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Is it possible to get a job abroad without IB experience?

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by zara_hdez, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. I would like some advice about how to get a job in a International School because I have been trying unsuccessfully for more than a year now.
    I think I have the right experience and qualifications. I was a TA before training, I also was teaching English in Spain before coming to the UK. Then I gained my PGCE from the IOE in London and I?m on my third year of teaching in London and I have been judged outstanding by my school.
    I have been applying but I have not been able to get an interview yet and I am getting quite frustrated.
    I do not have any International Baccalaureate or teaching in an international school experience which is what most schools demand. However, ironically if I can?t get a job in an international school how can I gain experience in teaching the International Baccalaureate?
    So I would like to know if anyone was in my same situation and did manage to get a job and how they did it.
    Any tips for the personal statement would be much appreciated as well. They don?t seem to like mine...
    Thank you!
     
  2. Not all schools do the IB. Perhaps you should apply to schools that do GSCE and A-Level examinations.

    I have 10 years of experience and like you I cannot secure a job in an international school despite having considerable international and UK experience. Things are very tough at the moment. I would like to know who recruiters are choosing.

    If any Headteachers are reading this, can you tell me who you would choose if you received 50 applications and interviewed 7 candidates?

    I get the impression that most schools are looking for low-maintenance, submissive teachers that can be controlled with ease. I would imagine that a shy, smiley lady in her early twenties would be at an advantage if being interviewed by a middle aged male. I always feel that the Heads who interview me consider me to be a threat as I am in my late thirties and male.

    Any thoughts on what headteachers REALLY look for?

    By the way, why on earth does paragraphing not work when writing a message in this forum?
     
  3. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    A mixture of qualifications, where you have taught before, experience of teaching relevant subjects and age groups and a little bit of "hmmm...this looks interesting".
    Where do you get this from?
    Why would that be a threat? Have you had this in feedback?
     
  4. It is just the impression I get having been pipped to the post by many younger female teachers.

    No, I haven't had much feedback. Just speculating and trying to make sense of numerous rejections.
     
  5. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    If you want me to have a look over your letter and C.V. I can do for you and give you some ideas of what to write.
    Ideas, rather than a rewrite ( if that is needed ), because the letter must be yours and original.
    If you are interested, email me on karvol123 at hot mail dot com.
    It is an email address I use solely for TES.
     
  6. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    I gave up being a headteacher some time ago but I always favoured candidates who convinced me that they could do the job. It would never have ocurred to me to look for submissive teachers. However low maintenance is a desirable quality. One of my appointees (in Africa) complained that when she looked out of her window she kept seeing black men.
    You must have met an unfortunate lot of wimps. I am confident that, if necessary, I could have eaten you (or anybody else) for breakfast with our without cornflakes.
    Being conservative (like me) it doesn't like Firefox or Google Chrome. It is happy with Internet Explorer.
     
  7. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    PS: The IB Organization makes the point that any competent A level teacher should be able to teach IBDP.
     
  8. No violence here, please!
    If only there was a way of graphing what schools want in new staff. Young ladies, more mature men....
    The school I am at seems reticent to employ single men. We do have 'em, but not many. Quite a few single birds though...
    Eye candy is a must!

     
  9. Syria1

    Syria1 New commenter

    Teaching ability, professionalism (genuine, not simply assumed) and flexibilty together with a genuine passion for your subject and teaching need to be there. Gender and age matter much less and we will cover dependents. We have appointed ladies with 3 or 4 years experience and equally a grizzled bear in his late 50s to teach here. Low-maintenance we would look for in the sense that they had done some good research about the country and the advantages and challenges about living here and were prepared to take them on and adapt. Submissive we don't do.
     
  10. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Second everything written above by Syria regarding what heads are really looking for, and would add that we also require a contribution to the wider life of the school - sport, kulcher, pastoral experience etc.
    Wonderful suggestion that 'a shy, smiley lady in her early twenties would be at an advantage if being interviewed by a middle aged male.'
    Er...what happens when it's the middle-aged male who is the 'shy, smiley' one, and the woman in her twenties is confident, articulate and forceful?
    I was once informed, by a paint-by-numbers psychcobabbling stereotype-peddler, that my 'leadership style' was 'feminine'. Reading this thread, I suspect I may be 'submissive' in addition. Must stay well clear of the Rugby changing rooms this term.
    Having just returned from a bright-n-early visit to our primary school, I've enjoyed a cheerful "good morning" from several women in their twenties who are nothing if not fully aware of their own talents, responsibilities and entitlements. One or two of them are also rather attractive - even 'eye candy' as the drooling lecher of post #8 would have it - but this middle-aged male is professionally impervious, and would no more employ a young woman for being shy, smiley and submissive than he would give a gorgeous ToK student a top grade for fluttering her eyelashes.
    OK, before someone nails me for 'protesting too much', I'll also support, for the hundredth time in 909 posts, those who assured the OP that prior experience of IB is not a prerequisite. Perhaps for an institution just launching the programme - but if the school has been dancing the hexagon tango since 1983 and has hundreds of years of IB experience on its books, then it can afford to employ and train a beginner, especially if she's <strike>a demure, pretty winsome young thing</strike> a demonstrably capable A-level teacher.
     
  11. SMT_dude - your posts never fail to put a smile on my face. :)
     
  12. zara, I was dealing with the same problem regarding getting a job in an IB school. Seeing as more and more schools are taking the IB route I kept applying to schools that offer it and never got the job because I had only taught A level in all 3 schools I've worked in. That is until last month when I finally got a job in a very good school which teaches IB! I think you should go for an A level school abroad first since you have more of a chance of getting the job and that would give you the international experience. Maybe the schools are afraid if you've never worked abroad then you'll feel homesick very quickly or whatnot.
    As for Headteachers prefering younger women over men, well I think it depends on the country to be honest. My previous Headteacher in Dubai did indeed prefer women, not because they were less of an eye sore for him but because they'd be working on their husband's visa, which is cheaper for the school. Also, there was more pressure on men needing to be involved in rugby, cricket, basketball etc. training. But that's just in that school...
    Good luck with your search zara, hope all turns out as you want it to.
     
  13. Syria1

    Syria1 New commenter

    Just on that point - if you are really good, and can impress us at the dance of the seven veils we call the interview - we will actually (the horror) pay for you to fly to a secret location to be introduced into the mysteries of the IB.
     
  14. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    To OP, I've taught English NC since qualifying, including 3 overseas postings, but am about to begin at a school teaching the Australian Curriculum. It helps that it is brand new and as such all the present staff are in the same boat, BUT my lack of previous knowldege of the former curriculum was not held against me, with a glowing reference and previous experience of working in the country in question the key to my successful application.
    I am a little nervous of course about starting again as it were, but in a short time i'm sure i'll be back up to speed with planning issues, anf hopefully be able to bring my past exeperience to play to support myself and other staff.
     

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