Career Advice Opinion

Retired Teacher and Reality of Jobs at National & International Level

By AAEE — October 18, 2010 2 min read
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Reader Question:
As a retired American teacher, 77 years old, in perfect mental and physical health,
I wonder how realistic it would be to start searching for a contractual position on
the national and international level. Nationally , it would seem that this ought to be possible given that a retired teacher obviously could be more flexible salary wise, since he or she has already an income, and has already health insurance under medicare. Obviously a retired teacher would have solid experience in his or her subject matter.

On the international level, where apparently, there are a greater number of jobs
available in the subject of English and ESL English, the age question is perhaps even
more difficult to answer. Before embarking on a determined search, I would like to hear some opinions from people with experience.

Dear Reader:
You make a strong case as to why it would seem you would be an ideal candidate at the national level. However, the reality is quite different. Now, it is not to say that a school would not hire you (as I am not a fortune teller). What I can tell you, is that in this downward economy the number of teaching jobs are not what they used to be. Most hiring administrators will be looking to fill whatever positions they have with teachers with recent experience, fresh knowledge and a commitment to work in the profession for a significant amount of time. Keep in mind how many teaching candidates are out there looking for work and what your competition may be. Here in New York, one open position could generate over a thousand applicants. Furthermore, if you are considering public schools, you must investigate how getting a teaching role would affect your retirement benefits (I am assuming you were a public school teacher in the past). Many retirees gain great satisfaction (and flexibility) from substitute teaching. I would encourage you to look into private and independent schools on the national level.

As far as an international placement, this could be possible but requires a great deal of research. Many organizations look for one to two year commitments. You may want to consider contacting organizations like the Council on International Educational Exchange, European Council of International Schools, NAFSA, World Teach, the United Nations, US Department of State Office of Overseas Schools, and the Peace Corps.

Suzanne Dagger
Director of Career Services
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

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