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Deborah Meier: The Value of Tenure and Seniority by Diane Ravitch

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A principal's perspective: "There is nothing evil in a desire to have a steady paycheck, to feel secure even if you irritate those in charge, and to want to be able to plan one’s life ahead. These are healthy qualities that human beings should not be ashamed of. As FDR once noted, “freedom from fear” is one of the basics that democracy rests on—–fear makes for bad practice of teaching and democracy. My capacity to provide leadership where needed, and build a strong staff rested on the fact that there were some rules of the game we couldn’t change, and were not available to our temporary biases. I could be strong and persuasive without fear of intimidating others to follow my lead, or silence even young and inexperienced staff from venturing forth with their opinions—as long as I did not have the power to wreak havoc on their lives—

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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)
 

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