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How important is a teachers age?

 
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peakbagger03



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 13
Location: benton harbor MIchigan,USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 12:18 am    Post subject: How important is a teachers age? Reply with quote

Question I recently looked at a job posting in Mexico, they specifically wanted an efl teacher aged 22-30. How important is 'Age'in the esl biz? Does it vary from country to country? I'm 50, I want a new career in esl. Would age discrimination be a factor in Latin America? What about Asia or Eastern Europe Question
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Celeste



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 814
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The jobs that advertise for a very young teacher are probably places that you, as a more experienced worker, (not necessarily more experienced teacher) would not want to work for anyhow. Often, these are the jobs that will require ridiculous hours complete with split shifts and lots of other nonesense that more experienced workers wouldn't put up with. As well, there are places that advertise for younger workers because they think that the salary they are offering is not enough to meet the financial committments of an older worker. Some of these places might be willing to hire you anyways.

Don't worry, there are people teaching EFL who are older than you are.

One thing that I would suggest is that for any of the jobs that require a photo in your application, that you get some good photos taken by a pro. By looking your best in these photos, you will have an edge over people who did theirs in a coin op photo booth.

Also, apply for the jobs that are for working in the public schools rather than in language institutes. The public schools are less likely to discriminate based on age(though it does still happen).
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omar805



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 69
Location: Thailand

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 3:38 am    Post subject: answer to peakbagger Reply with quote

In regard to your question about age in esl, I think that age is a relative factor, what's more important is your ability to do the job well. There are both good and bad teachers at all ages. Some organisations in various countries do place an age limit such as CFBT in Brunei and even some in Saudi Arabia. In Korea and Japan, there appears to be a trend with many organisations to go for younger teachers. These factors could be in accord with visa or other legal requirements of a particular country.
You say that you are starting an esl career at age 50, well go for it if this is what you really want, but as an old hand, I would advise you to consider all options.
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:52 am    Post subject: Age or other factors Reply with quote

Quote:
I recently looked at a job posting in Mexico, they specifically wanted an efl teacher aged 22-30.

- peakbagger03


Many ads for various kinds of jobs in Mexico list age ranges. They also often list gender, marital status, religion, and other specific requirements. Except for ads for some public and private academic schools, not many ads for teaching jobs do this in the city where I live, however.

I haven't seen age as a factor in hiring practices for most EFL teaching jobs here. Of course, there are some schools that cater to the Ken&Barbie Backpacker types. Most of those school owners focus on making money (for themselves, not for their teachers) rather than providing quality language instruction. They probably aren't the types of schools where a mature person who's serious about teaching EFL would want to work anyway.

The best schools are those that employ a mixture of teachers: older, younger, more experienced, less experienced, those who know the tried & true methods and techniques, those with new ideas, etc. It's been my experience that owners/directors of the best schools and institutions in this country are more interested in applicants who come across in interviews as enthusiastic, energetic, responsible, personable, and articulate, regardless of age.

Best wishes,
B.R. de B.
Smile
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Ann Hester



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2
Location: China

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Response to Is a Teacher's Age Important:

I am teaching in China and began my new career at the tender age of 62. I had been retired for several years but felt that I still had a lot to offer. Luckily the school I applied to felt the same. Do not let your age deter you from answering any job advertisement you find appealing even if they ask for a certain age group.

Ann Hester : Smile
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bnix



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 645

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 12:04 am    Post subject: It's a Factor Sometimes... Reply with quote

If a person is healthy enough and has the requisite qualifications to do the job(whether it be TESOL or anything else),they should not be discriminated against solely on the basis of age...just like they should not be discriminated against because of their race or gender.However,as another poster indicated,there are certain schools,in certain areas of the world,which have the idea that they should hire mostly younger teachers...this is basically to pull in the students(therefore almost all of the schools which do this are private schools).As another poster indicated,you probably would not want to teach at most of these"schools" anyway.

