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Age!

 
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CANDLES



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 360
Location: Wandering aimlessly.....

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:45 am    Post subject: Age! Reply with quote

Why do universities in the Middle East, Gulf, etc, have problems about employing teachers over the age of 56+ ? I know of teachers who are 59 and above who are still working in the universities, but if one applies for a new job at that age, it becomes difficult.

Is it health issue, or money? What exactly is the problem?

I've noticed in the Far East the age limit seems to be 63, so what is happening here.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12100
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I asked this question when I was employed by Saudi Arabian Airlines. They had a strict policy of retiring people at 60 Hegira, ie 58 and a bit Gregorian. "Why," I asked the VP in charge of HR. His answer was that if they let foreigners stay on, Saudis would want the same privilege.

His argument did not convince me. Most Saudi nationals working for the Airline would take retirement and a pension as soon as they could.

At least with the universities - or some of them - teachers can stay after the age of 60 if they are still physically fit and mentally alert.

I regret that deteriorating health forced me to leave when I did. Unlike some, I had the grace to accept the will of the All-knowing One !
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SENTINEL33



Joined: 19 Jan 2014
Posts: 112
Location: Bahrain

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CANDLES asked: "What exactly is the problem?" Lemme count the ways:

1. People aged 56+ are much more likely to get sick or drop dead than someone 36. Just look at any actuary table. In KSA, disposing of a corpse, especially a Christian corpse, leads to all sort of jaw-dropping difficulties. KSA employers try to avoid that situation as much as possible. (This is not true JUST in KSA, of course).

2. A 26 year old is likely to be much more lively than someone 60. Therefore the 26 year old's classes are more "interactive". The more "movement" in a class, the easier it becomes to hide the total lack of depth, the uselessness and the rot at the core of your typical ESL class. A 60 year old has a much more difficult time playing this game......(in fact, in most cases, he personifies this barren situation).

3. A 26 year old can much more easily get away with "paling around" with your typical 18 year old Gahtani. At 60, this scenario gets slightly embarrassing. As contracts time comes around, you can excuse a 26 year old for obsequious and fawning behavior. Watching a 60 year old go through this song and dance makes you want to cry.

4. Nevertheless, employers are reluctant to get rid of someone based on age, especially if he's proven himself to be a good teacher/employee. (It costs an awful lot and takes a lot of energy to hire someone new). Therefore, in certain instances (higher ed), the rule is that anyone over 60 can stay on "at the discretion" of the employer.


Last edited by SENTINEL33 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:00 am; edited 2 times in total
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CANDLES



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 360
Location: Wandering aimlessly.....

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad isn't it. All that experience down the drain!

If I was learning a language I wouldn't care what age the teacher was as long as I was learning something constructive from them.

Ironic also that the younger the teachers the more prevalent the sick days off, whilst the older teachers slog on. Rolling Eyes
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lcanupp1964



Joined: 12 Dec 2009
Posts: 315
Location: Jeddah, KSA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On one warm spring morning, there was a young and cocky bull sprawling next to a much older bull. Both were relaxing on a grassy hill overlooking a small valley where 25 plump, beautiful cows were grazing. The young bull whipped his head around towards the old bull and said, “Hey old man!!! Let’s charge down this hill, scare those cows half-to-death, catch one, and kiss her hard!!!!!!!” The old bull idly finished chewing on his pile of moist grass leaves, raised his long and heavy horns in the general direction of the young bull and said, "No son. Let’s walk down the hill, say good morning to our fine heard of ladies and kiss them all”.

The joke works better when you replaced the word “kiss” with the word that should go with the joke as I heard it, but the point remains the same.
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cnthaiksarok



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 69
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ That is NOT a joke!












Bulls and cows do talk ;p Smile
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Mojoski



Joined: 03 May 2009
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, ageism is a fact of life in EFL. In many cases, the required visa has a cutoff age by national law. In the case of private language schools, they prefer to have young, cute teachers to hop around and attract paying customers. Some of these backpacker types, as I like to call them, are gems in the classroom while a lot of them are concerned more with the travel and adventure than the teaching.

