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Applying International with Only Public School Experience

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by teacherwife, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. teacherwife

    teacherwife New commenter

    Hi Folks,

    I'm writing on behalf of my husband since this has become a bit of a family project! My husband has been a public school teacher for about 8 or so years having spent the majority of that time as an elementary teacher and the past two years as a SPED teacher in a public school. With that he is now on the search associates page as a candidate and is having trouble getting a single offer. He has had a few interviews but every time they have said thanks your a great candidate but we found someone with international experience. My question is how do you get international experience if no one wants to give you a position? Are certain countries known for taking new international applications?

  2. PuRe

    PuRe Occasional commenter

    Depends where he is applying as this time of year he is up against EVERYONE so to speak but as the season goes along the pool of choice narrows. The pool is made up of so many different types for example, if they have 2 vacancies and a teaching couple applies they might go for them as it’s less people on their resources compared to 2 singles.

    I wouldn’t worry yet, it’s still early enough in the game for him to find a job.
    ToK-tastic likes this.
  3. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    It shouldn't make much of a difference - in fact, some schools will prefer it, particularly the ones linked to UK public schools (sometimes referred to here as the 'rent-a-name' schools - a bit disparaging, but some are considerably better than others.) However I wonder if you're coming up against the old problem of cost? I'd wondering if you don't teach, whether the combination of him not having international experience and a trailing spouse might be the issue. Schools sometimes are wary of accepting people in your situations if they think that there's a possibility you (as the at home spouse) might not be happy or bored - this in turn unsettles the teaching spouse, and you leave after a year or two.

    As PuRe says, there is still a bit of time (though the main season is drawing to a close) and you might find that jobs come up. You might have to be a bit less selective about the school or the country - think places like Egypt or a tier 2 school in China, for example - but if it's somewhere you can hold out for a couple of years while you get the experience then it might be doable.
  4. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Almost all 'international' schools are 'independent' or 'public' in the bizzarely British sense of the word.
  5. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    I don't think that the OP is British. I think that she means 'state' not 'public' school.
    576, 24hours and tb9605 like this.
  6. teacherwife

    teacherwife New commenter

    Thanks for the advice, I don't think you are wrong amysdad, I do wonder if the trailing spouse is also getting in the way...yasf you are infact correct we are from the US and in our case public schools are just the standard run of the mill government funded schools that something like 98% of our country attends.
  7. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    Yes, just to give you a heads up that both amysdad and mainwaring's answers presume that you meant a UK public school. The closest in the states would be an east coast prep school - highly academic, highly selective and private.
  8. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    As others have said, overseas schools, particularly those with a British 'bent', are similar to UK public schools in that they are fee paying. In this sense, teachers who have worked in UK public schools (ie not State/Government schools) might be favoured as they are familiar with the demands of a school like this.
    Has your husband only taught in the US? if so, this could be holding him back as he is considered less likely to be familiar with how UK schools operate.
    Perhaps look at schools that have IB PYP MYP or even look at American Schools overseas. In Cairo there is ASC (American School Cairo) and in Dubai there is ASD (American School Dubai). Both are what I would describe as typical American schools in their culture and are great to work in as wel as (from what I believe) good pay and conditions. There are many many more around the world.
  9. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    I went from UK state (govt funded) VP to international (fee paying) VP, but my application was highly targeted. I only applied for the job because it fit with a particular set of experiences and professional learning that I had from the UK state sector.
    Now, in role, I often employ colleagues from UK state sector if they can show a genuine commitment to IB principles (International Mindedness, inquiry led, concept based etc). There's no reason why UK state school teachers can't build such ideas into their daily practice. Further, there are some UK state schools teaching IB curriculum, staff from those schools go to the top of the application pile at our school. Finally, I really value teachers who have experience of teaching in "tough" UK state conditions, under the threat of Ofsted. It helps them to appreciate our well resourced, gentle, oftsed free school, where the children in classes of 18-20 really want to learn. After experiencing life in a difficult UK state school you really enjoy the warm sunny meadows of a private international school in SE Asia !
  10. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Most people I know went from state to international. It shouldn't make a single bit of difference. A teacher is a teacher and to be honest you pick up a lot of valuable skills teaching in state schools that would be more difficult to develop internationally.

    When I receive CVs I often don't know whether the schools listed are public or private and usually don't bother to find out.
    ToK-tastic likes this.
  11. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    I'm also a SPED teacher from the US. Some schools will value previous int'l experience if two clients are otherwise fairly equal. Others will not really care and will pick the person they fancy most. China has a reputation of being fairly wide open in hiring, partially because they have so many schools.

    The answer, of course, is that you take any decent offer and get your foot in the door. After a couple of years, the theory is that you should be able to trade up to a better school and/or location. My advice is to keep applying, widen your net and be persistent. Eventually, he will get an offer. Make sure that he emphasizes his experience/abilities in learning support/inclusion (rather than special education with more involved students) as most int'l schools will generally accept/offer support to students on the "milder" end of the spectrum.

    You might also consider DoDEA. They are also hard to get into but it is a great gig.

    SPED is a good certification to have (it has helped me get jobs in several different countries and now with DoDEA) and it should work out for you/him in the end.

    Feel free to PM with any questions you might have about anything.
  12. 4019775

    4019775 New commenter

    Depends on what you teach. Chemistry/Physics /HL maths experience with the qualifications to back it up (so not an economics graduate who decided to become a maths teacher or a sports science graduate who wants to teach chemistry) and you have no problem getting offers with no international experience. I would think "elementary" teachers are ten a penny in many countries so you will probably struggle. But then again most international schools are in the gutter and will employ anyone if the price is right.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  13. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    yet again, how would you know? You have never worked at one. You got turned down by a very low level school in Nigeria, but thats about as close you have got to working at an international school.

    At least this time @4019775 you didnt tell us all how your "top drawer" UK private school wouldnt touch any of us from the circuit..... so you have at least made some progress.

    Keep them coming, it always makes me smile reading your posts
    gulfgolf and ToK-tastic like this.
  14. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    [QUOTE="4019775, I would think "elementary" teachers are ten a penny in many countries so you will probably struggle. But then again most international schools are in the gutter and will employ anyone if the price is right.[/QUOTE]

    'Elementary' in the US system is the equivalent of 'Primary' in the British system. Good primary school teachers, in whatever system, are pearls beyond price, equipped with pedagogical skills notably superior to those of the average 'Secondary' teacher.

    Quite right, Dumbers. Eejits should be cherished. As Lady Bracknell puts it: 'I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone'.
    gulfgolf and ToK-tastic like this.

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