Sunday, May 30, 2010

The pink slip club

My camera is still in transit between DC and CA, and my phone camera is crap, so I didn't get to take a picture of five cars in the parking lot of one of the schools I teach art. However, they looked something like this:

I feel really bad for these teachers. It sucks. Five at one school too! But I can't help but think that some of those pink slipped teachers might be bad teachers anyway. And it might be a good thing for the school to get rid of them, and thus have the opportunity to hire better teachers.

This is one of those things I'm really torn about. I would like a chance (or two, or seven) to make my teaching better first, before my principal decides to fire me. I would like to have my skills be invested in, to have someone older and wiser to guide me a little in developing my teaching methods. At least to point me in the right direction.

But I also think it's only fair to the students to get rid of someone who truly sucks at teaching them. How to determine whether the teacher sucks or not is the debate. I don't like high stakes testing. I do like portfolios, and observations over a period of at least two weeks - with more than one observation session. And improvement - over years. I like looking at improvement a lot.

On another note, I haven't been job hunting quite so intensely this month. Mainly because work has been intense. So many students taking finals, so many students wanting last minute cram sessions with a tutor. Work will be light from now until August, so it's back on the job hunt wagon for me too, along with all the others from the Pink Slip Club.


teachin' said...

Sure, some of the teachers losing their jobs are bad teachers. But a lot of them are great teachers who are just young, or new to a district, and while of course you should be able to get rid of bad teachers, that's not what's happening right now. Right now, less experienced teachers are being cut, no matter how amazing they might be. And the schools aren't getting the chance to hire better teachers, because they aren't cutting for cause but for money. Those positions are just gone, in most cases. That's the problem with the current cuts (or one of the problems, at least) - they're indiscriminate as to quality.

bun2bon said...

I hear you. Tenure is something to be gained AND maintained. It does nothing for the progress of education if teachers are just going to rest on their laurels.

That bottom of the totem pole? That's me, sitting right there too.