My son's teacher is only 21 and I don't feel comfortable with this

Jane - posted on 03/26/2013 ( 119 moms have responded )

8

0

0

I just found out that my son's English teacher in tenth grade for this semester is only 21. My son is 16. I do not feel comfortable with my son having a teacher that young and a person that young being in charge of a class that includes young boys 15-16 years old? Should I pull him out or take any other type of action?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Amy - posted on 03/31/2013

19

2

0

I started teaching at 22 and I started in December. I had a parent meet with the principal on the first day and wanted her child moved because I was a new, young teacher. My principal told her that new teachers have the most to prove and work really hard and that they are also up to date on all the latest in teaching. The principal also told the parent that if she wasn't happy in a month to come back and talk to her again. The parent never came back and her child stayed in my class. Just because someone is young and new doesn't alway mean they can't do the job. Twenty years later, I still love my job and still work hard and that student went on to college and is doing well.

Lins - posted on 03/31/2013

12

0

0

I'm a 28 year old teacher who started at 23. The small age gap is a challenge but I was educated as a professional and acted as such. There is no action to take except to let your son have an opportunity in this teacher's class. If the teacher is truly only 21, that says a lot about him/her (you didn't specify male or female) that he/she can get through a four year degree so speedily. Any new teacher of any age will have classroom management and lesson planning challenges, so when you inevitably do see some minor hitches, don't hold the teacher's age against him/her. This professional deserves a fair chance to grow as an educator.

[deleted account]

So let's imagine another scenario.

Your son graduates from high school and takes a degree. He wants to teach. He graduates summa cum laude and manages to land a job teaching immediately after he graduates from university. He is thrilled, excited and full of ideas for communicating his enthusiasm to his students.

You tell him that no way is he old enough to be a real teacher and he needs to go and find a job that he isn't qualified for, so probably minimum wage, for an unspecified amount of time until he's allowed to do the job he trained for and is qualified to do, because if he doesn't, then parents like you will be suspicious of his motives and ability.

Feel good now?

Holly - posted on 03/27/2013

1,250

18

515

i think this is extremely ridiculous... young teachers are often more qualified for the job as they are fresh out of school and have more energy to handle the students. and are often have more passion than the older teachers who may be stuck in their way and are tired of dealing with the "ruffians" of today

Jodi - posted on 03/27/2013

25,219

36

3781

We have an English teacher in our school who is that young. She is teaching Year 10 English (15-16 year olds). She's a very capable teacher.

There is nothing more condescending than a parent who decides to judge the abilities of a teacher based on their age. If I were you, I'd be more concerned about the ones who have been there for 20 years.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

119 Comments

View replies by

Jodi - posted on 04/25/2013

25,219

36

3781

OK, ladies, I think that's calling it a day. Just for future reference, calling someone a bully when there is no bullying actually going on, IS a personal attack, which is against community guidelines. You may actually want to learn to distinguish between bullying and disagreeing - I think you will find they are vastly different.

Have a nice day!
Jodi
WtCoM Moderator

Angel - posted on 04/25/2013

179

4

8

How are Dove and Shawn bullies? They are firm about their believes and opinions and just because you may not agree with them doesn't make them bullies.

Suckie - posted on 04/25/2013

18

0

0

younger teachers may bring something ew and refreshing to your sons education. Maybe you should think of the training and qualifications she has instead of age .

Farina - posted on 04/24/2013

12

6

3

Winnie :
No use telling people that they are bullying the poster.

Dove and Shawn are the biggest bullies on this site and I have in fact
stopped posting my queries here because of them.

Jane :
You are right in being concerned, but let us put some faith in your son
and wait and watch for his grades. It might be tricky if he feels you
don't trust him.

Jennifer - posted on 04/24/2013

10

10

0

You are discriminating against the teacher based on their age. Obviously this teacher has to be very bright in order to have finished school and get a teaching job by the age of 21. If the teacher is female and dresses questionably then address that with the principle to help prevent any type of temptation, however, someone has to start there job some where and with the teacher being 21 they are probably going to be able to relate to your child better and your child along with the other children might be able to comprehend more in the classroom because the teacher can put the teaching materials into terms that the students are able to comprehend and absorb for later on down the road.

