do you think 37 is too old as first time teacher

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by tripletsteacher, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. tripletsteacher

    tripletsteacher Companion

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    Hi, I read an old post stating that all the young college students were always hired before the older first time teachers. As many of you know, I finished college in 2000, was offered a first grade position and that week found out I was pregnant with triplets. I had to decline the job of course. It was a good thing because my triplets were born at 29 weeks-11 weeks early at 2 lb a piece. I just could not carry them with my 120 lb. However, they are now 6 and entering first grade next year. I am in the process of applying for a job for next year but got discouraged when I read that old post about older teachers not getting hired. I am 37. Any input on this one? My gpa was a 3.9, rave reviews, excellent references and reccommendations but am I just too old to start? One district I applied to told me today they will not even start the interviewing process until probably April. However, the job was posted 2 weeks ago. Is that the norm for them to wait so long? Do you ever email the principal directly to follow up? The three jobs I applied at do not have closing dates and were just listed within the last 2 weeks. One of them was filled internally. thanks
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I hope not:eek: I will be 35 and for the most part will be a new teacher myself.

    Life happens.

    It's not the your age that counts, but how qualified you are for a postion. Even though you have little classroom experience, you have wisdom. In my opinion, real life experience matters just as much. You can handle kids because you have three of your own. That's no small task.

    You can have the opportunity to tell your story during your interview. My point is, our paths change. Life happens. You are never too old. :love:
     
  4. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I was 38 at the beginning of the year and have just turned 39. I'm a first year teacher.
     
  5. bdteach

    bdteach Companion

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    I don't think it's a problem. I think many employers would be happy to have someone with life experience and maturity--or so I hope as I too am 35!

    Seriously though, if you're the best qualified, age will not matter.
     
  6. srh

    srh Devotee

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    I'm a second-year teacher....age 50. I also KNOW I was hired due in part to things releated to my age: grown children who were successful students, lots of varied work experience, and a belated determination to fulfill a dream. It's NEVER too late to do what you were intended to do!

    And yes, districts are known for "slow-poking" the whole hiring process. There are boards and budgets that are in place solely to drag out the process!
     
  7. Zanadu

    Zanadu Companion

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    I'm 37 now and will be 40 when I can start pursuing employment. I just keep telling myself those young new teachers will be thinking about getting married and starting families. We've been there, done that. There's no maternity leave ahead for us or the possibility we might want to quit to stay home. I'd think that would be an advantage. I know this is something our school has struggled with since it's hard to find replacements.
     
  8. Miss

    Miss Rookie

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    I'm turning 36 this month, and I'm in my second year of teaching. I had absolutely no trouble finding a job. I know a few new teachers who are in their 30's and well beyond, and this was never an issue for them either. It seems that you are well qualified, and I bet there are plenty of principals out there who would recognize that. Good luck!
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I was older than you are now when I returned to teaching after a 10-year hiatus to stay home with my children. Before my children were born, I was working in small, private schools, so in the eyes of the school board I was an inexperienced teacher.
     
  10. curious

    curious Companion

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    What an uplifting thread! When I earn my certification and start teaching, I'll be 32. Personally, I think my age will work in my favor (i.e., more life experience, more confidence, etc.).

    I just hope that employers don't pass me over because I have a family and think I won't be able to devote as much time to the teaching profession as someone who's younger without a family might be able to.
     
  11. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    I think in teaching especially, there are many of us for whom it is a 2nd career, so there is a diversity of ages. In my classes, there were students from 20's to 50's (late). I also subbed, so I got around and I know many teachers who started in their 30's and 40's. I'm pretty sure that no interviewer was thinking about age when I was looking. I started when I was 36. I think when you have kids of your own, you've "experienced" kids and you understand where parents are coming from better--no offense to those who don't--and that's usually one of the interview questions, how will you communicate with parents, what would you do if a parent, how will you work with parents to help a child, etc. You know what it's like to be on the other side of the parent teacher conference. And as someone else said, it could be a plus that you're not likely to take off in your first two years for maternity leave.
     
  12. mommee03

    mommee03 Companion

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    I'm glad to hear your babies are fine. Triplets!! Man you are a trooper, if you can handle that, finding a job will be a piece of cake for you. This is my first year teaching and I remember applying last year and I was told the same thing, it has something to do with the contracts or something.
    Dont get discouraged, I'm sure you start nailing those interviews before you know it. Good luck!!!
     
  13. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I found out I was pg before my first year. I did my first year & baby came early, not like yours though!! Due to budget they laid me off which turned out to be a blessing to stay home with lil' one & add to family!! I'm not sure when I'll return or if I'll return to teaching...you never know hat the cards hold for ya!!! I would like to go for computer teacher when I do return. I had my own class & :eek:ved it, but I missed seeing different ages since I subbed for so long. I guess we'll see what cmes my way!!!

    My district knew about jobs opening in Janury, but didn't post until round April!!!
    GOOD LUCK ON THE INTERVIEWS!!!
     
