Am I too old/qualified?

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  • stidolph
    1 October, 2008 at 18:57
    • Total posts: 2

    Need some advice, I was born in England but lived in the Netherlands for the past 35 years, went to teacher training college here in Holland and have been working as a primary school teacher for the past 15 years teaching general subjects and English, am I fully qualified to do TEFL work?
    Also, I am not very young anymore, almost 60 (hush, don’t tell anyone!) would that be a problem? I would love to teach English in a warm country like Spain or Greece and live there for the rest of my life with my hubby!
    Thanks!!! Anna.

    2 October, 2008 at 14:07
    • Total posts: 149

    Reply To: Am I too old?/qualified?

    Standard requirements for EFL jobs in Greece and Spain are a degree and a TESL/TEFL Certificate. Your teaching experience, though not strictly TEFL, will definitely be a plus.

    Age might be more of an issue. Most schools prefer younger teachers in their twenties. This is perhaps because they can pay them less and manipulate them more easily. However, there are certainly many schools which prefer older teachers who can often bring authority to the classroom as well as greater experience and style to the lessons.

    You could try and contact a few schools on spec to see what sort of reaction you get. Although most jobs in Europe won’t specify an age limit, it is as well to let the school know when you apply how old you are to avoid them turning round and canceling everything once you send a photo over.

    Or you could adopt a completely different tact and try to gain a job interview solely on the strength of your qualifications and experience. Once face to face you will have the opportunity to show them your knowledge of the field and hopefully your age will become a secondary issue.

    Good luck!

    3 October, 2008 at 12:38
    • Total posts: 2

    Reply To: Am I too old?/qualified?

    Thanks a lot!
    Much obliged,
    Anna :)

    3 October, 2008 at 17:21
    • Total posts: 590

    Reply To: Am I too old?/qualified?

    I second what Pete says – sound advice.


    29 October, 2008 at 11:24
    • Total posts: 2

    Reply To: Am I too old?/qualified?

    Hi Anna
    I am 61 (going on 62) and after 2 months since qualifying TEFL find that on only a few occasions has age been a problem because I always tell the recruiter upfront. But with my experience I am pushing for a Business or ESP post. As you can imagine not many around for the oldies! I just keep trying and I know it will happen.
    Certain countries are not interested such as Oman and other middle East states.
    I think if your English is first class then go for conversational or special English rather than teaching the littlies. What do you think?

    31 October, 2008 at 9:18
    • Total posts: 7

    Reply To: Am I too old?/qualified?

    Hi Anna,

    Many younger teachers move on after a year or two, but many schools want to retain teachers for as long as possible and mature teachers are more likely to stay.

    The school I work for, has 13 centers and it might be a good idea to contact them. They are looking to keep teachers for as long as possible and have many mature teachers on their books.

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