A recent college graduate writes with a question that often arises; he is currently teaching English overseas, and writes:
I wanted to get some teaching experience under my belt because I definitely enjoy teaching, and I would also like to read read read.
The thing is I am starting to think it may create some kind of disadvantage for me if in a couple of years I do finally decide to attend graduate school. I'd like your thoughts on whether waiting a few years between getting a BA and a A/Phd could be problematic. What immediately comes to mind is that from the point of view of my professors, I will have dropped off the grid for a while only to appear suddenly asking for letters of recommendation. I can see that being a bit awkward and producing substandard letters.
My own sense is that time away from philosophy often does count against applicants (esp. to PhD program, maybe less so to MA programs), but that if one is going to take a year or two off, it is particularly important to stay current with your potential recommenders (update them on your plans, give them an estimated timetable for when you might need their support) and also try to stay engaged with philosophy, through reading, auditing classes, etc. Thoughts from readers? Reactions from faculty who have recently done PhD or MA admissions would be particularly helpful.