Author Topic: Teaching in retirement?  (Read 1731 times)

less4success

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Teaching in retirement?
« on: July 05, 2021, 10:21:19 PM »
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« Last Edit: September 28, 2021, 09:45:20 AM by less4success »

BrendanP

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2021, 11:03:25 PM »
Full-time teaching is exhausting and something to retire from not retire to.

It's really a grind, plus you should have proper education and training.

Consider being a paid sub or being part of an after-school or enrichment program.

My background is 10 years teaching math and computer science In NYC HS.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2021, 11:23:03 PM »
Teach HS or younger? Hell no! Nightmare. But teaching at community college or above, sure, thatís fun and manageable. You just need experience.

desk_jockey

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2021, 12:18:43 AM »
Teaching?  Yes, in some context. I donít know that Iíd do well in the structure of a public or religious K-12 school. But I am drawn to some aspects of sharing knowledge and facilitating learning with others.  Maybe I feel it will fulfill my transcendence needs as Maslow described them.

What will that look like for me?Ö instructing CED classes, training corporate participants, being a scout master, Ö?

LonerMatt

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2021, 12:39:18 AM »
I think the flexibility of retirement could allow you to mitigate some of the more draining aspects of the work. Namely, if you were able to work PT that would keep you engaged but not over-worked. I think that (as a former teacher myself) there's an unsustainability to the workload and emotional labour that you could potentially smartly side-step :)

Pigeon

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2021, 04:07:17 AM »
Iím married to a public school science teacher and have numerous family members who are teachers. Hell no to a regular teaching position, even as part-time teacher. The BS from administrators is insane, parents are generally antagonistic and the students are a very mixed bag. Schools can be pretty violent these days. DH is a very tall, fit man and has had students pull knives, swing metal desks at him, etc. and heís not in a high crime district by any means. In addition, if you want to travel, you will be locked into the school vacations when things are generally more crowded and expensive.

I would look for ways to teach more informally. Adjuncting at a community college would put you with somewhat more motivated students and less violence, but higher education is in financial crisis right now so finding a position might be difficult. Lots of community colleges and public school districts offer adult Ed evening classes on a variety of subjects. You could tutor, either for pay or as a volunteer.

terran

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2021, 08:11:04 AM »
Becoming a substitute teacher is pretty easy. You could try that to get a feel for the schedule and see other teachers in action. Being a real teacher adds lesson planning and grading and probably other things of course, but it would at least give you a feel for it before you commit to a bunch of training and taking a "real" job.

Neustache

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2021, 08:26:03 AM »
Subbing, sure! 

Full-time teaching or even part-time, maybe for someone who cares less (and I don't mean that in a negative way) it could be okay.

I am a full-time SpEd teacher for grades K-5.  I love my job.  Best one I have ever had.  I have some flexibility due to a nice nest egg to say 'no' to things that others may not feel like they can say no to.  However, teaching, for me, is a stressful job.  Part of that is what I teach:  I teach kids who can't read, write and/or can't do basic math.  I feel a whole lot of pressure to help them as I am their last chance in elementary school.  Maybe if I taught...say...High School Science I would feel less stress?  I don't know. 

As someone who came to teaching late in life (held many other private sector jobs) I will also add this:  There is a cultural difference in a school that I was not prepared for.  Some, not all, teachers are MEAN to other teachers in a way that I just don't think would be tolerated in regular businesses (or at least wasn't where I have been employed).  There is a lack of professionalism (lots of gossiping, mean-spirited comments) that I was not prepared for.  That took a huge mental toll on me until I finally stopped listening to it. 




startingsmall

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2021, 08:38:16 AM »
My target retirement gig (paid or volunteer) is environmental educator. I'd get to teach kids and adults something that I care about, without all of the headaches associated with becoming a school teacher. As I get closer to FIRE, I'll complete my state's Master Naturalist program for more training.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2021, 11:18:21 AM »
I don't have teaching credentials or any formal teaching experience, but I have volunteered in a local high school teaching introductory content related to my previous field of employment (which is an area with a teacher shortage). I enjoyed helping students and didn't mind grading.

I have done the same, and looked into what it would take to make the transition. Note that every state is different in their licensing requirements. Mine does have a pathway from industry that could potentially get me into a classroom right away, but part of the deal is you need to be working toward a master's in teaching and you're expected to earn it within a few years. The need to go back to school while also working a full-time job is a major deterrent. The licensing requirements are really geared toward weeding out everyone who doesn't want to commit to a long career in teaching. I already have a master's degree in my field, which is sufficient academic qualification to teach introductory material to 19-year-olds at a community college, but to teach the exact same material to 17-year-olds in high school I need a whole separate master's degree?

