As I have mentioned before, I teach at a Catholic school in the City of Chicago. I work for the Archdiocese of Chicago. I am in my fifth year of teaching and while many of my friends who teach at public schools have now reached the point of gaining tenure at their school, I have no such equivalent. The Archdiocese does not implement teacher tenure in its school system. No job security for me.
While it can be a scary time come April or May when teacher contracts are offered, I do think this lack of job security can be a good thing. It keeps me on my toes! I know that my teaching and the work I put in at my school has to be top-notch in order for me to be asked back every year.
Contracts are only offered for a 10-month position. If you want to work at that same school the following year, you must be an effective teacher. A few years back, there were a couple veteran teachers who were not offered contracts for the following school year. I’m sure they were hurt because they had been working at the school for over a decade. But, their teaching was no longer effective. The principal did not have to go through a long process to remove the teacher’s tenure and from her position since there is and was no teacher tenure. Now, the principal, I’m sure, had documentation as to why these teachers were not being offered contracts, but it was simply a matter of not offering those ineffective teaches a contract that removed them from their job and made way for more effective teaching.
Despite the lack of job security, working on a year-to-year contract has insured that I continue to do all I can to help my students learn.
How about you? Does your school/district have teacher tenure? How does your union fit into the picture? Let me know in the comments.