Can a Relief Teacher Be Old?

Relief TeacherIf you are just preparing to enter the ranks as a relief teacher and you are not a recent university graduate, its easy to feel a bit insecure and ask that question, "Can you teach if you are old?"

It's a fair question even if you are not so far along in life that you consider yourself to be "old".
Can you be a Relief Teacher if you are OLD?

If you are just preparing to enter the ranks of professional teaching and you are not a recent university graduate, its easy to
feel a bit insecure and ask that question, "Can you teach if you are old?"
It’s a fair question even if you are not so far along in life that you consider yourself to be "old".

But it is easy to feel old if you are a middle-aged or senior adult among 20 year old students in university and if the
competition for the teaching jobs are with kids who could be your own son or daughter.

There are a lot of jobs where there is a noticeable age bias against older workers. The business world, sometimes companies prefer to hire younger workers because they work cheap and if they work out, there is such a longer career life ahead of them.

Even in the business setting, many forward thinking employers are beginning to realize that the ranks of older workers contain a group of workers who are stable, hard-working and devoted employees.

The Older Relief Teacher

Schools are realizing that hiring an older relief teacher is not a disadvantage at all.

If anything the profession of a relief teacher is a perfect environment for someone who has some life experience.

Teaching full time and relief teaching, while rewarding, can be a huge challenge. An older relief teacher is less prone to panic about disruptions or sudden problems that might come up as you teach. The older relief teacher may have the experience and maturity to handle the problem efficiently.

One concern for those who hire the older relief teacher might be the energy to keep up physically with children. They need to know that you won't tire during a long school day and that you have the physical stamina to get through a school day and come back for more tomorrow.

There is a good chance that you will not encounter age based bias or discrimination from school administrators. You may find that they already have a number of older teachers on staff so they know the value the school gets from that experience and wisdom.

Children, even teenagers, really do not mind older relief teachers or older people for that matter. After all, to a child, every adult is and older teacher. They may not even notice that you are 20 years older (or more) than their last teacher. To a kid, old is old.

Moreover, children have relationships with parents, uncles and aunts and grandparents that are loving and respectful so if they lump you in with those role models, you have it made.

What students don't like are

  • older people who try to deny that they are old,
  • who are ashamed of their age or
  • who try to act younger than they are.

Youth crave honesty. quite aware that older age awaits them down the road so the last thing they want showing shame or discomfort because of your
age. By being honest about your age with the kids, will embrace the older relief teacher easily.

Relief Teacher Association

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