On the other hand, some of us teachers of venerable experience have lost the spark while a lot of us take the challenge seriously and even do our share of hopping around. Yes, I do believe one concern schools have about mature teachers is the prospect of having to deal with a deceased foreigner. Oh, the paperwork!

I spent six months banging my head against the wall of silence, applying for jobs I was well qualified for and getting no response. The truly maddening thing is that the age limits are almost never elucidated in black and white. In many cases, there are nominal limits in place, but they can be got around in situations of great need. (I'm told this can happen in KSA.) In many cases, they just prefer youth to experience, as noted above. It's all quite frustrating for us mature types, but I can offer a couple of potentially helpful suggestions.

1. American based jobs overseas. I finally lucked onto one of these (Defense Department project). Non-discriminatory hiring practices. For those with K-12 certification, there are State Department positions in American schools abroad. If you're British, there may be something analogous--I'd check into it. Also for the certified, international schools seem to be more open to mature types. I know that's true in Burma, for one example.

2. I don't consider this desirable, but it's an option: online teaching. I don't recall seeing any that pay more than $15 an hour. If you can locate in a developing country, like Ecuador, you can make a living. I may try this part-time when I retire. I wouldn't anticipate liking it much, but you never really know until you try.

Okay, that's my two cents. Best of luck, my silver haired colleagues.
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CANDLES



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 360
Location: Wandering aimlessly.....

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks my friend.

1) I don't have 'silver' hair just yet, nor do I intend to 'pop off' soon (God willing), and I still SPARKLE.

2) KSA and Oman jobs stipulate 55-58 cut off age. Very frustrating if you've just celebrated a birthday and gone just beyond that.

3) Some univs/schools will take on older teachers for their experience and knowledge. Perhaps the respective governments want their own people to take over after that age, but I've been told that retirement age is around 55 in the Middle East. Who retires then and what on earth do they do all day???

Sleep, sleep....and more sleep!!!

4) As for online teaching- never tried it, but open to it as a last resort.

I'm open to all ideas..



Sad
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Gulezar



Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 236

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:09 am    Post subject: Sleep, sleep....and more sleep!!! Reply with quote

CANDLES wrote:
3) Some univs/schools will take on older teachers for their experience and knowledge. Perhaps the respective governments want their own people to take over after that age, but I've been told that retirement age is around 55 in the Middle East. Who retires then and what on earth do they do all day???

Sleep, sleep....and more sleep!!!


Oh! You have just nailed what many students describe as their weekend activities. I've never asked an adult, but I assume that the students have learned these values from their home environment.
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MixtecaMike



Joined: 19 Nov 2003
Posts: 513
Location: Land of Sun, Sand and Sea

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm slightly over 50 and can't imagine wanting to stay on in an EFL classroom until I die. If you are in the Kingdom you probably earn enough to save up and do something a bit more fun/rewarding/challenging than teaching basic English to PYP students.

If you're really here for the love of teaching, why not retire gracefully and teach poor country kids or orphans in Honduras or Cambodia?

Or come and be a waiter in my restaurant (opening 2017, insh'allah)
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CANDLES



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 360
Location: Wandering aimlessly.....

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear MM,

Wait until you are of that age and if your restaurant business doesn't take off , then you can become altruistic, but until then....work, work.

As for assuming that teachers become financially secure bordering on becoming mega rich, then I'm afraid that is being delusional.

It's not that a MAGIC KINGDOM! Shocked
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12100
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would rather teach the wildest Saudi stuents available than try to run a restaurant !
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MixtecaMike



Joined: 19 Nov 2003
Posts: 513
Location: Land of Sun, Sand and Sea

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
I would rather teach the wildest Saudi students available than try to run a restaurant !

I'll be able to swear at everyone in the restaurant (a la Gordon Ramsay), I can't say anything stronger than shut up in the classroom.
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