12 May 2020
I'm a 62 year old man going back to school to take a degree in linguistics. I'm financially stable, and it has always been my passion to teach. Anything I should consider before going on this journey?
I plan to teach tuition to keep myself active, but I am taking a huge pay cut from my current job. My children are fresh graduates and have some student loan debts, but they are paying them off on their own.
It's AWESOME that you are pursuing your passion at 62!
It's also great that you are financially stable, and your children can already fend for themselves financially.
I would totally go for it, with the following considerations:
I have enough to pay for the degree
My income (even with the paycut) is able to sustain my lifestyle
At 62, you likely would have achieved the goals you wanted to at a younger age. We always can check how much we have left in the bank, but no one can tell how much time they have left.
Fate brought me to your question as I have a linguistics degree from NUS and have been working as an English teacher ever since after graduation.
Hope you're doing well in your educational journey!
I think having a background in linguistics can only help you as a teacher as you can see how words and sentences are put together and embedded with meaning through modules like morphology, semantics and syntax. I particularly enjoyed learning how new words are coined - it goes to show how language is a dynamic living organism.
One thing that was hard for me to come to terms with (and might apply to your case too) is that some modules, particularly the sociolinguistics ones, favored a non-prescriptive view of language. So I learnt about non-standard varieties and new varieties of English and admired all their charming quirks. But in a mainstream classroom, I got to teach grammar rules. Teaching necessitates you to take on a prescriptive role in the classroom. Just to give you a small example, I teach that color/center are acceptable spellings of the American variety but "because we are sitting for GCE O levels, please kindly stick to the British spelling"
Ya, it took a while to recalibrate my feelings. heh.
Hope you are having fun!
That is AWESOME. I admire you for taking this leap of faith. You are a good learning example.
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