An insult to older teachers

10th February 2006 at 00:00
David Scott's letter ("Give jaded teachers a way out", TES, January 27) left me angry at his suggestion that staff in the 50-60 age bracket are poor teachers.

What amazed me most, was that he bases his assumption on "several hundred"

lessons observed in schools in "challenging circumstances". Hardly a typical cross-section!

I agree many older teachers are "battle weary", as he puts it, but that is hardly surprising as we have seen our position in society eroded, had changes imposed on us in many cases for the sake of change, and endure an increasing workload, despite government promises to reduce it.

Certainly, as Mr Scott says, the majority of NQTs are indeed talented and committed, but so are most older teachers - why else would we still be in the profession? I sometimes wonder though, how many young staff get disillusioned and leave the profession within five years or so.

I also find the insinuation that we older teachers are not "in tune" with pupils, unacceptable. Surely the way to go in all schools is a mixture of all ages and levels of experience. I don't want to retire when I reach 60 this year, but if no one wants to employ an experienced teacher, for financial or other reasons, I shall have to.

Rosemary Graham 150 Farrant Avenue, London

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