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Tenure and Teacher Effectiveness

Homepage Forums Brain-Based Learning Q&A Tenure and Teacher Effectiveness

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    • #66536

      Hello Everyone, Been extremely busy here since I was elected as President of Glasser Canada, a not-for-profit Corporation now located here in Québec Canada. I have always been interested in new teachers reaching tenure and in discovering ways that really work to help them improve and, above all, ti want ro remain in this wonderful profession.

      If you have not yet read the March 2016 issue of the Phi Delta Kappan, then I urge you to do so. The pbulication spotlights Teacher tenure: Its evolution and uncertain future. I was particularly interest in the work being done in Japan since I have taught there and have a dear friend and colleague who has taught others how to make effective choices in business and in schools. He works with Administrators and Managers to teach that motivation comes from within and not from an external locus of control.

      The Kappan article by Ruth Ahn, Shigeru Asanuma, and Hisayoshi Mori share a system that appears to go far beyond of what is happening in North America in that the Japanese system offers support from Day 1. This ongoing support nourishes and encourages new teachers to be more effective teachers and sustains them through those difficult and challenging periods novices face. Some of the stats presented compares 1.35% of first-year teachers leaving the profession in Japan to the U.S. where half the new teachers quit during the first five years.

      The article cites a “rigorous screening process – License renewal system – First-year induction system – and aa Nurturing process-oriented approach.” We know tha Japanese students rate high in world math, science, and reading. I do know from first-hand experience that Québec has a high teacher drop-out rate, a statistic I am about to check and get back to you on this. In Canada, tenure varies with each province since education is overseen mainly by a Ministry of Education in each province or territory with teacher colleges throughout Canada. Here in Québec, there is a two-year probation period whereby teachers are evaluated but from personal experience, due to cut-backs and lack of personnel to truly work closely with new teachers, most reach tenure; however, many are lost to the system since the belief in ongoing support, collaboration, and joy in the workplace are not always there.

      The article “Tenure around the world” does compare Japan with other countries such as Mexico, Germany, South Korea, and Australia. I would be interested to have you share your ideas especially those of you familiar with the teacher evaluatioin and tenure system where you live. Many thanks! Dr. Jean

    • #71993
      Karan Young, M.Ed.

      I can only speak from my experience, but I do agree with the statement that a rigorous interview is key. A good teacher must be trainable and open to feedback. When I was hiring teachers I did not necessarily looked at credentials and education. I looked for a teach-ability, love of learning and overall character. I was able to provide support and mentoring. The teachers worked together to help new employees. I am not sure if this would work in a larger setting, but I found that this process worked in my school.

    • #71997
      Lisa Baker

      In Florida we have a similar induction process. It is 2 years and filled with observations and reports. I find it marginally successful. It does very little to help teachers deal with the emotional strain of teaching. The one aspect I do find beneficial is assistance to watch other teachers in action. Substitutes are provided for the beginning and experienced teacher. The experienced and beginning teacher can then observe another teacher within the school or at another school. Time is proved for teachers to discuss and reflect on instructional practices. I find that this is a very effective practice.

      Another under used practice is video taping the beginning teacher. Video tapping is a wonderful tool because it removes all the filters we shield ourselves with in order to protect ourselves. There is no bias on a video. There are a few programs that I have used that let you tag and catalog behaviors witnesses during a lesson. I find that video taping and reviewing with a program like Dartfish or A Deeper View helps the process of learning. It is also nice to save and review months later. You can’t do that with just a standard observation.

      Teacher retention is a huge and growing issue. We currently have 3 positions vacant at our school. We have searched for 3 months and can not find a qualified applicant. I see less new teachers and for more teacher retiring early. Hopefully good quality induction programs like the one you are discussing can help remedy this situation.

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