Is it too late to begin?

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seouljaboi
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2020 10:46 am

Is it too late to begin?

Post by seouljaboi »

My wife and I are considering doing the Teach-now (Moreland) teacher licensure program. It's something I've wanted to do for awhile but I've recently become hesitant and not sure if it is the right choice at this point. Perhaps I've waited too long. Here's some background info on us

We live in South Korea and have a little one on the way. My wife is Korean
I'm nearly 46 and she is 33.
I have degree in Physical Ed. and hers is from a US university in Marketing
My teaching experience consists of 1 yr of substitute teaching in my home country (Canada) followed by nearly 15 years of ESL in Korea. She has also taught ESL for 1.5 years.
We will both likely be elementary school generalists (but will look into other qualifications that might make us more competitive).
I would begin the program in either Jan or Feb of 2021 so would have it completed in the Fall. She would begin in the Fall so wouldn't be finished until June-ish 2022. So I would be 47 or 48 before starting at our new school.

I've heard that it is quite difficult to get decent teaching positions in your 50's and nearly impossible in your 60s (for those countries that even allow you to work past 60). Is this true? In my later teaching years would we be any more competitive because we are a teaching couple and she would still be relatively young? Or would my age discourage most employers?

We currently make on average (net) 5000 usd/mth, but could make more if I were to apply myself as the majority of my slice of the income is from private lessons and I currently only work 4days/wk. However, have no benefits and pay for our own 3bdrm housing. We save around 1300-1500usd/mth.
If we were hired as a couple (with child) would we reasonably be able to save this much working at a lower tier international school in China as we begin our careers?

Essentially, is it too late for me to begin this journey with the hopes of saving a substantial amount for retirement? As newbies do we have any hope of securing jobs (likely in China) that will allow us to maintain saving at our current rate into my 60s while raising one child and likely taking family vacations home to Canada each summer?

I appreciate your thoughts/info.
Thank you
PsyGuy
Posts: 10043
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Inquiry

Post by PsyGuy »

Who is going to take care of your newborn if both of you are working?
Thats what recruiters are going to be concerned about which really means its just one of you teaching meaning your a forty plus noob primary IT with a trailing spouse and a child.
seouljaboi
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2020 10:46 am

Re: Inquiry

Post by seouljaboi »

PsyGuy wrote:
> Who is going to take care of your newborn if both of you are working?
> Thats what recruiters are going to be concerned about which really means
> its just one of you teaching meaning your a forty plus noob primary IT with
> a trailing spouse and a child.

If we stay in Korea then we'll be sending him/her to childcare once he/she turns 1yr. We'd do the same in China.

My primary concerns have to do with the potential issues i may face later on due to my age
PsyGuy
Posts: 10043
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

@seouljaboi

Oky, thats not going to fly, what happens when the kid is sick, or doctor appointment or meetings or anyone of the dozen things that young kids need, but okay you have that taken care of and assuming its not an issue with leadership.

First, you need a really big IS because your both essentially competing against each other so you need two primary positions that an IS is willing to give to two noobs. Big ISs are either top tier ISs or bottom tier bilingual ISs. You have no experience that matters so that means the bottom tier ISs

Second, your spouse isnt a NES, and even if they were she doesnt look the part. An IS might make that deal with a spouse to make a contract with an IT they really want but not a noob primary IT.

Third, your making about USD$60K thats USD$30K each which is below the IE global average, youre not average but China pays well but for step 0 with a bachelors you should be able to meet the salary requirement, and with an OSH package youll essentially be saving what you are now on housing, though an IS isnt going to give you a 3LDK and if you get a housing allowance you might have to go into pocket to cover what you have now. So yes you could live off one of your salaries and save the rest which is double what you are saving now. This assumes, and its a major variable that an IS wants your spouse.

Fourth, your going to need to be where you want to settle at in your 50s. You dont have much time and your competing against each other which is much more difficult scenario to find at an upper tier IS.

Fifth, Youre not going to find much of a retirement option in China until you at an upper tier ISs, and you dont have a lot of time to get there.

