Teachers who are older are not always wiser

19th July 2013 at 01:00

It was with incredible dismay that I read your piece "Teaching: a vocation or a 'congenial' job" (5 July). Unfortunately, Tony Little seems to disregard the fact that young people choose teaching as a career. It is opinions like these, from people in positions such as his, that continue to discourage young people and the public from seeing teaching as a respectable profession. The idea that young people may have too little life experience to choose teaching is outrageous, especially considering that Mr Little is the head master of Eton College, a school that relishes the amount of life experience it gives to its students.

We all have different levels of experience and we all make choices about the careers we would like to follow at different stages. We should not judge someone's desire to choose a particular path at an early age, especially as the world is filled with examples of people who have made a choice very early on and are extremely successful. It is unfortunate that Mr Little had to wander about before "drifting" into teaching. The point here is that age and experience are not a proxy for how well one can do a job and whether we make a judgement on what each one of us thinks is our vocation. These archaic views impoverish the spirit of young people who are routinely discouraged by parents and others from following their passion, be it in teaching or elsewhere

Roussel 'Capra' De Carvalho, Senior lecturer in education and science PGCE course leader, London Metropolitan University.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today