Education leaders want to give boomers who are not yet ready to retire a second chance to practice their acquired skills. The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) is hoping to pair teachers with baby boomer retirees in an effort to better educate the nation’s children.

“There are 78 million baby boomers in the workforce, and they will be the largest, healthiest, most accomplished generation of retirees we’ve ever had,” NCTAF President Tom Carroll tells eSchool News. “[The system] creates a powerful learning environment for students, it gives teachers the support they need, and it’s giving those retirees an outlet.”

The project will team STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) retirees with licensed teachers. The STEM program is an education coalition composed of advocates from more than 600 diverse groups representing all sectors of the technological workforce, according to the organization’s Web site.

The goal of the retiree-teacher program, according to eSchool News, is to “inject compelling real-life lessons into classroom instruction, while at the same time giving teachers valuable support.”

The NCATF released a report in April calling for the creation of cross-generational learning teams due to the overwhelming number (more than 50 percent) of baby boomers who are principals and teachers in the United States. To avoid a potential school staffing crisis, NCTAF recommends the concept of “Cross-Generational Learning Teams, in which experienced veterans could stay in teaching longer by working with new teachers, providing mentoring, coaching and instructional assistance that will help to improve student performance and reduce attrition rates for new teachers.”

“We’re living in the learning age,” Carroll tells eSchool News. “The standalone teaching model is no longer sustainable, and teachers need a collaborative team environment–it’s not fair to the teachers or the students.”