Temporarily I suspect, my teenage children, 18 and 16 respectively over the next fortnight, are learning how mutually advantageous it can be to help eachother out - stronger academically our daughter at our son's request is sitting down with him a couple of times a week to go through his GCSE English papers. There's much laughter, rapport and work.
It made me wonder about the age of a teacher in relation to students - the power of peer support from your own generation, young students who have just successfully 'passed through'. And then the value of empathy between younger teachers and lecturers.
Not meaning to sound sexist and agist, at primary school all my teachers were elderly and female - in a boy's school. I do rather think that we would have responded better to younger male teachers. My son at a co-ed school never had a male teacher in five years - there only ever was one male teacher in the entire establishment who retired to be replaced by a young male teacher who left after a year.
I know I will be told that other qualities overide age and gender, but where empathy and rapport matter would not a thorough mix of ages, gender and other qualities work best of all?