Is 65 Too Old To Become A Teacher? An In-Depth Guide


When you have a desire to become a (classroom) teacher at 65 you might ask yourself, is 65 too old to become a teacher?

At 65 or older you’re not too old to become a teacher. Seniors are attractive teacher candidates (no matter their educational background) because of their life experience, social skills, expertise, and agenda flexibility. Due to teacher shortages, all states allow a short route to the classroom with alternative teacher certification programs available for all ages.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. In this article, I share everything you need to know about how to become a teacher at 65 and why you’re NOT too old. So let’s continue reading!

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Why You’re NOT To Too Old To Become A (Classroom) Teacher At 65

Being a school teacher can be physically and mentally demanding. You need to bridge and age gap, but with an open mind, and if you consider yourself fit, active, alert, and fun to be around then you will be an excellent teacher at 65. 

I mentioned a couple of reasons above why you’re not too old to become a teacher at 65, and below I will go more in-depth into why 65 is still a great age to become a teacher. And I’m not just talking about a classroom teacher. There are different forms of teaching which I will explain later in this article. 

At 65 You Have Life Experience That Helps You As A Teacher

At 65 you have a lot of life experience. You’ve made many mistakes, learned valuable life lessons, gained knowledge and expertise in personal life and your career. But you also have gained people skills and a different perspective on life due to your age. You have wisdom, most younger people lack. And you’ve been through many different stages in life, which helps you to empathize with people at every stage in their life. Also, research shows that seniors have better social skills. These are excellent skills to become a great teacher. 

At 65 You Have A More Flexible Agenda Which Makes You An Attractive Candidate

Seniors are very attractive candidates for teacher jobs. At 65 life has slowed down more. In retirement, you’re more flexible to move around with hours and days. Also, seniors are very loyal and their flexible agenda also helps them to get teacher jobs easier (in some cases) than younger teachers. 

Young people go on maternity leave, call in sick 20 minutes before class because of their sick children, move away once they’re married. This doesn’t apply to seniors. In fact, people will call in the 65-year-olds when there is an emergency (e.g. many substitute teachers are seniors). Therefore employers can rely more on seniors. 

If you go on a job interview, you can make them aware of this fact. Especially when there are younger persons up for the same job. It instantly makes you an attractive candidate they seriously need to consider hiring. Many schools will love having older teachers/ retirees for their students. 

At 65 You Are Never Too Old To Learn

Now let’s get into the cliches.

“You are never too old to learn” is a cliche but also very true. People think that learning at an old age is impossible. But this is a common misconception. 

And I have the scientific proof that learning is ageless and can make your brain perform 30 years younger here. This immediately answers the question that you are NOT too old to become a teacher at 65 or older. Whether you want to get your teacher certification or not, you need to learn a couple of skills to be a great teacher. 

Now you know that learning is ageless. It will even get easier when you challenge your brain on a regular basis. If you look at it this way, becoming a teacher at 65 will come with many health benefits for you as well. A very meaningful way to live out your retirement.

You Are A Teacher In Every Stage Of Life Naturally

Everyone is both teacher and student in every stage of their life. You are a student because you can always learn from others. And you’re a teacher because you also have secrets, lessons, expertise, and skills that other people can learn from you. Even if you consider yourself an expert in a certain field, there are always people who know more than you, which makes you instantly their student. But there are also people who know less than you which instantly makes you their teacher. 

Therefore knowing this and having a humble and open-minded approach to teaching helps you to be a great teacher. Students want a teacher they can relate to, and they want to feel respected and heard. Building this kind of relationship makes teaching (any subject matter) a lot easier. 

Later in this article, I share amazing teaching opportunities for you at 65 outside the classroom.

Your Expertise Make You A Great Teacher

When you had a successful career and earned a degree you can be of use in many departments as a teacher. Your expertise is always of value. You just need to know where that is most needed. For example, you can be a consultant or coach at your previous employer. Your expertise is very valuable to them. Your resume can help you become a teacher in areas you didn’t even know existed.