All the political/administrative stuff mentioned above is also a deterrent. As a volunteer the teacher I was working with shielded me from all of that so that I could focus on the classroom stuff, but that would no longer be the case in a classroom of my own.

Reddleman

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2021, 12:11:11 PM »
Full-time teaching is exhausting and something to retire from not retire to.

I've been a full-time teacher for 20 years now.  This pretty much sums it up. 

After that time I'm fully tenured, teach mostly advanced classes (=mostly motivated kids but very difficult/ambitious parents), and have a pretty sweet gig compared to 99% of new teachers.  Despite the fact that I'm often my own worst critic, I do know that objectively I'm really good at what I do.  And even after all of the headaches, most of the kids are really great!

That said, the biggest thing that makes it tolerable is the fact that I'm now FI, so I don't have to care about the administration/other headaches.  I can now be completely honest about the policies and directions of public education and not be overly concerned if people disagree.

So the fact that you wouldn't have to worry about getting fired, and could possibly find a position in a "good" school would allow you to focus on that difficult first few years to determine if the compromises are worth it to you.

Given that you're FI, there are plenty of opportunities in less formal ways to get involved.  For instance- local museums and non-profits, school clubs, or coaching.  Tech/stem/project leadership experience would really be a great fit for clubs like robotics or other "challenges".  Since you don't need the income, the volunteering could be on your terms and with really receptive and motivated kids- the best of both worlds.  One of the most amazing groups at our school is actually robotics:

https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc

Good luck

So before going through the entire often long and complicated process of certification (which varies considerably state-to-state), get yourself on some substitute lists in districts you might be interested in teaching in.  If you find that you like it and have some aptitude, you will probably get a few longer assignments (a few weeks) that will give you more of an idea if teaching is in your future. 

StarBright

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2021, 12:51:56 PM »
I had originally planned on moving into teaching as a second career but it actually won't work with our longer term financial plans due to rules about the state teacher's pension/social security and federal windfall elimination provision.

So wherever you live, if you do decide to teach, double check that it won't derail any social security/financial retirement plans before you pull the trigger.


formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2021, 12:57:22 PM »
Where I  live, most community college adjuncts need to have a master's degree.  That puts me out.

I am seriously considering switching careers to become a HS or MS history teacher.  It was my second choice of career out of high school, and now that I am totally burnt out from my first choice (IT), it is appealing to me more and more.  I have teacher friends in the district who give me very blunt assessments of the good and the bad.  It might be worth having a nice sit-down with the teacher you partnered with and see if she'll give you the unvarnished truth to help you make up your mind.

We're about 2/3 of the way to our FI number and at the point where the investment gains are larger than the contributions.

BrendanP

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2021, 02:17:10 PM »
I am seriously considering switching careers to become a HS or MS history teacher.  It was my second choice of career out of high school, and now that I am totally burnt out from my first choi

There is a large need for CTE teachers in NYC (and I'm assuming other places) especially in IT. Most in that field earn much more than teachers and don't have the patience for the kids.
Very easy to get certified as a CTE teacher.

OP also might want to consider teaching in a CTE/Trade school depending on their profession.

Zamboni

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2021, 02:51:15 PM »
Teaching is fun but, like anything else, 1-10% of the people you work with have problems that will consumer 90% of your time if you let it. Can it spoil the entire endeavor for you? Sure, if you let it.

That was why I like tutoring . . . I could fire a tutee by simply saying I'm not available to tutor this person again. It didn't come up much at all, but it did come up and it was nice how easy it was to get out of dealing with difficulties. Coaching is pretty much the same: you can cut someone or just kick them off the team if they really cause problems.

As a teacher, though, you don't normally have flexible options about who you are willing to teach, unless you are a self employed music teacher or something like that. If a student in your class has serious issues (incessant complaining/violent or very rude behavior/cheating/harassing others/constant grade grubbing/crying regularly etc.), then most of the time you can't just kick them out. You can mitigate the damage you allow them to do to your time with some strategies, and the good news is that the semester does come to an end eventually! Those types of problems don't magically disappear if you teach community college.

So, if you do decide to do some type of teaching, just remember to focus on the students who are making the effort and not causing problems, and put a little extra time towards saying hi to the quiet person who just isn't making any waves . . . they will appreciate it. Come up with expedient ways to deal with those intent on destroying your time and energy with their drama (in my case it is mostly syllabus policies and magical written phrases like "I will not respond to any further inquiries in the matter.") Good luck!

