I have tenure, which would make firing me quite an ordeal. If this means I have job security, I’ll take it. However, I’m not convinced that it makes me less accountable for the quality of my job performance.
I have an annual review, which is pretty typical for those working in the private sector, in which I’m accountable to administration. There is no small amount of pressure involved with these; when was the last time your boss sat for an hour with nothing else to do but watch you work and take notes?
I’m also accountable to the parents of my students at least twice a year during parent conferences.
From an accountability viewpoint, I don’t suppose it’s that different from a financial planner meeting with clients. Evidence is laid out and explained, and a course is charted or adjusted.
However, there is one aspect of the teaching profession that is especially fraught with accountability, which is crystalized in state test scores. Soon, my students’ scores will account for 20% of my professional evaluation.
At first blush, it makes sense. My job is to teach them the things they’ll be expected to know on the exam. However, I only have them for about four and a half hours of academic instruction, five days a week, 40 weeks a year. This pales in comparison with the amount of time they have with their parents. A lot of what will make a kid a good student comes from home.
My doctor helps me stay healthy. I count on him to give me good medical advice and treat my health issues with his specialized expertise. However, if I choose to subsist on a diet of cupcakes and bourbon whenever I’m not in his office, I can’t fault his medical practice for the consequences (unless it was his recommendation).