Monday, September 8, 2014

Displacement Chaos In New Teaching Positions

The result of having a "Seniority-Based Rehire List" is what I have termed "Displacement Chaos." This displacement occurs when teachers who are lower on the seniority list are "bumped" out of their classrooms by those with higher seniority numbers. In the case of Long Beach Unified School District, many Elementary School Teachers found their teaching positions bumped by Middle School Teachers who also possess an Elementary School Credential. As their Single Subject Credentials gave them a "boost" on the District Seniority List, an additional Multiple Subject Credential carried extra weight too.

Middle School and High School Teachers had a distinct advantage over the Multiple Subject Teachers. Yet, as mentioned earlier, the mentality of placing an upper grade teacher in an Elementary School classroom may not be beneficial to either the teacher or students.

An Overwhelmed Displaced Teacher
Further "Displacement Chaos" occurred when teachers who had taught as many as 8 years for LBUSD were reassigned to not only another school site, but a new grade level because they were "next in line" for the position of the teacher of less seniority! This placed an added burden on the teacher, as he/she had to learn a new curriculum and accumulate new grade level materials while "moving" to a new school! Psychologists say "moving in itself" is one of the life's greatest stressors. Imagine having to "move" and "leave" your school family behind! Nearly every school in the District was affected when teachers had to say "good-bye" to their students, parents, and colleagues as they packed up their belongings to move to a different school site. Yet, these teachers were the "lucky ones" as they had a job to go to!

It wouldn't have been so bad if these teachers had been allowed to "settle in" to their new assignments and stay awhile. However, with the next group of teachers laid off the following year, these Riffed Teachers were destined to pick up and move again. But, what are the alternatives? To go somewhere else, or like me, to have no job at all? It is overwhelming either way!

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