But also without a degree, you can become a (school) teacher. So don’t worry about not having any degrees. Later in this article, I will share plenty of teaching opportunities in and outside the classroom. Because everyone has expertise in areas other people don’t.

Teachers Are Highly In Demand

The demand for teachers in the U.S. (and in many other places in the world) is high because of the enormous teacher shortage that is growing every year. This has led to states creating alternative paths for people to become (school) teachers that are faster and very affordable. And makes the chances of you getting hired as a teacher at 65 much higher. You are needed in kindergartens, middle school, high schools, and other education areas. 

You are needed and you at 65 can impact many students’ lives. So now is a perfect time to become a teacher, no matter your age. 

Know that you are always in demand when you’re great at what you do.

Becoming A Certified Teacher Is Never Been Easier

Due to the teacher shortage as I mentioned above, states allow people to take a shortcut to become a teacher with one-year state-approved alternative teacher certification programs

About 20% of the 35,000 people who use alternative certification are age 50 and older, according to the National Center for Education Information (www.ncei.com).

Therefore you don’t need to go back to college for many years and pay high tuition fees. You can start teaching in one year, and in a lot of cases, you can be a teacher right now. 

And if you do want to go to college, there are scholarships for senior citizens which you can apply for. And there are also many discounts you can get as a senior citizen.

How To Become A School Teacher At 65 Or Older

Let’s focus in this chapter on how you can become a school teacher at 65. And here is the short answer:

  • Without a degree: You can apply for teaching roles like mentoring, coaching, and substitute teaching right away. 
  • With a bachelor’s degree (in any field): You can become a certified teacher after finishing a one-year state-approved alternative teacher certification program. 
  • With a master’s degree (in any field): You can start teaching at private schools right away.

Do you see how simple it is? In my article: How To Become A Teacher In Retirement: A Step-by-Step Guide I share more in-depth information about the alternative teacher certification program and how you can become a teacher with easy-to-follow steps.

But before you start applying for jobs, it is wise to ask yourself what you want. Do you want to work part-time, full-time? Do you want to be an elementary school teacher, a high school teacher? 

What do you want to teach? Do you want to be a math teacher, an English teacher? 

Who do you want to teach? Kids? Adults? 

Do you want to teach in a classroom or one-on-one? 

The opportunities are endless, you just need to find the right fit for you. 

Different Teaching Roles You Can Be At 65 Or Older

You’re not tied to a classroom to be a teacher. There are so many forms when it comes to teaching. And below I will give you some great examples of teaching roles where you can start today.

Teaching Roles

  • Sports coach (of senior team or grandchildren team)
  • Tutor for high school or college students
  • Life coach
  • English teacher in Mexico or Asia
  • Online English teacher
  • Dog trainer
  • Arts & Crafts Teacher (organize workshops at home or create online videos)
  • Cooking And Baking Teacher (organize workshops at home or create online videos)
  • Leadership Teacher
  • Finance And Accounting Teacher
  • Career Development Coach
  • Handyman Teacher (organize workshops at home or create online videos)
  • Freelance Consultant (within previous work field)
  • Create an online course on Udemy in any field
  • Volunteer at a school nearby

Learn From Other Teachers To Be A Great Teacher

As you aspire to become a teacher you can upgrade your skills, knowledge, and expertise today by following classes from other amazing teachers. You can learn from the best. And that is now easier than ever. 

At Masterclass, you can learn from the world’s greatest. And follow classes on communication, business, leadership, arts, music, cooking, sports, and everything in between. From Gordon Ramsay, Alicia Keys, Samuel L. Jackson, and many other world’s greatest in their field. They can teach you their skills but you can also explore their ways of teaching so you can figure out what type of teacher you want to be. Getting a subscription to Masterclass is a great investment in retirement. First of all to have fun, explore new hobbies and learn new skills. Interested?

Kirsten Veldman

I'm Kirsten. In 2017, my husband Léon, and I decided to retire from the rat race to travel the world and work and live location independently. In the last couple of years, I wrote over 200+ articles about retirement and did extensive research to help people prepare, enjoy and celebrate retirement in the best way possible.

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