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Advice for aspiring intl teacher!!

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by daybreak07, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. daybreak07

    daybreak07 New commenter

    I am and RE teacher with 4 years experience (2 of which as HoD) and I have been looking for an RE/Philosophy post overseas for a while now. Obviously hardly any arise, so I have decided to gain professional recognition in a second subject. My subject will be Modern Studies (which is basically politics - i teach in Scotland). This subject allows me to teach lower school Social Subjects which then breaks into Modern Studies as they begin their Standard Grades.

    So I suppose I have a few questions...

    - Will that make me more attractive to an international school?

    - Will I be eligible to teach Humanities?

    - What advice would you give with regards to other experiences I should gain before applying for jobs internationally?

    I wouldn't normally ask, but it seems that there are some pretty knowledgeable people out there!
  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Do yourself a favour and become trained in a "traditional" subject such as history or geography etc. etc. Most international schools are quite conservative in their subject offerings and Modern Studies would not be particularly welcome.
  3. tyler durden

    tyler durden New commenter

    I echo what Karvol says- most international schools only offer very traditional subjects. Politics/modern studies etc won't really help you whereas History or Geography will.
  4. Nezelette

    Nezelette New commenter

    Hi there, I'm in the exact same situation as you. Almost seems unfair, doesn't it? So hard to find a job abroad! I agree with above posters: you need a traditional subject too.
    Do you have any IB experience? That would help a lot too.
    Humanities is a good subject to be able to offer in IB MYP schools but you do need a range of more traditional subjects.
    What was your degree in? I can help if you let me know what your experience is. Also, what countries are you interested in?
    Forget RE, it's near-impossible to get a job abroad. Philosophy is also very very rare, although taught in the IB.
    I'm personally going to add French as an additional subject (I'm French and used to teach it as a foreign language).
  5. tyler durden

    tyler durden New commenter

    You have to understand that most overseas schools are businesses. Even if they are non-profit they will still be beholden to a board who will have close links with the parents that send their children to the school. This means that the parents will generally get what that want as they are the customers. So traditional subjects, which the parents probably did themselves are in and new subjects which parents haven't heard of and invariably end in the word 'studies' are out.

    As they are paying it's what they want that goes.

    At my school less academically rigorous subjects are much less popular with both pupils and parents. What is your degree in? If it's politics then you will struggle unless you can add history/Geography.
  6. Nezelette

    Nezelette New commenter

    Er, Tyler, I'm not sure I would call subjects like politics and philosophy 'less academically rigorous', some of us might take offence and it is actually not the case at all [​IMG]
    But I know what you mean. They want safe, traditional subjects that they can be sure will be be of use to their children.
    I would personally argue that Philosophy is THE most useful subject of all, but of course I would say that [​IMG]
  7. tyler durden

    tyler durden New commenter

    I mean less academically challenging in the eyes of parents. Obviously anyone can argue that their subject is harder or more important than others. In this case though the OP is looking for a job and they will struggle to get one if they don't offer a traditional subject.

    I only recently left the UK and I've never heard of 'Modern Studies' so what chance does a head teacher who has been out of the UK for a while have?

    I feel really sorry for many new teachers coming through with subjects that are really niche and not massively transferable. At one school in Ken that I worked at we had 4 student teachers that came through one year offering citizenship and politics/sociology at A level. I think that this really restricts their opportunities, especially if it comes to teaching overseas.

    In the rush to fill the teaching vacancies in certain areas ITT providers are allowing many people to train who don't have relevant degrees to the NC at KS3 and KS4.
  8. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I agree with my colleagues. Go for History, which is the most fascinating of all subjects. Add Philosophy as a second string (some IB schools in Latin America, for instance, do it). All IB Diploma students have to follow a Theory of Knowledge course and many teachers are reluctant to teach it, so it would be a good third string to your bow. I'm not suggesting that you restrict yourself to IB schools, but be aware that you can attend IB an subject workshop as a private individual and gain a certificate which will strenthen your CV.
  9. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    That's 'strengthen' before some (other) pedant kicks in.
  10. Nezelette

    Nezelette New commenter

    Philosophy is big in the UK, mainly. TOK is definitely a good bet. Philosophy is also taught in ESF schools in Hong Kong and in quite a few IB schools in Canada. So it looks like getting IB qualifications / experience would be your best bet. Although, again, a mainstream subject will also be necessary to make sure you do get a job before it's time to retire (you could wait for that Philosophy/RE job for quite a few years!)
    We might apply for the same jobs now. I'm way too nice [​IMG]
  11. daybreak07

    daybreak07 New commenter

    Thank you for the information!!! Apologies for my very late reply...I am rubbish with responses on these threads. I really appreciate everybodies advice.

    I hope you found a job Nezelette - you sound like a prime candidate!!
  12. daybreak07

    daybreak07 New commenter

    Modern Studies is a subject taught in Scotland, not in the rest of the UK. Please don't forget that we have a different education system up here.
  13. tyler durden

    tyler durden New commenter

    I think that you'll find that most of the "British International Schools" actually base their curriculum on the national curriculum of England and Wales. So Modern Studies will be of limited appeal.

    Are there any international schools that are based on the Scottish Curriculum?

    Out of interest.
  14. I googled that. It said 'are you taking the p7sh?'

  15. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Apparently there are some in Scotland. I have been there a couple of times, but it is grim and the language is hard to decipher. Initially I thought it was some Scandinavian language, but my few words of Norwegian didn't seem to get me anywhere.
    If there are some linguists out there, perhaps they could enlighten us.
  16. daybreak07

    daybreak07 New commenter

    Ahem, I think I just found one in... Romania!
  17. The one in Bucharest is early years and KS1..or whatever that is in Scottish curriculum terminology.
    I think there are a few others out there, actually.
  18. Hi,
    agree with aforementioned comments that you need geog or history. I teach both, history specialist though and most parents love to come and talk to me on parents evening about how much they loved history as a kid etc etc...
  19. hockeysticks

    hockeysticks New commenter

    hi, I am in the same boat. my degree is history but have taught RS for ten years. how much history experience would I need befor it is worthwhile applying for a job? would be willing to teach TOK sowill look into doing certificate.

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