There’s been a bit about this in the news recently, however I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Nicky Morgan has muted people coming back into teaching once retired.The typical Twitter response I’ve seen is ‘Don’t be ridiculous. When I retire I don’t want anything to do with teaching’. However, having sat through a leaving ‘do’ at the end of the academic year a couple of weeks ago I think we’re missing something.
There are some really excellent, experienced, inspiring teachers leaving teaching. The day they leave all their knowledge, years of classroom experience goes; an overnight resource loss. Some of them however are not of the opinion above. They don’t really WANT to stop teaching. They love the kids. They love their subject. They love their job. They are years of ‘research’ without any written papers. I know for some people that’s hard to believe but they will really miss school. These are the people we need in education.
So why are they going? Even in an amazing school like mine it’s not just about being in the classroom with the kids. Teaching is so much more. It’s tiring. It’s draining. And for some, learning more new systems, pedagogies, administrative tasks is just too much.
So what can we do? We need to think how we can use this huge wealth of experience and knowledge to out students’ advantage. A teacher who the kids love, remember for ever, inspires and has helped students achieve excellent results should not just be left to walk out of the door.
Let’s start thinking of practical, manageable and effective ways of utilising these invaluable resources. These amazing teachers who have inspired for years should be able to continue to inspire without continuing to be full time teachers.