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Dear Theo - spanish engineer with QTS seeking a maths teaching position in UK

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by susitorubio, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Dear Theo,

    thanks a lot in advance for your help.

    I am a 39 years old spanish engineer with QTS (obtanied by convalidation of "CAP"). I am thinking to move to UK to start a career as a teacher of maths. For this last year, I have been studying hard the British curriculum for Maths, learning the technical words and the main contents of this subject (which is in fact pretty similar to the spanish one I know). I have been applying to teaching jobs in UK from Spain without any success. I have been emailing with some recruiters. And as I dont have any UK experience, all of them told me I should start doing cover supply. And that's what I shall do. At the end of September I will move to UK, and I shall try to register to as many agencies as possible, to work as much as I can.

    I summarise my CV:

    I work as a private tutor teaching maths, and physics for children aged 11-18 (for more than 10 years).

    I work also as children`s entertainer with my enterprise www.lalelilolu.net (for almost 8 years), working with children aged 3-12,

    I have been working as engineer for an acoustical enterprise (5 years) and then for the andalusian government (3 years) as technical advisor (industry, energy, and mines regulation) at the Citizen Support Call Center.

    I have tried twice to pass the "oposicion" to become a teacher here in Andalusia. Once I failed it, and the second one I passed it but I couldn't get a place: I stayed being an "interino". So at this moment, I am in the list ready to be call for supply, but with minimal expectations. And I have only a month of classroom experience in Spain (as trainee teacher during my "CAP")

    My questions are:

    - Do you agree with my plan?

    - Which city to move to? I just want to work as much as possible. I would not mind to move to a lost town in the middle of nowhere. My first idea is Nottingham: cheap city and close to many other important UK cities.

    - Could I work as supply teacher? Or should I start with a teaching assistant position? Secondary or Primary?

    - I want to teach Maths as my main subject. But I could also teach physics. Is there a shortage of teachers for these subjects?

    - I would not mind to work as a teacher in primary education.

    Well, thats all Theo. Thanks a lot for your help.

    Greetings from Seville
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Theo will be along to tell you in much more detail what your problems will be and the things which stand in your way, as well as give you advice about what you might be able to do about these things.. One of them, I'm afraid, is that your written English is not yet good enough and is certainly not good enough for you to work as a primary teacher (where you would have to teach English and all the other primary subjects, not just maths).

    As a headteacher, if I saw the kinds of mistakes in your applications that I can see here, I wouldn't have considered you for a job in my secondary school.
  3. Dear Middlemarch,

    thanks a lot for your quick answer.

    Yes, I know I must improve my english both written and spoken. And I agree with you about that being a handicap to work as a primary teacher. But believe me that my english teaching maths will be good enough :-D.

    Think of this: One of my tricks during my classroom sessions will be to tell my students I need their help to improve my english. I would ask them to writte down any mistake I could make speaking or writting english during my classes. And in exchange, I would tell them personally which things they should improve to get better with maths. It's all about empathy. That's why I am such a good teacher.

    Greetings from Seville.
  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    That wouldn't make me give you a job, I'm afraid. I think you'd better try to get some experience observing lessons in British schools.
  5. Dear Middlemarch

    Well, I also have a great knowledge of the subject of maths and lot of experience teaching the subject and helping my students to improve their marks in maths.

    Thanks for your advise, I am actually watching videos by Mr Hegarthy in youtube. He is a very good maths teacher.


    And from Amazon, I bought many KS3, KS4, and A Levels maths text books. I have already read all of them.

    As you can see I do my best :-D

    Greetings from Seville
  6. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I'm sure you do have a great knowledge of maths, but there are British teachers who also have a great knowledge of that subject and their English is better.

    You need to consider that as a teacher your job also includes, written reports on your students.

    As for the students correcting your English, increasing numbers struggle with standard English.
  7. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    You only have a month's teaching experience. You are not teaching at the moment. Yes, I see you are a private tutor - but think about this. You will be in charge of up to 30 students, with a wide range of learning needs, behavioural needs, emotional needs. That is very, very different from private tutoring.

