The Terrible Tales of Tenure

Teacher tenure, usually used as employment protection for teachers. Tenure is a contract which provides teachers with safety from getting fired due to reasons associating with their abilities to teach. Earning the teacher tenure can take as little as three years. Professors are reviewed only about 5 years later for tenure. “A study by The New Teacher Project (TNTP) stated that 81 percent of administrators say there is a tenured teacher in their school who is performing poorly.

What is education edging on? Is it really oblivion?

Possibly so… Are teachers properly evaluated before and even during their tenure years? According to the TNTP study, less than 1% of teachers were considered unsatisfactory. But president of The Center for Education Reform, Jeanne Allen considers, that many states may have been setting the bar too low. Tenure unfortunately isn’t about the value of teaching but has been diluted to the amount of years a teacher spends teaching.

Is tenure fair to students?

Have you ever had a nightmare professor? 

One that couldn’t relate to his or her students or even more sadly, his or her own subject? Both answers are abruptly yes, don’t lie.

Well, chances are these professors are either just horrid teachers or plainly under tenure protection.

Did you know:

  • Three years is enough time to show your worth?… Me neither.
  • Tenure from K-12 is not earned, but given as long as they “stand by” they receive it in short periods of time.
  •   That sadly, tenure is scarce in the “land of teaching the public.”

Its rough at least I think, when public school teachers are often shunned and             university professors are put on pedestals especially when teaching students of younger ages is a tad tougher then throwing a syllabus at your students and calling it a form of teaching.

  • When tenured teachers commit criminal acts against students that they are often only suspended and with PAY, or PAID to quit.

Yes! It is exactly what it seems…


You tell me, but choose one of the above. 😉

Tenure makes it increasingly difficult to fire them. They’re practically like ticks. If a teacher is underperforming, its too bad you’d have to deal since the legal process is stretched out to months and can involve court ruling. Sometimes I wonder why principals have such difficult time firing a tenured teacher. But now I know- On average $250,000 would be jeopardized just to fire a teacher in new York City.


OHHH the Irony!

Teacher’s are positioned to nurture and care for their students but with the tenure grants permission them to care solely for themselves. While few teachers receive benefits think about what it does for students.





10 thoughts on “The Terrible Tales of Tenure

  1. I remember in high school being frustrated by a particular older teacher, and my friends and myself complaining how she was still there simply because of tenure. I am convinced that there is a better way to evaluate and protect teachers, while looking out for a students best interest. Just because a teacher is excellent for three years doesn’t mean that he or she would be in 20 years.
    However, can we have a satisfactory alternative to tenure? How do we measure what exactly makes an effective teacher? Test scores could be one solution, but that might lead to greater pressure to “teach to the test,” at the possible expense of student understanding.

    • Nat,

      Of course we can definitely have a satisfactory alternative to tenure. I think that maybe tenure teachers can be evaluated more frequently for one and how they can be evaluated doesn’t always have to be solely on test scores. I think that we can evaluate teaching methods. Yes, every teacher has a different method, thats wonderful! But I’m saying the methods that are now known to be effective should be used. For example Authoritive vrs Authoritarian vrs Permissive… you get the picture we can all teach differently with the more effective styles in mind.

      Your truly, Rey Awesome

  2. Hi reyawesome,

    You give an interesting perspective to tenure given that you want to become a teacher and hopefully gain that job security lol…nevertheless, I agree with your premise that tenure can be the “end all/be all” in the sense that teachers become very complacent when they receive tenure and stop doing what they are supposed to do, which is TEACH. However, I believe that tenure is critical for a teacher to receive, admins just have to do a better job of evaluating teachers (as you noted, it is a joke). Great post!

    • Hey, Arod

      Who doesn’t want job security? Thats important but I think tenure really takes the cake when it comes to teachers being complacent. i can pose a solution… tenure can stay as long as of course they’re being evaluated- im shooting for every year not every 5 years. I’m not entirely saying tenure is the worst thing since leather pants but what I am standing firm on is the nature it inclines within teachers. And the effect it has on students.

      Lovely chat,
      Ms. Awesome

  3. I love this post. I know a lot of educators who have Tenure teachers in their school and feel they are untouchable and stuck in their ways of teaching which may have worked with students 10-15 years ago but is not working with this new breed of students. Tenure teachers should be made to expand on their teaching methods throughout their years to keep the course material and lessons fresh, enriching and up to date. many of these Tenure teachers go against policies and a blind eye is turned because they are branded with the “Tenure” title. This is an issue that is slowly but surely being a addressed and hopefully will benefit the students with the end result.

  4. LMFAO! Your article is so interesting and I love the cartoons you used to illustrate your thoughts regarding teacher tenure. Damn i didn’t know it costs so much money to fire old and boring annoying hags who had no enthusiasm whatsoever. SMH I don’t know why some of these people are still teachers. Teachers should be fun and upbeat and they should fire teachers who don’t care at all about their students. I also agree that teachers are supposed to be nurturing, etc. If everyone had a dollar for every time they wanted a terrible teacher with tenure gone, we would all probably have a million dollarssss possibly even more and fired 19838448 teachers. LOL.

  5. I love your post and how all the pictures support what your points. This is one of those things that need to be re-examined and start slowing down the rates of teachers that Tenure teachers. It’s just not cutting it anymore. The quality needs to be examined not the quantity of years which keep them with their job despite that they may not be delivering as productively to their students as they should. This like many of the other issues will hopefully be addressed appropriately and not at the expense of others.

  6. Great perspective Reyawesome! However, I can agree with arod2290’s view on administrations duty and responsibility on properly evaluating their staff. It’s a two fold issue in the sense that as tough as it is to get rid of an under performing teacher, it also raises the questions of not only what action plan has been taken to for these teachers, but also are some of these administrators protecting some of their “favorites”?

    Teacher tenure is certainly something that should be earned, the question is how can the Department of Education along with the teacher’s union do what is best for all parties involved, most importantly the students.

  7. This is a good point, im glad you decided to talk about this because i never really understood the whole tenure thing, but i now understand, and I am disappointed because it is unfair to students and threatening to the education of students. It is sad to know that teachers are not being evaluated on the skill and content of they ‘re teaching and just how many years. Though they may have been teaching long does not mean they had good years and they teach well.

  8. OOHH “we can’t get rid of her-she has TENURE” ( 😀 ), loved every bit of your view on this topic, especially the images. There are many professors especially at York (wont mention any names) that do not care about their students. Regardless I have to be fair, there are also other professors that do still have that passion to teach and DO teach in a manner that the information they deliver stays with the student forever.

    Now on the other hand professors with tenure, you go to them for help, they basically scurry you out of the room or react to your question as if you are brainless. We take these courses expecting professors to execute the subject in a manner that the student will grasp something valuable. I hate, hate powerpoint slides. Who said that was teaching. My little sister can also put together a slide with a bunch of information.

    This topic is ABSURD but TRUE

Comments are closed.