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Pursuing Teaching After Retirement: How To Tell If It Is Right For You

by
Micah Fikes
Micah Fikes on February 22, 2018


Although many people in their 50’s and 60’s begin to think about retirement, a growing number have begun to consider a career change instead. Pursuing teaching after retirement has grown as an alternative to traditional retirement. People view teaching after retirement as an opportunity to give back to their communities. They have the chance to put some of their life experiences to use and pass along their wisdom to the next generation.

pursuing-teaching-after-retirementLimited statistics track the number of teachers entering the profession around retirement age, but about 1/3 of the new teacher hires that were made during the 2007-2008 school year were listed as ‘delayed entrants’. This means they had pursued college degrees and different careers before they entered the education field.

Those interested in learning more about teaching after retirement likely have many questions. They want to evaluate their choice carefully to see what the benefits and drawbacks may be as well as what to expect. Here are some important points to consider.

 

What Motivates People To Enter Teaching As A Second Career?

 

Many people drawn towards teaching enjoy the stimulation it provides, as well as the opportunity to mentor and interact with young people. They do not feel drawn to the idea of a traditional retirement, with little structured time. In the classroom, they have the opportunity to give back. These new teachers make a difference and have the chance to inspire students in the fields that once enthralled them as well.

Financially, people may also have the opportunity to postpone relying on their retirement savings while still working in a less stressful environment than they had before. This can improve their quality of life now, and improve their retirement when they do decide to fully retire in the future.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also expects the field to continue to grow over the next decade. Between 2016 and 2026, the department expects 116,300 new positions for open for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, 47,300 for new middle school teachers, and 76,800 for new high school teachers.

These numbers mean that many schools will be looking for qualified instructors for these grade levels. Those interested in making this career change will have many opportunities to find the opening they want.

 

Drawbacks Some Face When Teaching After Retirement

 

Challenges-of -pursuing-teaching-after-retirementThose who have not been in a classroom before may struggle with classroom management. It takes skills to be able to appropriately motivate a classroom of children to remain on task and engaged with the material. New teachers may also find themselves with diverse classrooms with students from many different socioeconomic backgrounds.

In the professional environment, they may not have encountered this diversity. These hurdles may seeming overwhelming. Many enthusiastic teachers, however, begin to find their own strategies to overcome these obstacles with advice and training.

There can also be a salary adjustment. Most Texas teachers earn in the $40,000-$50,000 range. This can result in a steep pay drop for professionals who retired after reaching top levels in their fields. These new teachers will need to consider how this drop will impact their lives and if they can reasonably support themselves on their new salary.

Most people who want to enter teaching may need to go back to school themselves, first. A number of programs exist to help those entering education as a second career. Those who have degrees in other subjects can often go through alternative certification programs that allow them to secure their credentials quickly. Learn about the top 5 things to know when applying to a Texas teachers program.

 

How Can You Determine If Teaching After Retirement Is A Good Choice?

 

Deciding whether or not to trade the golf club in for a chalkboard does not always come easy. Volunteering in a school can provide potential teachers with an excellent way of learning more about the profession. They will have the chance to observe teachers to learn more about the field. They also can interact with the children and test their own abilities to teach and mentor. This experience will help them make the best decision for their personalities and situation.

Those considering teaching jobs in Texas should also think carefully about their own needs and motivations. Review the benefits and drawbacks of this secondary profession listed above and see if serving the community and the minds of the next generation would be a fit.

Many people reach retirement age and realize that they do not yet desire the life of relaxation. They want to serve others, mentor young people, and inspire them in the subjects that once interested them. For these people, entering teaching as a secondary career can be an excellent fit. Carefully consider if teaching might be a good fit for you.

 

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Written by Micah Fikes

Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank. In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.

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