Is Ageism Keeping You from Getting Hired?

ISR guest writer, Sidney Rose, shares his thoughts on ageism in International Education.

Ageism is everywhere, yet it is the most socially “normalized” of any prejudice.  Many of us would like to believe prejudice is a problem of the past, but this is clearly not the case. Incidents of prejudice and discrimination occur every day, including ageism, as practiced by International Schools and recruitment agencies.

I have been involved in international education for more than 30 years. I rose through the ranks: from teacher to Head of Department, then Deputy Head, and finally School Principal. I have been the Founding Principal of international schools in Sweden, Qatar, India (twice), China and most recently, Vietnam. I am an “expert” at obtaining Cambridge and IB accreditation and all things related to setting up a new school, to include acting as consultant to a few start-ups.

Finding a new assignment used to be relatively easy. I was in demand and commanded a good salary. Now that I am over 65, I can’t find a job. Suddenly no-one wants me! Recruitment agencies won’t even let me sign on with them. This, despite my credentials, experience and expertise.

I’m lively, energetic and enthusiastic about international education and in better shape than many younger men. I still have much to give, but my date of birth is a problem. If I remove my DOB from my resume, I get great responses from schools and recruiters… but when my age is finally revealed, everything suddenly goes quiet. You would think they would at least want to meet me and access my overall fitness to serve.

ISR covered this topic several years ago and perhaps it needs revisiting. Recruitment agencies are becoming ever more difficult.  Ageism is rife and stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people based on age is ever more widespread in international education.

I would like to reopen a discussion on this topic. To participate please scroll down and share your thoughts.

Thanks,

Sidney Rose

See the ISR Visa/Age Chart

82 Responses to Is Ageism Keeping You from Getting Hired?

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree with almost all of the comments about age bias in international schools. Sometimes it is because of the law of the country, and sometimes it may be a false perception by a middle-aged administrator. For me, there is another factor that has been hard to overcome. When GREAT teachers over the age of 55 approach me for a job, it is rare. One thing I have to consider is how they will fit in with the other foreign hires (average age 30) and the locals. For the more experienced, culturally competent teachers this is not an issue. But I have hired a 57-year-old teacher who quit because she did not want to work with a bunch of “kids”. I would love to have a more diverse staff in terms of age, but it is not always possible. At the end of the day, I am going to hire the best teacher (and part of that is fit).

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am sure you are a fabulous educator and still do great things at the schools who will bring you on. However, many of the older teachers I have worked with are useless and lazy. They openly admit to not caring about curriculum development or integrating new forms of instruction because “the old ways work best”, they admit to only working abroad for the medical coverage and travel benefits and often seem to put work behind relaxation.
    Many of the older educators often have health problems or mental issues as well. I am sure you are fantastic but after the retirees I have worked with in the past, if I were a school hiring I would take a pass on “boomers” too.
    I do wish you the best of luck in your remaining career ventures though.

    Like

    • Pete Ska says:

      I am sure that there are “older” teachers, who act in the way you have described. However, I saw “young” teachers who behave in a very similar way. The school buys a textbook, that comes with teacher’s support materials, that include everything: classes, home assignments, tests, answers, labs etc. Once I asked a guy if he would be interested in other textbooks and other materials. The answer was “NO! I have everything that I need and I am not interested in expanding my horizons, as I have other things to do”.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      What a rude response, I hope I never apply to your school

      Like

  3. moon says:

    Come one, man, don’t be greedy. You made your money. Retire so that the youngsters have a chance too.

    Like

    • Ben Mcclaury says:

      You may try DOD Department of Defense or working in the USA. There is a teacher shortage in certain states such as Arizona. I do not see things changing anytime soon and sometimes Visa requirements are restricted by age due to government regulations. Yes, it is not fair, I agree; however, international school education in general is not fair and there is an awful lot of “craziness” that occurs at most schools. Applying late may help as well, meaning in May, June, July, and even when the school years starts. You will land on your feet, hang in there man.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      We over sixty are not taking anyone else’s money. And I don’t appreciate being called greedy. You have no idea what my money has paid for and how much I have made that has been used to feed, clothe, educate, and sustain life for someone else. That is not greedy. We are still wanting to be happy in a job that we love and if we get paid, that is still okay. For the first time in 62 years I am finally thinking a little about myself and indulging in a few wants of my own. I by all means deserve it. What a hurtful and thoughtless thing to say.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Diego says:

    I couldnt agree with you more! Physical age shouldn’t matter! Here in China all international schools have 60 as their age restriction.

