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Am I too old to get into teaching

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by CatBingo, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. CatBingo

    CatBingo New commenter

    I am thinking of becoming a Reception / KS1 teacher as after 7 years of being a TA I really want to have a more challenging role. I'm 45 years old and I'm wondering if I've left it too late. I've waited until now because my kids are in secondary education so logistically it is easier for me. My role to date has shown me the extent of the workload involved and it doesn't faze me. I'm more concerned that I will be considered old school due to my age.

    Would value any advice. Thanks.
    JL48 and pepper5 like this.
  2. First Snowdrop

    First Snowdrop New commenter

    I taught in a primary school where quite a lot of NQTs age 40+ (including a couple of over 50s) were appointed (including myself) over the years, and were considered to be good value for money with the life experience and other work experience we'd previously gained. There must be other schools like mine, but It could be different in other s - perhaps ask around? It's good that you've got your TA experience, as that would be very useful to you and gives you a good idea of the workload and working conditions involved (although you can only be fully aware of the huge demands on teachers these days by actually teaching yourself). If you are really keen and unfazed, and decide to go for it - good luck :)
    JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    No you are not too old and because you are confident about the workload not being a problem, I would say go for it.

    I recently met someone on supply who had taught many years and this year she was teaching reception. For the first time at 62.

    The main thing of course is to keep fit so you have good energy levels and can have the stamina to keep up with 30 five year olds.
    First Snowdrop likes this.
  4. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    And have good patience levels to put up with your 35 year old headteacher :D
    saluki, sabrinakat, pepper5 and 2 others like this.
  5. MrMedia

    MrMedia Lead commenter

    I run a PGCE and we have plenty your age and and older. We don’t care what university you went to, how old you are, what your background is etc. We care about the quality of your teaching. And we train you to do that as well. My advice would be to fill your boots. You’ll love it.
  6. Alldone

    Alldone Established commenter

    We had a 50 year old ex police officer on teaching practice at our school. Five years later he was Head of Physics at a large Independent school.
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Lead commenter

    Isn't there a recruitment/retention crisis at Primary level as well? So shouldn't be difficult to get in there.

    One word of caution, your experience is clearly valuable but is it at the Only Nice School Left in England? Work is most likely to be forthcoming in the places that are, quite reasonably, struggling to keep teachers and so not worth going to.
    geordiepetal and pepper5 like this.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Enjoying reading all these positive stories and comments.
    drvs likes this.
  9. CatBingo

    CatBingo New commenter

    I do work in a nice school currently, but I used to work in a very deprived area and it was one of the best jobs I've ever had. That is kind of what I'm looking for.
    First Snowdrop likes this.
  10. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Lead commenter

    It all sounds great - really positive. Fantastic. However, you need to look into this with your eyes wide open.
    The reality in today's schools is that most schools "loose" older members of staff. Both Primart and Secondary. This might be because they are on UPS (expensive) or that they are perceived to be less flexible, "past it" or a variety/combination of other reasons and are thus "Performance Managed" out the door. This often leaves the unfortunate teacher seeking alternative employment in their 50s or 60s, which may prove hard or impossible. Additionally, your Teacher's Pension will be very small.
  11. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Had two 40+ NQTs last year. Both excellent teachers and doing very well indeed.

    No, you are not too old. Get on it.:)
    JL48 and Gsr25 like this.
  12. Steph2002

    Steph2002 New commenter

    I started in secondary at 45. Loved it. They were the good old days. If you get an ok school you.ll be fine...otherwise.....!!
  13. Steph2002

    Steph2002 New commenter

    So?? I started at 45. Still teaching at 60. Still full time. Get good results. Not kicked out. Who cares about small pension ?? It's a great Pension scheme. Better than the dole!! You have a chance go part time and keep earning in a job you like. I was offered a new job at 55.
    Gsr25 likes this.
  14. MikeyGrzz

    MikeyGrzz New commenter

    I'm 55. I've spent 30 years in the oil and gas business traveling the world until I was made redundant for the third time. I've made the decision to start a PGCE and qualify as a geography teacher in secondary and I've had nothing but enthusiasm and positive feedback. It's not a decision that I've taken lightly but I'm looking forward to the challenge!
  15. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    Go for it! I’m hoping to do a School based route and I’m 37. Yes there is a lot of negativity surrounding teaching and I know that I won’t do it forever but I do believe that QTS is the only way forward for me.
  16. ellenlilymay

    ellenlilymay New commenter

    As long as you already have a degree I doubt you are too old. If you still have to get a degree (3-4 years) then it is possible that you may face ageism.

    Unfortunately although ageism is less pronounced - I hope - in teaching than other work areas, nevertheless you may be perceived as competing with young, potentially less expensive, NQTs who are perceived as offering a longer investment. I can only speak from personal experience - I personally have over 2 decades of very varied teaching experience and am finding it extremely difficult finding a new permanent job. The sooner you start qualifying and applying, the better. Good luck!
  17. mrdavidjohnparker

    mrdavidjohnparker New commenter

    Hope not CatBingo, in my final year at uni at 43 so by the time I finish my PGCE I'll be 45. The limbs night creak in winter but the mind is razor sharp.

    A little ditty that I've grown to love is 'If you've done what you've always done, you'll get what you have always gotten'.

    It's never too late, you don't want to regret what you once wished you did.

    Good luck in whatever you choose.
    MikeyGrzz likes this.
  18. Gremlin78

    Gremlin78 New commenter

    Absolutely go for it if that's what you are passionate about! I'm about to turn 40 and just been accepted on to a salaried school direct programme for next September. I'm fully expecting to be working for a long time ahead so want to do something that I'm excited about!
    MikeyGrzz likes this.
  19. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

  20. likegoodwine

    likegoodwine New commenter

    Bearing in mind you will need to keep working till your late 60s before you can claim your state pension, you still have half your working life to go! That's 20 years of pension contributions and maybe you can even add to that still - I'm not sure.
    saluki likes this.

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