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Southern Sub Southern Sub is offline
 
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Older person getting teacher certificate
Old 01-15-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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I'm an older person (63) and I am going back to school. I want to teach 3rd grade (I think) I'm a sub now and have been for 3 years. I would love to hear suggestions on what you all think about what grade or subject or speciality would be for an older person like me. I'm a young 63. I believe age is a state of mind. I would appreciate your feed back. There is a lot of wisdom on this site!


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I think
Old 01-15-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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Hi there

I think any grade level or subject or specialty you chose would be individual, the same as it would be for anyone. If you're not a Biology person, you don't want to do high school science. If you just get such great joy out of working with middle school students and find math easy and logical, then getting a secondary mathematics degree might be a great idea.

I use WGU (dot edu) for my degree program. This is a great program for many of us who have to work, who have life experience (I also am a non-traditional student), etc. It may be a way to get your degree a little faster (and cheaper!).

HTHs
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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You sound like a very sincere person, and I admire your desire to teach. With this in mind, I'd suggest saving your money. Unless you're in an area where there is a shortage of teachers, it is unlikely that any district will hire you. I am so sorry to say this, but school districts don't want older teachers. Age discrimination is alive and well in the education profession.

I've been a teacher (regular teacher and sub) since the 70s, and the number of new teachers that I've met has been too numerous to count. The number of new 55+ teachers that I've encountered can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

If you want to go ahead and get your degree, go ahead, but be aware. Unfortunately, your college professors want your money, and they won't tell you the truth about how things really are when you go out and apply for jobs.
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:54 AM
 
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I really appreciate your desire to teach! I am almost 48 and received my degree 5 years ago. I believe it is very tough to get a teaching job at my age. I am still subbing. But it is rewarding to sub and be in the classroom. If you are from the Southern States you may have a better chance at getting a job. I am from Minnesota. There are 300 applicants per job!! But I still apply, you never know. At least I can work every day in the Twin Cities. I am registered with 5 school districts so I always have a job. Don't give up. Subbing is just as rewarding, almost!!
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Like PP's said
Old 01-16-2010, 07:13 AM
 
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it is not easy to get a job if you are older...I too didn't get my certificate until I was 46. The school where I was student teaching was laying off teachers (district wide) so there was no chance of getting a job there. But if you are subbing somewhere and the administration sees you and likes you, you might have a chance--I accepted a long term sub position (against my better judgment) but it turned out great because when someone retired, the principal saw my commitment and hired me (that was 8 years ago)--so I guess my judgment isn't always that great Good luck!


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Southern Sub Southern Sub is offline
 
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older person getting degree
Old 01-16-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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Thank you all for taking the time to respond to my message. I know it's going to be close to impossible of getting a job at my age. You've given me a lot to think about and some of you have affirmed my fear of not getting a job. Maybe I need to re-think my goal.

Of course, what I wanted to hear was "go ahead, follow your dreams, blah, blah, blah. I guess I need a reality check.

It just scares me, the way things are going, I'm afraid medicare and social security are not going to be there when I need it and as we all know, you can't live on a sub's pay. In any case, the education won't hurt, and if I have a chance at all, I want to follow through.
Thanks to all of you!
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Follow your dream
Old 01-16-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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If this is what you want to do, then try for it. Yes, the job market is difficult for those of any age right now. You have a foot in the door because you've been substituting and are known.

Dear Abby once answered a man who said that he wanted to be a doctor, but hesitated because he would be 52 when he finished medical school and training. She answered that he'd be 52 anyway and may as well be a doctor when he got there.

You might want to check out universities in your area (if there are some), in my state [Nevada] people 62 years and up get free tuition at the universities. Taking a few classes at a time (for free, if available) and subbing during the day might work out for you. You've been surviving on subbing and perhaps social security so far.
Apparently most people are taking social security at 62 and continuing to work within the income limits. I doubt many folks who sub exceed the limits--I certainly don't.

You know your own needs and resources. You will make the right decision for yourself based on those and your dreams.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:06 AM
 
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I've seen 40ish Special Ed teachers in such demand that they are employed here while they are completing their degree. I've ALSO seen 40ish subs who are Sped endorced and still subbing for years, feeling frustrated that they can't get hired.
*Getting hired requires good relationships with a principal. How many of us have seen talented aplicants passed up for a dolt (?) that the principal knew? Are you good at connecting?
*Willingness to relocate is another factor. You have to be willing to go where the jobs are, even overseas. Are you flexible?
*Achieving this goal with student loans might not be a good idea. That is just too much of a gamble. I've heard financial advisors say NOT to incur debt for education after 40. It won't pay for itself. Can you pay for the education yourself?
*Sped is a marketable endorcement, but Sped teachers generally burn out at about 5 years. Are you the exception?
*Teaching is physically demanding. I may be a young 50 or a young 60, but what's a young 70? Our bodies DO decline with age.

Can you tell I've thought about this alot? I decided not to continue education in this field for all the above reasons. You can be trained in other fields in much less time and less financial outlay. Medical technology is an example.
The above thinking is why there will be a teacher shortage within the decade!! Will you be one of the ones prepared to step in?
Ultimately, we can give you things to think about, but it's your call. Let us know. This is an interesting topic to me!!
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I can see both sides of this
Old 01-17-2010, 09:29 AM
 
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Like you, Southernsub, I'm a career changer and an "old" lady of 57. I'm halfway through my master's degree. I have found little discrimination in the schools themselves, although I must say that I sub in Catholic schools. One school I work at has only TWO teachers who are under 40! Obviously, you (and I) would feel very welcome at a place like that, so perhaps you might want to look for a private school or some similar situation where the experience and knowledge of older teachers are valued and sought after.

Where I have found astounding discrimination is in my graduate school: I am regularly dissed by many of my under-30 classmates, who are convinced that I can't possibly know anything because I'm old. When it happens, I'm never quite sure how to respond. Sometimes it makes me angry; sometimes it discourages me; sometimes I can brush it off. Usually I don't say anything, but since I'm posting this, you can tell that it bothers me. And so, if these people are representative of the teachers in our schools, then yes, ageism is alive and well in education, and you and I don't stand a chance. Plus, think about it: Most educators live to retire after 30 years, which means they're outta there at 55, give or take a little. They can't understand why anyone older than that would willingly try to get a job teaching school.

I also appreciate the PP's comment about having the stamina to do this job. Teaching isn't a 40-hour-a-week job, but you already know that. On the other hand, we all know teachers in their 60s who are doing the jobs, and very well too.

I say go for it, but be realistic. Work on those courses, build the relationships, improve your classroom skills, and look for opportunities where someone with your skill set will fit in beautifully--knowing that the entire time, you will have to prove yourself solely because of your age. I wish you luck! I'd love to know what you decide to do. I'm wrestling with this myself...
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Old 01-18-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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I can't tell you how much I appreciate your coments! Everyone has very good points and I have been thinking of nothing else.
The comment about willing to travel overseas is very interesting, I have never thought about that.
I believe I'm going to follow through and get my certificate. That's the way I feel right now anyway. I just feel like I have a lot to give, and I will be very dedicated. If I can work in the school system at all, that's what I want to do.
In this world of uncertainty, everything is a gamble, and I'm willing to give it a whirl!!

Thanks again to all of you!


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