If you’re thinking about retirement, you may be wondering what will I do all day? Putz around the house? Travel? Pursue hobbies? Well, you could do all of those things. But, you could also put your former job skills and experience to good use, once or twice, or a few times a week, and get paid for it, as a teacher!
If you never thought you could teach anyone anything, you may be surprised to learn how much value you can give to students of any age. As a Certified Empowerment Coach, I like to help my clients find novel ways to use their many years of experience and teaching is one of them. Here are some ways to do it.
Share Your Wisdom, Experience As A Teacher
You may think you need a PhD to become a teacher – not so. In many cases, you don’t even need an advanced degree at all. Though most community colleges and universities require advanced degrees – minimum Master’s – many vocational schools, or other teaching opportunities, require just your experience, and maybe a vocational certificate which is easily obtained.
1. Business workshops. First, join professional groups that service the industry you worked in. These are the best places to network with others in your field and let them know that you have skills you could share in workshops, or ongoing classes. Volunteer to teach a workshop, or mentor other members, to gain some real-world experience teaching. It also looks good on a resume.
2. Vocational teaching. Vocational education teachers offer “hands on” skills and real expectations to job seekers rather than theory. Many adult education programs out of your local high schools, Community Education, or community colleges seek teachers to teach skills and “enrichment” courses to school-age students as well as adults in the community. Many of these, such as those that teach mechanical, technical skills, require a vocational teaching certification.
A CTE, Certificate of Technical Education, is not hard to obtain. Your skills and years of experience qualify you to teach the same skills involved with your particular job. They can range from more blue-collar professions to highly technical, complex skills used in industry, corporations, government, etc. For example, if you were an auto mechanic for years, you can be vocationally certified to teach in high school, community colleges, or community education automotive programs. You may have been a computer programmer for many years and these skills qualify you to teach highly technical skills like this as well. Getting a vocational certificate can be done through a certifying agency, such as your state’s Department of Education website, professional trade associations, private vocational schools, or several online venues that offer vocational certificates. The need for vocationally certified teachers is growly quickly as many employers seek employees who can jump right into their job.
3. Teach Something New. You may also transfer prior job experience and skills into a new and different field than what you’ve worked in. For example, if you worked as a nurse in medicine, you may enjoy teaching medical English to foreign medical students. You can also just teach conversational English, without a specialty, as well. The schools that hire these teachers require native English-language speakers and require getting a certificate as well, a TESOL or TEFL. But, they’re short programs – about 4-6 weeks. You can teach in local English as Second Language programs in nearby community colleges or high schools aimed at perfecting foreigners’ grasp of the English language. As well, you can travel to foreign countries to teach students. Teaching jobs in China and Japan, as well as some Arabic countries, can pay very well with living expenses paid for. If you’re up for an adventure, this may be just the teaching job for you.
In a recent MetLife survey, roughly 42 percent of college-educated adults, age 60 and younger, say they would consider teaching in the future. Women, and men, between ages 50 and 60, who’ve been in engineering, science, and information technology jobs were the most likely to want to offer their knowledge to others through teaching.
Yet, if you weren’t in these professions, say you were an artist, or a musician, or a chef, or a florist, or a carpenter, or a landscaper, you can still transition whatever particular skill you have to a part-time teaching job. Consult your local Community Education offices and ask them how you can go about creating a rewarding class that will help boost both you and your students’ personal growth!
Dale Brown, B.S., M.A., C.E.C.
Certified Empowerment Coach