Are Younger Teachers Better?


classroom. teacher

Very interesting point of view here. Let me give you the run down.

There's a county in Virginia--Chesterfield it's called. The school district is $52 million in the hole and that means 300 positions from the public schools--or 5 teachers per school--have to go. (This could be any school district in America soon.) Writer Jason Sterlace argues that "in government work, seniority and tenure mean a lot, so the newest teachers are the ones who will most likely be on the streets." True.

But what about this point? A letter to the Editor of the Chesterfield Observer suggests that the older teachers should be the ones to go. Here's the reasoning:

The Chesterfield County school system in its proposed reduction in force policy to meet budget restrictions is planning to lay off the newest teachers in the system. In my opinion it is these teachers who should be kept. I have found that the youngest, most recent college graduates are the most enthusiastic and bring with them the most current knowledge of educational practices and course content. It is not fair to our students to deprive them of good teachers and keep those who are not performing in a satisfactory manner.

Now, of course, that's a sweeping, blanket statement against veteran teachers--a group that should probably be given more credit than they are here. But the writer of this letter may be on to something. Younger teachers do have a certain enthusiasm that, generally speaking, more senior teachers seem to lose--not to mention the natural connection younger teachers often have with the kids. In a case like this one, where teacher lay-offs are imminent, merit should be the only standard--right? But when it comes to teachers, how exactly does one measure that?

Do you think younger teachers are better?

education, jobs & money


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Serap... Seraphinne

As a teacher, there are several ways to look at this.  Yes, younger teachers are more energetic and bring more current ideas of teaching to the table, but SOME of them do not have the classroom management skills like the veteran teachers.  Those skills are learned throughout the years of teaching and changing what to what works.  I think that the disticts should look more into the individual teachers and their way of teaching, not necessarily years of service.  I am in VA, so I know exactly what is going on as well.  We will know in less than a week if we have a job or not next year.  It is all very scary!!!

SahmTam SahmTam

I think it should go on a case by case basis. My son's only in 2nd grade. He has had 2 young teachers (1st and 3rd years of teaching for them) and a teacher who has been teaching for 20 years (who, incidentally, is also the only teacher my son has had who is a mother herself... she seemed to "get it" more from a parents' perspective more than the teachers without kids). They have all been good teachers in different ways, though.


singn... singnstitch

I personally believe a teacher shouldn't even get to go into the classroom until she has kids of his/her own that are half-grown! Younger teachers are usually barely out of the teens themselves and tend to be very immature. (And yes, I have seen this more than just one time! And both genders!)  My dh is a teacher and quit after 8 years of teaching, went on to sometihing else for several years, then went back to teaching. Second time around was much better because his older kids were teens, he knew how to relate to kids at all stages, and could deal with them much better as a true adult instead of an over-grown teen. (And yes, I've seen this same "syndrome" with other teachers!!)  He also had enthusiasm the second time around that he didn't have the first time, because he wasn't intimidated by the students like he was the first time!  There are some new teachers at my girls' school that I would like to have removed for about 5-10 years so they can grow up!  They don't have the kids respect, so the learning just isn't there!

Just my opinion, but I am sticking to it!  ;)

joni244 joni244

Through my recent experience with younger teachers....They need to go back to school themselves.  They might be enthusiastic about their profession, but what 20 yr old isn't.  Problem is they are more concerned with their appearance or that of your child's then teaching.  They are quick to place blame, but not to accept responsibility.  They fall into the politics of the education system, it is really only a "job" to them.  I have yet to find more than one teacher with passion for their profession.  You don't even know the academic worth of our kids, with all the padding and deductions, etc.  I certainly don't know everything nor would I ever choose to be a teacher (very hard job), I am speaking from my own experiences and opinion.

Tracys2 Tracys2

No. None of my favorite teachers from grade school on up through high school were under 40. And I didn't like the "easy" teachers-- I liked the ones with interesting ideas and who taught us loads of stuff.

Lindalu2 Lindalu2

I don't like the tone of the article about younger vs older teachers. Is this "ageism"? IMO Age should not be a determining factor. Ability, intelligence and respect for the profession and the students are more important.

babys... babysyoungmom1

Older teachers have more life lessons and had more study/school time in them.But younger teachers arent so out of touch with the kids

katel... katelynsmom22

i think it depends on the teacher, my jr yr in high school we had a young teacher, i slept through most of her classes and she ended up sleeping with one of the seniors. but i also had an older teacher that i was able to sleep through her class and she also slept with a few students.

my SOs cousin is 24 and he is in his first yr of teaching by himself (had to do student teaching first) and it has done wonders for him. His students respect him and the school is having him coach one of the sports teams.

kimmykim kimmykim

I liked older teachers when I was in school.  I had a government teacher that was in his early 20's and he was such a horrible teacher.  I hated him.

mrsno... mrsnoble2004

I'd have to agree with just because I've had to dal with both and I have found the the older teachers tend to pay attention better when your talking to them about your children. And I'm getting really sick of the word "consquences" that the younger ones like to use, heck spelling the word out is worse the the punishmentment given to the kid that punched my daughter in the nose and broke her glasses.

1-10 of 17 comments 12 Last