Over the last three years I have witnessed the exodus of almost everyone who trained, mentored and initiated me into this wonderful exercise of chaos called teaching, writes Bronwen Auty in The Age.
At first it was one person every now and then, however recently the generation who has been the leaders in education are closing the books on their careers in droves.
So many exits and so much insight, experience and amazing advice is just heading off into retirement without anyone even contemplating collecting that wealth of knowledge.
The retiring specialist maths teacher at my school has worked for 40 years. Two of my mentors from my first years of VCE English retired last year and had given 39 years and 45 years each.
Literally thousands of years of experience is leaving our industry and we are doing nothing about it. Without mentors, experience, compassionate advice, expertise and direction teaching graduates will stay in the profession for less and less time – and then where will we be?
There has never been a group of education professionals who have traversed the educational changes experienced by this retiring generation of teachers. Their careers cross millennia. They began with Matriculation and moved the system seamlessly into an Anderson-scored HSC with Group 1 and Group 2 subjects.
We owe them a great debt and I hope our profession realises that before all the opportunities to collect their invaluable educational insight drives off into the sunset of retirement.