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Can I get employed internationally as a first year out teacher?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by asa_fan, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. Hi friends,

    I am close to finishing my 4 year undergraduate Music Education degree in Sydney and am interested in teaching in international schools. (This degree qualifies me to teach primary and secondary music in Australian schools.)

    From what I've read so far on the net it seems that getting a job in an international schools requires generally minimum two years experience and a teaching certificate (I assume that job ads that refer to "teaching certificates" are talking about a certificate you are given once you have served 'x' amount of time within a school system, as opposed to a university degree.)

    I would like to know, is there ANY chance of landing a job in an international school as a first year out graduate? Without wishing to brag, I have a very good university transcript and am likely to graduate with first class honours - would this help my chances or are the 2 years experience / teaching certificate prerequisites basically inflexible? My degree also includes a substantial amount of practical experience.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    A certificate is, speaking most generally, an American thing given by a US state after someone completes a teaching preparation program at university. Most other countries don't have such a thing, as they rely on university degrees and teaching preparation programs themselves. Shouldn't be a worry for you, since it doesn't apply. What the schools and agencies really mean to say is that the candidates should be fully legally qualified to teach, and that is the actual standard they apply.
    There is a chance you could get a job overseas, but my question is do you really want to. Do a search here and you'll find others have asked the question before. Lots of detailed answers out there.
    Learning to teach is hard. The first couple years can be brutal and most teachers need masses of support. Most international schools are not set up to provide this support. You'll be on your own.
    Learning to live in a new culture/country is hard. The first year or so can be brutal and most people need masses of support. A lot, but not all, international schools are set up to provide this support. The better the school, the more support you're likely to get re living.
    Combine learning to teach and learning to live, and it's almost always a recipe for a miserable life.
    Also factor in that without experience, you probably will only get offers from low-tier schools, no matter how good your university achievement. This will make things even more miserable.
    Please consider very carefully before you try to go overseas. Get the experience first. You'll get a better offer, and have a better time.
  3. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    But if you get a school where the vast majority of kids are nice it can be somewhat easier. And this is certainly the case in many international schools.

    One of my colleagues came straight out to Berlin after completing his course, and I'm fairly certain that he has no regrets.

    True, to a large degree. You almost certainly won't get a sniff at the very best schools, but some of the others can still be very pleasant places to teach in.
  4. My PGCE (post graduate certificate in education) is a teaching certificate from the UK.
    Yes you can get a job first year out, I did and I'm still here.
    It's true that International Schools aren't 'set up' for an induction year, however you'll find the staff around you pretty supportive.
    My first job was actually with a top tier school.
    Don't forget to factor in how much less stressful it is teaching in international schools, with regard to behaviour issues, compared to inner city schools in the western world.
    If you see a job advertised that stresses they want minimum two years experience then apply for it anyway - that's what I did.
    Good luck [​IMG]
  5. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    To the OP.
    I now have 15 years of experience in the teaching game but it took me a long time to refine my skills, probably both helped (huge variety of challenges) and hindered (failure to develop a settled practice) by my constant change of schools (so many temporary contracts in the UK now due to budgets). As such, I'd suggest that no matter what your perception is of your ability, a few years of solid teaching in a supportive environment would be most beneficial to your long term career prospects, before heading into the unknown where you are often required to be somewhat more independent.

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