The benefits of experience

My school is currently over capacity. As such, we had all sorts of complications with rooms and schedules this year. Some teachers are teaching in up to five rooms with four preps, while others have two preps in a single room. In our last department meetings we were asked to discuss what criteria should go into deciding who gets which classes and classrooms.

I was surprised because most teachers argued that with experience should come both first shot at choosing your classes and the benefit of getting your own room. The result of this is, of course, sticking the most inexperienced teachers with the most challenging teaching situations.

That in itself doesn’t seem right to me, but it did start me thinking: What SHOULD the benefits of experience be? Because as traditional benefits of experience such as job security, higher salaries, and an easier evaluation process come under fire by reform movements, it is natural to expect experienced teachers to cling to what they can demand as benefits. But is giving an experienced teacher one or two preps while a first-year teacher gets four really best for students or for teaching as a profession?

And shouldn’t brand new teachers get their own benefits, such as extra mentoring?

And what about the difference between experience and expertise?

What are your thoughts? Is it possible to come up with general guidelines that grant benefits to experience but also reward younger developing teachers and meet the needs of students?

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