New to tefl teaching: is age a problem?

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New to tefl teaching: is age a problem?

Unread post by fiobella » 20 Mar 2009, 14:12

Hi, is there any ageism in tefl teaching? I'm 43, completing my degree in June 2010 and very interested in travel - long term. So have looked into Tefl and spoke to several school tutors, just want to make sure that I won't have less opportunities due to age??


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Re: New to tefl teaching: is age a problem?

Unread post by Lucy » 28 Mar 2009, 11:04

Hi Fiobella,

This depends very much on the country.
I live in France and there is no upper age limit within schools: they hire people of any age. Having said that, TEFL doesn’t pay well here. For that reason (and others) most EFL teachers in France are quite young.

I’ve also worked in Turkey, Spain and Poland and I didn’t know of anybody who was turned down for a job due to age. I’ve never taught in Asia but I have heard that many Asian societies respect age; you might have more chances there.

I’ve also moved your questions onto the jobs discussion board so that members from other countries can add their comments.

Lucy is the author of Lucy Pollard's Guide to Teaching English

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Re: New to tefl teaching: is age a problem?

Unread post by Doogs » 01 Sep 2009, 20:37

I'm teaching in China at the grand old age of 44! The age thing seems to differ from school to school, let alone country to country. The best advice is to ask the schools you want to work for, they'll soon let you know if your too old.
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Re: New to tefl teaching: is age a problem?

Unread post by ICAL_Pete » 02 Sep 2009, 07:20

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. Although most jobs 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 for your visa.

Certainly being in your early 40's is no problem and I have met teachers still enjoying the classroom well into their sixties.

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Re: New to tefl teaching: is age a problem?

Unread post by Ellechim » 04 Sep 2009, 08:06

Congratulations you must be very pleased with yourself.

I am 37, finished CELTA a few months ago, have just got a job in Italy and I leave next week.

We had quite a range of ages in our class from mid 20's to mid 40-50's and they were not the only ones. I saw quite afew older people doign CELTA where I went.

I have faced the face that this is a career change and for that reason I do not think I will start at the top. That being said, from talking to people who have stayed long term, they teach privately, open their own schools as there is more money without the middle man.

Certainly one of the trainees with me, developed great rapport in her mid 50's with young adults and I think one of the reasons was because she did not try to be young and groovy, just genuine.

You would be attractive as a teacher as you are mature, you turn up, older students will be more comfortable with you and a bit more world experience.

I know financially it will be tricky and I am prepared for that, my main aim is to learn and develop my school as much as I can in the first year and then investigate what to do from there.

If you are enthusiastic, motivated and genuine, you will be fine. Personally get a little of sick of people in exotic locations telling me how hard it is, how little money there is, and yet...they dont come home. It is almost liek they want it all to themselves.

Where do you plan on going? Are you plannin gon RTW for a year or to relocate somewhere?

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