Teacher Voice

How ‘LIFO’ Affected This New Teacher

Tiphani Davis, an English teacher in rural West Virginia, provides a first-hand look at how "Last In, First Out"—or "LIFO"—policies affected her as a new teacher. She didn’t lose her job because she was ineffective. She was laid off solely because she didn’t have enough seniority under her belt—she hadn’t been teaching long enough to preserve her place in the classroom. And she is angry about a policy that she believes is demoralizing to talented young teachers.
How was I losing my job when I knew for a fact there were other teachers who simply passed out books and worksheets, and then sat down and called that teaching? It was unfair, both to me and my students, and I was angry.
LIFO doesn’t just put new teachers out of work, this antiquated school policy displaces effective and innovative teachers. Because it creates instability in high-need schools, it also hurts the most vulnerable students nationwide.
When positions must be cut, there is no regard for newer teachers who may be highly effective, and we lose excellent teachers from the classroom. This practice not only affects teachers, but also hurts students, putting their future and their communities’ future as a whole in jeopardy.
Hanna Grace Frank
Hanna Frank was Education Post’s Social Media Manager and before that she worked with Organizing For Action, a non-profit organization that advocates for President Barack Obama’s political agenda. She wrote and edited content for the organization’s various social media platforms, including the official Barack Obama Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as BarackObama.com. Hanna attended Illinois ...

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