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57 & only an associates degree, should I bother?

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  • Rapunzll
    Participant
    3 May, 2012 at 20:32
    • Total posts: 1

    Hi! I’m a 57 year old American and as the subject says, I have only an associates degree, and certainly no prior classroom teaching experience.

    I’m at a place in my life where I would be able to do one of the one month or so courses for training and I would have no objection to working in a place like Mongolia or Ecuador. I’ve lived overseas before (Indonesia) and would love to do it again, and it seems like teaching English could be a very rewarding and interesting experience.

    My concern is, at my age, will it be hard to find a position?

    dan
    Moderator
    7 May, 2012 at 18:48
    • Total posts: 590

    Reply To: 57 & only an associates degree, should I bother?

    Hi Rapunzll

    Please have a look at some of these posts which should help to answer your question:

    viewtopic/t-1021
    viewtopic/t-382
    viewtopic/t-1208
    viewtopic/t-798
    viewtopic/t-659

    Hope that helps.

    Dan

    Richardavie
    Participant
    15 May, 2012 at 14:42
    • Total posts: 24

    Reply To: 57 & only an associates degree, should I bother?

    I’ve seen plenty of recruiters who lean towards hiring younger people as they know they will blindly accept any job offer given to them.

    There’s a lot to be said for hiring someone who is older and more mature and many students put their confidence in an older teacher and see them as more worldly and wise.

    If you find a reputable school and make a good impression in the interview then I think you should be able to find a job.

    FrancaisDeutsch
    Participant
    15 May, 2012 at 21:37
    • Total posts: 57

    Reply To: 57 & only an associates degree, should I bother?

    This idea of hiring only those aged 24-45 to teach English overseas is absurd; it is a disservice to the students. And this, in fact, is more of an issue in the Far East than anywhere else (Japan, in particular) Undoubtedly, there may be a few good young English teachers who are better than someone in their 40’s or 50’s), but it is more the exception than the rule. .

    In all honesty, I believe that Japan has just started to learn that the pretty young faces of blond-haired men and women without any qualifications do not "always" do the trick in being an effective TESOL instructor (Really?). That said, there is still a moderate to strong inclination in some schools to hire those in their 20’s and 30’s with the better looks and very poorly qualified. It is changing, but ever so slowly. Now, though, if you’re teaching Japanese businessmen or at a university, you will need qualifications, even though looks will still play a role for both men and women (more so the latter, but more so than you think with the former).

    There are folks well in their 60’s who have gone overseas to teach English — with much happiness and success. It’s never too late, if you have the qualifications.

    (PS: Never underplay the value of life experience in being an EFL teacher).

    dan
    Moderator
    28 May, 2012 at 13:25
    • Total posts: 590

    Reply To: 57 & only an associates degree, should I bother?

    Undoubtedly, there may be a few good young English teachers who are better than someone in their 40’s or 50’s), but it is more the exception than the rule.

    I don’t agree with this – of all the teachers I have encountered over the years, I would say that I have encountered a roughly equal number of "younger" and "older" teachers who have been lacking in qualifications and/or experience and/or effective teaching skills. Similarly, I have encountered a roughly equal number of very good "younger" and very good "older" teachers.

    Yes, life experience counts for a lot, but it doesn’t make "good young English teachers" the exception rather than the rule – I would argue that the balance is fairly equal.

    I agree, of course, that discriminating against "older" teachers is wrong, but let’s not go too far in the other direction and discriminate against "younger" teachers!

    Dan

    FrancaisDeutsch
    Participant
    28 May, 2012 at 14:42
    • Total posts: 57

    Reply To: 57 & only an associates degree, should I bother?

    Undoubtedly, there may be a few good young English teachers who are better than someone in their 40’s or 50’s), but it is more the exception than the rule.

    I don’t agree with this – of all the teachers I have encountered over the years, I would say that I have encountered a roughly equal number of "younger" and "older" teachers who have been lacking in qualifications and/or experience and/or effective teaching skills. Similarly, I have encountered a roughly equal number of very good "younger" and very good "older" teachers.

    Yes, life experience counts for a lot, but it doesn’t make "good young English teachers" the exception rather than the rule – I would argue that the balance is fairly equal.

    I agree, of course, that discriminating against "older" teachers is wrong, but let’s not go too far in the other direction and discriminate against "younger" teachers!

    Dan

    Hello Dan,

    My post should have been entirely deleted as I wasn’t making myself clear in the least, leading to real misinterpretation of my point. My bad! :D

    First, when I said "younger teachers", I meant those under 30, even though teachers in their 30’s are still considered very young in my books. And I wasn’t making the point that some 24-year-old could not make for a fantastic EFL instructor – quite the opposite. But teaching in one’s 20’s – particularly early 20’s – implies a lack of "life experience", which is a strike against really young teachers. That said, I am not opposed in any way to the ultra young in the profession, though they will have to offset this by other "shining" classroom teaching abilities should they want my "good teacher" stamp of approval. I don’t want in any way to overplay "life experience" in the TESOL classroom, but at the same time, I don’t want it downplay, either — let’s just know it is valuable and meaningful and has its proper place. And I agree wholly with you in saying that you’ll see that the scales pretty much balance when considering the number of not-so-good teachers, both younger and older. So then, let me reclarify: a young teacher could be much better than some older teacher, or vice versa – it all depends. Isn’t that, after all, just plain old common sense?

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