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Seniors: Here’s Why You Should Consider Becoming a Teacher

4 minute read

By Heather Fishel

Think college is just for young people? Think again – more and more seniors are heading to college, earning their degrees and exploring new subjects.

And earning a teaching degree is a great choice for any senior. Teaching is a rewarding career, and it can be a great fit for older adults. With college courses available online, it’s easy to take classes, earn your degree, and make money as a teacher.

Here are the benefits of earning your degree and becoming a teacher in your golden years.

Seniors Greatly Benefit from Working as Teachers

If you’re looking for a way to stay active, take on new challenges, or make a difference, teaching is an excellent career choice. 

And many seniors are choosing to take on teaching as a second career. It’s a particularly popular choice for senior women age 62 and older. Teaching can be a full-time or part-time job that fills your schedule and keeps you active.

Here are just a few ways teaching will benefit you as an older adult.

You’ll Enjoy Flexible Work

Although teaching is often thought of as a rigorous job that starts early in the morning and last into the evening, especially with responsibilities like grading and conferences, that isn’t always the case. 

Seniors don’t need to sign up for a full-time teaching job, especially if you’re working towards retirement. You can choose to work part-time as a teacher – you can teach only a few classes, certain subjects, or even work as a substitute. You can determine how much or how little you’d like to be in the classroom.

Teaching is Rewarding Work

As a teacher, you’ll be guiding children or young adults – or perhaps even older adults – through their education. And as you teach them new concepts, you’ll find the job is rewarding. You’ll mold minds, create a foundation of knowledge, and even learn more about others as you interact with your students.

No matter the age you choose to teach, you can feel fulfilled and rewarded every day in the classroom. Your lasting impression will impact your students for years.

You’ll Have a Sense of Community

One of the toughest challenges seniors face is a loss of community. As you grow older, your community may change or disappear. And this can leave many seniors feeling lonely or isolated.

Teaching, however, will give you an entire community to immerse yourself in. You’ll get to know new people – students, parents, fellow teachers, and others who are involved in your teaching community. This allows you to interact with others often, and it can even help keep you feeling young at heart.

You’ll Increase Your Retirement Income

Working as a teacher during your golden years will also help you continue to earn a good income. When retirees take on teaching as a second or later-in-life career, the pay varies from state to state, but the national median salary for teachers is $60,320 (high school level) or $57,980 (elementary level).

Learning Keeps Aging Minds Sharp

Here’s another reason seniors benefit by earning a teaching degree: working on your education can be good for the mind.

As you get older, maintaining your mental health is as important as maintaining your physical health. And when you challenge yourself regularly to learn new concepts, retain information, and develop new skills, you’ll keep your mind sharp. 

In fact, by studying to earn your teaching degree, you’ll stimulate your brain. Learning will require information retrieval, memory and recall, and practicing different skills – and that can actually slow down the cognitive aging process.

Earning a Teaching Degree is Easy and Affordable

Lastly, earning a teaching degree doesn’t have to be difficult – and it also doesn’t have to break the bank. Thanks to convenient and affordable degree programs, seniors can get started on their degrees from absolutely anywhere. 

While traditional colleges and universities offer teaching degrees, you don’t have to attend physical classes anymore. Online degree programs allow seniors to take classes, complete assignments, and finish their degrees entirely online. You don’t have to leave home at all. 

Additionally, some degree programs offer special discounts that make degrees affordable for seniors. Students age 60 and older may be eligible for tuition waivers, discounted class prices, and even reduced tuition rates. Some individual classes might even be free, depending on your location and degree program.

With a little research, you’ll also be able to find scholarships. Many scholarships only require basic information – and some are even offered only to retirees and older adults. Make sure to look online for organizations and non-profits that might be able to help you save even more money on your degree.

Ultimately, starting a new career as a teacher can be stimulating, rewarding, and financially beneficial for seniors. And to get started, you’ll just need a teaching degree. With the many online degree programs available today, it’s easy to get started.

Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock

Heather Fishel



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