Letters to the Editor

Give rookie teachers a chance

Tuesday, July 31, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

The Ministry of Education has placed our schools under great pressure to improve the academic performance of their students. We have heard talk of performance-based pay for teachers which to this date has not materialised. There have been public announcements of "failing" schools and recently, a call for non-performing teachers to leave the classroom. Therefore, some schools have taken steps to ensure that they fit the criteria set by the MOE and one of this is to hire only experienced teachers to fill vacant positions.

I believe that the amount of experience a teacher has does not automatically suggest that they will perform better at the job than a rookie teacher. It would seem as if some of our schools have lost faith in our teacher training institutions as they continue to conduct "sham" interviews where rookie teachers do not have a chance of getting the job. Our résumés outline our qualifications and experience, so why do they continue to call us for interviews when we are at a disadvantage?

I have had the opportunity to go to a number of interviews and end up not getting the job because my eight months' experience is not enough. I salute the principal who gave me the chance to prove myself.

Schools need to realise that they must invest in the future of our teachers by giving rookie teachers an equal opportunity to get the job by making their judgements based on the presentation of ourselves in the job interview and not from how much experience we have. I understand the pressure these schools are under to attain the set academic standards but I believe that rookie teachers can become great teachers too if they are given a chance.

Alethia Buckle

abuckle@yahoo.com

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