April 2012 Archives

In my previous post, I suggested that teaching positions be reconfigured so that they have varying levels of responsibility and compensation. A robust discussion has ensued in the comments, and as I always hope when I write here, this has pushed my thinking further on the issue. First, on the matter of flexibility in pay and duties—it occurred to me today that we already have some options for people to take on less work in exchange for less pay. It's called being part-time. We have many excellent teachers who either have family obligations or just don't need the money...

One of the chief challenges to the teaching profession's status as a profession is its flatness. A first-year teacher has the same duties and working conditions as a 30-year veteran, and while the latter may be higher on the pay scale, not much else changes as a teacher (or a principal, for that matter) gains experience and expertise. We get better at what we do, but no new opportunities or differentiated responsibilities are built into the structure of the career. At best, we might move to either a more desirable or more challenging school or teaching assignment (depending on what ...


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