  14. tripletsteacher

    tripletsteacher Companion

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    thanks all for the encouragement!! glad to see others are close in age and situation.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    That's probably pretty typical. With the tremendous number of teachers looking for jobs, they want to get a lot of resumes so they'll have a good mix of resumes from which to choose.

    And yes, I've emailed principals directly. I've told them why I want to work in their school, and that my application is on file in the district office. I did get a few calls, although after I had already accepted a job elsewhere.
     
  16. up4achallenge

    up4achallenge Rookie

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    NEVER!


    If it is, I am in BIG trouble!!

    I will be starting my first job on the 26th of March, just 27 days shy of my 47th birthday. And just to belay the idea that principals only want younger teachers, I had 4 different offers......
     
  17. tm91784

    tm91784 Comrade

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    I don't think that its too old at all and I'm one of the young teachers! As far as the interview process goes, I applied in March of last year for my current job and interviewed in June, so I waited a while for it.
     
  18. skiteach

    skiteach Rookie

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    Hi-

    Great post--I'm 33--Sometimes I get caught up in the age thing, but I think it's just because when I was in grad school, many of the students were "younger" --22/23--I think it was the first time I started to feel "old"--I put that in quotes, because age is all in our head, and it only becomes an obstacle when we start thinking all weird about it!

    I've sent in about 10-12 resumes for "anticipated vacancies" for 2007-08 year---these are not specified openings. They are just anticipating the usual people retiring, moving, etc. You'll see more specific posting for specific grades later in the spring. When I see the specific postings, I'll usually call the district to remind them I am still interested in the job so that they will pull my materials from the pile of applications they've received.

    Don't worry about your age. It adds needless stress to the job hunt.
     
  19. Zhang

    Zhang Rookie

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    I think that "age" should not be a factor in determining ones ability to teach. I have just began a new career as a teacher. I spent most of my life in working in a different field, (I am an Engineer). Now I am living in China, and teaching English to Chinese students. It is turning out to be very rewarding and challenging. I just love it!! An analogy regarding age can be made relating to medical care...would you go into surgery with a doctor that has never performed the procedure (young doctor) or would you feel more comfortable with one that has been doing it for many years( old doctor). You decide.
    Oh, did I mention, I just turned 50, Yahoo!!!
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I've known of people who started in their 60s, even.
     
  21. ITeach4Him

    ITeach4Him Comrade

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    I'm a "first-year teacher" and I'm 41. I graduated from college at 39. My principal put me in the grade level I'm in because she knew I had children that age and could handle them!
     
  22. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Zhang, what nationality are you? Where did you grow up? What made you decide to make this change in careers?
     
  23. educatingme

    educatingme Companion

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    I was afraid to open this thread! I'm 38 and just started my first class to become a teacher (I'm thinking it's going to take at least ten years while I work, raise my family and go to school very part-time) last night!! I know I'll be OLD when I finally reach my goal...but, I'd rather be old than to not do it at all...and I figure SOMEONE'S going to hire me!!
     
  24. lovethosekids

    lovethosekids Rookie

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    It's possible, believe in yourself

    Tripletsteacher,
    I worked in a school system as a special ed. classroom aide for 9 years. The last 4 of those I attended college full time at night and worked full time-during the day; with the last two years I also worked part-time in an after-school program a couple of hours. I was determined to become a Teacher. Yet, the school district had 3 job openings, that I applied for: got the interviews, but not the job. I had my BA in Teaching and still doing classroom aide. I finally attended a Job Fair at a local college, where I met my new administrator of my current job. Because of your circumstance I know that you have patience. Stick with it about returning to work. Update your resume' and letters of reference and maybe attend local job fairs around where you live. Have plenty of resume's and something to read while waiting in long lines. But be patient.
     
  25. Zhang

    Zhang Rookie

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    I am an American living in China.

    I grew up in Southern Oregon, moved around alot, ended up in San Francisco.

    I made this change because I fell in love with my now wife. I gave up everything I ever had, Moved to China.

    I now have a TOTALLY different life and career and would not change anything. I am in love and Love it
     
  26. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    You know what....I'm not old :)

    I did worry about going back to school, etc after being out for some time to raise kids. A teacher that I shadowed for only one day, told me she was a career changer and she gave me the following reassurance. She said that going back to school the second time is actually better because you are more focused and disciplined. Then she said, her change in careers meant she was happier doing what she was doing and she knew more about herself now than she would have straight out of high school.
     
  27. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    I hope so too! I'm 38 myself, and looking for that first teaching job!!
    I think that as older, more mature women and men, that we offer stability, loyalty, life experience and passion!!
     
  28. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    And I am ever thankful for the experiences of parenting.

    Zhang, yours sounds like a wonderful love story! More power to you.
     