I wouldnt do Teach Now, thats a lot of coin to spend and resources to find out if anybody wants you. You would be better off looking at the MA Provisional credential which is a couple exams and even with travel a fraction of what youd pay for Teach Now. Youd be better off spending that coin on a Masters in Ed.Ld at a Uni like Portsmouth and then spinning your ESOL experience into a leadership position. For that matter youd be better off spending that coin on a Masters at UPe, meanwhile working in IE as soon as you can.
seouljaboi
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2020 10:46 am

Re: Response

Post by seouljaboi »

PsyGuy wrote:
> @seouljaboi
>
> Oky, thats not going to fly, what happens when the kid is sick, or doctor
> appointment or meetings or anyone of the dozen things that young kids need,
> but okay you have that taken care of and assuming its not an issue with
> leadership.
>
> First, you need a really big IS because your both essentially competing
> against each other so you need two primary positions that an IS is willing
> to give to two noobs. Big ISs are either top tier ISs or bottom tier
> bilingual ISs. You have no experience that matters so that means the bottom
> tier ISs
>
> Second, your spouse isnt a NES, and even if they were she doesnt look the
> part. An IS might make that deal with a spouse to make a contract with an
> IT they really want but not a noob primary IT.
>
> Third, your making about USD$60K thats USD$30K each which is below the IE
> global average, youre not average but China pays well but for step 0 with a
> bachelors you should be able to meet the salary requirement, and with an
> OSH package youll essentially be saving what you are now on housing, though
> an IS isnt going to give you a 3LDK and if you get a housing allowance you
> might have to go into pocket to cover what you have now. So yes you could
> live off one of your salaries and save the rest which is double what you
> are saving now. This assumes, and its a major variable that an IS wants
> your spouse.
>
> Fourth, your going to need to be where you want to settle at in your 50s.
> You dont have much time and your competing against each other which is
> much more difficult scenario to find at an upper tier IS.
>
> Fifth, Youre not going to find much of a retirement option in China until
> you at an upper tier ISs, and you dont have a lot of time to get there.
>
> I wouldnt do Teach Now, thats a lot of coin to spend and resources to find
> out if anybody wants you. You would be better off looking at the MA
> Provisional credential which is a couple exams and even with travel a
> fraction of what youd pay for Teach Now. Youd be better off spending that
> coin on a Masters in Ed.Ld at a Uni like Portsmouth and then spinning your
> ESOL experience into a leadership position. For that matter youd be better
> off spending that coin on a Masters at UPe, meanwhile working in IE as soon
> as you can.


Thanks for the response.

A couple of the things you said took me a bit by surprise.

First, that we would be competing against each other. That's concerning as all I've heard so far is that being a teaching couple is a bonus when applying for positions as schools will save on housing. This is a new point of view that's worth pondering/more research.

2nd, my wife not being a NES. It's true, technically, but attended international schools outside of Korea from the 2nd grade until she graduated highschool. English is in fact her best language. But schools might not care much about that.

3rd, your concern about childcare. Are there no teaching couples with children? There are loads of households with both parents working, not sure how this is different.
Hopefully having a nannie is financially doable.

I appreciate your perspective. Gives me a lot to think about
PsyGuy
Posts: 10043
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@seouljaboi

1) Teaching couples without kids have higher marketability than singles but you have a kid. Thats not what I mean though, its that youre both primary ITs. You need an IS with two vacancies and they have to be comfortable with those ITs being intern class ITs (you). If you were an ESOL or a PHS IT than youre not competing against each other. An IS will make a deal that includes a spouse to get an experienced IT thats in a high demand field but neither of you fit that description. You cant really be selective, that means youre essentially going to be applying to ISs that have only one vacancy posted.

2) They dont care, your spouse is SK, and looks Asian. Chinese tiger moms pay those fees/tuition to get western (white) ITs and edu.