    That will not impress many Heads. There is a surplus of teachers here in the UK - British trained, I might add - who cannot get jobs. Your lack of classroom experience will not get you very far.

    Also, the students are not there to help you improve your English. That is your responsibility before you step into a classroom. And I doubt some parents would be impressed by the fact that the person who is being paid to teach their child is asking the students to teach them English.

    Also, you don't really seem to have thought about where you are moving to. "A lost town in the middle of nowhere"? Yes, by all means move to a town/city in the middle of a rural or coastal area - as long as you're prepared for little work, and long journeys by public transport to isolated schools. And by little work, I mean perhaps a day on supply from one week to the next.

    I'm sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear in response. But your replies to Middlemarch indicate that you think reading a few text books and YouTube is a substitute for experience in a classroom. It isn't.
  8. Dear 576 and Dear CWadd,

    thanks a lot for your answers.

    I really appreciatte your sincere opinions.

    I know I will not have it easy, but I want to try. I have nothing to lose. I am used to work hard and to learn quickly. All I need is one chance. Every experienced teacher was given a first chance. So I want mine.

    I have choosen UK basically because it is said to be a country open to people from overseas willing to work hard.

    CWadd, I dont think reading text books and watching maths lessons in youtube is a substitute for experience. But as I am still in Spain, it's better than nothing, isnt it?

    CWadd, so, there is no shortage of maths teachers at the moment?

    Thanks a lot for your answers.

    Greetings from Seville
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Actually I doubt there's a shortage of any teachers at present. Certain 'pockets' perhaps?

    But we have scores of experienced teachers incl. maths and physics teachers who can't get jobs on Unemployed and Supply forums at TES.
  10. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    You will not have it easy. There is a surplus of teachers in this country. There is no guarantee you will get a job, or supply work. You have no experience of UK classrooms. You don't even seem to know which part of the UK you want to move to, or what sector.

    And no, there is not a shortage of maths teachers. Think about it - if you were a Head, whose job is dependent upon results, and thereby dependent on the calibre of candidates you employ to teach, who would you go for - a British- trained teacher, who has spent nine months in the classroom with knowledge of differentiation, SEN, G and T, behaviour management and the National Curriculum, oh and OFSTED- or a Spanish teacher who has only spent a month in a classroom and seems to think the students should help teach them English?

    I think I'd know which one I would employ.
  11. Dear CWadd,

    thanks a lot for your answer.

    I just will try it. I will live it as an adventure. It's always funny to change your life.

    I understand what you mean. I shall go step by step: starting as teaching assistant, or supply cover, and I will study and learn all I need to know to compete with my british enemies (hahaha)

    Best regards
  12. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    You clearly are not listening to a word that is being said by anyone here. Yes, adventures are great - but not being able to pay your rent, or bills, because you cannot get work is another thing altogether. The fact you do not get that a teaching assistant and supply cover are two very different things speaks volumes.

    You don't understand what I mean. You simply will not listen.

    Oh, and don't refer to British teachers as enemies. Its unprofessional and indicates you seem to think its all a joke. They know far more about the demands of the job over here than you do, and to be brutal, I would rather employ one in my own department than someone who has no classroom experience and no idea what they want. I'm done with this conversation.
  13. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Sí, lo sé. Es dificilísimo para los jóvenes en España que quieren ser maestros o profesores. Acaban de publicar los resultados aquí en Andalucía: más de 20.000 opositores para sólo 592 plazas de maestro de Infantil y Primaria.

    Pero, te lo voy a decir muy francamente: en Inglaterra no será más fácil para tí, Rubito. No tienes ni la más mínima posibilidad de sacar un puesto de maestro o profesor aquí.

    ¿Por qué?

