From the forums - Should we set a minimum age for teaching?

27th September 2013 at 01:00

To come into teaching straight from university gives you no opportunity to experience life outside an educational establishment. Perhaps we should raise the age for becoming a teacher to 26.
Tabitha Twitchet

I've seen good (most), bad (very few) and indifferent (all of us from time to time) teachers of all ages. I'm working with a maths teacher who is 24 and one of the best educators I've watched in action.

I believe that some years spent away from the education system is desirable but not a necessary precondition for being a teacher.

If people had to drop out of a graduate job at 25 or 26 and go back to being a student or trainee, would there be an adequate take-up of the profession?

If the under-26s were stopped from teaching, I suspect many good graduates would eschew teaching as a career.

I'm 26. Ever since primary school I have only ever wanted to teach. Most of the younger teachers I work with are the same as me. We are in this job because we love it and it is our vocation.

Why is it that some people who come to teaching later in life seem to have such a chip on their shoulder about those who choose it as a first career? Could it be that they're insecure about their own life choices?

I was involved in real life when I was teaching. I had to deal with the pleasant, the obnoxious, the threatening and the foul. I had to work, make ends meet, raise children and survive. I think the view that teaching is separate from real life is nonsense.

Experience helps, but you can't render teaching down to having done "something" so readily. I expect there are teachers who are better than me who have only ever been in academia. I also expect there are teachers worse than me with experience outside this job.
Captain Obvious


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