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When I get older, losing my rights ...

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 Now this promise has been withdrawn and I am told I will have to work for another five years.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 and get paid as you grumble

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