Recently I was talking to a teacher who had just arrived from another state. He was sharing about his experience of his first day of casual teaching at a school in the area. Prior to the day, he was feeling a bit nervous about going into a new school community having never done relief teaching before, but coming from several years of having his own class.
I don’t consider myself old. I feel fit and healthy, with many productive working years still left in me and, according to recent statistics, the 50-65 age bracket should make up about 18% of the workforce. What is unusual is when I look around my school of over 100 teachers, I can count on one hand the number of classroom teachers who are over 50 and I am one of them.
Is it time we stopped to appreciate the qualities of our elder teachers - the wisdom that comes with age and experience? Have we stopped to observe the elders in our schools and communities and noticed the particular quality of their relationships with students and colleagues – a quality that elders innately have that inspires a deeper, richer connection with everyone they interact with? People feel safe, supported, held and inspired by many of our elders and we know they can bring great transformation to situations through their lived wisdom.
All around the world teachers are caring for, inspiring, nurturing and guiding children. These are our stories in our words in joy and appreciation of ALL that we bring!