Florida 4th graders rank #2 in a worldwide reading test. Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart shares the success story.
By Aadina Balti, Special to CNN
Editor's note: Aadina Balti is a veteran teacher and math coach in Boston's public school system. Balti is certified in moderate disabilities and elementary education. She is also a Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellow.
(CNN) – I've been in the classroom for 11 years - that makes me a minority in the teaching profession, as more than half of all teachers have taught for a decade or less. But I'm still striving to be a better teacher.
A recent report from national nonprofit Teach Plus shows that veteran teachers like me tend to be less receptive to the growing emphasis on teacher performance than our less-experienced colleagues.
The report, "Great Expectations: Teachers' Views on Elevating the Teaching Profession," highlights data from Teach Plus' recent national survey of teachers, showing that 42% of earlier-career teachers (called the "new majority" in the report) support more performance-based tenure and compensation systems, compared to just 15% of my fellow veterans.
As a teacher who has just crossed the line from new majority to veteran status, I understand how experienced teachers feel about the protections afforded them by the tenure system.
I understand because I’ve put in the time and effort necessary to establish myself in the school system. I understand because I, too, value my job security. Sometimes I even understand that it's easy to get comfortable and fall into doing the same old thing.
But the current lack of accountability is bringing our profession down.
While I value the tenure I've been granted, I would be willing to give up that protection to move our profession toward one that emphasizes performance.
I got into this profession because I want to have a positive impact on society and because I feel confident that all children can learn. As an educator, it's my job to make that happen. I ask my students to push themselves for excellence every day. If I’m not pushing myself for excellence, too, then I’m not just failing myself, I’m failing my students.
CNN’s Schools of Thought blog is a place for parents, educators and students to learn about and discuss what's happening in education. We're curious about what's happening before kindergarten, through college and beyond. Have a story to tell? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org