Jo - posted on 04/23/2013

61

4

1

Having no faith in your son is an issue for you to deal with. Discriminating against a young teacher is inexcusable. You have issues.

Erin - posted on 04/23/2013

222

20

22

When I was in high school, I had great teachers and I had horrible teachers, and there was a wide range of ages. An older teacher may have the experience but may not be able to relate to students to be able to help them. Younger teachers can relate because it wasn't that long ago that they were students.

I had a history teacher and it was his first year teaching. While he didn't have everything figured out he tried very hard to help each of his students succeed.

Are you worried that because she is young that she will sexually harass a student? Teachers have spent about 4 years, and a lot of money, to get their degree. Teaching jobs are becoming harder and harder to come by, so if they are lucky enough to get a job why would they jepardize it?

At my school there was an incident where a teacher had slept with one of his students. He wasn't just out of college either. He had been teaching at the school for 10 years. He was in his 30's and married. So I wouldn't judge your son's teacher because of her age. Give her a chance.

Linda - posted on 04/18/2013

14

8

0

Young or new teachers are often the most passionate about teaching and have worked hard to get where they are. She will be the one to have to learn to deflect young hormonal teenage boys. But that will be her problem. Just because there have been a few transgressions as other have said a 21 year old female is not looking at teenage boys.

I was getting crushes on me at 30 and older when I was teaching because I looked young. Some of the boys are funny--preening around but I was all business. Don't prejudge her. The students may be more open to learning from her because they can relate.

Stacie - posted on 04/16/2013

3

0

1

Your son is old enough to know boundaries and so is the teacher. Don't let the few teachers out there who get publicity for their inappropriate behavior disrupt his educational process or make you worry. Young teachers can be incredibly enthusiastic and up-to-date on new teaching methods and learning styles. To ask for a different teacher would be wasting a great opportunity for him to see that someone so near his own age chose a career helping others learn.

Christine - posted on 04/16/2013

23

4

5

I honestly don't see any problem with it. I do not understand why you would be so concerned? Its not like it's just SOME 21 year old. They earned a degree just like every other teacher out there. You're sweating stuff of no concern. Trust me, there are bigger things to worry about!

Sue - posted on 04/16/2013

12

7

0

This subject has been talked to death. It clearly has no real merit. Qualified teachers have a right to teach. Teacher is the key word here. It hits a cord with me since I was an Insurance agent at 25. I was being carded still at 30. I was in live with insurance and read everything I could find on it. I was informed and knew my stuff but still always had to resell the client that I had sold over the phone when they saw how young I was. Waste if my time but only made we better.

Sarah - posted on 04/16/2013

3

0

0

In my opinion, having a younger teacher when I was in school was more interesting because instead of the teacher being an older person that I couldn't relate to, it was someone closer to my age who still had the education necessary to teach me what I needed to learn and had a stronger passion for the material than someone who would have started teaching 30 years ago...

What is it that makes you uncomfortable? Is it that she's female and you think there would be inappropriate behavior? It is just as likely for an older teacher to do anything like that.

Alia - posted on 04/14/2013

5

0

1

I see your concern. Your afraid she's attracted to your son or he's attracted to her. Of course they are gonna' like her! There 15 year old boys. . You never know if she's fat, ugly, weird. No don't pull him. You'll embarrass him. Don't u love him? Your over reacr

Chile Adoptions Support NZ Parents. - posted on 04/10/2013

73

1

1

If your sons Teacher wether female or male is doing their job to a high standard and behaving above board etc, what exactly was or is the problem? just because they are 21?? Thats a Adults age not a teenager.


Um what if your son passed subjects well? any complaints then? If he is doing well, as you don't say he is not, then "you Jane, don't say exactly why you are uncomfortable.

"You need to handle your own insecure thoughts", as cannot see any complaints at all about the Teacher in all of this, and if your son is Learning well so what?

