How long have you been teaching?


The results of this poll are very interesting and show that the majority of teachers have been in the profession for 21+ years. The rest of the responses went down in descending order with first year teachers being the smallest group. If this is truly representative of the general teaching profession then there are several points to be made.

Firstly, we are fortunate to have so many experienced teachers instructing our youth. With close to half the teachers having been in the profession for 20+ years, the level of expertise which they bring to the classroom is incredible. In this period of time, most teachers have seen and done it all. There are not many situations that arise with students which would surprise them. This is very beneficial because no matter what a student's learning style an experienced teacher will have a plan of action to address it. A very respectable third place was those working for 13-20 years. For all intents and purposes, these teachers have the same level of skill as their more experienced co-workers. Added together these three groups represent over 60% of the poll respondents.

Secondly, the question must be raised concerning what happens in another 20+ years. These experienced teachers will be retiring, seemingly en masse. There are, of course, teachers coming up the ranks but not in the numbers required to replace the number who will be leaving. The teaching profession and our students could have a few years of hardship adjusting to the exodus of experienced teachers.

The other factor to consider with this poll is whether it is an accurate representation of teacher demographics. Perhaps less experienced teachers are not as likely to seek out websites such as this one because they are too busy simply keeping up. If this were the case, then they would be underrepresented in the poll results. However, this seems unlikely because younger teachers tend to be more tech savvy are more likely to look to the internet for teaching information and resources.

If the poll is even remotely representative then things could get very interesting in the next 20 years. We could be entering a situation where we are actively recruiting people into the teaching profession just to fill the void left by retirees. Teacher job fairs, signing bonuses, and bidding wars - hopefully it doesn't come to that.