Like almost every other profession, teachers aren’t immune to firing. Even in the case of tenured teachers, there are situations where they may face disciplinary action or even termination.
The teaching profession comes with regulations, that when breached, can result in teachers getting laid off. Other external factors like budget cuts due to recession could also result in teacher layoffs.
Regardless of the reasons, it’s never a pleasant experience for anyone in that situation. This article will try to educate teachers by outlining some of the most common reasons why teachers could be laid off.
Reasons Why Teachers Get Fired
While there’re multiple reasons why a teacher could be fired, we’ll be taking a look at the most common. Keep in mind that schools can’t simply decide to lay off teachers without cause in cases where teachers have tenure.
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Professional teachers are expected to have the necessary training and skills to aid in the administration of their duties. Unfortunately, some teachers do not show competence in their ability to teach their subjects.
And while it’s rare for teachers to get fired for poor performance, it’s sometimes the only approach left for educational institutions especially when all other options have been exhausted.
Showing an inability to adequately manage classroom behavior and also meet curriculum expectations, leaves a teacher in a bad spot.
Violation Of School Policies
School policies are put in place for a reason and both students and teachers are expected to adhere to them. Failure to do so would lead to some form of outline punishment including termination of a teacher’s contract depending on severity.
Keep in mind that teachers can be fired for any acts that bring disrepute to the teaching profession. A typical example is a teacher breaching their school’s social media policies.
There’ve been cases where teachers were fired for posting on OnlyFans. While this may seem harmless, schools have the right to terminate contracts for any acts that bring disrepute to the profession.
It’s always advisable to read any regulations your school may have. While someone in a different profession could, for example, have an OnlyFans without any issues, teachers are held to a higher standard since they play a key role in the upbringing of the youth.
This falls under school policies, but we’re separating it as it’s a big issue. We’ve all read or heard of a teacher-student relationship that landed the teacher in trouble.
Schools have policies against teachers dating students, especially at the pre-tertiary levels of education. Irrespective of the age of the student, teachers who date students at that level could end up losing their jobs.
Worst-case scenario, they could face prosecution for dating a minor. At the tertiary level where students are considered mature, professors may be forbidden from dating their students, by their schools.
That said, you should note that some tertiary institutions only forbid teacher-student relationships while the student remains in the professor’s class or so long as the professor has some form of authority over the student.
Teachers are expected to fairly judge each individual student. And while there’s nothing wrong with having favorites, playing favoritism can have dire consequences.
Teachers who’re caught falsifying academic records and manipulating student grades violate their ethical responsibilities. If caught, such teachers may face severe consequences including termination of their contracts.
Teachers are expected to remain fair and professional in the administration of their duties. Irrespective of their relationship with any student, playing favoritism is in violation of school policies.
This is sometimes an issue in racially diverse schools. A teacher may discriminate against a student or colleague because of their race or some other reasons.
Unfortunately, racial discrimination is considered unethical and could lead to legal concerns depending on the severity of the activities that ensued as a result.
Schools that determine a teacher to be in violation of their policies on discrimination could punish the teacher for their actions, including terminating their contract.
Accidents happen when you have a bunch of students playing all day. Teachers are responsible for the safety of students while they’re in their care.
After all, negligent behavior can lead to some form of injury which can lead to disciplinary actions. A typical example is a teacher leaving a classroom unattended.
They would be held responsible for any occurrence and may lose their jobs depending on the severity of the incident.
While this is rare in the education field, teachers who willfully refuse to comply with official requests or behave inappropriately towards supervisors could be considered insubordinate.
A typical example is a teacher who ignores requests to submit lesson plans or follow school procedures for certain activities.
Depending on the educational institution and the severity of the teacher’s actions, they could face disciplinary actions. And in worse cases, the teacher’s contract could be terminated for insubordination.
Crime Conviction/Illegal Activities
Compared to other professions, teachers are held to a higher standard of conduct and are expected to be positive role models for their students.
Depending on the severity, a teacher who’s convicted of a crime may also lose their job. Schools expect teachers to live up to their high standards and they have the right to terminate any teacher whose actions bring disrepute to the profession or the school.
Crimes that entail violence, drugs, or sexual misconduct in particular may result in prompt termination because they are regarded as grave breaches of trust.
Additionally, any criminal behavior that could impair the teacher’s performance of their duties, such as drug possession or drunk driving conviction, could result in disciplinary action or termination.
Teachers are expected to act with integrity in the process of administering their duties. Teachers who are identified to be misusing school funds would be investigated. If found guilty, they could lose their jobs as teachers.
A typical example is the case of a Drama teacher who lost her job a few years back over the misuse of regional drama club funds.
Recession can cause major funding shortfalls for educational institutions which forces districts to make difficult budget cuts including teacher layoffs.
Unfortunately, studies have also shown that these layoffs that result from budget cuts can also harm students’ performance. And while budget cuts are unfortunate, it’s often necessary in times of economic hardships.
Dealing with students who seem to only want to challenge your authority can be annoying. But as a teacher, you’re bound to come across a few students like that.
Giving in to anger may simply land you in trouble. It’s advisable to always keep a level head when dealing with such students to avoid any form of extreme punishment due to anger.
While corporal punishment may still be allowed in some states, there’re strict guidelines that should be followed.
Extreme punishment can lead to complaints from parents, especially in cases where a student ends up getting hurt by the teacher’s actions.
In worse cases and repeat complaints the school may choose to lay the teacher off to avoid any negative publicity.
In this age of information, the last thing any school wants is to become the topic of some negative information. To avoid this, schools would rather let the teacher go than whether such issues that could impact their enrollment and funding.