Last week, Teacher X, when asked why he didn't complete an important practise test with his 11th grade class, told me that 'his students don't interest him'. I was rendered speechless, which doesn't happen often, and he sat there defiantly as if to say 'what are you going to do about it'. It got me to thinking, why is he teaching if his students don't interest him? It also got me thinking about why I can't fire him even though his students don't interest him and he displayed a distinct attitude problem to his direct boss. In the end I decided that this is what is wrong with the entire Chilean education system.
It's December so as administrators we are in the proces of assessing all our teachers and determining the make-up of our teams for next year. I though this would be an easy process - reward teachers who are doing well and are growing, and try and lose the teachers that 'aren't interested in their students'. Unfortunately this is not the way it works. I put together a list of teachers that I would like to change and then send it to the central office, where they determine if they can afford to lay the teacher off. That's right, they get made redundant with a full payout for however many years they have been there. That means my teacher who doesn't care about his students would get a US$5,000 BONUS if we had to make him redundant. He is doing a bad job, I have it documented throughout the year with all his failings, and yet I still can't get rid of him. He can't be fired, no matter how badly he is doing her job, and he knows it.
Given that my school doesn't always have the funds for paper or ink for printing, I guess I am stuck with him for another year, whereby his payout will be even larger when I try to get rid of him next year. Just another way that the Chilean system is broken.