21 is not so young when you where 21, um No one can be easier employed as well unless they have passed all subjects they are teaching as well, and 99% Teachers are of good Character.

You sound you are very insecure.

Shonda - posted on 04/09/2013

23

0

2

Just about all of my daughter's teachers this year were in their early 20's. She is graduating high school in May and the young teachers are the ones she really paid attention to during class. I don't think you really have anything to worry about.
I believe most 21 year women are looking at 25 year men and not 15 and 16 year old boys.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/05/2013

275

0

13

Hey... Has Jane commented back to answer any questions pertaining to her post?

Jane- I would like to know why the young teacher bothers you. Is it because he or she might not be experienced enough to teach teenagers? It sounds like the teacher is a female because you mention you are uncomfortable with them teaching teenage boys.

Let me tell you a story. When I was in high school there was a very good looking male physics teacher, all the girls LOVED him (I personally didn't understand the hype) He was probably between 25 and 30 years old. After my class graduated from the school he ended up marrying one of the top students in our whole grade, it was pretty crazy. However he was a man established in his career and did not need to worry about what his future wife may be doing with her life, he also quit his job at the high school and went on to teach at a university, this way no parents were made uncomfortable by him still teaching there.

However, if this teacher is a female and she has accomplished something at such a young age, do you really think she is ready to give that up for a teen age boy? Trust me. No. I'm 24 and I'm marrying a 34 year old. I have been fairly stable in my job for a couple of years now and I wouldn't date anyone that could compromise my position. Women in their 20's aren't looking for teen age play mates. The fact is if she is there to teach a class she is getting down to business teaching her class and probably going home laughing about all the little boys with crushes on her. She will by no means jeopardize her career for the likes of a teenage boy.

I think you have nothing to worry about at this stage. Now when she hits her 30's and she is in an unhappy marriage and feeling bad about her age and starts dressing slutty to her job, then you have something to worry about.

As for now, give the girl a chance to teach her class and please don't ruin her career by complaining about something you are paranoid about. Everyone deserves a fair chance until they really mess up and you have true evidence that your child is at risk.

Angel - posted on 04/05/2013

179

4

8

I do remember the original post mentioning the teacher was a woman- and I do think you are being a bit judgmental and unfair. She is obviously qualified or they would not have given her the job- let her do her work, we all have to start out somewhere. I personally am 28 but look like a freshman in college and I work in a major university, if my employer had the same mind set you do, I never would have gotten a job.

Meg - posted on 04/05/2013

8

0

3

Wait a minute... didn't the op originally say the teacher was a woman? I thought so, but then noticed what I quoted (admittedly without rereading every word) didn't mention the teacher's gender.... I'm thinking the op edited her post sometime once everyone reacted to the mention of a young WOMAN teacher....

Yes the original post mentioned that the teacher is a woman. I'm sure the mom is worried about raging hormones - Van Halens "Hot for Teacher" was a huge hit for a reason. But if she's hot I think the boys will pay attention and be on their best behavior if they are juniors in H.S. It would only be a problem if they are 6th and 7th graders; that's the age group that acts like fools in front of a pretty girl. I stand by my original post, see how it goes before making a move. Give the girl a chance, she may be the most awesome teacher you've ever met.

Sue - posted on 04/05/2013

12

7

0

I posted much earlier but was remembering when I became an Insurance agent at 26. I was so in love with insurance, learned everything I could and was proactive and caring with my customers. I was a top agent. I was also being carded at 30 , so you g looking I was. I would develop this great relationship on the phone but when they came in to the office and saw me, I almost always had to reestablish the repore and trust. I had to be very confident. It was frustrating at times but I think it motivated me to be an even better agent. Teaching is tough and that age group tougher. As I said earlier" you have to first get their attention to teach them. "I always paid more attention to my younger teachers I honestly don't think you need worry.

Kylie - posted on 04/05/2013

820

13

49

is your child's teacher is responsible and professional then there should be absolutely no reason why you should be taking your child out of the class. the education department obviously thinks this person is capable or they would never have been given this position.

