Old man looking to teach??

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ra0828, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. ra0828

    ra0828 New Member

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    Nov 10, 2011

    Hey guys! Let me explain what my post heading means. I am 45 years of age at the moment. I have taken some basic education classes out of high school (about 18 hours so far). I want to go back to school to fulfill my dream of teaching and coaching high school. I have had this dream since I graduated from high school but never finished school because life got in the way. Well, as of now, I have been thinking long and hard about going back and finishing my education and doing what I have always wanted to do.

    I guess my questions are...would I be too old to of this? Ill be 48-49 when I graduate. Would a school system hire someone my age with no experience? Is it worth it for me? I love writing and reading and would want to teach English. Is there a good chance that I could get a job with that major? I would want to teach middle to high school so secondary education with an English major would be my area.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Nov 10, 2011

    Welcome! I'm a second career teacher who started teaching at the age of 48, and I'm in my tenth year. Things were a bit different back then--now you're going to be facing stiff competition. English is probably the least in-demand major, unfortunately.

    That being said...if you're passionate and feel called to teaching (and it is a calling), go for it. You can bring a lot of life experience and maturity to your teaching. (Sometimes my students ask, "Mrs. K, how come you know so much?" I tell them I've been alive a long time, and I've paid attention. :))

    Do go into this with your eyes open. Budget cuts have hit us hard. I see 175 students every day, and some of them are wonderful and interested in what I have to teach, and some are only interested in how much they can disrupt the class. I get to school at 6:30 and most days don't leave until 4, and I bring work home with me almost every night. I didn't get any grading done last night because I fell asleep on the couch at 7:15. I've got 280ish assignments from my college prep classes to grade over the 3-day weekend. It's that way in large part because I'm not a "read the story, answer the questions, take a bubble test" kind of teacher, and if you think you wouldn't be either, that's what comes with the territory.
     
  4. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Nov 10, 2011

    Depends if you want the real skinny, or if you want the greeting card, A to Z, answer. The real answer is that the odds are stacked against you, and that's no cliche. Especially if you want to teach English... You are yet another demographic that the system basically eschews in favor of the tenured teacher salary. Good luck if you do pursue your dream though!
     
  5. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Nov 11, 2011

    I think you should pursue your dream if this is something you have wanted for a long time.

    But like John Lee said, the market is saturated right now, especially in Social Studies and English. It's hard for anyone to find a job - schools are making cuts and a lot of schools aren't hiring. The jobs that are posted get 100's of applications. Just be prepared for what to expect.
     
  6. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Nov 11, 2011

    I was excited to attend a Principal's forum this week at a local college I am attending, but left feeling very depressed. I am 40 and received my teaching credential 4 years ago. Still haven't found a job after looking for 2 years, except for a preschool job for 5 months. I am credentialed to teach K-12 (in the upper grades I can teach social studies and am ESOL certified). The principal basically told me that people with my capibilites are a dime a dozen. She said to try to teach the upper grades, but then said social studies is an over saturated area. There was a very young girl next to me. Her question to the prinicpal was "I am very bad at classroom management. Should I tell the interviewer that?" I almost feel off my chair when the principal told me that she would hire that young girl with no expericence over me! She didn't even know any of the teaching terminology. I would normally tell someone to go after their dreams and don't let anything hold you back, but nowaday's I am starting to rethink my philosophy.
     
  7. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Nov 11, 2011

    I have a co-worker who began her teaching career in her 50's. My first year teaching, there was a man in his 50's who had just started his career as a teacher at the high school. I don't think your age would hurt you, since you would begin at the bottom of the payscale like any other first year teacher.

    However, the market is horrible right now for all teachers (except for ELL, HS science, etc.).
     
  8. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    Nov 11, 2011

    There is *no* safe career or job to be had right now. So, you might well do what you like. I would not get into a ton of debt to go back to school right now, so try to go to a public university.

    You may have a bit of luck finding a teaching job being male. In some middle schools, there are not that many male teachers. In some schools, principals love when you are eagar to coach and teach. That can be a huge plus, especially in smaller private schools.

    Since you have presumably being working in another career, use that to your advantage. If you have been working in a sector with a lot of technology, tell the P about how you are going to incorporate technology into your lessons and have your students design powerpoints . I would use whatever you've been doing in old career to your lessons. Your experience will give you something other young canidates won't have.
     
  9. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Nov 11, 2011

    Go where jobs are if you have to. I bet there are some
    overseas or in Alaska.
    btw 45 is far from an old man (says the 56 year old)
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Nov 11, 2011

    Good heavens, don't say you're old, especially since I'm only five years and a couple months behind you. As for starting in the field, my mother got her first full-time teaching gig at 48 after putting in her time subbing. If you're patient and don't mind being a gypsy educator for a year or so, I'd say go for it.
     
  11. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Nov 11, 2011

    If you can get a good coaching reputation, a job might even be created for you.....especially if you coach football in Texas.
     
