Would I be crazy to go back to school at age 57 to become a teacher????

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by FuntoLearn, Feb 1, 2013.

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  1. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Feb 2, 2013

    I agree with you Pigeon.

    I mean it can't be that easy being President of the United States, a Supreme Court Justice, Queen of England, ... or many other jobs that require Wisdom:)

    Seriously OP, It does depend on finances more then age.
     
  2. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Feb 2, 2013

    I'm a mid-life career changer. I decided to pursue my teaching degree in my late 40's. Of course, I was a bit lucky because I wanted to teach Middle School Math and my undergraduate degree in Finance already covered many of the basic classes I would need. In the end, I only had to take 6 academic courses and 1 semester of student teaching. My sub experience exempted me from the part-time student teaching class. So I was able to complete my licensure requirements in 18 months and almost all of them were online.

    If I had needed 3 or more years of college, I would have had to give the career change a LOT more thought.

    Your age might be a factor during the interviews, but you have a ton of relevant experience that 20-something college grads do not, so that would be a plus in your favor.

    The main reason schools may "drive older teachers out" has nothing to do with their actual age. It is because those teachers have probably reached the peak of the pay-scale. That is the main reason schools sometimes prefer new grads over 20+ year veterans - the pay scale will be much smaller for the new grad. Even though you will be close to 60, you will still be a "new grad", which means you will start at the bottom of the pay scale. Because of your age, the chance of you ever "peaking" on the pay scale is very small, so the school could get several years experience from you without worrying about you rising too high on the pay scale.
     
  3. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Feb 2, 2013

    The live once part is very true. I guess that is why I say retire as soon as you can.
     
  4. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Feb 3, 2013

    If you can afford it either way it is a good idea for you. Even just going back to school will be a positive thing. My only warning is there are many districts where bureaucrats and law makers have just about sucked the life out of the schools with BS rules and insane paper work.
     
  5. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jun 10, 2013

    I agree that you should go for it! There are several teachers at my school who got their teaching credential in their 50's and have recently been hired and love it. They are far from burnt out because they are just beginning and have that enthusiasm and love of their job. I got my teaching credential at 50, and first elementary teaching job at 51. You can get your tuition reimbursed with the APLE program, like I am doing, if you teach in a low income area. There may be other programs available as well. Good luck!
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jun 10, 2013

    We hired a new teacher who had retired from a career in the military. He had an excellent interview, and our students lack for professional male role models. Intelligent. Organized. Efficient. Personable. Worldly.

    He taught for a year. It didn't work well for him, so he was not rehired.

    However, it's quite possible to start a career later. How would your eenditures compare to the time you'd likely teach?
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'd encourage anyone considering entering the field to seriously consider the financial ramifications of accruing lots of student loans and the very real possibility of not securing a permanent, full-time teaching position for several years. It's difficult for any new teacher to land a job in many parts of the country right now. The way I see it, age isn't so much a factor as a lack of teaching experience and a lack of teaching positions.
     
  8. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jun 10, 2013

    Last year we hired a 61 year old gentleman. He was a teacher for 12 years, then a small business owner, and now a teacher again. It's a good fit for him.

    I would not if I needed to take out loans.
    Paying my loans on my salary was not only difficult but depressing.

    Also, how long in age to you plan to work? It's a lot of time, money, and stress for a couple years.

    Otherwise, why not?
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 10, 2013

    I think it depends on more than just the number. The real question is, how is your health? I left teaching at age 56, after just 11 years. I thought I would go back, but I can't physically do it. But, that's me.

    Do you look ten years younger than your years? That certainly would help.
    Can you stand for hours at a time?
    Can you forgo bathroom breaks for many hours?
    Can you climb a ladder and wield a staple gun (bulletin boards)?
    Can you handle buses without a/c on field trips?
    Field day outside all day in the sun?

    My good friend was just offered a job at age almost-70. But she's been teaching for over 40 years and doesn't seem her age. Instead, she is subbing.

    Even if you do have excellent health and stamina, it would be a tough thing to compete with younger, experienced teachers. A smaller, private school might be your best bet.
     