Meg - posted on 04/02/2013

8

0

3

Why don't you wait to see how it goes before passing judgment? Maybe because she is so young she will relate well to her students and find material that they can relate to and appreciate. They may learn more from her than from an old fuddy duddy. I'd give it a chance before making a move.

Julie - posted on 04/02/2013

2

22

0

My son is about to graduate as a Teacher, & because he was born on 30 august he is was only just 4 when he started school, yet some of his friends in his class were 5 just a week later, so in England it is very possible to be a teacher at 21 as I know. please don't judge them because of their age they have trained long & hard to get where they want to be.

Jessica - posted on 04/02/2013

16

0

3

I'm surprised someone was able to qualify to teach that age group by the age of 21. I'd be uncomfortable too, but unsure of action. Good luck! That's a tough situation.

Holly - posted on 04/02/2013

1,250

18

515

I can understand speaking to the teacher, asking them to wear more appropriate clothing in an environment full of hormonal crazed kids, then possibly if nothing is fixed, then taking to the principal and have THEM mention it... and if it isn't fixed, then the principal can do as they please.

[deleted account]

Even more insane: getting someone fired for wearing a type of shirt that someone of any age can wear.

Holly - posted on 04/02/2013

1,250

18

515

@ elizabeth, yes, my mother is nearing 60, and STILL exposes her cleavage (in ways that are uncomfortable for me) I am sorry, but it has nothing to with age, it has EVERYTHING to do with the type of person they are.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/02/2013

275

0

13

Kayli- I've had 60 year old teachers who "explode" themselves with low cut shirts. Give me a break, you people are insane.

Kayli - posted on 04/02/2013

2

0

0

Meet with the principal! If you don't feel safe about this! My Sons teacher is I'm her 20's around 23 or 24 my son is 14 I have net this teacher and she explodes herself with low cut shirts! I spoke with the principal and school board and she later was fired.

Constanza - posted on 04/01/2013

19

0

0

I was a teaching assistant age 19, and there was never any appropriate behaviour in my classrooms. The kids saw me as staff and that was it. When questioning my age, they guessed I was 24! I was young and somewhat lenient, but they never took any liberties. Being "almost a teacher" didn't exactly give me street credit.

Kids see attractive people everywhere they go, but they don't act on it, because we teach them what behaviour is appropriate and what is not.

If you persist in your paranoia towards this teacher, you could unfairly damage her reputation and job prospects. All it takes is ONE person to think you removed your son from her care for some inappropriate behaviour, and people will be saying "no smoke without fire" and other nonsense behind her back.

Monitor the way your son speaks about her, and maybe chat with her one to one about his progress. Do not bring up your concerns with her, unless you hear something inappropriate. Perhaps you should address your concerns over why you think your son cannot control himself. I would like to think you had taught him that teachers are off-limits for dating, regardless of age.

Enna - posted on 04/01/2013

521

10

204

Yeah, I would definitely say it's unlikely that a teacher could be 21, but it does happen sometimes, especially depending on the age group and subject.
In response to Jane, I wouldn't worry about it at all. You hear a lot more cases of kids and teachers getting involved when the teachers older (usually in their 30's). My favorite teachers in high school were both 22, and I was surprised that one of them was a teacher, but she acted like a teacher and there was no confusion.

[deleted account]

Thanks for the input, Roxanne Johnson Witt. I'm from the UK, though I live in the USA, so I'm not fully conversant on what is actually required before one can start teaching and whether or not it would be possible to start teaching at 21. For example, in the UK, one not only takes a 3 year degree in the subject one is likely to be teaching, or in education if one is going to be a generalist, or early years education and development etc, but also a year after graduation for a teaching certificate: the Postgraduate Certificate in Education. It would be extremely unlikely that anyone aged 21 could be teaching in the UK. 22 would be much more likely.

I understand that it is uncommon but not impossible in the USA. Personally, I'd have absolutely no issues with a young teacher. Kudos to them for working their butt off and ensuring that their enthusiasm and personality shines as brightly as the academic achievements on their resumé!

