When it comes to teaching English, more and more employers prefer experience and maturity over fully-functioning knee joints. We explore, is ELT retirement the ultimate plan?
It’s seems like every year someone proclaims that 40 is the new 30, or 50 the new 40. We’re living longer and healthier, and suddenly age doesn’t mean as much as it used to. At risk of sounding like another age-related catchphrase crier, in the English teaching world, 60 is the new 20.
Gone are the days when fresh-out-of-school 18-year-olds don a backpack and take a gap year in ‘finding themselves’. It’s the era of the working retiree – too tired to continue the same nine to five career, yet too fit to settle down at home.
That’s where English teaching comes in: more and more empty nesters are flying their own coops to see the world, and speak their native tongue at the same time.
“I found the prospect of continuing in my normal career extremely depressing”, says Karen, an English teacher from New Zealand.
At 56, Karen enrolled to take a Cambridge CELTA course in Wellington, and got qualified as an English teacher.
“Working with lovely students from around the world, I’ve regained a real sense of purpose and achievement “, she added, “I have the job satisfaction I’ve always dreamed of.”
Over 50s are in hot demand worldwide in the almost age discrimination-free industry, which rewards experience over fully-functioning knee joints. CELTA-qualified retirees are highly sought after for their wealth of knowledge, maturity and patience. It seems more and more the ELT retirement is the way to go!
According to a recent survey by The International Educator (TIE), more than three quarters of the 200 overseas academies surveyed have no age restrictions in place, and the rest have a limit of between 60 and 65 years.
“In my 25 years as an international school superintendent I hired and encountered many teachers over 65, or even 70, who were among our best instructors”, says Forrest Broman, president of TIE.
And, with the rising demand for native speakers, there’s no better time to go. Will you take the step towards ELT retirement?
“(Since 2012) I have worked almost constantly”, says Karen, “I am absolutely loving my new career.”