After seeing young teachers benefit from the wisdom of educators with thirty plus years of experience at our Bronx Teachers Seminar today, I find myself all the more appalled by the purge of veteran teachers that took place in NYC when 168 schools were closed and the large high schools were broken up into small academies.
How many young teachers were deprived of the mentoring they needed to do their jobs well by these policies, which forced thousands of mostly older teachers into the ATR pool, and how many students suffered because no one in the schools they were at really knew what they were doing.
The idea that age and experience were drawbacks to successful pedagogy and miracles could be done with scripted curricula imposed on inexperienced teachers is one of the the great fallacies of our time, one which still has sway in the minds of most elected officials and is the guiding philosophy of Relay Graduate School of Education and Teach for America.
The tragedy is that some of the best teachers in this nation have been pushed out of their jobs or are languishing in "rubber rooms" where their talents are being wasted. And the best young teachers are suffering the consequences...