3 answers

I’m returning to college in my 50’s to get my teaching degree in Elementary Education and am wondering how difficult will it be finding a teaching position at my age?

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Will I be considered to be someone with a lifetime of knowledge or will the younger applicants shine over me?


3 answers

Stephanie’s Answer


Hi Lynn,

First of all much success to you for making such a great decision and career change! I know it might seem scary, but you will find employment. You have many choices: public, private and charter/community schools. I'd start connecting with a local school and volunteer - you'll get experience and they will get to know you. Yes, being in your 50's will be a challenge, but I believe you can do it. If you feel the calling, students need you. Consider getting a certificate in Reading, Math or Science as well - that will make you more marketable. Yes, you will be competing with many young people, but while you may be a new teacher, you have valuable life and professional experience they don't have. Think of the skills you gained in your life and how they transfer or relate to education. Then when you're ready to interview, share how wonderful and skilled you are.

I found this article you might like: https://www.bachelorstudies.com/article/4-Reasons-Why-It%E2%80%99s-Never-Too-Late-to-Become-a-Teacher/

Much much good luck in your journey,


Deidre Mercedes’s Answer


Teachers are always in high demand and there are large number of teachers being recruited each year by many school districts. Don't let you age be a deterrent. I know of people who have retired and there school districts are begging them to return even as part-time and substitute teachers. They are always looking for qualified teachers. With training your life experience will be a valuable asset to school districts. Many states or districts have alternative teacher education programs which make it possible for middle age career changers to get teacher training. You can do this all while being employed as a school that will hire you. I suggest you look into that.

Deidre Mercedes recommends the following next steps:

  • Research alternative teacher training in your state
  • Seek employment from a local school
  • Meet the GPA requirements for alternative teacher training
  • Enroll in a program

Janice A.’s Answer



I think you will be extremely marketable. I returned to teaching after 20 years in private industry, when I was 48 years old. The fact that the school district can secure an older person whom they can pay the same as a 22 year old is very enticing. I agree that doing volunteer work at a school district of your choice is an excellent way to get your foot in the door. You will have the advantage of being known to administrators and staff. This can be of incalculable value to both the district and yourself.

I agree that you should try to specialize. Perhaps in reading in addition to the other suggestions previously posted or in special education.

Going back to school at your age is not a problem. When I was 53, I achieved a Masters degree in administration and supervision. I did not find it difficult to juggle work and school and maintain a 4.0 average. I also passed the Praxis for administration, with flying colors, in the top 25% of those who took the exam. I was competing against people much younger than myself and I was a visual arts educator at the time.

Good luck to you and please persevere in your choice. Remember, it is never too late to learn and achieve your dreams.


Janice A. recommends the following next steps:

  • Focus on learning as much as you can in college. You have the advantage of not being a party girl but a woman of experience who has her eye on the prize. Do not drop out because of any reason. That separates the women from the girls. Always talk to your professors, making certain they know you are there to learn. Do outside reading, asking the professors to give you a recommended reading list. Then, read what they have suggested.