Palisades News Letters: Administrators Should Observe Teachers

It is not really difficult to solve the problem of teacher tenure. In my experience as a teacher for more than thirty years, beginning at Paul Revere, then at Emerson when I returned from having my children, and then at University when the ninth grade was transferred to high school, the answer lies in the administrators doing their job of observing the teachers in the classroom.

I was a training teacher for four universities, a mentor teacher for twelve years and department chair, so I speak from experience. There should be a three-year probation period, but without many unannounced observations by competent administrators, probation periods are meaningless.

I mentored new teachers, but the rules established for mentoring precluded reporting to administrators. It was mostly a very rewarding experience, and my mentees were grateful for the help. The few times I was asked to mentor permanent teachers were difficult. They were upset, sometimes insulted, and set in their ways.

By the time teachers become permanent, it is almost too late. But again it is the administrator’s responsibility to address any problems. In my experience only a few were willing to do that.

Ilene Thaler

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