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Can you see yourself teaching until you're 68+?

(53 Posts)
JenniferYellowHat1980 Tue 14-Feb-17 19:50:48

I stopped teaching last year (sec English) and have been working in the NHS. Problem is that without going back to uni which isn't an option financially, I can't really see a future in it.

Obviously there's high demand for my subject and opportunities keep coming up. There's one I really need to make a decision on by Friday. My biggest struggle recently has been behaviour even though I have a lot of experience. This school is also in monitoring so that's an issue but potentially also a chance to make a contribution.

Realistically, we need me to teach financially and also to cover school holidays. I much prefer having professional autonomy as a teacher compared to the hierarchy I'm at the bottom of now. I love teaching more able and talented and A level, and most kids are fine. It's just the horrors that grind me down.

Would I be mad to take it? Is it possible to keep going until 68?

Hercules12 Tue 14-Feb-17 19:53:15

I don't think it is. I think it's wise to have an alternative. That's what I've done. Partly because I knew teaching tilll retirement isn't a good idea.

Boiled7Up Tue 14-Feb-17 20:04:01


I have the 'privilege' of working with a 68 year old and tbh he is beyond it. I don't want to be like that.

Never know, might win the Euromillions...

NoProbLlama Tue 14-Feb-17 20:07:26

Theresa May is PM at 67 ...

JenniferYellowHat1980 Tue 14-Feb-17 20:09:28

Theresa May hasn't spent 45 years dealing with 35 16 year olds!

pianomadness Tue 14-Feb-17 20:11:38

I'm frontline NHS and there's no way I could be doing my job at 68!

pianomadness Tue 14-Feb-17 20:11:55

Not that the NHS will still exist then anyway!!

JenniferYellowHat1980 Tue 14-Feb-17 20:12:08

My job is patient-facing but low stress.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Tue 14-Feb-17 20:12:32

Yes that's another concern.

llhj Tue 14-Feb-17 20:12:50

Theresa May is 60!

leccybill Tue 14-Feb-17 20:19:00

Not a chance in hell.
I worked out that I absolutely love teaching and learning, and as you say, the professional autonomy... but I have zero interest in data, targets, interventions, Ofsted, marking, I could go on....

To that end, I'm currently working as a self employed specialist teacher, while doing supply teaching and some evening tutoring. I hope to sustainable this enjoyable mix for as long as I can (I'm only 36) but I have absolutely no desire to be in a permanent post again so myou next move will be out of the profession completely if my current choices turn out to be unviable.

NoProbLlama Tue 14-Feb-17 20:53:46

Apologies to Theresa May blush

BizzyFizzy Tue 14-Feb-17 21:07:08

I don't see a problem teaching to 68. Schools need a diversity of staff and 60+ means a lot of wisdom and experience.

RandomDent Tue 14-Feb-17 21:16:24

It's knackering though. I can't see me in my role by then.

MrsGuyOfGisbo Tue 14-Feb-17 21:27:33


leccybill Tue 14-Feb-17 23:30:55

School managers don't value wisdom and experience. Those of us who cost a lot and have 'seen it all before'.
They want young, cheap, mouldable Yes (wo)men.

Which is the opposite to other professions.... you would prefer an older and more experienced surgeon operating on you wouldn't you. Or a wise experienced judge.

Teaching can barely be called a profession any more.

F1GI Tue 14-Feb-17 23:44:03

No very few could teach until 68. It's a privilege to even be alive at 68. I'm going to the funeral of a 68yo next week.

MooMooTheFirst Tue 14-Feb-17 23:49:12

I'm 29 and supposed to be going back after maternity leave next half term. I'm in the middle of applying for a part time school receptionist position!

Like a PP said, I love being with the children in a classroom, but really don't want to deal with the 'added extras' and the expectations all the time.

PumpkinPie2016 Wed 15-Feb-17 10:04:03

No, I don't think I can see myself teaching until 68.

I am only 30 and have one little boy who is 3. I love teaching and being with the kids. I love trying to make the subject interesting/point out now it affects their daily lives (secondary science), however, endless data/spreadsheets/interventions /scrutiny means that the job takes up so much time and energy.

I'm constantly shattered and feel like I can never get on top of everything sad

kaitlinktm Wed 15-Feb-17 13:30:25

I was the oldest full-time member of teaching staff when I took VR at 59. I did not feel valued - my experience weighed as nothing against the opinions of the new younger staff. In that school, and I think in teaching generally, young/new = good and old/experienced = bad/expensive.

Teaching is now a young person's game - and I envy them their energy. I remember the days when I could teach all day and have a reasonable family/social life too. They won't miss the voice of experience as they have never valued it.

Astoundingly I was taken on part-time at another school. I am now 61 but even on this very part-time basis I don't know if I could still be there at 68 (even if they wanted me - I am on a renewable 12-month contract).

My life seems the wrong way round - when I was that newly qualified teacher, the older experienced ones were respected and listened to and I looked forward to being such a person myself - dammit! sad

noblegiraffe Wed 15-Feb-17 13:40:37

Teaching while pregnant and teaching while severely sleep deprived was bloody awful and I know the kids didn't get the best deal because I didn't have the energy to do the job properly.

That's how I imagine teaching at 68 would be.

MrsPeel1 Wed 15-Feb-17 13:55:27

My DM is the most fit, energetic and on the ball 68 year old I've ever met, she retired from teaching at 61. She said even then that she couldn't do another year, that she was too old.
And PPs are right - age and experience are not respected - quite the opposite.
I am desperately hoping for a lottery win as I can't see myself teaching for another 30 years...

ChinchillaFur Wed 15-Feb-17 14:01:08

For me it would be a definite no.
I am 39 and only 0.7 part time.
I feel young mostly, and have a 7 year old dc.

At the end of my 3.5 day week I am knackered. Absolutely totally knackered. There is no way I could imagine how tired I would be at 68.

I'd be rubbish as well though. I like to teach in a lively way, get down on the floor, jump around etc. Can you imagine teaching YrR at 68?

We have a teacher at my school that is 67 (IIRC) and regularly falls asleep in meetings. He looks permanently exhausted. I wish he would retire but maybe can't afford it sad

Finola1step Wed 15-Feb-17 14:08:04

Couldn't agree more Kaitlinktm - teaching really has become a young person's game. I thought this too in the last few years before I walked at 41 (after 19 years in tough London schools). In fact, I saw a new breed of teachers coming in. More competitive, out for a quick climb up the pay scale and into Leadership quicker than their peers. Willing and able to work every hour and jump through every hoop. I honestly believe that this has been created by young people being battered with "Times are Tough/ Austerity" messages.

The way I was going, I wouldn't have made it to 58 , let alone 68. I would have ended up as one of the very high number of teachers who die within 12 months of retiring.

echt Wed 15-Feb-17 19:37:48

The very high number of teachers who die within 12 months of retiring

Is that true? Surely it would include all teachers retiring, including those at 55/having terminal illnesses/stress?

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