The Status Quo
This year I will finish my sixth year of teaching which puts me into a state of uncertainty. On the one hand, I am no longer a new teacher, yet many believe that after year six a teacher doesn't make much more progress. It becomes more about refinement as opposed to learning. This begs the question, if after year six I am not going to refine more than I am going to learn, do I need to be evaluated once a year.
The status quo teachers in a failing district do not. They believe that, having earned tenure, they are free to refine "on their own" as I have been told. The tenured teacher should not have to endure the hassle of a yearly observation, instead focusing on some professional growth plan in which she checks in twice a year with the administration.
I refuse to be a status quo teacher, and I hope my colleagues will vocally refuse the status quo as well. We are bombarded on many sides by new initiatives, many of which are repackaged and renamed, we are regularly reminded of our failure to teach, and we are often subjected to pointless and poorly designed professional development.
Yet, while we sit back and complain about the "other side," as a group we continue to support failed union policies which do not support and promote the absolute best in the classroom. Instead, tenured teachers want less oversight on them but more oversight on the non-tenured. Tenured teachers believe they are "accomplished" as some teacher evaluation plans call them. If a teacher union wants credibility at the table of education reform and policy, it must refuse to continue the status quo approach.