3 Comments

  1. Meghan Calder

    Interesting. I have to say that as a new teacher, I was blessed to have experienced teachers in my corner. My mom has always been one of the best teachers I know and her and her colleagues, my former teachers, helped me out so much when I was starting out. We now teach the same grade, so lucky, and I can honestly say that we push each other every year. She is only two years from possible retirement and I am an 11 veteran but she is still one of the best teachers with marginalized students I know and I have pushed her to try new ideas like Twitter.

    I also value other experienced staff and have always felt that they are easily approachable and willing to share and help. I have always felt like a bit of a newbie. Hopefully that will change a bit this year as my new teaching partner is 22, fresh out of University. I hope I can at least share some of my experience with her and that she will see me as I have seen many of my great, experienced colleagues.

  2. John Spencer

    Just to clarify on my post:

    I wasn’t slamming youth. I’m sure agism happens among the young. I just think there tends to be a few cultural perceptions in the U.S. that aren’t rooted in reality. They include:

    1. People who are older are less tech-saavy, innovative or open to change than those who are younger.
    2. People who are younger are more relevant and “get” kids better.
    3. Novelty is more important than sustainability and the future is more important than the past.
    4. Experience isn’t all that important. It’s a mindset that says, “You can be great really quickly.” The truth is that it takes years to refine your craft as a teacher. Some people get it at a young age. Some people have experiences outside of the teaching profession that allow them to get it even faster. And some veterans never got it in the first place. But if we believe in a growth mindset, we have to believe that it takes time.

    I didn’t mention it in the post, but I’d add a few more misconceptions:
    1. Young teachers are more idealistic and unrealistic.
    2. Being young means you are less wise or less mature.
    3. Someone who is younger cannot lead someone who is older.

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