    Por que:

    • No tienes el nivel de inglés que se necesita
    • No tienes experiencia como profesor
    • No tienes experiencia como profe en Inglaterra
    • No entiendes el sistema educativa aquí. ¿Qué es PPA? ¿Y AfL? ¿Y CP? ¿Y CPD? ¿Cómo vas a presentar una clase con differentiation for kinetic learners? ¿Qué es lo busca Ofsted? ¿Qué demonios es Ofsted, y por qué es importante saber lo que busca?
    Y peor todavía: tampoco vas a sacar un puesto de Teaching Assistant. Por las mismas razones.

    Aquí te doy un ejemplo de una carta que escribía muy a menudo en el instituto donde era Directora. Es que recibíamos montones de cartas de Españoles que se creían que teniendo QTS, entonces iban a sacar una plaza de profesor en Inglaterra. Recibíamos tantísimas, que yo escribí esta carta en castellano para que la secretaria pudiese contestar automaticamente.

    Le agradecemos su interés en la plaza de profesor/a de español recientemente anunciada por nuestro colegio. Nos dirigimos a usted para comunicarle que hemos recibido unas cien solicitudes, y tras haber considerado la suya con detenimiento, lamentamos tener que informarle que no la hemos podido seleccionar para la prueba final.

    Aunque no podemos ofrecer comentarios sobre las solicitudes particulares ni especificar las razones de la no selección, sí ofrecemos a continuación una serie de consideraciones relevantes a un puesto en un colegio en Inglaterra que quizás les sean útiles a los solicitantes del extranjero para otra solicitud:

    • Grado de familiaridad con los exámenes nacionales del país
    • Experiencia y/o certificación profesional para la enseñanza del español a angloparlantes
    • Alto nivel de inglés hablado y escrito para efectos de comunicación con alumnos, colegas y padres de los alumnos.
    Deseándole todo lo mejor en su futura vida profesional, le saluda cordialmente Theo Griff

    Lo siento mucho, pero tienes que escuchar lo que te dice Middlemarch, y sobre todo lo que te digo yo, que soy experta en esto y además conozco muy bien el sistema en España, porque trabajo como voluntaria en un CEIP en Andalucía.

    Te lo repito:

    <h3>No tienes ni la m&aacute;s m&iacute;nima posibilidad de sacar un puesto de maestro o profesor aqu&iacute;.</h3>
    Te aconsejo que vayas mirando la posibilidad de alg&uacute;n trabajo de ingeniero en Alemania, que est&aacute;n buscando a Espa&ntilde;oles para esto, por lo que se lee en El Pa&iacute;s.

    Que tengas suerte
  14. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    *brief translation for non-Spanish speakers*

    You haven't got a snowflake's chance in **** of getting a job in a Primary or Secondary school in the UK.

    Best wishes


    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, or in person at one of the TES Careers Advice Service seminars or individual consultations
  15. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Gracias, Theo.
  16. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I'm afraid I'm beginning to smell kaka de toro from our "Spanish" friend, whose English suddenly got a whole lot better, strangely...
  17. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Theo es la experta. Prestar atenci&oacute;n lo que ella dice. (Hope that's correct.)

    (And thank you for the opportunity to revise my Spanish with Theo's reply.)

    "You haven't got a snowflake's chance in **** of getting a job in a Primary or Secondary school in the UK." Love your 'summary' Theo!
  18. Dear Lara mfl 05,

    thanks a lot for your answer

    Let me please correct your sentence:

    You said: Theo es la experta. Prestar atención lo que ella dice.

    You should say: Theo es la experta. Presta atención a lo que ella dice.

    Prestar atención needs a preposition together: "a" , "prestar atención a...."

    And you say "presta" and not "prestar" as you are using Imperatif. "Prestar" is infinitive.

    Best regards
  19. Dear Middlemarch,

    thanks a lot for your answer.

    It`s just I tried to write more accurately after your comment. And yes, I used wordreference a few times ;-D.

    Best regards
  20. Dear Theo,

    thanks a lot for your sincere answer. I really appreciate you being so sincere. Though it hurted me a little :-D. But I am positive.

    I will try it. And I hope to come back with a Dear Theo - I got the job.

    Thanks a lot again

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