Tag Archives: Tenure

Colleague Deserves Respect

A high school teacher called me because she was so agitated she didn’t know what to do to calm herself down.  She called me, because she was convinced in her own mind that I would not only agree with her, but give her a course of action to follow.

She’d been working at her current school for four years.  At a meeting of all the teachers, they were informed that the parking lot would no longer have reserved spaces for each instructor – from now on, it would be “first come, first served.”

A teacher with over twenty years seniority on the caller stood and said that this new rule was nonsense and he expected to have the “front and center” parking space he’d always had.  My caller was furious and thought the other teacher was arrogant.

This is an ugly trend in our society and in our schools:  the trend to rob people of respect for their accomplishments.  School systems have tried to do away with grades and eliminate honors for those students who excel, all in the name of “everyone is equal and no one’s feelings should be hurt.”

My caller resented that her co-worker would receive any benefits because of his outstanding, long service to the school.  Shame on her!

I told her that I would have immediately stood up to support him and all the other teachers with long tenure.  They should be treated with respect, regard, deference and support, including having the right to the parking space to which they had become accustomed.  The caller was shocked at my point of view.  She asked me if I thought it was arrogant of him to demand that space.  On the contrary, I told her, “it is arrogant of YOU to think you rate his parking space when you haven’t earned it!”

We are all equal in the sight of God; we are all equal in the sight of the law.  We are NOT all equal in our abilities, accomplishments, efforts, and/or experiences, and those differences should be admired and supported without any attempt to dilute their importance because of envy, laziness, unfortunate circumstances or any excuse to resent what others are or what they have.

We all benefit from holding each other up when it is earned.