Another view on school overstaffing

October 1, 2013 

Robert Foster’s Sept. 20 commentary on overstaffing says, “Seniority does not guarantee quality,” in referring to the jobs that a veteran teacher and a new teacher can do.

I believe the principal can ensure quality in his staff by hiring new teachers and then supporting those teachers with observation and constructive criticism. Veteran teachers may sometimes lose their perspective on teaching and must be supported by continuing workshops for new teaching techniques.

In my almost 50 years of teaching, I have observed principals who approach teachers with specific criticisms that help teachers improve their craft.

A principal does have the tools to remove an incompetent tenured teacher by following the procedures set out by the education code. The teachers union’s job is to see that the procedures are followed to protect a teacher’s rights. If a poor teacher is still on the staff, it means that the administrator did not do his job of following the procedure or helping to improve the teaching methods. As a teacher, I do not have the power to hire, fire or evaluate staff.

An incompetent teacher on staff can be removed or given a chance to improve under the direction of the principal.

GORDON CHAN

Modesto

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