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In an adult-centered learning environment, it seems unusual that one of the top questions would be related to age. Am I too old for this? That's the question spoken by people from age 20 to 65 and beyond. What's important isn't age, but the experience and integrity you bring to the classroom.
A 20-year-old may exhibit unearthly exuberance, while a person in their forties or fifties may display signs of great patience and dedication. The question posed regarding age, is probably more of a question about confidence and security. What those students are really asking is, "Will I be embarrassed in this class?" or "Will I be able to keep up with the younger students?" The answer to these questions is no, and yes, respectively.
You have the right to a safe learning environment where your opinions and contributions are valued. This isn't high school anymore! Adults are expected to act like adults and are governed by strict policies and procedures as laid out by the school. Luckily, those policy manuals don't always have to come out from under the cupboards. While it's true that sometimes there are negative classroom dynamics, the reality is that most students come together to work in harmony – no matter what their ages.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|