Teaching should be for both the young and the old

 

mature

There seems to exist a common perception that to be a teacher (especially at the tertiary level), one needs to have at least 15-25 years of working experiences. Hence, many feel that joining the teaching profession after forty should be the way to go. Prior to reaching the age of forty, gaining work and life experiences should be considered the norm. However, I beg to differ.

As I have mentioned in my previous post, mature workers should be treasured within their own profession (of which teaching is included) for both their life and work experiences.  Nevertheless, the young should also be considered for the teaching profession if they have a passion in teaching. 

The primary factor that some students and parents find lacking in young teachers is their lack of working experiences in the subject matter that they are teaching. This is true to a certain extent, which is why I will encourage young educationists joining the profession to have a few years of relevant working experiences before doing so. However, advising the young to join the teaching profession after they are way into their forties is not advisable.  This is because the young have a strong drive to contribute and excel in the profession of their preferences, and all educational institutions need this drive to improve and progress.

Therefore, both the young and old who aspire to be teachers should be given an opportunity. And their competence should not be judged based on their age and experiences. Rather, they should be assessed based on their commitment to the profession and their passion to guide and mentor the young.

It is the same in the workplace. Employers need mature employees to guide their younger workers in their EQ and communication skills. At the same time, employers require the young to drive projects, especially in the areas of sales and marketing. Only when employers have strike a balance between these two areas will an organisation excel.

In a nutshell, it’s advisable to have the correct perspective when assessing the suitability of a candidate for teaching and mentoring positions, be it in an organisation or an educational institution. And it’s always good to have an optimistic view of things by focusing on an individual’s strengths, and not their age.

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