You will probably not ancounter much(if any) age discrinmination in eastern Europe,as far as getting a job.However,if you are not an EU citizen,you might encounter problemms on that front,since a large number of countries in eastern Europe will probably be in the EU by the end of 2003.And then it will be difficult for a non-EU person to get work in those countries.
Best of luck! Smile
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In China, age is certainly no barrier to teach at a quality school. Some of the worst franchise "language schools", in my opinion, only want young inexperienced people that have lower standards. But then i would not recommend them to anyone. Korea scares me away, but they have their own board. For more info, ask the question in the forum for that country.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12502
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 10:52 am    Post subject: AGEISM Reply with quote

"should not be discriminated against"

As a wrinkly myself I tend to agree. However I tend to be wary of the modal verb, especially in these shark-infested international waters far from the protection of the Royal Navy.

Who will enforce these moral imperatioves on our might-be employers ?

Incidentally I just started a new job and I will never see 55 again. Some countries are better than others. Reasonable and rational employers may actually prefer the stability of employing someone who is no longer a "Ken and Barbie" figure. Just like sensible employers know that if you select your employees well and treat them right, it pays dividends. My advice is if they want teenyboppers in the position of tecahers, stay away from that school !!!
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stgeorge



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can waffle about older teachers shouldn't be discriminated against blah blah blah but the fact is for a variety of reasons (mainly because looks are more important than ability to most employers in this field) it is harder for an older person to get a job. But as demand for teachers outstrips supply in many parts of the world, even older teachers can get a job, if no younger people apply for the job.
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peakbagger03



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 13
Location: benton harbor MIchigan,USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 5:25 pm    Post subject: 'peak' sends his thanks. but what about EU?...bnix Reply with quote

Very Happy You have all helped me erase the age issue doubts...I now feel that I can proceed with confidence that I can eliminate one more possible doubt...thanks for the thoughtful, insightful resopnses. Bnix brings up a question that I would like to here more about; that is, if all the countries join the EU why would they only hire teachers frome the EU? Wouldn't there still be a demand for esl teachers and where would they all come from?
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bnix



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 645

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 11:15 pm    Post subject: ESL Teachers and the EU... Reply with quote

First,to answer Peakbagger's question as to where non-English speaking EU countries in the EU would get ESL teachers in the future,...from Ireland and the UK,which are EU members.

On St.George's post...well typical.He states looks are more important than ability to most(?) employers in this field.In some countries,that is correct.However,as Scot points out in his post,looks and youth are not that important in some places,like the Middle East(I believe he is teaching in the Middle East,although I am not sure of which country).But St.George makes a typical throwaway line"like most employers...blah,blah).How does St,George KNOW that,based on his experience in only part of the world?

And age discrimination IS discrimination,anyway you cut it,although Scot is right in pointing out that there is really no moreal imperative to back it up...and to reiterate a point I(and others ) have made before...a lot of the schools that want the preppy Skip and Buffy types(or Ken and Barbie,if you prefer0 are not worth bothering with anyway...
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gerard



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 581
Location: Internet Cafe

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has been my experience in Asia. I am 40 (ish) and arrived with no experience and an unfinished TESL. China I was welcomed with open arms. Korea I can find work although not always what I want. Japan and Vietnam seem out of the question although perhaps due to lack of credentials as much as age. Taiwan I dont know. I looked into it a bit but was only offered by agents which meant going there and doing "demos" which I didnt like the sound of. Good luck......OH and forget Hong Kong I think without a CELTA...
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what it's worth, here's my viewpoint.

I arrived in Japan at the age of 41 with a job teaching in a conversation school. No TEFL/TESL teaching experience, but a freshly minted (legit) TESL certificate in hand. I stayed at that school for over 3 years and left only because they had a policy of not keeping any teacher past that point. No age discrimination there. Besides, my co-worker had been older than me, and he made two 3-year stints at that place.

One thing many people seem to neglect to mention on this forum is that there are conversation schools, and there are other types. Yes, the majority of conversation schools (certainly the larger ones) tend to hire the younger set, but there are other institutions out there.

The JET program just raised its upper age limit this year from 35 to 41. When I applied for them a few years ago, I was on the cusp of that upper age limit, and a 3-year JET veteran who was running the office in my city told me that she wished the age limit extended into the 50's or even 60's back then because so many of the people that age had so much life experience to offer the students. I guess they are beginning to realize that now, or perhaps they just need more warm bodies.

I work in a private high school now, and none of my foreign co-workers is under the age of 35 (I am the grandfather of the group at 46). Yes, this is just one example, but I know there are other schools out there (not language schools, either) that tend to hire the older teachers.

Hope is not so bleak.
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