  10. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jun 10, 2013

    I can't forgo bathroom breaks for many hours and I'm 27! I am pregnant for one and just graduated from being able to hold my pee for 90 minutes to now roughly every 60 minutes. Of course, I have to pee urgently and then only pee for about 2 seconds. My baby MUST be sitting on my bladder. I also had my gallbladder removed last June, and sometimes things don't digest in a nice way, and either I go to the bathroom or I poo on myself. Gross but true. The bathroom issues should not be in consideration for choosing this career--all of the teachers I work with have been more than helpful letting me pee when I need to.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 10, 2013

    All good questions to consider...the OP hasn't been on the forums since April, but the finances of getting certified should be considered as well as others have previously noted...it's going to take ten years in most cases to be fully vested in a retirement...if that's a consideration one needs to think about whether they are really going to work until age 67...our field is going through some major changes currently...the ability to adapt flexibly, meet high demands, stay on ones toes for 'drop by' observations....there's much to consider!:2cents:
     
  12. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Jun 10, 2013

    Age is but a number. If you are healthy, fit, totally committed to this idea, and can afford the degree, go for it...but be aware that getting a teachihg job is very hard, no matter what your age, and honestly, what is being done to education in many places is criminal. If you don't need the money, I'd say enjoy helping out in other, more fun ways, like volunteering, paraprofessional, etc. I actually wouldn't recommend going into teaching to anyone right now, regardless of their age.

    I think to those in their 20s and 30s you might seem ancient, but I'm 46 and I don't think you seem that old, LOL. And people are living into their 80s and 90s now. If you're in good health, you're actually middle-aged.

    If you are really hell-bent, go for it, but be aware that education is under siege by those who know nothing about teaching. That's the main reason I'd say you might want to rethink it. You could do a great job. Question is, if you only have the chance for one more career, is that really the one you want?

    You also might consider private schools, alternative schools, and Montessori, for example...places where teaching to the test isn't the goal. You may not teach long enough to see the pendulum swing back to a reasonable amount of testing/data...be sure that you will enjoy the educational climate that you are entering.
     
  13. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    Jun 11, 2013

    Good advice from Cerek, upsadaisy, rainbow and others! I would go for it. As stated, you have life experiences and will be "cheaper"to hire!! Most of the districts I have taught in like maturity!! I was the oldest team member on my former team of 7 and told that I usually had the most energy.....next year I won't be the oldest!!Good luck!
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 11, 2013

    Just curious...how many who are encouraging the OP are in schools that regularly hire first time teachers who are of an age similar to the OP's? In 13 years in my district, I just haven't seen it.:sorry:
     
  15. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Jun 11, 2013

    My husband's school hired two teachers in their fifties last year. They weren't new to the profession though.

    I am guessing that the main reason we haven't seen it is because so few fifty-somethings decide to suddenly break into teaching.

    I don't think people should be judged by the year they were born. They should be judged for ability, personality, skills, etc. That goes for young and old!
     
  16. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Jun 11, 2013

    I've stayed out of this so far because I don't want to give someone bad advice, but I also don't feel comfortable telling someone "It's too late" to pursue your dream. I'm glad no one told me that when I decided to go back to school. However, I was 35. The OP will be near 60 by the time she is certified.

    To answer your question czacza - in my last district I looked around at our new teacher orientation and I was the only person out of my 20s. Even at my interview, my principal asked me something like "How do you think being 'older' will affect my teaching?" However, at my current district, it was different. They hired about 20 teachers (FT and LTS) this year. I would say about half were out of their 20s. There was one teacher who appeared to be in her early 50s. So I guess you never know.

    I have to advise the OP to think very carefully before pursuing elementary. It is an extremely saturated market. HS math and science are your best bets.
     
  17. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Jun 11, 2013

    I'm in one. My last district was the same way. I think in my case it helped that the hiring person in HR was my age. The sped director was a couple of years older then me in Utah. The hiring P in my first district told me he was looking for mature teachers that had grown up in a time when there wasn't as much antcipated entitlement. (strange, but true) my second interview with the P was over SKYPE and the HR director was also in the room. (She was my age and she did have a lot of say so in who was hired)

    I know the OP hasn't posted recently, but my hesitation would be the cost. For me, I was given a Pejep scholarship that covered the 6400 dollar tution and books. It was an 18 month course, and I had to already have a bachelor degree. Student teaching was the only time I felt uncomfortabe, as my mentor teacher was in her 30s. We both got over this pretty fast. (this was in Utah for special education) If I had had to go in debt in my 50s for a career change I don't think I would have.

    I will be vested and able to draw a pension after teaching 8 years. It will be about 500.00 per month. I already have a pension from my former career, so for me it was a financially sound move. I think it is very important as we get older to make choices that are financially benificial. I was burnt out from my high stress corporate job, and I felt that I didn't have the stamina for 16 hour days, few weekends off, and competing with the younger talent. I'm really happy I had the choice to continue working in a professional enviornment. Work is important to me. I could retire, but I think I would end up looking and feeling my age if I did retire!!!

    If the OP or anyone else is in an area that is overly saturated with teachers, then I don't think it is a good move regardless of age. Unless you have the ability to move to a location that is hiring.

