Why Talking Teacher-Tenure Is Smart
“Hey, Doc! Got a minute?”
“Good morning, Ginger. Yes. I have time. How are you?”
“Forgive me, but I have come to gossip.”
“Okay. I will indulge: but keep to the facts”—
“I saw it with my own eyes. . .
Isn’t there a teacher tenure-reason for dismissal policy?”
“Yes, there is.”
“Are you familiar with its policy?”
“Yes, I am, but what does teacher tenure have to do with”—
“Okay. Okay. I will tell you: Rumor has it that Mrs. Jumpstart and Mr. Peterson are having an affair”—
“Are, are, are—aren’t they both married, correct?”
“Yes! The rumor started on Facebook, but I actually caught a glimpse of Mr. Peterson touching Mrs. Jumpstart’s hand while they were walking to their offices. . .”
“Touching another’s hand is no proof that individuals are having a love affair. . .”
“Yes, but, it’s all over social media”—
“Look, Ginger: thanks, I have heard enough (Doc laughs seriously). If the only proofs you have are “rumor started on Social Media” and that you saw “them touch hands,” well, those reasons are not sufficient as proof for anyone’s dismissal.”’
“No. In most states, “immorality” is a reason for an employee’s dismissal. In fact, an approximate 22 out of 50 states’ policies report “immorality” as an intolerable aberrant force.”
“Meaning, if an employee is found to be immoral—under a fair trial-review the employee will be dismissed.”
“What are the basic tenets of teacher tenure, Doc?”
“Most states have their own metrics in which they follow, but in Delaware, for instance, the tenets are immorality, misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty, willful and persistent insubordination, reduction in staff . . . And, in, say, Alabama, the tenets are incompetence, insubordination, neglect of duty, reduction in force, failure to perform duties in a satisfactory manner—-And, for one more example, in Maine, the tenets are oddly different, and they are unfit to teach, services not profitable for school, just cause, failure to help students pass state exams. . . However, immorality is not delineated in Maine’s policy, yet it could fall under its “just cause” category.”
“It’s true, then. . . One may compromise his or her job based on tenets of policy-law.”
“Yes! Therefore, as employees, we must be upstanding individuals and capable of implementing our jobs.”
“Poor Mrs. Jumpstart and Mr. Peterson. . . Perhaps they will not be ‘called on the carpet’”— How embarrassing would that be?”
“. . . And how immoral that would be. . . If rumor is on social media the possibility of review of the incident might be called. . . I hope for the sake of their honors that the situation turns mute and all will be forgotten—“
“Yet, in education—and in other sectors of business—one must be aware of tenure law. No one is exempt from its accountability. Teacher dismissal, for sure, “requires that the employment of a teacher whose teaching certificate is revoked by the State Superintendent of Education be immediately terminated,’ again, pending an overturn of the conviction.”’
“I realize that you shun gossip, Doc, yet, I am pleased I shared the situation with you because now I have a good understanding about the significance of teacher tenure, which you have patiently explained . . .”
“Gossip has its place, I suppose, only not at work. . . I, myself, try to do better because I know better. Yet, knowledge of policies is always supportive in upholding morality.”
“Thank you, Doc”—
“Ah, Ginger—remember the importance of teacher tenure law, and enjoy a long trouble-free career, and, saying with a caring tone, leave the gossip of “Jumpstart and Peterson to their own fates. . . ”
“I will, Doc. Thank you, again.”
Below are 10 Overall “Be” Tips for staying employed:
- Be in position of job-preference.
Be knowledgeable about job.
Be competent in executing duties.
Be mindful of hierarchy.
Source: Education Commission of the States: Teacher Tenure-Reasons for Dismissal (2014)