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Advice please- want to teach abroad, but have little GCSE level experience!

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by englishteach101, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    Hi all,
    I'm looking for a bit of advice. I work in a school in the UK, but my subject (Music) is not offered at KS4 (very long story) so I'm teaching KS3 only within music, then am teaching KS4 Performing Arts BTEC. I'm currently doing my GTP and will complete this in June 2011.
    Longer term, my husband and I want to move abroad and I've started to do a little bit of research into what experience is required through looking at job adverts etc. Most of them that I can see require KS3 and KS4 teaching experience in your main subject, and although I do teach one day a week at another school where I'm getting lots of GCSE experience, I'm worried that this will hold me back when applying for international jobs.
    I do teach on other subjects at school (Drama, English) as I have a broad background, but when applying for an international role, it looks to me as I would need to be able to sell myself as a specialist in one subject.
    Is there anyone who's had a similar experience, or who would be able to offer any advice on what I should do. I like my school, and would like to stay, but am worried that this will hold me back in my longer term plans.
    Any advice of opinions would be appreciated!
    S
    [​IMG]
     
  2. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    Hi all,
    I'm looking for a bit of advice. I work in a school in the UK, but my subject (Music) is not offered at KS4 (very long story) so I'm teaching KS3 only within music, then am teaching KS4 Performing Arts BTEC. I'm currently doing my GTP and will complete this in June 2011.
    Longer term, my husband and I want to move abroad and I've started to do a little bit of research into what experience is required through looking at job adverts etc. Most of them that I can see require KS3 and KS4 teaching experience in your main subject, and although I do teach one day a week at another school where I'm getting lots of GCSE experience, I'm worried that this will hold me back when applying for international jobs.
    I do teach on other subjects at school (Drama, English) as I have a broad background, but when applying for an international role, it looks to me as I would need to be able to sell myself as a specialist in one subject.
    Is there anyone who's had a similar experience, or who would be able to offer any advice on what I should do. I like my school, and would like to stay, but am worried that this will hold me back in my longer term plans.
    Any advice of opinions would be appreciated!
    S
    [​IMG]
     
  3. spanboy

    spanboy New commenter

    Check which countries will accept this as valid QTS status - some do, some don't
     
  4. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Nice cat.
    Your background would suit a school like ours (no vacancy this year, however, so don't PM) with Music at GCSE and IB level in fairly small manageable specialist groups, and for the younger kittens a home-grown diverse Creative Arts programme for everyone in Years 6 to 9.
    I would dearly love to see more uptake of Music in KS4 and 5, but the culture is a bit risk-averse, especially in times like these, and too many miniature Mozarts and budding Brittens opt for the Dismal Sciences of Business Studies and Economics.
    However, the talented musicians who don't opt for an examined course, do at least continue with choirs and bands and chamber groups, so that if we were seeking a musician, versatility and enthusiasm would be every bit as important as experience of a particular exam syllabus.
    I'm pretty sure that many other International Schools would tell the same story.
    So: make it very clear in your application and at interview that you are getting 'lots of GCSE experience' at that other school, but also stress the broad background and versatility that you can bring to an international school's performing arts culture in general.
    You should regard your English and Drama as real selling points, not as 'diluting' your application. We have Drama GCSE and Theatre Arts IB, with the IB's new 'Text and Performance' programme also at pilot stage. Again, other International Schools are making similar offerings. Find out about the IB if you haven't already done so - not just the Diploma but also the MYP.
    In less optimistic vein, bear in mind that Music, like PE, can be a subject where schools like ours sometimes prefer to employ bilingual host-nation staff who have useful knowledge of the local music scene. We have one such person doing a great job alongside our 'imported' teacher - but she can't run the Creative Arts programme, or support Year 10 Drama, or take on that 'extra' group that the English Department invented this year...
    To sum up - if you do stay on and find yourself applying from your present school, there's no reason why you should not secure a job overeas if you market yourself astutely.
    But meanwhile, and for St Cecilia's sake as well as yours, try to persuade the powers-that-be to take a chance on KS4 Music at your current school.

     
  5. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    The breadth of experience is probably more important, so English & drama are useful feathers to have in your cap. However, most schools ask for at least two years (many three years) of experience and would only start counting from the date you get your QTS, which I guessing in your case will be after June 2011. You're better off staying in the UK to build experience before jetting off, especially if travelling as a teaching couple as TCs are not always good fit with current vacancies in a school. Also, a few more years in the UK may get you all the GCSE experience you're talking about.
    The music teacher I recently hired has several (5 if I remember rightly) years in a decent English school and had a body of evidence to support his accomplishments. Do the same and you're more likely to start your international career on the right foot rather than starting in dodgy schools and getting stuck in the circle of international school despair. There are lucky sods who go straight into teaching overseas (I did, but was helped by having a rare specialism in those days) and land in a decent school and never look back. However, most schools taking on inexperienced staff tend to be the schools you enter naively not realising the horrors that exist overseas; it isn't always sunbeds and suncream. [​IMG]
     
  6. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    Thank you for your thoughts, I've tried persuading the school that running a KS4 music course (however small the numbers) would be a big boost to both the dept and the arts-status school (although I know that these things are going shortly). The kids will give music a lot more respect at KS3 if they can see an exam course to come out of it.
    I appreciate the thoughts about starting in a reputable school once I make the move, so am trying to do research here and there about it before I start seriously looking. I know it's a long term aim, and not going to happen as soon as I'm qualified, but something I'd like to work seriously towards.
    S
     

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