My heart finally broke reading the article on teacher tenure and Sen. Aaron Osmond's proposal. I have taught for more than 20 years. My supervisors and co-workers consider me a master teacher, but it has come at a cost. I have sacrificed thousands of dollars a year paying for my own supplies. I have sacrificed so much time with my family in order to be well-prepared that my children hardly know me. I have sacrificed most of my summer time off taking classes, workshops and seminars in order to be better informed about what is best practice for teaching children. I have sacrificed my health because of the stress of the job which is only increasing as demands increase, stable family situations decrease, and the public appears to see teachers as their enemies.
Now I am facing the prospect of having to compete for a contract every few years. As a seasoned teacher, I make nearly twice as much as a beginning teacher. In this atmosphere of the financial bottom line, and young parents who would rather their children have fun than be challenged, who do you think the contracts will go to? If they can get two new teachers for the price of one old one, I will be gone. The credentials and experience won't be the bottom line. They never have been. I have given my life to the hundreds of children I have taught over the years, and, once in a while, someone even says thank you.
I have a drawer full of those precious Crayola notes. Is my final note going to be a pink slip saying "Thanks, but you are now expendable"? Please, before any of these measures are seriously considered, examine the unintended consequences, and really listen to teachers.