Jun 8, 2011

Teachers Share Their Stories

"Last In, First Out" policies across the country have had a devastating effect on teachers and their classroom.
Great teachers with stellar performance records are being let go on the basis of seniority, ignoring their stellar performance in the classroom. This system is hurting our schools and our children's futures.
We asked teachers to share their stories and tell us how LIFO has impacted their lives. Their stories reflect the struggles faced by new teachers every day:
My first year of teaching I was in a low-income school in the Portland Public School District in Portland, Oregon. I loved the school, loved the job, and would have been happy to teach there for a long time. Unfortunately, the Portland Public Schools were continually struggling financially and had to often cut teachers. My first year teaching my school cut the librarian, P.E. and music teachers. At the end of my first year, more cuts were ahead, and my job was on the line. Even though I was a dedicated teacher, had great performance reviews, a master's degree and a special education endorsement, my principal was forced to cut me solely based on Last In First Out... It wasn't what was best for kids, but that was what happened.
— Katie, OR
This is my second year of teaching second grade and I have fallen in love with this profession. I look forward to seeing my students faces light up when that light bulb turns on during their learning ... With last in first out, so many energetic, passionate teachers are let go for the sole purpose of being "new." Not bad teachers, just new teachers. It is a flawed system that pushes away teachers who are excited to teach, and retains some teachers who are merely waiting for retirement or are no longer passionate and enjoy what their jobs any longer. We NEED to change this flawed system and keep teachers who are willing and passionate to help change their students lives.
— Megan, CA
I have been teaching for 5 years and I must say every year I think that I'm the luckiest person in the whole world because I love my job and I make a difference. However all of that has changed as of March 2011. District 57 in Mount Prospect, IL cut 24 non-tenured elementary teachers. The teachers were cut not based on performance but because we did not have tenure and we were the last hired, first fired! The education system in this country needs change because what happened to us is not right.
— Kelly, IL
Join StudentsFirst in helping to reverse this unfair policy, take action now and save great teachers

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