Patti Jo - posted on 04/01/2013

3

0

0

I don't see the problem with it. My neighbor is 23 and she has been teaching since 22 and she is an awesome teacher and the kids love her. She didn't take a break from school she went right to college and also did school in the summer. If the school hired her/him they must think highly of the person.

Enna - posted on 04/01/2013

521

10

204

I took college classes my senior year of high school, so it would have been easy for me to graduate at 21.

Sorry, I was trying to reply to Liz H.

Shawnn - posted on 04/01/2013

6,922

21

1886

In Wyoming, for example, a person can take quite a few of their freshman credits during their junior/senior year in HS. This puts them ahead by a semester when starting their freshman year at University. If they pull 15-17 credits per semester, and 6-8 credits during each summer session, they are eligible to graduate (with all of their mentoring and student teaching complete) with full teaching credentials in 4 years. So, if a student begins their freshman credits in HS (Which is a norm for most teaching related fields, at least here), and they are 17 when they graduate, they are in classroom teaching by the age of 21.

They do not have to start teaching at the Kindy level and move up accordingly. They choose to teach either elementary ed, or secondary ed, and complete the program track for that selection.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/01/2013

275

0

13

First of all if she is only 21 and teaching a 10th grade class that means she has a great head on her shoulders. Do you realize how hard it even is to actually finish college that early, let alone get a teaching certificate and teach high school? Do you realize what this would do to her self esteem as a teacher? A parent pulling their kid out of her class because she accomplished something great at a young age? Do you even care? You are basically discriminating against her because she is young.

If your teenage boy cannot control himself around a young woman who is an authority figure to him than shame on you because you should have taught him better.

Shawnn - posted on 04/01/2013

6,922

21

1886

Jane, why do you keep saying "there are more of us that feel this way, but just won't admit it"? Are you trying to justify, to yourself, that your actions border on ludicrous? And that they do/will cross the line for discrimination?

Please quit trying to tell the rest of us that we "just don't want to admit it". I think we know what our opinions are.

Frances - posted on 04/01/2013

113

2

30

Reading some of the most recent posts - and have to agree with the majority there - age of the teacher is no reason to pull kid out. If she's teaching high school, she's most likely only certified to teach high school, possibly middle school, so that's where she's got to be. Give her a chance; don't let a few cases in the media cause an unnecessary, prejudicial decision. -- from someone who was repeatedly asked for my hall pass when I started teaching high school

Diane - posted on 04/01/2013

110

0

2

Since this ludicrous subject is still being bantered about, I say, go for it. Yank your kid, but be sure to tell him why you are yanking him. That he's to be treated differently than the other kids, because his mommy doesn't like a teacher of that age, and doesn't trust her or or kid. I'm not sure you'll get the Principal to do your bidding, since no abuse has occurred. I'd take it even a step further, since you like to over parent a budding adult male. Go and sit in his class with him, and humiliate him a step further. At what point do you step back and allow this poor child, yes, I think he's a poor child with an overbearing mother, to live his life with his friends. Sheesh, I wish that were the only problem I'd had when I had teens.

Kristi - posted on 03/31/2013

1,355

3

78

Dove--

"Maybe the op could pull her son from this perfectly capable (potentially, at least) 21 year old female's class and have him placed in that 50 year old male's class who has a 'thing' for teenaged boys...."

Thanks for that!!! ; ) But, seriously good point!

Janet - posted on 03/31/2013

2

0

0

Why do you feel so uncomfortable about it? Has a situation given you reason to feel she is not capable of teaching your son's class?

Dove - posted on 03/30/2013

5,473

0

1331

My History teacher in high school was in his late 20's.... he didn't look much older than the kids he was teaching though. Great teacher and was my favorite one... though you wouldn't know it by my grades in his class. lol

[deleted account]

To be honest, I sincerely doubt that the teacher really is only 21. Could the OP please tell us how she knows this to be true? Merely being told this by another parent is not sufficient grounds for certainty.

Dove - posted on 03/30/2013

5,473

0

1331

Maybe the op could pull her son from this perfectly capable (potentially, at least) 21 year old female's class and have him placed in that 50 year old male's class who has a 'thing' for teenaged boys....

