I just saw a job advertisement for a Madrid based English academy that boasted of a ‘young’ environment. I was wondering what would happen if they had boasted of a ‘white’ environment or a ‘heterosexual’ environment . It does seem to suggest that ‘young’ is good and so ‘old’ is bad. This academy seems to think it can ascribe to me negative attributes because I belong to a certain group. A group, furthermore, that I can not choose not to be in.
I don’t think the academy meant to be offensive*. Far from it. I think it is most likely to be unconscious bias. But still, this is 2021 and it’s odd to think that a ‘young environment’ should harbour such out-of-date attitudes.
If the academy thinks young people are more attractive, then they should say so and ask candidates for photographs rather than certificates. Or perhaps they think that older people are less digitally competent? Well, my generation invented the world wide web. Tim Berners Lee is six years older than me. I would be eager to hear what young people can do that older people cannot purely because they arrived on the planet later. Run a marathon? Some of them, yes. Dance all night? I wouldn’t be surprised. Appreciate reggaeton? Undoubtedly. But teach? I would love someone from the ‘young environment’ academy’s human resources department to explain how being young makes you a better teacher. I have always thought that being qualified, experienced and having shedloads of empathy makes you a good teacher. But then maybe age has addled my brains.
(* That’s why I don’t name them.)