LonerMatt

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2021, 04:36:00 PM »
Counter-point to some earlier sentiments: I've always enjoyed working with parents when I was a teacher. It's a tremendous opportunity to validate their child and their parenting and can be a really beautiful relationship to be a guest in for a few minutes. Parents often know if their kid is a rat bag and as long as conversations were solutions-focused I found almost all parents (I can think of, really, just one exception) were pretty satisfied.

No one wants to hear an adult complain about their son or daughter, but almost everyone is open to ways to fix problems.

Psychstache

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2021, 06:30:25 PM »
I am seriously considering switching careers to become a HS or MS history teacher.  It was my second choice of career out of high school, and now that I am totally burnt out from my first choi

There is a large need for CTE teachers in NYC (and I'm assuming other places) especially in IT. Most in that field earn much more than teachers and don't have the patience for the kids.
Very easy to get certified as a CTE teacher.

OP also might want to consider teaching in a CTE/Trade school depending on their profession.

Career and Technology Education for those who were wondering.

BrendanP

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2021, 07:14:40 PM »
Career and Technology Education for those who were wondering.

Thanks, I should have included that.
My excuse is that I was posting from the beach during my hard-earned summer break from teaching.

marbles4

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2021, 07:30:29 PM »
Well, this is timely.

We are more or less FI, but still have school-age kids and thus college to save up for.

I left my corporate gig a few months back and my spouse still works his lucrative megacorp job, so not retired.

I have been taking an accelerated education preparation program this summer through the school district in which we live; I passed the middle school math PRAXIS exam, and will have to teach for a year on a temporary license until I get a real teacher license. I recently secured an 8th grade math teaching gig starting in the fall at a good public school just up the road.

As stated, I don't really consider this "retiring," just making a career switch. However, if it turns out to be absolutely awful, I will also have the freedom to walk away.  My hope is that I love it because I am really excited about it. Like waking up at night with fun ideas for lesson plans...

Good luck!

Psychstache

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2021, 07:50:47 PM »
Career and Technology Education for those who were wondering.

Thanks, I should have included that.
My excuse is that I was posting from the beach during my hard-earned summer break from teaching.

Damn right you did. You enjoy the fuck out of that beach.

Morning Glory

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2021, 08:03:31 PM »
Career and Technology Education for those who were wondering.

Thanks, I should have included that.
My excuse is that I was posting from the beach during my hard-earned summer break from teaching.

Damn right you did. You enjoy the fuck out of that beach.

+1 I loved teaching when I was an adjunct. Now that I'm full time, I can't wait for my contract to be done so I can RE.

Sugaree

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2021, 08:06:39 AM »
I want to teach scuba diving.  Does that count?

Cyanne

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2021, 09:23:03 AM »
Nope. Scuba doesnít count. Your students choose to be there and want to learn. Not the same as teaching high school students in a required class they donít want to take. You also donít have the paperwork, admin or parent pressures.

Teaching Scuba in retirement is an excellent idea!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2021, 09:55:39 AM »
If you have a particular subject in mind then I'm afraid I missed it, but I wonder if you would do better looking at the education wing of local cultural institutions. For example, teaching workshops at a science museum or giving school tours round an art gallery or add-on activities to theatre productions. You get the inspirational "giving back" thing without the slog if you find the right gig and it's easy to do part time.

Neustache

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2021, 10:29:33 AM »
If you have a particular subject in mind then I'm afraid I missed it, but I wonder if you would do better looking at the education wing of local cultural institutions. For example, teaching workshops at a science museum or giving school tours round an art gallery or add-on activities to theatre productions. You get the inspirational "giving back" thing without the slog if you find the right gig and it's easy to do part time.

Agree with this!  My retirement gig post teaching will hopefully be at a state or national park giving geology lectures. 

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2021, 03:12:41 PM »
Well, this is timely.

We are more or less FI, but still have school-age kids and thus college to save up for.

I left my corporate gig a few months back and my spouse still works his lucrative megacorp job, so not retired.

I have been taking an accelerated education preparation program this summer through the school district in which we live; I passed the middle school math PRAXIS exam, and will have to teach for a year on a temporary license until I get a real teacher license. I recently secured an 8th grade math teaching gig starting in the fall at a good public school just up the road.

As stated, I don't really consider this "retiring," just making a career switch. However, if it turns out to be absolutely awful, I will also have the freedom to walk away.  My hope is that I love it because I am really excited about it. Like waking up at night with fun ideas for lesson plans...

Good luck!

