Many people enjoy successful careers only to realize that something is missing. That 'something' is often supplied by a desire to teach. Can you become a teacher later in life? The answer is a qualified 'Yes!' What is involved? It would be best to ensure that your credentials are in order. A master's degree in your subject will always get your resume noticed. The most effective ways of networking teaching certificate and education courses will powerfully support your application.
Questions You Need To Ask Yourself
Are you a digital dinosaur?
If you have not interwoven technology into your life, look at some profession other than teaching. Private schools have been in the vanguard of technology use in the classroom since the mid-1990s. Being a digital dinosaur will not cut it if you plan to become a teacher in a private school.
This TED Talk discusses the changes in classroom teaching that digital learning has made possible.
Communications are almost entirely digital. Instant messaging and email allow you to ask questions, give instructions, alert people, and so on. Keeping your lesson plans in Microsoft Word or Access enables you to update those valuable lesson plans efficiently. Presenting your lessons on a powerful application such as PowerPoint will give your presentation a dynamic, state-of-the-art feel. Your students will operate in a work environment where these tools are used.
Have you stopped learning?
If you have stopped learning, then find something else to do. Teaching is all about being a life-long learner. After all, that is what you encourage your young charges to be, right? Your intellectual curiosity must never die. It is the hallmark of a good teacher.
Encourage your students' native curiosity. You can do that by teaching them how to Google efficiently. Using a search engine like Google without setting filters will yield millions of results. Many of the results on the first page are often irrelevant to what you are looking for. Teach them to think critically.
Do you bristle at change?
You need to look elsewhere if you cannot stand change. Teaching is not a static profession. True, some things stay the same. A teacher will constantly stimulate, inspire, guide, and direct. But what you teach and the way you teach is dynamic. The methodologies and presentation are changing constantly to adapt to new circumstances.
This short video offers suggestions on how to deal with change in life, in the workplace, etc.
The key to success in dealing with change is confronting and understanding it. Pretending that change does not exist won't work. Being frightened of or nervous about change is perfectly normal. Just don't let it dominate your thinking.
Is your network up to date?
Your friends and colleagues are the best way to open the doors and get you noticed. Every private school position will have dozens of applicants. Your application must stand out from the crowd. A well-maintained network is critical to your job search success. Take time to understand the most effective ways of networking in the digital age.
What about your age?
It is against the law to discriminate based on age. A few gray hairs and a birthday in the '60s and '70s is a non-issue. Thousands of men and women have made the sort of career change that you are contemplating. They are happy that they took up teaching. Shaping young lives and stimulating young minds is a rich, rewarding experience.
The following TED Talk tells one person's story about becoming a teacher later in life.
Mature men and women bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to teaching. Those attributes cannot be taught in a classroom. Alternative certification routes make a teaching career an attractive, viable option for mature individuals. Furthermore, when a school looks at your academic credentials and sees a master's degree, that's a big plus. So will be your stated love of badminton, squash, and tennis, for instance. Why would your love of sports be important? Because private schools pride themselves on educating the whole child. Academics, sports, and extracurricular activities are all part of the package that schools market to families.
One of the issues that you might encounter as a mature person is your compensation. Some schools might assume that they cannot afford you. When they see that you have an advanced degree, for example, an MBA, they may not realize that you know that you won't make as much as a teacher as you did in the business world. To get ahead of that concern, state as much very clearly in your cover letter.
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