Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why Retired Teachers Should Not Be Supply-Teaching

The following letter from today's Toronto Star should be read by all retired teachers:

In a recent discussion with a teacher who is considering retirement, he said that he would make more money retiring than staying on. He figures with his pension and supply teaching at $250 a day, he’ll be better off retiring.

In my board, when a teacher retires, they are invited to put their name on the supply list. And yet the supply list has not yet been opened to new young teachers. I don’t bother to go to the retirement functions at the end of the year anymore because they are all back supply teaching the next year. Teachers who retired 10 years ago are still doing supply teaching.

My child has just gone through five years of university education to become a teacher. What will happen to him once he is done? He’ll probably end up working in a bar somewhere or in a local grocery store or, worse, have to take his enthusiasm for teaching overseas, because he can’t get on the supply list to teach here in his own country.

Meanwhile, people like my colleague will be not only collecting a pension and a hefty salary, but taking a job away from someone trying to start their career. And still universities are welcoming thousands of students into their teaching programs every year with the promise of a great career when they are done. Aspiring teachers should be discouraged from this profession as there is no chance of a job right now or in the foreseeable future.

Also these former teachers are not accountable for their performance. There is no reason for them to prove themselves. As someone once said, “what will they do, fire me?” The worst teachers my children have had were retired teachers coming back to fulfil long-term openings (LTOs). This is not fair to the students who have every right to expect that they will receive the best instruction they should have.

We need these bright, young people in our schools. They are keen and they are excited about teaching, but they are not being given the chance because “double-dippers” are taking their spots. These people have retired — they are not forced to retire, they do so freely because they have had enough of teaching so why are they coming back?

In no other profession would someone retire and then be allowed to return to collect both pension and a hefty wage (by the way, I don’t even make as much money as these retired teachers do on the supply list).

Why doesn’t the government stop this practice? Doesn’t it make sense to bring the young would-be teachers into our schools, and at half the cost, so that they can pay back their government loans and bring their enthusiasm into the schools?

Does it make sense that these “retired” teachers are coming back to collect both pension and their supply pay? Stop the greed of these retired teachers and help our young people get a job in the profession they love and give the students the education they deserve.

N.J. Settle, Georgetown

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OH I could NOT agree MORE!!!!! This drives me insane! I work with undergrad Education students and they are amazing. Unfortunately so many of them will never teach because they will never break in. Thank you for posting this.