    Like

  5. Mike says:

    I retired at 55, but continue working if I am needed. Because of my expertise and in demand I continue working in international schools taking less responsibility, enjoying good pay and friends, and travelling a lot which I never had before.

    I just turned 60 this year, still thinking whether I should quit and have all the time and things I want to do and especially with my family members who are in different country, but the pay is too good and work helps to stimulate my brain and keep me young. Just imagine, not working and not using the brain, we can see a great different within one year.

    Having plan well for retirement since I was 55, I can quit anytime if the school no longer needed me, but I just had another contract signed until 2022. God is good. I guess this may be my last contract as I will reach age 63 at that time. To my surprise, many said I look more like in my late 40 or early 50, and does not look like 60. I think it is the stress that keeps people look young or old.

    School cannot keep us after 65 as most country has law that retirement is between 60-65, however, I believe we can still work part time as consultant where one of my good American friend who is now passing 70 still work part time for schools who need someone to begin the process of accreditation and not knowing how to do it.

    In conclusion, I am prepared to retire at either age 63, or 65 if I am still needed, Then spending good time with friends who are similar of my age and keep life going.

    Like

  6. Abi Mogul says:

    I don’t understand. Why would you wanna teach in your sixties. I’ve been teaching chemistry for 35 years mainly to 80% who don’t want to learn. It’s been a hard work to be creative and use differentiated strategies to keep them engaged. Aren’t you fed up to carry on in your sixties. I am sure life is more than that.

    Like

    • Pete Ska says:

      ” Aren’t you fed up to carry on in your sixties.” Not at all! Quite obviously not everyone! I loved interaction with my students/kids. I’m still in touch with some of them – 30 years later.
      “I am sure life is more than that.” True, but not as an alternative to teaching – rather as an addition to it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      What an appalling response to someone who has the right to work and who has a meaningful contribution to make. I totally hear the concerns of this gentleman and think we have a long way to go in recognizing that there is no such ‘thing’ as ‘retired’ if people want to work. Choose people on the basis of their fitness to do the job and maybe ability to connect with the team. But teams are made of people with disparate strengths amongst them. It is ridiculous to be ‘retired’ by an organization or professional body if the need is there. This is about money, not competence.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Anonymous says:

    The teachers I’ve noticed most likely to do a runner are those between 22 and 32, thinking they can do better, just leave or make very interesting demands of the school to stay. One 24 year old said “I’ll stay if they meet my demands.” They did not and he left but I heard he went to another school in the same city, yet one term in he is coming back to the first school. Older teachers know the difference between reasons to leave and shit as usual, just get on with it.

    Like

  8. Anonymous says:

    I recently experienced this from the ‘admin team’ of a new school that is opening in Bangkok in 2020. They market themselves as ‘an innovative international school’. One that pushes the boundaries and takes big risks. However, when it comes to age they hide behind the country’s age policy which is in fact for Thai nationals not expats.

    Ageism is rife and more so in the international circuit!

    Like

    • neanderpal says:

      “the country’s age policy which is in fact for Thai nationals not expats”. Having checked some visa sites, I thought it applied to expats. Thanks for raising this. Can you confirm?

      Like

  9. Anonymous says:

    My personal view, in my 60s is that school administrators (in their 40-50s) do not want the level of experience that long serving international teachers bring to the table. Recently, refusing to have just one of the dozen intrusive medical exams(the rest I agreed to), I said to the 40 something administrator trying to bully me into said medical test (not revealed prior to contract signing) that I do have something to compare this to. He looked surprised then an expression showed he realized what I meant, shit policy, discriminating against only one gender, and thus pointless is not a universal (education) policy. Administrators work their way up through the ranks usually for box checking and agreement with everything from their managers. They really do not want healthy senior citizens who know that policy varies, is arbitrary and can change at the drop of a hat.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Villa says:

    Qatar changed their age restriction during recruitment time in April, for the new academic year. The age restriction is now 50 years and I’m nearly 60years. I applied for a new teaching position and was very excited to start at a new school. The school then informed me about the new regulation and that we were not allowed to change schools and that the school need to motivate why they need the older teachers before signing a new contract.

