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Don’t be afraid to tell interviewers you don’t want to teach a certain age range.

[:en]One of the questions I ask new teachers when I am having an interview with them is : do you have a prefered age group to teach?

I’ve noticed many teachers stop a few seconds there, to think about “the right answer”. Is it a trick question, will my answer affect my options of getting the job?

Of course it depends on the post. If you are going to an interview at a nursery school, or a school for children, you should not say you don’t like kids. But if you DON’T like kids, you shouldn’t be going to that interview in the first place!

And there is no problem with you not wanting to teach a specific age group. There are plenty of offers around for all ages.

Personally, as an employer, I prefer a teacher to tell me any preferences immediately. A happy teacher provides a better service and connects better with the student. And an unhappy teacher will eventually leave those classes and the employer will have to find a substitute in the middle of the term (are real nuisance for all).

It is very reasonable to have preferences. I personally do not enjoy teaching children, I prefer young adults and adults. So I only accept classes with those type of students.

And I have interviewed teachers who love kids, and are amazing with them. But the type of attitude they have (happy, lively, innocent), might not go well with adults and businessmen/women.
So there is no sense giving them those type of students, it is wasting their talents and making them miserable.

Of course many, specially new teachers, do not have a preference, or have not decided yet. Some find it nice to change the age group, and refreshing to be able to give different classes. Others haven’t made up their minds and need more time to decide.

But my advice would be to be honest with your future employer and tell them if you have a prefered age group, or if you don’t enjoy teaching children or adults. It is perfectly understandable, and will happen, that you will focus your teaching career towards teaching those students you like to teach.

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