  29. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Absolutely. As much as I know I was a good teacher before the kids came along, I'm a much better teacher as a result of my kids. Not in terms of content. But I've internalized the idea that these kids, even the ones I'm not especially crazy about, are someone else's KIDS. Some mom's face lights up when they walk into her kitchen. It's hard to describe, but I know it's there!
     
  30. IChoose2Teach

    IChoose2Teach New Member

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    I think the thirties are a great time to start teaching, I will be a new teacher in her 30's as well. I had to spend my twenties raising my family to school age, and finishing college, etc. etc. I'm done having babies, and my children are older, so that should be a plus as someone said before no maternity leave worries. So rest easy 37 is a great age to start and certainly not too old.
     
  31. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There was a trollish invasion on another thread where the age issue came up. Here is my (edited) response from that thread:
    (and plus you are 37!! not 40!!)
    A 40 year old is generally more stable .... A 40 year old has more life experience and perspective. I'm gathering the OP has a family which also gives the 'mommy insight'- it helps to 'get it' when it comes to parents/kids/family dynamics of the kids in your class. There's no guarantee that ANYONE is staying for a 20 year career. Many YOUNG teachers date, get married, get preggers, go on maternity leave, may not come back or if they do come back they might get preggers again in a few years- that back and forth in and out can be problematic...40 year olds generally aren't going to do that (been there, done that...) 40 year olds who go into teaching generally do it not because they failed at something but because they have a passion for kids and learning. Perhaps they have kids in school, volunteered and fell in love with teaching. If anything a hiring principal is getting a BARGAIN by hiring an older teacher. Being a new teacher at 40, they are hired at essentially the same price as the 20 something yet come with all the above positives.
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The forty-pluses are generally also better at working around or through their own issues with whatever and whoever they're teaching or learning from.
     
  33. hootie821

    hootie821 Rookie

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    I am a career-changer at 46...I've been a Registered Nurse and realized over the course of the past year or so, that being a nurse is NOT what I want to do for the rest of my life. Yes, the money is better, but sometimes it's not all about the money. I've wanted to be a teacher since I was a kid, but life took a different path for awhile. Now it is time for ME!

    I submitted my application to subsititute teach then I plan to enroll in the Educator Preparation classes available in my district to be able to become certified. I have such wonderful life, family, child-raising and career experiences to draw from as I teach in the future....it can only enhance my students' learning! :love:
     
  34. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I'm 35 and waiting for that job..... so I hope I'm not too old:p
     
  35. crzymtngirl75

    crzymtngirl75 Rookie

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    I am 32 and just got my first teaching job :) I used to work with a man in his 50's who switched careers and did just fine.

    I say GO FOR IT!
     
  36. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    I started college at 37 and finished at 41. I was luckily hired that fall and love teaching! Go for it - don't be discouraged.
     
  37. in2it

    in2it Rookie

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    While age can be a factor for a new teacher at the university level, I have not experienced any bias at the elementary/secondary level in the public school system. I have found that well-prepared, enthusiastic teachers of all ages are valued by most school administrators. It would surprise me greatly if you ran into any wide-spread ageism. Please don't allow that fear to deter you from your ambitions.

    Best wishes!
     
  38. SarahJ

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    I find that very interesting! Why would you be 'less' experienced if you've been teaching in a private school?
     
  39. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    SarahJ--In the "infinite wisdom" of our public school boards (Catholic schools are also public here), no experience is as good as experience with them. So, while my previous experience was on my resume, it doesn't have any impact towards seniority, years of experience, etc. (And, quite honestly, the schools I worked in really didn't prepare me well for the exerience in public schools I am having now).
     
  40. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    I posted something similar the other day, and have now gotten my focus back on forging forward toward my degree.
    My thoughts about becoming a teacher at the age of 42 (I am currently 41 but will not graduate until 42, almost 43) are this:

    I believe my life experience and most importantly being a mom, gives me the edge of understanding child psychology beyond the course you take in college. I have hands on experience with many different situations... I am divorced, so have seen my kids go through that difficult experience, and seen how they individually dealt with it; all had a different reaction.
    I have one gifted and talented straight A student, and one student who struggles a great deal..and one who it remains to be seen. I have had my children in both public and private school; so I have experience in both aspects of educational choice.
    I have also served as PTA President and Vice President, coached soccer and cheerleading, and generally have been a very involved member of the community where kids are concerned.
    Those experiences are something not many 20 somethings bring to the table. Additionally, those experiences have made me become more empathetic and mature, and I believe will make me a better teacher. Getting good grades also helps
    Do I have as much energy as I did at 20? Hell no! Though I do pretty good compared to my peers. But I have the wisdom that comes with age, and to me, that is a very important part of being a teacher, and something that cannot be taught from a text. It has to be experienced
     
  41. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    THAT is a fact. I was a good student in my twenties, but I am an even better, more focused student at 41. I am much more organized, have better creativity, better ideas, less procrastination, and, despite being a mom of three kids, two of them teens :eek: less distractions. Parenting in and of itself is the ultimate teaching experience, after all.
     

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