I remember when I was in the sixth form at school, a sudden influx of teachers barely older than me appeared. This was a disaster for my fellow students and I – and it didn’t do the teachers much good either.
First up, the teachers felt a need to prove themselves – to instil a level of discipline, make it clear to us that they were in charge and demand that we should do exactly as they say. They were hungry for respect, but in their efforts to garner it they became the equivalent of little Hitler’s – and we all know that he wasn’t the most popular of gents.
And so became this Mexican stand-off between them and us. We didn’t respect them, and consequently they became stricter and stricter in an attempt to take control. It didn’t work. Chaos ensued. I was given an after-school detention for asking to borrow a pen in the library. A PEN. This pubeless teacher in specs decided I had broken the rules by opening my mouth and that a punishment had to be dished out. I answered back and questioned his decision. This riled him further, and he gave me a second detention. I laughed. He freaked. This would never have happened if the teacher had been a fully grown adult rather than someone a matter of months older than me. Why should I listen to this idiot? Why should I listen to someone who is punishing me for asking for a bloody pen? I needed it to write an essay for Christ’s sake! This feeble attempt at forming a dictatorship was never going to work. And I wasn’t a troublemaker – imagine what the naughty kids were doing to these poor bastards.
Teaching is an incredibly hard profession. I wouldn’t want to do it. But they need to have some life experience. They need to be at least ten years older than you to fully earn respect. You can’t take a child teacher seriously – it’s like being told what to do by your mate.