SENIOR LIVING: What seniors should know about teaching as a second career

Published 2:21 pm Thursday, September 28, 2023

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As seniors live longer, they may have opportunities to explore completely new career paths. After retirement, older adults may want to explore second careers that help them inspire a new generation of people.

Teaching is one such career.

A person is never too old to teach if he or she feels capable. In fact, more mature teachers may be coveted because they could bring life experience, social skills and flexibility to school districts.

While there are certain protocols in place to become qualified to teach, thanks to teacher shortages brought on by the recent global pandemic, many states now offer shorter routes to classrooms with alternative teacher certification programs that may not require master’s degrees.

There are various reasons seniors may want to consider becoming teachers, and there are many teaching positions and opportunities for their consideration.

Substitute teacher

Seniors can begin their pursuits as substitute teachers. This option may not require any certification, and substitutes may only need to undergo background checks for eligibility to work in schools. Substituting enables individuals to work only as much as they desire.

Adjunct professor

Certain colleges and universities hire professionals to teach industry-specific college courses. For example, a certified public accountant may teach an introductory accounting class. Adjunct professors typically are those who are still employed in their fields, but it may be possible to do this as a second career as well. This could be an option for someone who would like to devote more time to teaching at an advanced level.

Elementary school or high school teacher

These positions will require the most dedication and potentially certification in a specific area, such as grade level or coursework. General education teaching requires a term commitment commensurate to the school year. And that commitment will be five days per week.

There may be more flexibility if one were to teach a specific special concentration class, such as a foreign language or art. However, certain school districts require such educators to float from school to school in the district during the week.

Preschool teacher

Seniors who aspire to shape the minds and skills of younger children could be drawn to preschool education. Education and other certifications to work in such settings may vary depending on the school.

This type of position is ideal for compassionate individuals who have the patience for youngsters who may be nervous being away from home.

Teaching is a potential second career for seniors looking for new challenges after retirement. Most alternative route certification courses are now offered online, which can align with any applicant’s schedule.