In her article “Old Enough to Teach,” first-year teacher Erin Reed says young teachers are not always made to feel welcome by their more experienced colleagues. She writes that teachers at her school cast doubt on her teaching style. “No one wants to take a 20-something teacher seriously when she acts her age,” said Reed. “While my elementary students appreciate my age, my colleagues don’t. My pigtails and flip-flops don’t fit into this new world.” Reed feels that she has had to work twice as hard to gain professional acceptance.
What’s your view? Is there a teacher generation gap at your school? Are experienced teachers too hard on novices? How can veteran teachers make newcomers feel welcome? What can new teachers do to gain a greater level of trust?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Talkback blog.