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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 7th, 2007, 08:11 am
Denis DNT's Avatar
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Default Retirement age for a teacher.

Two questions that have been in my mind throughout these years in teaching:
1. What do you guys think is the most convenient age for retiring as a teacher?

2. What are some of the activities a retired teacher can settle on and really be happy?

I'd really appreciate your suggestions.
Cheers!
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Unread Oct 7th, 2007, 11:05 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: Retirement age for a teacher.

The most convenient age - 25

I think it depends. Some people are happy teaching all their lives and will "retire" at whatever age they become pensionable in their own particular country. And stop. or maybe not - they may go on giving a few private lessons etc etc. But I think a lot of people have reached burn-out by then. Especially those in the State system, and those who have never "diluted" the number of hours they teach with other related work : teacher training, ELT management, materials writing, research, web site development - and so on. Apart from anything else, teaching takes up a lot of energy and you just don't have the same amount of energy at 50 as at 30. 25 hours in the classroom is easily the equivalent in energy consumed of fifty at a desk job.
Perhaps more.

So there comes a point when you've had enough. Exactly when that is depends on the person. I personally can't at the moment see myself "retiring". But cutting down on classroom teaching in favour of other types of work - I was ready to do that by 25.

If on the other hand you're thinking about a private pension and want to know when you should arrange for it to mature - I'd say as early as you can afford. If you're not ready to stop by then, you're not forced to, but if you can't wait - the money's waiting for you.
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Unread Oct 7th, 2007, 04:30 pm
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Default Re: Retirement age for a teacher.

Great questions!

As someone who has crossed that 45 years old line, I've found myself asking these questions - and noticing a decline in my energy levels. Teaching at a private university certainly provides more money and less stress than American urban public schools. On the other hand, my contract remains year to year and the retirement remains private investments. California public school employees receive far more benefits - at least for the moment.

Personally, I'm hoping to decrease my teaching load as I cross the 55 year line, write more curriculum materials, and maybe write open an antique store like my grandfather. I don't want to keep teaching like some of my older colleagues into their late 60s. Plus, the value of the dollar keeps sliding downwards - and that doesn't produce a smile. Working with non-profits can provide satisfying work, but usually limited pay - especially for part-timers.

Enough said. Perhaps too much said. Time to get back to grading papers and postponing big decisions.
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Unread Oct 7th, 2007, 08:16 pm
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Default Re: Retirement age for a teacher.

They are not easy questions to answer I know, but God knows every single teacher I know has these questions and more in mind.
A friend of mine asked me the other day to tell her what other jobs are closely related to teaching. That is, a good teacher would likely be very good at them. The question put me at a loss for sometime and then I began to realize how serious it was. The truth is I can think of a number of jobs that could make one a great teacher (most people who have been actors, actresses, journalists, singers, baby sitters, etc make good teachers). But what are those jobs that a good teacher can easily do well at? Certainly you will all say, Education consultant, management, writing, but I bet you these are in reality very difficult to separate completely from teaching.
I think if teachers knew good answers to these questions many of them would teach happily and retire happily.

My dad quit at 60 and it has not been so good on his health. His after-teaching activity is cattle rearing and, oh my God! it's just the wrong one.
Jeez it's scaring me to death when I will have to quit and what to do next.

Thanks Eric and Sue (Sue, quitting at 25!!! that was a nice joke).
More ideas from older teachers would be highly appreciated.
Regards.

Last edited by Denis DNT : Oct 7th, 2007 at 08:21 pm. Reason: Left out a line
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Unread Oct 8th, 2007, 03:50 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: Retirement age for a teacher.

Of the people I've known who have got out of teaching completely, the most popular second career has definitely been publicshing - usually ELT publishing. The second most usual has been personnel work - often with responsibility for organising training or, in one case, dealing with the personnel who the company sends abroad - arranging their housing, kids schools, language and cross-cultural training etc. Another went to work as a PA to a faculty Head in an important multicultural university.

So there are jobs which are completely out of teaching as such, but still allow you to use the knowledge and skills which you gained while you were in it.
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