  12. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Nov 11, 2011

    I just noticed you are from GA also. You are not too old to teacher at all. Age is a possitive in teaching. There just aren't any jobs here in Georgia for teachers. I have been trying to get a teaching job for two years and have submitted at least 100 applications (private & public). Maybe by the time you would have your certificate there might be jobs available, but as of now there just aren't. With Cobb County closing down 6-9 schools this year, Decalb did that last year, and I hear Gwinnett is also going to close some schools, it just means there are even more unemployed teachers. Every year, over the last four years I have been in this state, the schools have cut teacher jobs by eliminating programs (music in elementary), cutting the parapro positions, freezing sub positions, and making classroom sizes bigger every year. That means more and more competition for the few jobs that do open up. I was at this hiring (Principal Forum) this week. The career coaches were telling everyone that the skills you earn getting your teaching degree transfer to all kinds of other jobs, so try to get into another profession. They also said that jobs were open in Alaska and overseas. That could be a lot of fun for people who don't own homes and have kids. I think you can do anything at any age! Age is not a factor and shouldn't be. However, it is risky going to school for a profession with few job opennings. I think there will even be less chances for jobs for teachers over the next few years here in Georgia.
     
  13. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Nov 11, 2011

    People argue this, but I stand by it.

    If you're willing to move, sometimes far far away, you can make your dream of teaching whatever you want come true.

    You just need to consider: how far you're willing to move and how urban or rural you're willing to live?

    When I finish school, I plan to search for jobs in a five state area around me, to give you an idea.

    Good luck to you.

    Also, don't assume that rural schools are always the best bet. For instance, a rural school that I graduated from was ~an hour away from a major city. Over half of the teachers there were from said major city, willing to commute out to the country for work. The further rural you go, the less likely that is.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 11, 2011

    Can you support yourself financially if a job doesn't come through quickly? Markets are tight everywhere and English/LA are always saturated.
    I wish you luck and while sharing the reality of the curent job market probably doesn't seem at all like a "greeting card", don't let the jaundiced prevent you from pursuing what you dream of doing. Prepare yourself by making yourself as competitive as possible. Sometimes 'maturity' helps.:love:
     
  15. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Nov 11, 2011

    the states that had jobs when I applied last year were rural Nebraska, Ms, La, and Arizona.(that I know about) If you're willing and able to move I say go for it. I am in my 4th year of teaching and I just turned 60.
     
  16. Good Doobie

    Good Doobie Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2011

    I'm 62, have been teaching for over 30 years and it is easy as long as the administration is good. You need to know your subject and be able to get to the fundamentals where the students can relate and bring forth that knowledge that lies within each and every student.
    I have worked for really good and really bad administrations. There's been a lot of stress, but exercise helps a lot.
    Many think I look like a coach, but I think that's 'cause I'm in excellent physical condition. They say I should be the coach. Every day my students run me around the classroom to check their work. I ride bicycle to school every day and my heart rate hovers around 45. Before teaching I worked in science labs as an associate chemist and a clinical technologist. I like teaching better.
     
  17. engineerkyle

    engineerkyle Companion

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    Nov 12, 2011

    Does anyone disagree with John?....

    I'm 50, back to school for a Masters in Education and I'll be Certified this coming May. I would think I'd be a better "deal" than a younger, tenured teacher who would require a bigger salary, and a retirement plan with a much longer life.

    EK
     
  18. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Nov 13, 2011

    I would agree with you engineerkyle. If we just look at the totals from hiring someone at 23 versus 50 the amount that it costs the district is quite a bit less for the 50 year old. The 50 year old person has maybe 15 years left before retiring. The person does not get into the higher scale of payment. While someone hired at 23 can work for 33 more years if retiring at 65. That costs the district a lot more. Probably the costs of retraining go down with older hires too-you do not leave a long term career without thinking it through. It would be interesting to see if there are less people who leave in the first five years of teaching with older people who transfer careers. I would bet it is lower.
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 13, 2011

    Life's way too short NOT to do something you know you'll love.

    In spite of the realities of the job market, English teachers ARE hired every year.

    That said, it's going to be tough. Not because of your age, but because lots and lots and lots of other English teachers are in competition for every single job that opens up.

    I have no idea whether being male or your age will be a help or hinderance; my school doesn't hire that way.

    But some things you can do to help things along:
    - Network like crazy. Let everyone you know know that you'll be looking for a job as an English teacher.

    - Be open to a long commute or even a move. Some states are simply more competitive than others. The NYC metro area, for example, was BRUTAL long before the economy crashed. Other areas aren't quite as bad.

    - Think extra curricular. Speak to local schools and see if they need some help on their yearbook, or an extra judge for Speech and Debate. (I promise you-- they need judges.) Can you run lines with kids on the play?? Build those parts of your resume that the typical new teacher doesn't have.

    - Can you teach religion? Tae Kwon Do?? Coach Little League or PAL??? Anything that requires you to work with kids? Again, think in terms of putting things on your resume that the competition doesn't have.

    - Can you sub? I'm not sure of the requirements, but some areas require only a college degree.
     

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