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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Pro: Professor’s age affects teaching

There are a great deal of treasures in this world that get better with time; none such like an experienced professor with a passion for what they do.

It can be argued that younger instructors and administrators bring a certain zeal to the classroom experience. Fresh out of graduate school and ready to expand the minds of their students, these wide-eyed administrators pour their enthusiasm into each and every lesson.

However, this is not to say that their more seasoned colleagues are any less vibrant. If anything one could say that their words pack a stronger punch because there is heft behind it.

As a veteran of Pierce College I have come to value the worldliness of administrators and professors that have long since graduated from university. Just as energy and enthusiasm is key to an effective lecturer, so is hands-on experience and a wisdom that can only be achieved after serving a fair amount of time in the professor’s respective field.

One such example is those within the anthropology and archaeology department at Pierce College. They spent the better half of their college years digging-both literally and figuratively-for glimpses into the ancestry of humans. Traversing the globe, shaking hands with tribe leaders in foreign lands, and learning the culture from the people themselves is something that cannot be taught from a textbook.

What veteran professor’s bring to the classroom is a combination of youthful vigor and wisdom that only time can achieve.

Despite the stigma of age placed on modern American professors, their position in the academic hierarchy is immeasurable. A recent study conducted by Fidelity that was released on the CNN website states that 75 percent of college faculty and professors plan to retire after they reach age 65. The study also reports that 80 percent of polled faculty members and professors want to stay.

Baby boomer professors and administrators hail from a time when experience and passion was key. They do not teach for sport or a paycheck. They do not do it because “there will always be a need for teachers,” as the popular mantra says.

They do what they do because they recognize the need for certain knowledge. Knowledge that they happen to hold and are more than happy to share. If outstanding medical implications are impeding an administrator from fulfilling their position that is one thing. To imply that their ability to teach is inhibited by their age is an outdated Victorian notion.

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