Categorized | Local Perspectives


If you read the newspaper or listen to the news, I’m sure you hear about the Teacher Tenure and experience. The new line of thought is, “Why pay more for experience when we can get a young college graduate just out of college for less money?”

This young person is lively, vigorous and ready to go. They lack an experience but we don’t care about that, especially in the slate of New Jersey. Seems to me that we are driving in reverse or completely on the wrong road.

I started my teaching career in Education in Sept. of 1960. I’ll never forget what my Supervisor told me on my first day. He said, “When you walk in that classroom and close the door, you are going to learn more than you ever did in any college or graduate school.” I don’t want to blow my own horn but twenty-five years went by and I think I was a better teacher and later a Guidance Counselor than I was on that Sept. day back in 1960. I think this is true because I was in the ball game along time. It is called osmosis. You absorb ideas and feelings just by being there.

I use the field of education as an example but there are many other jobs and occupations out there. There used to be a thing called job security. If you put 20, 30, or 40 years in you could look forward to a nice farewell dinner or a pocket watch. That is no longer the case my friends. Let’s just say for example, a teacher is making $60,000 a year. We can save a bundle of money by hiring a new one for half that price. How can we get rid of this old timer? This is easy as pie and this goes for every occupation in the good old U.S.A. If we can’t put pressure on them to quit, just transfer them a long distance away. This goes for the experienced Police Officer or Firefighter. We can save money and let the rich get richer.

I had a dream the other night. I dreamt that I had a massive heart attack and had to have my heart replaced. My Doctor had done this surgery over 5000 times. The nurse said to me, “Your Doctor can’t make it this morning but Dr. Elmer Fudd will be your Surgeon. He is just out of school but he has done this surgery before on a wacky wabbit.”

If you think experience is not important, perhaps you should think again.

Thomas Francis Clark

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