3) Sure there are, but those kids are school aged, they attend the IS. There are ITs with kids who arent school aged but leadership know that a newborn is going to require absences by a parent when stuff happens. Even if it doesnt happen, they dont know it wont. An IS will bend some for one of those ITs thats worth it, but your a noob IT couple with very, very light resumes, why would a recruiter or leadership take a chance on you and that headache when there are plenty of ITs with resumes like yours who dont have those challenges.
mamava
Posts: 306
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 7:56 am

Re: Reply

Post by mamava »

PsyGuy wrote:
> @seouljaboi
>
>
> 3) Sure there are, but those kids are school aged, they attend the IS.
> There are ITs with kids who arent school aged but leadership know that a
> newborn is going to require absences by a parent when stuff happens. Even
> if it doesnt happen, they dont know it wont. An IS will bend some for one
> of those ITs thats worth it, but your a noob IT couple with very, very
> light resumes, why would a recruiter or leadership take a chance on you and
> that headache when there are plenty of ITs with resumes like yours who dont
> have those challenges.

While I agree with a lot of what PsyGuy has said, the issue of a young child in an of itself has not been an issue that I've seen, or that colleagues in that position have reported. In Asia and here in Brazil nannies are very common and affordable for a 2 income family. A current colleague is in their first overseas post with 3 kids and the youngest was 6 months when they were hired. I worked in China with 2 colleagues that were pregnant when interviewing. I would think that more of your issues are related to your age and new teacher status...sure, some recruiters might take a pass, but they're more likely to pass on other issues.
jdurey
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:00 am

Re: Is it too late to begin?

Post by jdurey »

As someone who transitioned from hagwon teaching to IS in Korea I empathize with you. My suggestion would be for you to get licensed in MS or HS PE as those teachers aren’t always easy to come by and perhaps your wife could get hers in World Languages as most if not all IS in Korea offer Korean as a first/ second language. If you aim for secondary school and she for primary you may have a better shot.
mamava
Posts: 306
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 7:56 am

Re: Is it too late to begin?

Post by mamava »

"I've heard that it is quite difficult to get decent teaching positions in your 50's and nearly impossible in your 60s (for those countries that even allow you to work past 60). Is this true? In my later teaching years would we be any more competitive because we are a teaching couple and she would still be relatively young?

This is a reality. As a teacher in my mid-50s (with a spouse, no dependent kids now) we're facing a awkwardness of wanting to make 1 more move and having so many countries unavailable to us because of the age thing. Yes, people will tell you you can teach into your 60s and they're right. But, you'll be trailing 2 dependents--and a lot of schools that might more easily hire you may be lower tier, and the higher quality schools that might consider 2 dependents will be quite competitive. Primary spots at good schools are often reserved for the spouses of high-need teachers (physics, chemistry, math, admin) and everyone's right--you'd be essentially competing with your spouse (unless you can both cover lower and upper elementary).

I don't think the child is the issue. Good schools hire the best teachers, even if they have kids--the issue is more the 2 dependents and age.
shadowjack
Posts: 2053
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Is it too late to begin?

Post by shadowjack »

My friends are in their later 50's and they're still in demand. Other friends hit 60 and had issues. I think it depends on (a) country regulations; and (b) your skill set. If your skill set is in demand, age is not the driving factor. If your skill set is common, I think you really need to tailor your search to schools that value your experience due to your age.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10043
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Discussion

Post by PsyGuy »

I disagree with @jdurey, PE/PHE ITs are almost as common as primary/elementary ITs.

My issue with @mamava is two fold; First, there are a lot of ISs that are not very good, or dont even get into the realm of good. Second, is that its rare, very rare that any two of even small group of short listed ITs for an appoint that have any substantial difference between them. Such that logistical issues (such as dependents and trailing spouses) take on greater significance.
teachermum
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:45 pm

Re: Is it too late to begin?

Post by teachermum »

I think that it can get harder once you age in certain countries with visa limits. However, there are countries where age is not as much a factor. I don't agree you would be competing with your wife, as you would not be going for the same grade levels most probably, and most primary schools would need several teachers at various grade levels. It just depends on how flexible you would be. Also, your PE background means you could try for primary, middle and high school roles in PE if you decide to go that route. This may give you more flexibility. For working parents if you choose a country with home help or child care options you will be fine. My husband and I both teach and having home help when the kids were younger was fantastic in terms of illness, I only missed a couple of days due to the kids being ill, mostly I just relied on the lovely helper. If teaching is your interest and passion then go for it. Thinking ahead, eventually your wife could teach and you could tutor, once you retire.
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