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Is 60 too old?
Old 01-08-2019, 07:51 AM
 
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If I start my program now Iíll be close to 60 by the time Iím ready to reach. Is this a pipe dream? I tried in another state with a ďalternative programĒ when I was 48. I recently found out that they arenít very respected. Iím hoping thatís the reason I couldnít get a job. Am I foolishly spending 20k in order to get this degree?


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My experience
Old 01-09-2019, 02:02 PM
 
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I started my 2nd career as a teacher at 34, and I definitely have felt discriminated against because of my age. It took me 6.5 years to find a contracted position, though I am triple certified in high-demand subjects and have always received very good performance evaluations. I donít think itís that schools look down on older people, they just fall over themselves trying to hire the youngest possible. I was constantly passed over for young people who were just graduating with only their student teaching as experience. You would think that having experience would be a benefit, but I think many schools just assume there must be a reason the other districts didnít hire you.

Iím sorry to be such a downer.
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I was 43
Old 01-13-2019, 03:57 PM
 
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I had a teaching degree already, but only taught for two years out of college. Got married, had four sons in 5 1/2 years, and helped on the farm. Finally got a full time teaching position at 43. I had subbed in the building and aided there first, though. Depending on your degree, you may try subbing to make sure that you are up for teaching. I retired 3 years ago and sub now. In those three years, so much has changed with all the expectations of my former coworkers. The kids are great, but I sure am glad I don't have any of the other pressures on me now.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:05 PM
 
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It's one thing to try to start a new career at 60. It's another thing to justify spending $20,000 to get there. You may have to substitute for several years or take a position at a small private school for less money. A lot of schools don't like to pay for health care for older teachers so they pass them by.
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yes and no
Old 01-14-2019, 05:47 PM
 
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I have a colleague who was hired when she was turning 60. But she had taught before, left for her kids and the business world, and returned as an aide. She worked very hard to get up to date with all the current teaching methods, and is amazing. My former P hired her, and my current P recommended her for tenure. So yes, it is possible.

Please be sure it's what you want to do. I'll be 60 next year, and have been teaching for over 30 years. The kids are different, and my district is now using a business model instead of being child centered. I won't miss it the way it is now. I do miss how it used to be, when we could be creative and the stress was SO much less.

Good luck, whatever you decide.


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Old 01-21-2019, 10:14 AM
 
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I think it depends somewhat on what area you plan to teach and where you live. If you are getting a license in special education or math, you could very well find a job. Most other areas will be harder.
I guess it depends : Why do you want to be a teacher? If you want to be respected, it might not be the job for you. If you would like to make decent money, the time to retirement age, low starting wages and paying off debt will make that unlikely. If you want the time off - possibly, but you will work more than 40 hours a week during the year and you will not be paid over the summer. Not great job security initially either. But if you are familiar with the school setting and you love to dig in, and be busy, and you love kids good and bad, it might be for you.
I did get my license at 40 and am now 55+. It cost me 20K and I am still paying off. There is a lot I love about teaching, at the same time it is a burn-out job.
Unless I had a really desirable license and/or previous background giving me a better chance at landing a job, and I'd have some other financial security (spouse with a good job, no other debt, own house, lottery win...) I would not do it.
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:06 PM
 
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You're never too old, but like anything, there are no guarantees. My location is saturated with K-3rd grade teachers, so no matter someone's age, there'll be a lot of competition for those jobs. I really want to give people the benefit of the doubt and say, idealistically, things like age, etc, never come into play when hiring decisions are made, but the reality is, some times they do and some times they don't. It depends.

I'm in my 40's, and I'm currently student teaching. It's been a journey for sure! Things have changed so much. The workload at my college and the assessments we have to take and pass keep growing. What used to be a 4-year program is now 5 if you take between 15 and 20 credit hours every semester. I looked around at my classmates and there was no one in my age group! They're all in their 20's. There were 2 women around my age early on, but one disappeared and the other stopped at the Associate Degree level, because the program isn't realistic if you need to work and take care of a family also.

I've had a professor, who was younger than me, make comments about my age during class. But, that may not be your experience. And, the many group projects and group work in classes! It's been a weird experience to work with kids between 18-21 as their peer. It can be difficult to relate and bond over similar life experiences and interests. Most of my classmates treat me like a parental figure. But, I managed and met some nice young people. There have been some, who didn't want to consider my ideas. Comments were made about fresh new ideas in a group I was in once and other things that clearly indicated a couple viewed me as out-dated. A lot of them automatically assumed I'm technologically challenged due to my age (even though that's not the case at all). I've been asked if I have band-aids, pain relievers, gum, etc, in my purse. One girl let it out that "moms" usually carry that stuff around in their purse.

When I've been placed out in the field, I've seen some surprised faces when I show up. They think they're getting a traditional college student that's completing field hours, and my 40+ year face is not what they expected. I've been treated well though in most of my placements, so it wasn't a problem.

I tried not to take it too personally and laughed with my family about some things that were said to me. At first, I didn't expect it to be so pronounced, because I thought there would be others my age and older in the program. You may end up in a program that's different than mine though. I do worry how my age will affect my job prospects, but not knowing for sure, I loved teaching enough that it's worth the risk. I will adapt and do something else if that's what comes. It depends on one's finances also. If you don't plan to do anything else if it doesn't pan out, can you afford to spend $20,000 on it?
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All the young darlings...
Old 02-18-2019, 03:32 AM
 
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are going to be old too someday, so don't sell yourself short. Realize that age and experience sometimes creates the best teaching. To be quite honest, my best teachers were the older ones, not the young ones. I will tell you that this profession is not for the faint of heart, and that the way things are going districts are going to be lucky to have whatever applicants apply. The quality of life that teachers have if they truly want to be successful is not very good. You basically have to be all-consumed by the job, and you need a vest of steel to put up with all the hard knocks. It basically boils down to how bad you want it. I know too many teachers, young and old, that sadly regret the day they ever chose education as their majors. They are highly disappointed, and are at such a loss of what to do after they have invested so heavily in a profession that constantly beats them down. Sorry to be a downer, but I'm only calling it out like it is.
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