    Like

  11. Anonymous says:

    Everything being said here is sadly true, and yes, it is happening earlier now, I am 55 and didn’t get any offers. A school in China literally said to me, “it would be nice to have someone older on our staff”! I do have 18 yrs experience, but that doesn’t seem to matter anymore. This Coordinator was probably just a few yrs. younger than me. I am currently in Europe at an IB school, but I’ve been told I am the oldest on staff!!

    Like

  12. Stephen says:

    I am 63 having completed 40 years of teaching in UK Comprehensives and in my 3rd year in Egypt. . There is no possibiliity of a fulltime position in the UK and most Countries.
    I think people should understand that International School experience is of no value in the UK. UK teaching is just fantastic. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded. I love teaching in Egypt though.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Teaching in the UK is hardly ‘fantastic’. People are taking mental health leaves left, right, and center and bailing out for the international scene, which has its own problems. What the UK does offer are unions – IF you can land a permanent contract. They do little to nothing for supply staff or barely contracted staff, and the abuse of teachers by not giving them jobs that go beyond a year is rife throughout the UK. It should be illegal, really, but it is sadly a sign of the times. It is much worse in the UK than in other countries where people are given full year contracts vs. just ‘tried out’ until the right ‘fit’ comes along. You are right…getting F/T contracts is almost becoming a thing of the past. The older you get, the more this is true. It’s extremely non-innovative, and does not respect or accept that community is comprised of people of all ages, and THIS is how you educate in a well-rounded fashion. What young UK teachers are duped into doing in the name of teacher training is unconscionable. I’ve seen people have nervous breakdowns in staff rooms. It is not necessary.

      Liked by 1 person

    • John says:

      Having taught for 40 years in the UK I suspect you’ve lost the ability to objectively compare one system with another. You clearly never spent much time in inner city state schools, nothing can compare with that experience. It’s a nightmare. The UK education system has major problems and strongly reflects a ‘Big Brother’ dystopian mind control straight jacket approach.

      Like

  13. Andrew says:

    I didn’t have to wait until 65 to experience this form of discrimination. In my home country of Australia I found the line had already been drawn at age 50. Finding myself at the top of teacher pay scales, two new graduates (with government incentives to schools) could be recruited for the same cost. I was told I come with too much experience. I had been a subject coordinator, level leader and head teacher of small schools. This was code for too much baggage, another code for established ideas and experience that I was likely to share and impose rather than be moulded to the school’s ideals.
    During a time spent working as a relief teacher in one school, I saw second year graduates mentoring first year grads because there were no other experienced teachers to do the job. Yet the statistics and media are keen to reveal that the attrition rate for new teachers is high with many not staying in the profession beyond 5 years.
    I chose to move into the international education scene. While I initially marvelled at the fact that my years of experience, Masters qualification and eagerness were seen as benefits to employment, it wasn’t long before I realised that doors to advancement were being closed because of age.
    As I approach 60 years and look for a new position in the next academic year, I am acutely aware that many international schools either through their own policy or that of the country, feel that I no longer have anything worthwhile to offer. At a time when we are expected to fund our own retirement, people are living longer and countries increase their retirement age beyond 65 years, what happens to those caught in the years between? Even my own children seem oblivious to the commitment I’ve made to my profession in maintaining my drive and passion by mentoring peers, constantly up-skilling through PDs and the like. In their eyes too, I should consider going home and perhaps operating a coffee van or tutoring after hours. Surely a mix of ages, experience, qualifications, interests and abilities makes for a more rounded workplace, in any profession?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. neanderpal says:

    Sadly, ageism applies in many countries from the age of 50 in the whole range of professions and countries, including UK and, to my surprise, New Zealand. Sometimes it is because young principals or managers do not want to hire people more experienced than themselves. That is a separate issue from the visa age limit. In some countries a bribe or a good relationship between the school owner and a controller of immigration can get round limits, but whether they will use this avenue depends on how much the school wants you. As people have said, some less developed or less attractive countries, e.g. in Africa or Central Asia, may not have a limit. I have had more than my share of dodgy schools and dangerous countries. I would love to go overseas again but only somewhere decent! The idea floated here of an agency which would represent older candidates is worth pursuing by someone resourceful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anonymous says:

