As disquiet builds around government plans to raise the pension age to 68, Teachwire have been asking teachers how long they expect to stay in the classroom…
“My experience is that as head of faculty, with lots of departments, you’ve kind of burnt out by 58 or 59. Part-time could be maintained ‘til 63 maybe, but after that you start to get physical things go wrong with you.
The government has shot us – women – in the foot. We should have been given at least 10 years to add extra money in to our teacher’s pension, and thus retire comfortably. As a result I now do tuition work. I wouldn’t choose to do but it makes up the extra money.
By the time you get to your 60s you can’t tolerate people in their 30s telling you about ‘this new, wonderful thing’. If you’re not careful you find yourself being a bit sharp in meetings…”
Maggie Crozier is a drama-teacher-turned-private-tutor in Essex
“From my experiences of the nature of this career, all formal retirement ages discussed seem unrealistic, whether 68, 60 or 82! As a result I don’t worry too much. It seems totally impossible to imagine teaching at that point, so any discussions about the exact age have limited impact, really.
Many staff feel going part time is the only way to cope; unless you go into more administrative positions, a full timetable becomes too demanding. I think beyond 55 it becomes difficult to have enough energy; I think it becomes a struggle to go the extra mile that’s expected in the classroom.
If you speak to most people of 60 years old, and try to picture them inspiring 34 teenagers, you can imagine how challenging it is to carry on to retirement age.”
Darren Beasley teaches IT at a comprehensive in Surrey
“Sixty is definitely the most reasonable retirement age. It can be hard to find the energy required for a full timetable. I think all teachers should have the option of part-time roles when they reach 60. I’d like to have the opportunity to take voluntary retirement. I’m dreading my final 18 months.
I feel a lack of fulfilment; it feels like a story unfinished. I have lots to offer but I am not sure anybody wants to utilise my experience and skills.
Experience is certainly helpful, not many situations arise inside or outside the classroom that I haven’t dealt with before. I feel very secure with my subject knowledge and the different ways that topics can be delivered successfully.
Anon, science teacher at an English-language comprehensive in Wales
Read more teachers thoughts Too Old to Teach?
What do you think? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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