I have enjoyed incredible job security over my 20 years of teaching. The last time I was pink slipped was 17 years ago. In the next two years, 11 teachers are being eliminated from my building. We are going to five teacher teams with the foreign language teachers taking a homeroom. Yes, it has kept me up on some nights. There aren’t any districts looking to hire someone with 20 years experience and the salary the would come along with it. In Connecticut as in many other states there is a push to eliminate seniority as a qualification for holding on to teachers. I am all for keeping it…but I could never really put a really good reason on why. I know that if it is instituted, any time a school wanted to save money they would just eliminate those at the top of the seniority ladder. But today I found a much better reason why to keep it.
I was talking to a couple of social studies teachers the other day about a neat project I was doing, a project that I spent a lot of time working on and prepping. They asked me to email them a copy. These two teachers and I are all at the level where we are concerned about being one, or two…three? of the eleven teachers to leave the school. I have a couple more years in the system, so they would go first. As I was emailing them the copy of my plans I had a strange thought…what if we were all in competition with one another. Would I have shared the idea? Would I have sent out another lesson I used to discuss the Japan tsunami? At the department meetings would I share any good ideas? Would I ever take a new student teacher who could go on to take my job?
This is one of the first years I have started to step out of my box and share some of the things I do in my class. I have sent out emails to the department when I use something neat in my class, talked about what I am doing at the copier, handed out cool resources that I have made for my class to other teachers, and I have even been blogging more about specific things I am doing in class. If it came down to me keeping my house, or helping out another teacher…uggg….geezzz…I think I would choose my house.