    My :2cents:.
     
  18. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Jun 11, 2013


    Good advice! Ditto for fields like middle school social studies. You don't want to spend five years looking for a job when you are 60. It is no longer a case of having to be good or even great to land a teaching job. There are tons of great candidates out there who will not find jobs this year, because there simply aren't enough openings for everyone. It is a case of the numbers game in many states and regions. Def. go for a high-demand speciality!!!!!!!!!
     
  19. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Jun 11, 2013

    I get where the people who don't want to discourage the OP are coming from. However sometimes you have to be realistic. How many people really want to be working past 60 especially with the possibility that they could go to college this late and never get a job to begin with? I'm about to be 24 in a few weeks and I'm starting my first teaching job this year. I cant imagine still doing this when I'm over 60. I will be retired at 55-60 for sure. (I found teaching to be mentally exhausting during student teaching. I loved it but I was tired after most days).

    I think your honestly better off being a parapro/sub.
     
  20. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    Jun 11, 2013

    My district does

    My current district( I have been here 7 years)has hired many people over 50...not sure of their past teaching experience. I personally know four who were hired-no prior experience teaching. Supply and demand is certainly a factor, but there are also other considerations. Many of the younger people also leave, etc., for a variety of reasons.
     
  21. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Jun 12, 2013

    I think the reason we don't see it is because it's not the norm for people to go into teaching later in life.

    I am 46 and have been certified for less than 7 years. I had NO problem getting a job. I subbed for 6 or 7 months, long-termed for a year and two months, then got a contract. That first summer I got transferred (happens to nearly all new teachers here) which meant I was guaranteed a job but had to bid on a new position, and I interviewed at my second choice school (middle school English) and was hired on the spot. My transfer was rescinded just a few weeks later and I decided to return to my first choice school instead.

    I feel like my age has been a bonus because parents automatically assume I have years of experience AND I have had a lot of life experience (my own kids, volunteer teaching at church, etc.) that has been nothing but beneficial to me.

    There have been times I have wished I didn't go back to school because it was DANG hard- especially all the hoops you have to jump through and because I'm now in debt for over $30,000 :( But at the same time, without my degree I wouldn't be making near as much money as I am now and I would never find a job that is a better fit for me (unless I could just organize things all day or be a grammar police for hire).
     
  22. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Jun 12, 2013

    I can certainly see where you're coming from, because I sure don't want to be working when I'm 60, either. But apparently this person does. Age really can be just a number. I am a fit 46 year old who looks 35, but I know a few people in their late 50s and early 60s who put me to shame in the gym. If you take care of yourself and keep a positive mental outlook, you can be years younger than your birth certificate would indicate.

    I agree that it is important to point out how grueling and demanding the teaching profession can be!
     
  23. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Jun 12, 2013

    To those of you that don't want to work after 60...what do you want to do the rest of your life? I felt the same way at one time too. I took an early retirement from my corporate job at 55. I took a year off to travel ect......but, one can only travel, play for so long. My dad retired early too, and basically sat in the kitchen staring out the window for a year. Then he got up, dusted himself off and did tons of volunteer work.

    Teaching generally draws people in that like to give back to their community. I wonder how many teachers really retire!!!
     
  24. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Jun 12, 2013

    That is a good point. I have a friend in her mid-sixties who has retired, and she is now busier than ever...she volunteers for her church, she takes care of infirm neighbors, she travels, she volunteers at a museum...she exhausts me just talking about it!!! She never stops and she has more energy than a lot of us who are half her age!!!!

    For many people, retirement doesn't mean sitting around, it means going out and doing different things that you may have been wanting to try. Financial guru "Mr. Money Mustasche" talks about this on his blog, his expertise being helping people to reach early retirement so that they can follow their dreams and be financially independent. BTW I highly rec. his blog for anyone who is interested in maximizing their retirement funds. Http://mrmoneymustache.com I am not affiliated with it, just a big fan!!!!
     
  25. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jun 12, 2013

    I want to retire between 55 and 58, I'm only 28 now. I will definitely travel for sure, but I plan on sitting around watching grandbabies for the most part. I have two sons (ages 5 and 2) and another baby on the way--I'm sure I will have grandchildren. One of the greatest blessings I have had in my life is that my husband is 14 years older than me and his parents have retired and have been able to keep our children until they were each 2 years old before putting them in daycare. I want to return the favor.

    Otherwise pursuing my personal hobbies: kayaking, playing violin/flute/cello, gardening, going to the beach, etc.

    I will find plenty to do with my time.
     
  26. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jun 12, 2013

    Many people I know that have retired end up getting part time jobs because they found themselves with too much time on their hands.
     
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