority, I'm certain there would be some sort of war declared.
But there, I said it, there are some teachers who need to go.
After what I've seen at my own school this year, I will be hard pressed to ever stand shoulder to shoulder with teachers in support of their "rights." What about the rights of my student(s) to have happy, focused teachers? What about a school community free from political drama and infighting? What ever happened to working together, team work, community?
We don't talk about it because we don't want to discredit our schools, bring disrespect to the teachers who do a great job every day, or create a hostile environment for our students. So we stay quiet... sad but true.
What are your thoughts? Certainly not all brand new teachers are automatically bright and wonderful either? Some say it would allow the districts to lay off more senior teachers because they cost more. I don't advocate that either, but there must be a better way. Arizona abolished seniority rules, so maybe we should take a closer look at how that's going. I'll admit, I've only begun the research...
Ok, so from the article:
“Nobody I’ve talked to thinks seniority is a rational way to go,” Mr. Klein said. “Obviously there are some senior teachers who are extraordinary. You recruit young talent you think is good for the future, and to just get rid of that by the numbers seems to me to be a nonsensical approach.”