Just saying.... age and gender don't have much to do with a teacher that is going to behave inappropriately....

Jodi - posted on 03/30/2013

25,219

36

3781

@ Kristi,
A teacher is trained to teach either younger kids or older kids. A degree to teach in primary (or elementary) education is totally different to one teaching secondary education. This woman clearly entered secondary education for a reason, as is her absolute right. Once you receive a degree to teach secondary education there IS no option to teach younger children. you get hired in a school to teach a selection of classes in that school.

So this woman could not only be teaching 15-16 year olds, but 13-14 year olds too. But she would not be qualified to teach 10 year olds. Well, not where I live anyway. If I want to teach younger children, I have to go and do another 3 year University degree. Why should she have to do that because someone is "uncomfortable" with absolutely no real reason other than one that is age discriminatory?

This "21 year old" (and the OP is Yet to verify how she even knows her age) has every right to teach what she has been trained to teach. If the OP chooses to take action through removing her son from the school, then by all means, go for it. I am sure her son will be thrilled at the prospect. Or she could complain to the school board - who will do nothing because they can't because that would be a legal nightmare. All over a teacher who is fully qualified for the job. Wouldn't that look a little silly and over-reactive?

Chelsea - posted on 03/30/2013

11

7

0

Oh my God. Are you seriously worried about a teacher's age?!? I think you have a problem. Seek help.

Kristi - posted on 03/30/2013

1,355

3

78

Michelle--

You apparently misinterpreted my post in some respect. I was using the three articles as examples, merely stating that it is happening with women over 30, who in most 16/17 y/o boys' minds would be considered old and not a sexual interest or a gal pal because there is a 15+ year age gap. If it can happen within that age group how much easier or more likely could happen with only 5 year age difference.

You obviously didn't read my finally remarks either. Where I said I would not take any action unless there was a substantial reason because it was not right to assume that the teacher or the student would cross their moral or ethical boundaries just because people had done so before them.

Diane--

I guess "create a breeding ground" was a poor choice of words. As I said, I have no doubt about this teacher's abilities. I actually never said she would cross the line. I said or at least I was trying to say that the potential is there (and is greater because of the very small age difference) for an inappropriate relationship to occur. I don't understand why a school would set themselves up for that. I'm not saying she has to wait until she's 75 to teach. I'm just wondering if maybe starting out with younger kids would be less risky.

I do agree with you that teaching is a thankless job. I think kids treat teachers poorly and get away with it because their parents think they are better than everyone else or they blame the teacher for having a vendetta. My daughter is very aware that if she gets in trouble at school for disrespecting an adult, she is in a world of hurt when she gets home. I've never had one complaint about her. I volunteer in her school.

I totally agree with those of you who say not to judge a book by it's cover. I think many of us try not to do that for the most part.

But, first impressions do count. You don't show up at a job interview in your sweats and sneakers, even though that has nothing to do with your qualifications. What do you think about the group of girls in their goth make up and clothes and piercings and tats when you walk by them on the street? How about the black kids and white kids in their wife beater tanks, sagging jeans with their boxers hanging out, hats on sideways? You can't tell me you don't have preconceived ideas.

Jodi--

I don't know if your comment The Gradute was directed at me, but I don't know what that is.

Anyways, before you come after me for something I said, please read my whole post and take in my overall and complete message. Thx!

Michelle - posted on 03/30/2013

7,496

8

3150

I was a manager of a retail store at 22 and had many customers look down at me because they thought I was too young. I had worked with the company for 6 years and had worked my way to store manager. It also didn't helped that I have always looked younger than I am.

I even had an old guy abuse me when I was pregnant with my first child (at 26!!!) and tell me that us "young" ones only want to have kids so we didn't have to work. He backed off when i told him my age and that I had been working for 10 year in 3 different countries and been married for 3 years.

The point of this is to say you can't judge a book by it's cover like the saying goes and maybe you should give the teacher a chance before getting on your high horse.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms