Should Teachers Get Tenure?

3086 words (12 pages) Essay in Education

08/02/20 Education Reference this

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 Teacher tenure is a legal safeguard that provides job security by preventing teacher dismissal without a cause. The problem with tenure is that almost any teachers can receive it in as little as two years. “After only a few years in the classroom, almost all teachers earn ‘tenure.’ With tenure, teachers gain extensive job protections”(Partnership for Educational Justice). With tenure teachers are protected from their job and it is hard to fire them. Teachers can be really terrible, but they can’t be fired because of teacher tenure. Without tenure, good teachers can get fired because their jobs aren’t permanent, and they can’t criticize others to improve their profession. Teacher tenure is a major problem and needs to be eliminated or modified in order to effectively control the teachers in our schools and how they should be evaluated even if they have tenure.

What makes a good teacher great is that they have control of the class, and the students know who is in charge. If a teacher respects their student, the student will respect the teacher back. They take pride in what they teach, and enjoy teaching because a student knows when a teacher dislikes what they are doing. They should know the subject material well, and are open to learn new things from their colleagues. They are also searching for new methods and ideas to use in the classroom. They prepare lessons and material in advance, they also have backup plans if they need to change their plans. They need to be flexible if they need to reteach something from the day before, they need to rearrange their plans. They are organized and have activities available. What makes a teacher great is they make connections with the students. If they have a same interest, such as liking the same sport. They have a good “relationship” with the students.

What make an ineffective teacher is that they are teaching to the curriculum and they are not putting the effort into making the lesson fun and enjoyable for the students. They are not enthusiastic to teach which students can tell, and that can make the class boring because if they are bored teaching the class then the students are going to be bored as well. Teachers that don’t like what they are doing should not teach because there is other teachers that do not have jobs that can take their jobs but if they have tenure it is hard for them to get fired. Teachers that embarrass their students should not teach because that makes a student not want to come to class.  Students should not feel uncomfortable going to a classroom or dislike going to school. It should be a safe environment and an exciting time. They shouldn’t dread going to school and can’t wait to leave.  

“In 2018, tenure is no longer necessary. Over the past century, tenure has transformed into an obsolete, protectionist racket that does more harm than good”(Talgo). It is no longer necessary because it is changing the reason of why to have tenure. Tenure nowadays is more than securing a job because there is actions that teachers can be doing if reported cannot be fired because there job is secured. Tenure is not an achievement a teacher gets for doing a good job of what they do. Also it is hard to fire a teacher with tenure because of how secured they are. Without tenure teachers have to be careful on what they do and how they teach. They have to do what is on the guidelines and not change anything because if they do then they can possibly lose their job. Teachers with tenure can be creative in the way that they teach but they still have to teach to the curriculum.

Teachers have to be careful what they put on the internet. Teachers are a role model to students and have to be careful on who see what they post or if other people post pictures of them. They have to be careful on what they do because nowadays everyone has a cell phone with cameras so nothing is private and people can be taking pictures of you without your knowledge. They have to be careful because if an administrator  sees your photo  you can possibly lose your job. “A woman denied a teaching degree on the eve of graduation because of a MySpace photo has sued the University. Millersville University instead granted Stacy Snyder a degree in English last year after learning of the Web-published picture of her, which bore the caption “Drunken Pirate””(Associated Press). She was a student teacher and did not get a job because of a post someone saw. She dreamed about being a teacher for a long time and now doesn’t have the opportunity to become one because of a picture that she posted. Teachers have a personal life out of school but you need to be careful what you post and who you are friends with on social media because it can affect your job.

Eliminating tenure can be good and bad because there are teachers that love there jobs and there are teachers that don’t like their jobs. To keep their jobs teachers get evaluated by the principals or by board of education they know in advanced when they are getting evaluated so they make sure that day that they are doing their best. The evaluations should be random so the teacher is not preparing what they are going to do and are telling the students to “behave”, by telling your students to behave well you are not getting assessed on how you teach everyday and they only see you for the good things you do rather than flaws that you have in your classroom. Administrators should do evaluations where they tell the teacher when it is going to happen but they should also do surprise visits where they come and see how the teacher is doing with the students. Removing tenure can be a good thing because with tenure it is harder to get jobs and and teachers should be assessed by what students are getting on exams instead of teaching for the curriculum. Adding accountability measures and high stakes testing is a good thing because teachers should be assessed on how students do well on a exam. Students should not be opting out of state exams because by opting out you don’t know how the student is doing and how the teacher is teaching.

Teachers who aren’t in fear of losing their jobs are more innovative, teachers with tenure “settle” into their jobs and do not have to perform because there is no teacher evaluation and they are not held accountable. They are not scared to lose their jobs because they know that they are good teachers and that they are teaching well, teachers with are not innovative and don’t show motivation because they know that they are secured and they know that they are not going to be evaluated because they are secured. We need teachers that are innovative and want to bring new ideas to the classroom because it makes the classroom interesting and they are thinking outside of the box. Tenure draws in highly effective teachers, any teacher can get tenure after a certain amount of time. Tenure doesn’t differentiate between high performing and underperforming teachers. This is mainly because of the way the teachers get evaluated, since the teachers knows what day they are going to be evaluated they make sure they are teaching their best that day.

The type of schools that teachers teach is important on how students learn. Traditional schools generally stress basic educational practices and expect mastery of academic learning. Progressive education is based on that students learn best when there learning follow their interests. The benefits of progressive education is that it allows students to express themselves, it allows for more creativity and curiosity in the classroom, and promotes critical thinking rather than memorizing facts. The disadvantage of progressive education is that it is less structure, emphasizes fun rather than learning, and it is not as culturally diverse. The benefits of traditional education is that the classroom is well structured, there is clear distinct rules. Students take notes, mostly lectures. The disadvantage of traditional education is that there is no space for individual interpretation, and teaching method is centered with no interaction. These types are schools are different but good because of the way teachers teach, they all don’t teach the same.

With state exams teachers are only teaching to what is on the state exam and not teaching other things. They should be teaching an “unofficial curriculum” which  is a concept that describes the often unarticulated and unacknowledged things that students are taught in school and is important issue in school and is an important in the sociological study of how schools generate social inequality. It is important to incorporate social issues into teaching. The way in which teacher discusses or presents information about politics or the government may have a unofficial curriculum, if a teacher tends to give more attention to a particular political party the students see one side as the right choice over the other. By teaching my students about things that are not in the curriculum is important because it good for students to know what is happening in the world, and students might not be learning it at home so school is a good place to be learning it.

Unofficial curriculum has become much more recognized and discussed than it has in the past. It can have both positive and negative effects. The pressure to fit into the social norms can be harmful to psychological well being of students. The unintentional isolation of students that are different culturally, socioeconomically, or politically can have a negative effect. It is important to teach students unofficial curriculum in a classroom because students might be interested in learning things that is not related to the regular curriculum that teachers need to teach. By teaching students about other things and it doesn’t have to be everyday it will give them ideas of current events and what is happening in the world.

State test should not exist because teachers are only teaching to that curriculum and are stressing out the students, when time comes for the state test the students are nervous and don’t want to take the exam because they have practiced too much for it. Parents let their students opt out of the exam which is very common now but by opting out teachers are not get assessed on how students are doing academically. “Opting out adds noise to the data, which increases the amount of variability in the teacher performance measures because each teacher’s score is based on fewer students. A teacher faces a higher risk of being labelled low-performing (or high-performing) as the number of opt-outs in her classroom increases. But the effect of opt-out is quite small unless a large number of students do so”(Chingos). It is hard to get evaluated if students are opting out, which makes it hard to know if your teaching well are not. 

“First and foremost, teacher tenure creates complacency because it guarantees job safety. Unlike almost every other profession, teachers are commonly awarded tenure very early in their careers, which virtually removes accountability and the incentive for excellent job performance. As a result, public schools are inundated with ineffective tenured teachers who put in minimal effort and fail to adequately educate students”(Talgo). Teacher tenure should not exist in schools because administrators are not assessing teachers correctly, and when teachers get tenure they start lacking because when they got assessed to get tenure they made sure their lesson was excellent. It is not fair for new teachers that are starting the job because tenured teachers are staying in schools for a long time because their job is secured, making it hard for younger teachers to get jobs.

