Teachers are extremely important elements in the education of students everywhere. Teachers of all ages devise learning activities and positively impact students in classrooms all over the world, every school day. Student learning styles and teaching methods change over time, that's a proven fact, however, the need to educate students is always present. I personally don't believe that a teacher's age is as important as their willingness to change and adapt with the current times and to accept and adopt new technology as it is introduced to the world of education.
We all know of those teachers who can't seem to drift away from what are now considered old-fashioned, sit and get teaching methods: lecturing, teaching straight from the textbook, worksheets, tests that only involve repeated facts, tenses, and transformations etc. Most of the time, the teachers who partake in these types of teaching methods have been in the educational system for more than fifteen or twenty years. They are teaching the way they were taught in high school and college and the way they believed they learned. After using the same methods for so many years, it is very difficult for them to understand why a change is necessary. They generally feel that they have given many students the tools of knowledge necessary to positively impact their future and have more than likely been touched by success stories of students past. All of this reinforces the idea that what they are doing must be right and doesn't need to change. They even claim that they have nothing to learn as they grow old! I would just say, “we do not stop learning when we grow old; we grow old when we stop learning.”
However, as the world changes, we must change our teaching methods; it doesn't matter if the teacher is young, old, or middle-age; teachers have to accept the responsibility to adapt to changing times and generations of students who differ from their predecessors from past generations. Fortunately, many experienced teachers cope with reforms, with learners’ attitudes and learning styles. They are like a rushing stream of water, constantly renewing, remaining fresh and never stagnating.
Change involves a great deal of hard work and challenge. So, while anyone is capable of learning new ways of teaching, a teacher must actually be interested in learning new teaching methods and motivate themselves to utilize them in their classrooms. There are many older teachers who do this very effectively and stay on top of the newest innovations. These life-long learners deserve appreciation, gratitude and respect.
Olivia Kay ( Adapted)