Out With (Some of) The Old, In With (Some of) The New

 

The standard answer posed by defenders of the teacher tenure system is that school districts will fire the more senior teachers to hire less experienced teachers and save money thereby.
 
Sure, it happens in the real world also, corporations let older, more experienced workers go (keeping some for continuity) while hiring younger, often brighter and certainly better educated (or those with more technological education), but that is better for moving corporations or schools forward than the French method of never replacing workers, and having the brain drain to competing nations!
 
I am 80, but began in computers in 1967. I taught teachers, and at least in technology they are dense, while their students are superb — it is not wise to have students smarter than the teacher…it makes students zone out because they already think they know everything and their teachers prove it!
 
I have to tell you a story: some years ago a friend called and told me he had been hired to be a computer teacher at a North County High School — reputed to be a top high school.
 
I said I didn’t know he knew anything computers. He said he didn’t, but was calling me to see if I could give him “an hour or two” so he could stay ahead of his students!
 
I did, but he was obviously never going to teach HIS students ANYTHING, so I offered to teach his first class. It was a ball. I loved it, and midway through a woman came in and sat down. At the end, she asked me to teach HER class…
 
(She also said she didn’t understand a word I said, but that obviously the students did.)
 
It’s like medicine…you need a mix of older, experienced Doctors, and younger Doctors with technological expertise. I discovered after a five-way heart by-pass the old chest-cracking way that there is a Da Vinci procedure that could have reduced my recovery from eight weeks to one week.
 
When I asked a Da Vinci qualified Doctor why my Surgeon used the old procedure, he said, “He has 35 years experience, and does it his way very well, but the Da Vinci device requires years in Medical School to master!”
 
It is inevitable that marginally performing old teachers (and old Doctors) will be  should be  replaced by newer, and inevitably cheaper  people and technology.
High performing but elderly Doctors, and teachers will always be welcome.
 
Tenure gets in the way of both progress and reality. It should go!
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