When a teacher receives tenure, it usually means that the educator has a long history of success working with students. Tenure ensures that educators cannot be fired once they have reached the level. Though some think this level only applies to colleges and universities, those working in high schools across the country may also receive tenure recognition for the work they have done. Those thinking about entering the education field may want to learn a little more about this process.
What are the Benefits?
Job stability is easily the biggest benefit associated with the tenure process. The union organization used by educators helps them when they face problems and issues that might lead to the loss of their jobs. This union will step in and fight for the rights of educators whenever needed, including when a school attempts to fire a tenured professor or educator. Some schools may also pay tenured professors a higher salary. Those educators demonstrate that they have more skills than other educators do and that their students are more satisfied with the classes they teach and the materials they cover in those classes.
Many parents and educators want to know how educators become tenured. Teachers hoping to reach this level must demonstrate a strong proficiency in educating and helping students. According to the Education Commission of the States, 16 states regard performance as the most important step in an individual becoming tenured. Other states place a higher level of importance on the amount of time an educator has spent working in the classroom. A large number of colleges and schools require that educators spend at least seven years teaching before even thinking about applying.
How Long Does it Take?
The amount of time that it takes a teacher to gain tenure depends on the individual school, the school district or the Department of Education in the state. Seven years is the average length of time it takes. Educators who work in other fields and only teach part time may find that it takes longer. Schools may also limit applications based on the number of educators currently in the system. If the school feels it already has enough tenured professors, it may limit the number of teachers who can apply later.
Can Educators Lose Their Status?
Though many assume that tenured teachers will never lose their status, it is possible. Hundreds of schools across the country found that once educators reached this level the amount of time they spent preparing and helping students decreased. This led to lower graduate rates, lower test scores and a drop in the grade point averages of students. Many schools and districts now require that educators go through a performance review once a year, or more often, to ensure that tenured teachers are still top professionals. If an educator no longer meets the requirements for the position, the school can place the educator on probation, providing a set period of time to improve.
Educators foster the minds and imaginations of students and prepare those students for everything the future holds. Though a teacher can receive tenure in as little as seven years, the school has the right to place that educator on probation or remove his or her status based on classroom performance.