09 April, 2012
Overage or Overdrive?
At what age would one have reached an age where they are past their prime for a particular career? For example, at what age is considered too old to be a nanny or early childhood educator in a classroom?
I reach the first of the "F Birthdays" (40) in June, and after 28 years of babysitting, followed with 14 years in the classroom and a couple of years being a nanny, I am beginning to wonder if I am too old to work with children, either as a nanny or in a classroom. Due to a rough life in which I was constantly told I wouldn't amount to anything by my father due to my special needs (epilepsy and ADHD) I don't speak to my father and I have accomplished more than most people (father, teachers, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists) thought I would. That being said, I will be graduating next May with an associate's degree in early childhood education, even though I should've graduated long ago, like a "normal" 40 year old.
My resume lists my childcare center experience as 1998, when I got my first job, while the baby-sitting experience is listed as starting in 1984, when my eldest niece was born. Children adore me; at the center where I work a parent told me I was her 5-year-old son's favorite teacher, and he isn't even in my class. This brought a smile to my face! I am currently searching for a new position, and I get the impression that parents see how long I have been in this field and think I am too old and too experienced. I live in a college town, and I am beginning to think maybe I need to switch to a different career field, even though I have 13 months and 10 days until I graduate.
I am not in my 20's anymore, and I think that this intimidates parents: just last week I had two interviews set up. One parent cancelled on me saying the position was filled and later that day she had advertised the position after she told me it was filled. Another family I was looking forward to meeting didn't send me a confirmation that the time we were scheduled to meet was fine. I didn't bother to contact the family, and chalked it up to them not being interested due to my age and experience. Another family that I found through the university's job center was excited to meet me, however, when I mentioned that I didn't attend the university, they appeared to lose interest in me. Again, I believe that if I was 10-20 years younger, parents would see me as a candidate, not just a person on paper with a questionable background. Because I have the years listed in each section to date my experience, it's not hard to do the math and figure out just by my resume that I am close to 40.
I consider myself a diverse caregiver, being that I have worked with low income children in the inner city to the dual career, upper class (not wealthy) families. I feel as though my experience with all ages allows me to work with any age children and be comfortable, while my experiences with parents, including "high maintenance" parents, provides me the abilities to get along with any parent, including parenting style, thereby creating a team. Am I too old to be a nanny? Or is it just my imagination in overdrive?
at 12:30 AM