Recruiting older teachers should be one solution to address the current teacher shortage crisis. Some states claim to be calling retired teachers back to the classroom to help during the pandemic. Does this include senior teachers? Will they be permanent positions?
School districts should be searching for incentives and ways to attract all teachers, including older Americans, back to the classroom.
In 2015, I wrote a post about teachers and age discrimination. I still hear from teachers saddened to see their dream of teaching crushed due to their age.
Denying older teachers’ work is not only a loss for teachers but students! Senior teachers could be helpful during these uncertain times because they remember history and past difficulties. They might help young people overcome their worries. Students hear different perspectives and learn to communicate with older individuals. Without this connection, students miss out.
I condensed some of the comments from the previous post. Notice the fear and sadness teachers express about losing their teaching positions and not being hired for jobs they love.
Here’s one helpful comment for those searching for teaching positions at this time.
I found that the educational hiring fairs can help you get a foot in the door if you are in line early enough. The interviews are held right there, with many districts represented in one room.
The other comments were mostly negative. Many were made before Covid.
Feel free to share your current experience. Helpful suggestions are especially welcome. I’d like to hear from senior teachers currently being hired. Here’s hoping the value of your expertise is recognized at this critical time.
- I made top grades on all the “required” courses for a license, but the only number they saw was my age.
- It’s getting to where it is not just people at or over 50 dealing with age discrimination, I am seeing it happen to those at or near 40 now.
- Our new young principal was heard saying to new parents…”We have a number of veteran teachers here but I’m working on fixing that.”
- I have ex-students now teachers who say I inspired them. Now I sub for them once in a while.
- After 20+ years of glowing evaluations and positive feedback from parents and students, I was suddenly rated “needs improvement” by a principal that had never taught a day in his life.
- I think the ultimate goal involves online schooling. You nailed it.
- The states have been stacking the deck against old teachers for years. Sadly, of late, they are stacking the deck against ALL teachers.
- Districts will have you sub your ass off without any contract offers. They use you to death and unless you’re connected, forget about it.
- I had several interviews and have been told I was number 2 and wasn’t chosen.
- A big part of the problem is that there is no incentive for unions to fight ageism. The new teacher will pay the same dues.
- I was a School Counselor, with L.C.S.W., P.P.S.C., and a multisubject teaching credential. I was told I was not highly qualified and run out at 59 after 24 yrs in the same district.
- John Deasy at a Teach Plus presentation to a young audience: “It is ridiculous for anyone to think of teaching for more than 5 years before they move on to a real career.”
- People over 50 are not wanted anywhere, even higher education. This is a horrendous societal problem that EVERYONE ignores.
- By not hiring teachers they get bargains for substitute teachers.
- I went to subbing (7) years ago because there are so few (if any) jobs for the ‘mature’ crowd and some of us must still work. Today I make the same $100 a day (full day) with no benefits, no support, and the label “temp employee”. That actually comes out at a little over $14 an hour.
- I have college teaching experience (10 years as an adjunct – 3 years p/t in public school) including a Master’s Degree and an expired Postgraduate Professional License (teaching) as of 2018. Why bother with renewing?
- We lost one of the best art teachers in our county, a wonderful ESL teacher, EC teacher, a great and loved Kindergarten & 1st-grade teacher within the past 5 years due to age, and 3 out of the 5 were not ready to leave. All have been replaced with young applicants. Most turn around we have had in years. I’m worried I may be next on the list.
- I’m now 67 [male] with a Master’s degree and have sent out 203 applications, and I had one interview.
- Now that I am nearing 50, I can’t get interviews. I recently attended a job fair for a school district I had several connections and inroads with, and was told by one principal there that I would never get a classroom because I “was on the wrong side of 40.”
- I’ve given up getting back into a classroom after putting so much time and money into pursuing that dream, getting a Master’s in Education to make me the best teacher I could be and I’ve gone back into the private sector. I love what I am doing now, and am making a LOT more money than I did as a teacher…but it isn’t teaching. I would have given anything, literally ANYTHING to be able to have a classroom again because that is what I am hardwired to do.
- No one is a fool for wanting to further their education, but it’s a ‘fool’s game’ to think any opportunities are available in the school system.
- This culture is focused on simplistic YOUTH, where age seems to be a qualification for everything, including teaching.
- It’s sickening to still have a good brain better than when we were young and be sent out to pasture.
- I work in a school district now, but in a clerical position while I watch youngsters, and not always very bright ones, get hired for teaching jobs right out of their credential program.
- People talk so much about what’s wrong with education, but nobody wants to tell the truth. The hiring process is flawed, and it’s a cult of youth these days. Just shameful.
- After teaching at the university level for ten years, I realized that would never go anywhere beyond adjunct status. No benefits – nothing. There are people who remain adjuncts forever.
- Five times I applied for an art teacher opening – was never considered. Those who got those jobs were young women right out of school – no experience – no advanced degrees, and usually no license (pending, of course).
- In my district, a sub with a degree makes $20 more (full day of subbing) than a person right out of high school. I hold three degrees and a Postgraduate Professional License. No point in renewing it.
- Some of this has to do with the salary structure that collective bargaining has helped to create, don’t you think?
- I still know more about reading and what books students will read with gusto than any young teacher today. What they don’t realize by not hiring us is that the students are losing because of it.
- Somehow I’m “fantastic’, and interview very well, and have “superb classroom management skills,” yet don’t get hired as a permanent teacher. Always beaten out by younger teachers with no experience.
- I am now in a private school in a permanent position. The pay is disgustingly low, but what choice do I have?
- I am a 65-year-old new teacher grad. I have an M.Ed in Instructional Design and Educational Technology. I’ve applied for 18 elementary teaching jobs, yet I haven’t received an interview. Every application asks for my birthdate.
- Major urban city districts used “rubber rooms” to oust veteran teachers, minority teachers, and political rascals.
- I’ve been working in the same district since 1987 and am one of the oldest teachers in my middle school building. A few years ago our district hired a new superintendent who, according to a source in the district office, asked for a list of teachers over 50!
- I couldn’t get into public school, I tried for 4 years as a long-term sub but got beat out by younger teachers (only to find out many lasted one year and got pink-slipped). I’m in a private school now, getting paid very, very low, but it’s all I have right now.
- Age discrimination is rampant with labeled, “Turnaround School”. Doesn’t that sound a lot better than, “Age Discrimination School”?
- At my previous school, the principal called some older teachers dinosaurs to their faces. Cannot imagine what she said behind our backs.
- I’m in my 27th year of teaching and my district is TOXIC. I’d LOVE to get out, but no one will hire a teacher at the top of the pay scale.
- Try being a mid-career changer and getting illegally dumped by a school district after getting five years in. It is worse when there is no spouse to cushion the economic blow.
- It is taking forever to get my license due to the open hostility to out-of-state teachers.