<grabs popcorn> Please update us in a year ;-)

flyingaway

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2021, 10:48:23 PM »
If you are a native English speaker and not Asian, teaching English in an Asian country can be really fun.

Cassie

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2021, 12:20:22 AM »
I taught a online college class for 8 years and a graduate class for a few years after retiring. It was really fun and I loved doing it.

Neustache

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2021, 06:18:05 AM »
Counter-point to some earlier sentiments: I've always enjoyed working with parents when I was a teacher. It's a tremendous opportunity to validate their child and their parenting and can be a really beautiful relationship to be a guest in for a few minutes. Parents often know if their kid is a rat bag and as long as conversations were solutions-focused I found almost all parents (I can think of, really, just one exception) were pretty satisfied.

No one wants to hear an adult complain about their son or daughter, but almost everyone is open to ways to fix problems.

I agree!  I love working with parents.  But I've also had pretty amazing students, so that helps.  I have had some with behaviors, but the thing with being the SpEd teacher is they are almost always happy to be pulled out of class and happy to be in your class, so that probably helps. 

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2021, 06:44:31 AM »
Do you want to go into teaching or do you want to retire? Itís kind of like saying ďShould I become a corporate lawyer in my retirement?Ē You are either retired or you have a career that will consume all your time and energy. And thatís what teaching does.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2021, 12:44:38 PM »
Do you want to go into teaching or do you want to retire? Itís kind of like saying ďShould I become a corporate lawyer in my retirement?Ē You are either retired or you have a career that will consume all your time and energy. And thatís what teaching does.

Umm, thatís not true at all. As many of us have pointed out, teaching is broad. If you teach HS and below and not as a substitute, then yes, thatís consuming. But thereís lots of part time teaching, which can be a nice gig, without the demands. Teaching can be a great way to give back.

FLBiker

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2021, 01:02:28 PM »
I'm a former teacher (English as a Foreign Language in Taiwan and China, English as a Second Language in Hawaii and Tampa, mostly at the college level) and my wife is a current teacher (High School German in Tampa, College English as a Second Language in Tampa and Nova Scotia).  My brother teaches middle school math (for ~20 years) and his wife teaches art at a private school.  Personally, I would never teach K-12 in America.  In Florida, at least, there was a tremendous emphasis on preparing students for (useless, IMO) standardized tests.  There were also lots of behavioral issues, and lots of paperwork requirements in terms of individualized study plans, etc.  It also seems like parental support of teachers wasn't great.  It also bums me out to see young people having to go through active shooter drills.

Teaching at college / university / community college is a good gig, but you'll typically need an MA for CC, and a PhD for others.  DW and I have MAs, and the only reason we were able to teach at a university is because we were teaching ESL.  DW loves teaching, and plans to teach part-time in retirement.  I'm fine with teaching, but long ago transitioned to admin, then to IT.  I would be open to teaching about finances or IT, but I'm not particularly interested in teaching English.  I don't have the credentials to teach anything else, though.  Once our daughter is grown (she's just 6) I could see us teaching English overseas as a way to get long term visas in interesting places (i.e. Bhutan).

Things may have tightened up, but when I first went overseas (1999) there were lots of places you could get a good job teaching English with a bachelor's degree in anything.  So if you're interested in geographic arbitrage, this could work.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2021, 03:00:43 PM »
I've often thought about doing a bit of English teaching to adults here in Italy in retirement.  I did it when I first moved here for a few months and really enjoyed it but the pay was bad.  But if it's not a full time gig where you're trying to support yourself it would be fun I think.

Frizzle42

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Re: Teaching in retirement?
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2021, 05:48:50 PM »
As a current public school teacher, I would say if you are considering a "traditional" teacher position in the USA, especially in a public school, then heck no. I love my job and there are very rewarding parts (like when we actually get to help kids) but there is a lot of paperwork, mandatory trainings, meetings, literally being at the mercy of the administration, etc., that it sometimes seems like a fight to get to the productive purposeful part of the job - investing in the kids.

I can't speak for the education systems in other countries of course.

If you don't need a paying teaching job though, definitely look into volunteer teaching or tutoring opportunities. I used to volunteer with a nonprofit organization that provided free tutoring for basic literacy, math, and English as a second language for adults in the community. Some volunteers did one-on-one tutoring, some led groups that met at the libraries around town, some went into the local prison and tutored there. It was incredible. There may be programs like that near you, or after-school mentorship programs or tutoring opportunities (like Boys and Girls Club of America).

I really respect your desire to teach, and it is very rewarding. For myself, as soon as I reach FIRE I'm leaving "school" teaching and will probably tutor or volunteer full-time, or something like that.