      I suggested same to recruitment agencies who send me email about jobs while I know that my age will exclude me from a visa. The agencies need to look at developing a corner for healthy and experienced international teachers. I am aware that my younger colleagues still have a range of life hurdles they wish to try while I am only interested in my work as a teacher and taking care of my health in my early 60s had O sick days last and this academic year.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Kicker says:

    Yep have been Head of three schools but now nobody wants me…last job was as an emergency maternity cover in Spain and have just landed a year in one of my old UK schools. I have not missed a day at work in 20 years unlike the “fit” 20/30 somethings that seem to take a week off every term. Its not the age its the attitude that matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Cosmopolitan says:

    I have started teaching at 50 so always ‘over age’. I am still working at 67 but finding jobs has always been a struggle. What’s wrong with us, people? Why do we elect over 70th and even 80th to be in charge of our countries and cannot allow over 60th to be in charge of a classroom?

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Jobless 2020 says:

    I agree with everyone’s thoughts. I have told my own principal that it is a shame to age out experienced teachers. We’re the ones who are more likely to stay put. Most of us are not in it for the two year travel visa, but for the long haul and want to stay. Sad, I am out of China after this year.. 59…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Anonymous says:

    Many countries have age restrictions. Here in Morocco it is 58, I believe Malaysia is 55. What is the point of hiring somebody who won’t get a visa?

    Like

  19. Anonymous says:

    It is more difficult to get a well paying
    international teaching job after 50.
    Fresh, young faces sell more easily to parents. My face is old now and has wrinkles no matter how hard I try to disguise them. Administrators often don’t want to “supervise” someone older than themselves. Add to it the fact that many schools are cost cutting and less experienced teachers command a lower salary. Very sad indeed that such discrimination exists. The solution is be less picky or if there is a teacher shortage in some parts of your home country, consider moving there. Terrible that our skills are devalued simply because of the number of birthdays we’ve celebrated.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Rose: Have you thought about starting a recruitment agency specializing in recruiting older teachers and administrators and marketing them to new schools or schools with high turnover who would benefit from the versatility, stability, and depth that highly experienced teachers could bring to their faculties? You could also advise schools on what insurance and visa options may be available that would help schools to find a way around the obstacles they see as difficult to work around when hiring older teachers. It’s just a thought.

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Judy says:

    Yes it is a problem. I work as a librarian and up to about 3 years ago it was no problem to get a job. I finally wrote a humorous cover letter to some schools at random to see if I would get a response. I did and was hired not as a librarian but a classroom teacher. My reference is excellent from that hire. I , then moved back into my job as a librarian at another school. I am approaching 70 and have more energy than my 34 year old assistant. I do more than I ever did before in my job and yet my fear is that this year with a new leader…i can tell that I am mostly likely not to be rehired even though I do over and beyond the job. It is also unfortunate that if I don’t get another year of work my extended family will suffer as I am the main bread winner and support all. To those comments that we should give back…I give back in small ways while I work and get paid for doing it by helping my extended family and others…so please don’t discount those of us who choose not to work for NGO’s or the like. I love my work and would love to do it until I cannot.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. mbkirova says:

    I would kick any millennial who says ‘why aren’t you retired?’ Thankfully many above have said *exactly* why- and the reasons are many. However, to start a positive direction for this thread, let’s talk more about where over-65s *can* get work, even if not the best paid. Mexico and Latin American can hire older folks if you don’t need to save, only live (this would apply to me). Currently I’m 66 and in Mongolia, which is so far away from anywhere else it has a hard time attracting people and is not so concerned about age. But health really is a problem due to the pollution in UB. Again, let’s go for a positive spin by naming countries where there is still hope!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. JXM says:

    Well I’m 55 and I barely had a bite last spring when looking for a job. Same story with almost 20 years, AP, IB and Cambridge teaching experience as a science teacher. I returned to a previous job in the the ME, but the clock is ticking and I have until I am 60…if I want to stay. But frankly, the numbers (population) don’t lie…when I was born 3.3 billion, now in 2019 it’s about 7.7 billion and rising. There are huge numbers of teachers that left the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in search of greener pastures since the global crisis in 2008. So, the numbers of younger teachers..and they are good teachers…are outnumbering the older teachers. They need jobs too and are often burdened with their university loans. Between increasing numbers of teachers abroad and the change in visa laws in many countries it is becoming harder to get a job, but it is just a reality. I’m shooting to move on in 2-3 years to another work lifestyle that I hope will be just as rewarding. There is life after international teaching, but you need to personally look at your opportunities and all the possibilities and find something that works.

