I've always equated age with wisdom, thus, leading me to believe that a veteran teacher has a lot to offer.
Of course, there are older teachers who refuse to change. They are teaching the way they used to be taught, and see the changes in education as
just another phase. But there are a number of older teachers, myself included, who have changed, and shouldn't be thought of as someone who should be put out to pasture.
In the past few years, tenure has been under attack. When tenure is attacked, many veteran teachers fall victim. This article about tenure explains what tenure really is. Tenure is not a way to keep "bad" teachers in the classroom. That is a myth. Tenure is a way to make sure teachers receive due process. Unfortunately, this process is being taken away from teachers.
Two instances stand out for me. North Carolina is being battered. They are a right-to-work state, they are suffering from pay cuts, and tenure has been removed. "Teacher tenure has been replaced by a merit-based system that rewards long-term contracts to the top 25 percent of teachers, and shorter contracts to everyone else." When I asked the question regarding the criteria for the top 25%, one of my Facebook followers said that there is no criteria. Are you as scared as I am? I'm thinking of two ways off the top of my head that a teacher can be placed in the top 25%. Test scores or your daddy is a good friend of an administrator. Can you say cheating scandal and/or nepotism? Cases like these, those who are really the top 25% wouldn't benefit.
In California, there is a lawsuit against tenure by students, and a Silicon valley mogul. This mogul set up a nonprofit group called StudentsMatter. The students say it is too easy to keep "bad" teachers because of tenure. Of course there are "bad" teachers. But does this mean you should strip away a process that benefits "good" teachers? They are also worried about seniority rules which allows the newest teachers to be fired, even if their performance is adequate. Of course, how teachers should be evaluated, is not part of this lawsuit.
There are many groups that have been formed to "get" teachers. It's unbelievable that a profession where the majority of its employees work hard, and go above and beyond for their students, are so reviled. StudentsMatter and other groups are already talking to people in other states about lawsuits to eliminate tenure. Think about it, if you were trying to destroy public education, and replace them with money-making charter schools,would you want unionized employees?
If they win the lawsuit in California, watch out! No tenure and/or seniority may be coming to a district near you!