When I get older, losing my rights ...

25th February 2005 at 00:00
My daughter loves her primary teacher. She is enthusiastic, exciting and devotes huge amounts of time and energy to her class. She reminds me of myself, 20 years ago.

When I was in my twenties, my teaching was creative, risk-taking and pretty committed. I enjoyed my classes and they appeared to enjoy them too: they loved reading, wrote amazing stories and wanted to come to school.

Now I am in my late forties, I am better at the mechanics of teaching but less impassioned. I suspect that if children had the choice, they would prefer the younger me.

Children respond to energetic, imaginative young teachers in a way they cannot do with us oldies. They do not want teachers who are counting the days between each half-term holiday or serving time until they can cash their pension. Moreover, I do not want to work until I am 65.

Until recently, I was told I would get my pension at 60. Now this promise has been withdrawn and I am told I will have to work for another five years. I can retire at the lower age but if I do my pension will be considerably smaller. The Government has stolen a large chunk of it. I and many colleagues feel betrayed.

If I am forced to teach until I am 65 I do not think I will be innovative or even enthusiastic. This old lady will be a resentful, time-serving employee - that is not the sort of person I would want to teach my own children.

Gina Crowley is co-ordinator of humanities at a special school in Gateshead, Tyne Wear. Feeling aggrieved? Send 400 words to susan.young@tes.co.uk and get paid as you grumble

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