    Like

  24. George Armstrong says:

    I share your views as a 64 year old PE teacher with over 40 years experience and the phone has stopped ringing. I returned to the UK 2 years ago and I am struggling to get any teaching work and am now training to be a driving instructor. What a waste of my abilities.
    George Armstrong

    Like

  25. Anonymous says:

    I have found every word you said to be true. I makes me angry, and there’s No way to fight it.

    Like

  26. Jon Cristofer Miller says:

    Dear Sidney:
    I know your tale well! I taught in high schools and universities in China [2008-2012] with job offers to remain… until the Chinese government refused visas, solely on account of age. Although there is no official age restriction in the US, a lot of the current “full employment” masks a large percentage of underemployed. Now, I substitute. It is a lot better than sitting on a sofa watching daytime TV, but it isn’t as rewarding as full time teaching. Good Luck!
    Cris

    Like

  27. Sue says:

    Same with me. Being over 60years is a great problem and experience then means nothing. It’s a pity as schools are missing out on fantastic teachers. Work permits need to be revised as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Tank says:

    I think this is what one has to deal with. Certain schools in Pakistan have a PE teacher who is 80 so it depends on what the School wants. I guess one has to just accept it.

    Like

  29. Judith Shannon says:

    Wouldn’t it be great to give VSO the benefit of your experience and insights accrued over 30 years in International Education? The opportunity to give back is not one everyone is fortunate to get at the end of their career.

    Like

  30. Ken says:

    If you have managed to live past the age of 60 consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Boomers seem to think they will live forever.
    Retire already and smell the flowers.

    Like

  31. Anonymous says:

    Search Associates has a list of age limits in International schools around the world. It ranges from 50 – no limit. I was working in China when they lowered the age limit to 60, and am now in Indonesia where it is the same. This is a government thing, not the schools themselves.

    Like

    • Rich says:

      Sometimes it’s government, sometimes it’s the school. Insurance costs go way up the older we get (I’m over 63), but I come with world-wide health cover with evacuation from a prior career that will last for my lfe.
      It is sometimes frustrating that a good position is listed as not available to me due to age. If it is a really choice posting, I will contact the school and explain my situation. In two cases in past seasons, I was told government visa rules (which checked out in my research), and in one it was the cost of insurance makes it prohibitive.
      Those schools who place costing first are short changing their students; those who are truly restricted by host country rules have to deal with them.

      Like

  32. Teresa Fowler says:

    I understand the struggle and frustration. I am very flexible and resourceful and experienced, and still very positive, healthy, and energetic. I get requests for interviews, but then when the school sees my age, they are hesitant and back away. Most of the time it is because of the Visa restrictions of the country, and I understand. When it is not, I think…they missed out. And I usually write a kind letter expressing my hopes and best wishes for the candidate that is chosen. (I always get a nice reply back. ☺) I guess it’s my way of letting schools know I am still a good catch, and will be for the next school that hires me. But it is still frustrating to know my age got in the way.

    Like

    • Pete Ska says:

      Teresa – try what I have described below – in China I worked as a contracted consultant. I think, that technically it was not a permanent position – the age restrictions did not apply. Persuade, and negotiate! If they want, they may find a solution.
      Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Pete Ska says:

    This topic comes back every now and then, for various reasons. Most frequently from disappointed teachers, at the height of their teaching powers, being unable to find a decent teaching position. I am an experienced IB teacher – Chemistry and Physics. I never had any problem to find a good school, very satisfying students and faculty regardless of my age. The last time I was hired, I was 70 years old. The school wanted me badly enough, so I was hired as a some kind of a teacher’s helper; then, for some odd reasons, restrictions did not apply. Another time I was hired as “an educational consultant” – for the same reason – the age restrictions did not apply. If you sense that a given school really wants you (and you want the school) – just suggest that there are ways to circumvent restrictions!

