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Are we doing enough to support our older teachers?

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The Educator | 02 Nov 2015, 08:35 AM Agree 0
Are Australia’s older teachers being pushed out of their job before they are ready to leave? The Educator investigates what is being done to retain them.
  • Carla | 04 Nov 2015, 09:57 PM Agree 0
    I'm working at a school which employers a number of teachers in their late 60s. I think it depends on the individuals health and energy levels as teaching requires a reasonable level of fitness to be able to do the long days expected by management. Part time employment is a great option for these teachers but this can lead to a feeling of isolation and disengagement from others.
    I also feel that it's a benefit for younger or new teachers to have mature teachers as mentors. However some older staff can have set opinions and tend to resist change or new ideas. This can make it difficult to introduce new programs and teaching techniques or technology.
  • Ian Conabere | 10 Nov 2015, 11:42 AM Agree 0
    Essentially the essence of teaching has not changed. Every excellent teacher wants their students to learn to learn, to learn how to assimilate new understandings and to express these as useful knowledge when that is required in life.
    Whether you can use the latest technology or not can be seen by some as the only way to prove that you are current in your thinking.
    My first computer policy in 1983 in a small rural school was created because technology could not be ignored. We learnt together and were very proud to sing Advance Australia Fair with the DOS programmed tune we created the week before.
    What my teaching experiences have shown me is that enthusiasm is still an essential part of any learning. Motivated students learn despite their situations.
    Part-time teaching can lead to a sense of isolation and disengagement as can no teaching if you want to continue to do this. We have some very intelligent, mature, socially savvy CRTs who for whatever reason do not teach in a permanent position. Just to be there among the rest of the teaching staff and be given a task that acknowledges their gifts and what they can offer to students would be great for them and for education. Adopt a character for your school who can give students a sense of history in the present age.
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