There has been a lot of buzz about teacher tenure lately and whether or not this has had an effect on the performance of the teacher. It appears that many states have either doing away with their tenure policies or they have re-modified them. In a New York Times article stated, that many new hire teachers are coming into their new teaching jobs knowing that they will not receive any kind of concrete teaching job. They are being told that their employment will be evaluated each year and that they may not be rehired the following school year. Other states are telling their teacher that they must earn their tenure, and that simply completing the necessary amount of years is not enough.
“’There has been a sea change in what’s been happening with the teacher tenure laws,’” said Kathy Christie, a senior official with the Education Commission of the States, a policy organization funded by state fees and grants. “’In 2011 there were 18 state legislatures that addressed some component of teacher tenure and many of them in a significant way, and that is enormous.’”
So now I wonder if removing the benefit of tenure will strengthen the teaching profession or will things remain the same? Is it really the teachers that have earned tenure that become lazy and dispassionate about teaching, or is it the fact that the teacher might have become “burnt out,” or was always dispassionate about teaching. I do feel that tenure should not be the end goal for teachers and that this new re-modification of the policy could be a good thing, I still feel that the good teachers should be given something for the hard work that they have done. Tenure was first created back in the early 1900’s to protect teachers from being fired because of their political affiliations, but that does not seem to be much of an issue these days, as there are more successful civil actions that can be taken on the teachers behalf. Perhaps instead of tenure, teachers could be given better raises,or more paid days off, for their hard work? I think that tenure could still be afforded to the teachers that perform exceptionally well, but do as New Jersey is beginning to do, where tenure can be taken away for poor performance. Perhaps tenure is not really the problem at all, but really the problem is that too many individuals are getting into teaching for the wrong reasons? As I go through each day, I truly ask myself if teaching is what I want to do, and the second that I may feel that I truly do not want to do this, I need to find something else that I do want to. Not so much for me, but for the profession as a whole, and most importantly, the children that deserve excellent and dedicated teachers.