    Like

  34. saigon says:

    I am 55 and have been teaching at International schools all over the world.I must admit most of the offers I have been receiving are from schools in China.I spent 8 years in China, Shanghai,and Shenzhen.I would never go back.I am active and very healthy, but the pollution, made my wife and myself very sick.My friend, a die hard vegan,and personal trainer,died at 36 from a asthma attack.Food for thought.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, during six years in China, each year I had asthma a little worse than the previous year. I left and four years ago and have not had asthma since. The country has a 50% increase in lung cancer in the past two decades but not a 50% increase in smoking so it looks like pollution is linked. Some teachers moved their families out of China for fear over their kids health. Yet despite the number of jobs advertised for schools in China the government lowered the age limit to 60 (from 65). While teaching there over the six years five staff members developed thyroid cancer, mostly young 20-30 year old Asian woman.

      Like

  35. Vivienne says:

    I am 68 and have never had a problem getting work. Was hired in Germany at 64 then retired and was hired again by another school at 67. I have never applied to any recruitment agencies. I have only worked at international schools in Europe.

    Like

  36. Anonymous says:

    1. I suspect lot of this is ageism is due to the increased health care cost of hiring someone in their 60s. Sorry, everyone, but the actuarial tables don’t magically change just because you’re still feeling “lively” and “energetic”. Countries don’t want to give people visas if they have a high chance of being a drain on resources.

    2. If you’re 65+, why are you still working? How have you not saved enough money in the greatest market in history to actually retire? I keep reading comments about “lazy millennials”, but we’ve never had the assets/job protection/pensions you do. When do we get to actually start earning money? Or should we all be under-employed forever because the younger boomers didn’t plan properly?

    Like

    • Brenda Bonine says:

      You have a point perhaps with your first paragraph (although my mid 30s gave me far more health problems than the several decades since). But your second paragraph. Goodness. Really?? There are many, many reasons why one might not have saved enough money and resources to retire at 65. If your own life is so blessed and orderly that there are no serious financial or other bumps on your road, then consider yourself amazingly blessed. But note: “the best laid plans… (etc.)”. I hope your resentment of older workers lessens as you yourself age. The world is full of surprises.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sue Botha says:

        Totally agree and also teaching might be fulfilling – tbere are many reasons. Wakt till you get to that age and tbink back tk your reply now

        Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Some people like to keep working and if they have something to contribute, it should not be up to short-sighted people to prevent them. Life happens to us all no matter what the label. What seems like a sure-fire plan to retire at an expected age may fall apart because life just happens. Some people succumb to that and others of us keep on truckin’ – even at post-retirement age.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rich says:

      Why should I stop doing something I love, I consider a vocation, I’m (apparently) fairly good at, and I’m still mentally and physically capable of doing? Yes, I could go back to my new home, and teach SCUBA, but go back and not be productive?

      Like

    • John Henderson says:

      I honestly wish you all the best but your resentment shines through. I personally feel Millenials are NOT lazy because I have seen much evidence that disproves that ridiculous theory. So you think its always just that easy to be financially secure when you retire? You’re right, it should be but sometimes things happen to ruin those plans. Plus, I believe in paying forward so why shouldn’t I help people learn while I still am able to? I am now doing volunteer teaching in Cambodia for an organization that helps NGO’s here. I enjoy teaching here and will continue to do so. I am not taking a job away from anyone, in fact if you really want to do something positive perhaps you should consider doing this and help people who really are in need.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m the 60 something year old teacher who has not had a sick day in years, makes no claim against their medical insurance, while younger teachers take full advantage of maternity cover, maternity leave. There was a bit of a run on appendectomies by staff in the 20-30 age group and thyroid cancer by woman in their 30s. A medical check and perhaps candidates getting their own medical cover might negate this health bias.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Anonymous says:

    27 years international teaching experience in 5 countries. Now 70 and looking after 2 years retirement . Got offers in Myanmar and Korea last year but knocked them back. Some countries have age limits some dont and of course schools do as well. Best to keep applying to countries that have no age limits especially in May June when schools get desperate. It also helps to have a subject in demand like HL Physics, Chemistry, etc.

    Like

  38. James Rogers says:

    Set up a LLC and sign on as an independent contractor

    Like

    • anon says:

      Actually, where are these schools that hire “independent contractors?” Every school I have encountered wants staff hires only.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not allowed to work because of my VISA, but I work on-line teaching Chinese kids and love it. I work as an independent contractor, create my own hours and the tax is manageable

        Like

  39. adinobro says:

    The vast majority of countries will not issue a working visa to people over 60 or 65 so they cannot employ you even if they want to.