“With most states granting tenure after three years, teachers have not had the opportunity to “show their worth, or their ineptitude” (Garrett). A study by the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education found that the first two to three years of teaching do not predict post-tenure performance”(Goldhaber). Teachers are not properly evaluated before getting tenure. Teachers that are last in are fire first because they are not secured yet because they don’t have tenure. Since they do not have a secure job yet they if they need to make cuts teachers without tenure are the ones to leave first, even if they are good teachers.  If a tenured teacher takes a leave, they may come back to there job removing another, possibly more capable teacher without a position. It gives them more power and control. They lose good teachers because tenured teachers have seniority. Your losing young good teachers that love there jobs, tenured teachers have been teaching for years and are teaching the minimum. They are retiring later which makes it hard for young people to get jobs because they are staying longer.

Teachers that have tenure should still get evaluated after they have tenure to make sure they are doing a good job. Also nowadays technology is a big thing and if older teachers don’t know how to use the technology it might be a problem because it can be helpful for the students. “I believe there is a need to transform the in-service training models to better equip teachers with the necessary techno-pedagogical competencies they clearly need. It is obvious that with the current ones such a transformation is not possible and a new framework is necessary”(Aydin). Teachers should take workshops to learn the new technology, so they can incorporate technology into the classroom. Also teachers should be prepared to not use technology as well because if a computer is down or there is not technology in the classroom, and if the power goes out they can still teach.

“Due process policies such as tenure are an important job protection that teachers value highly. These policies don’t prevent bad teachers from being fired; they prevent good teachers from being fired for bad reasons. Qualified teachers earn these due process protections after satisfying performance expectations. These protections allow teachers to advocate for their students and to teach controversial and challenging curriculum without fear that they will be punished for doing so by overreaching administrators and others with arbitrary or personal agendas (Garcia)”. Due process has changed so much over the years that it’s nearly impossible to dismiss teachers. Proving a dismissal case is costly and complicated, so often, administrators choose not to try. Teachers rather have tenure to be protected to help students if they need rather than be afraid of losing their jobs if they deal with the problem on their own.

“Additionally, tenure places seniority in front of all other factors (including performance) when staffing reductions must be made. This antiquated policy of ‘last-hired, first-fired’ indiscriminately protects veteran teachers and punishes young teachers. Even worse, this backward procedure cripples cutting-edge teaching methods and innovations – which are far more likely to be introduced and honed by young teachers (Talgo)”. The problem with teacher tenure is the significant amount of teachers performance decrease after they get tenure. Tenure makes seniority the main factor in dismissal decisions instead of teacher performance and quality. After receiving tenure, teachers are very difficult and expensive to fire. It is also hard for teachers to get jobs because of tenure, they are staying longer and with tenure you can’t replace teachers. Tenure originally was a job protection, but now it has turned into a “job for life” movement, because if it difficult to fire teacher that have tenure so they have a secure job until they want to retire.

“All told, it can take up to 18 months and cost taxpayers $250,000 to replace a single poorly-performing teacher (Partnership for Educational Justice )”. It is difficult and time consuming for administrators to fire teachers who have tenure. It is hard to fire teacher that have tenure because they have to go through paperwork. This creates more work for the administrators. Tenure creates complacency in teachers. They know they are guaranteed a job and this will put in the minimum amount of effort. If administrators were doing their jobs, improvement in teachers would be necessary, encouraged, and supported. Teachers should be evaluated because once they have tenure they are not putting in the work like teachers that don’t have tenure, teacher that don’t have tenure work harder to make sure they are not going to be losing their job.

Job security is a basic right in today’s workforce. Tenure protects good teachers from a variety of unjust situations. Tenure draws in qualified, effective teachers. Teachers who don’t worry about losing their jobs are more innovative. Tenure has become a scapegoat. It is unfair that teachers get a tenure and it makes it more difficult for them to get fired. If they try to get fire it is going to cost more money. This hurts students because they are not getting the education they need. This gives teachers a “job for life” and  it makes teachers not want to give their best anymore because they know they have protection.


  • Chingos, Matthew M., and Matthew M. Chingos. “Opt-out Movement Likely Inconsequential for Teacher Evaluations.” Brookings, Brookings, 28 July 2016,
  • Dan Goldhaber and Michael Hansen, “Is It Just a Bad Class?: Assessing the Stability of Measured Teacher Performance,”, Nov. 21, 2008
  • (2018, December 6). Should Teachers Get Tenure? Retrieved from
  • Rose Garrett, “What Is Teacher Tenure?,” (accessed Dec. 30, 2010)
    “Would-Be Teacher Denied Degree Over ‘Drunken Pirate’ MySpace Photo Sues University.” Fox News, FOX News Network,
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