Living in the state that I call home there is a huge surplus of teachers, to the tune of 400 applicants per job opening. Again, I found my self wondering why this is. My answer came from an unlikely source.
I got a call one morning to go to a certain school that I’d never been to be a guest teacher. Not knowing exactly where to go I left plenty early with my map in hand. I got to the school about 25 minutes before I was supposed to be there but since the office was open I went ahead and checked in, got my key and directions to the classroom. To my surprise, she was there getting things ready for me. I introduced myself and the first words out of her mouth were a warning and a very telling statement. “I hope you are ready! After 41 years of teaching this is the worst group I’ve ever had!”
Two things to say to this lady; one, 41 years is too long. You were trained on older methods, you are getting tired and obviously grouchy. Two, if you were to quit there’d be 300 people waiting in line just for the opportunity to teach and that group may be the best someone else has ever had.
I would also like to look at the math of the situation. After 41 years of raises I bet it is safe to say that this teacher makes about $60,000 a year. New teachers get paid closer to $30,000. HALF of her salary can either be saved or reinvested in another new teacher by her choosing to leave. What a way to fix the financial burden on schools these days, especially when our Governor announced last week that school funding would likely be cut by $125 per pupil in June.
To sum it all up, RETIRE! Make way for newer teaching methods, more enthusiasm and a better attitude. Give us younger teachers a chance to do what we have trained for.
Ed U. Cayshun