    The only one that I personally know of in Asia is Thailand.

    Like

    • John Henderson says:

      Thailand recently changed the law so the only way to get a working visa is to find a school willing to sponsor you if you’re over 60. Cambodia has no age restrictions yet.

      Like

  40. David says:

    Hi Sydney, I feel your pain. I too was in the international world (for 20 years) and spent most of that time leading as Principal and then Head of School. At the fine age of 61, I was flown in as a finalist to four top schools globally. All four positions went to 40 somethings who had little to no experience for the position. I felt used by the administration as a tool to impress the board that quality candidates had been flown in but clearly they had no intention of hiring someone my age. I have returned to N.America and have a thriving educational business running now so I am happy to be home close to grandkids and still working in my field of expertise. Ageism is very real! No fake news there.

    Like

  41. Marian Catholic says:

    In 2013, the Chinese government lowered the work visa eligibility age limit to teach anywhere in the country from 65 to 60. But teachers who were already active could still renew their foreign residence permits beyond 60 and up to even 70 in the college sector. I taught at a semi-private high school from 2015 to 2018 until I was 63 but had to leave because in Jiangsu province one could teach at a public or semi-private school location for no more than three years. In some cases, therefore, recruiters and schools have no choice but to reject applicants over 60 or 65 because of visa stipulations. Primary schools and private language academies who cater mostly to young learners are inclined to reject applicants who are even over 50. Japan is extremely prejudicial and so is South Korea in the private sector though one can still obtain a work visa past the age of 60. Once I hit 55 in the latter country, my applications were totally ignored, though I taught there for 15 years gaining excellent recommendations. So, I decided to go to China in 2010. Fortunately, I’ve been teaching at an international school in Uzbekistan since I left China. Most of our 22 foreign teachers are over 40. I’ll be 64 next week. The eldest here is 65. There’s a 70 year old teacher at a neighbouring international school and a few who are over 60. Central Asia might be the place to look for a new job – at least for now.

    Like

  42. omgarsenal says:

    I have been a ¨victim¨of ageism as well and there is little you can do about it:

    a) Most age-related barriers are either nationally dictated or something a few schools have as policy,regardless of the national limits.

    b) The major issues for countries and schools are healthcare costs, salary and compensation costs and a fear of older people abandoning their contract because they can’t take it anymore….none of which prove to stand up under closer scrutiny.

    c) Schools can and do accept over-age foreign teachers as replacements for those who broke contract/were let go or fell ill but they rarely if ever renew the contract.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marian Catholic says:

      It’s usually the young adults who “can’t take it anymore” and decide to bolt, even without giving a notice. This is one of the reasons why my current school prefers to hire much older teachers who’ve worked abroad for a long period of time.

      Liked by 2 people

  43. Anonymous says:

    It’s all true. What a terrible pity that a person who has actually got the experience of setting up schools as a Head can’t get past the age barrier. Surely all that knowledge is exactly what’s needed, Mr Rose.The other comment about throwing “sickies” to get off for a few days is almost exclusively a young man’s “disease”. I know China won’t take anyone over 60. Maybe it’s through fear of potential health care costs if an older teacher is appointed. The wretched irony is that many state pension schemes don’t kick in until several years after 60 leaving the applicant in limbo. Other countries overseas actually do take 60+’ers. Saudi is one I know.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. JB says:

    At 57 I’ve aged out of some countries and am getting a couple of years away from others. At this point I still attract plenty of interest, although I know a time is coming when I don’t. My plan is to be embedded in a school with either no retirement age or one if 70. There are such unicorns around, though they are not in the most ideal locations…

    Like

  45. LPotts says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the problem lies not so much with recruitment agencies as it does with the various policies of the international schools for which they recruit, and thereby the national retirement age requirements set by the countries to which those schools abide.

    Like

  46. Anonymous says:

    Not only in education but every other job. It is sad when people with years of experience are just dumped and effectively rejected as being part of the workforce by society. It’s not supposed to happen but it does and there seems nothing is or can be done about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Anonymous says:

    I agree. In all the international schools that I’ve worked in, the experience and graft of older teachers has been amazing. If I had a penny for every under-30 year old whose absence record was questionable, then I’d be a rich man! Where’s their stamina?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.