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Need Assistance w/ Job Search and the Entire Process

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Unconventional33, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. Unconventional33

    Unconventional33 New commenter

    ***Posted this elsewhere, but thought I'd give it a try here as well**

    Hello Everyone,

    I am new to international teaching, I had a very brief experience a few years ago where I applied directly to a school, interviewed with the principal (some hiccups with skype call), he followed up with my principal at the time, checked references - but the director had someone else in mind for the position (as per our conversation on Skype, but he would let me know) and I don't believe my principal at the time was too keen on letting me go. Anyway, I am looking into teaching specifically in Portugal. I am not in it to make a lot of money (I am aware Europe is not the place to do so based on a few comments I have read on the site). The reason I am choosing Portugal is related to family, moving closer, familiarity with language and culture, and just really wanting to live there.

    I have 6 years of teaching experience and I am currently on my 7th year of teaching Language Arts in middle school. My classroom experience has been 1-year Bilingual (English/Spanish) language arts teacher as part of an 18-month dual Masters/teaching program, 3 years 6th and 7th grade language arts teacher, and most currently 2 years of just 6th grade ELA.

    Considering the specificity of my search, I am wondering how to go about job searching and applying. Should I join any particular job sites? When is the best time to search for openings? Is it inappropriate to contact schools directly if they have no job postings currently? Also, would it be beneficial to get my Portuguese citizenship as my family are Portuguese? I also noticed there are many British schools but I am certified in the US with experience in American schools, would this be an issue as far as securing a job?

    I want to thank anyone who can help ahead of time.
  2. tb9605

    tb9605 Occasional commenter

    Having Portuguese citizenship is going to be a massive help as (I'm assuming you are American) it means you won't need to apply for a visa and work permit. This would then open up the British schools to you a bit more - they are used to employing British and Irish nationals who (currently) don't need a visa so aren't used to that process.

    There are some American curriculum schools in Portugal - one in Porto, I think - but there are far more British schools. Assuming Maths doesn't make you panic, you might want to look at applying to the Primary sections of British/English schools, especially Years 5 & 6 (Key Stage 2). Most of your experience would be parallel to Key Stage 3 English teaching in the English system... but very few schools would want to hire somebody just to teach Key Stage 3.

    It can't hurt to apply directly to schools. When I was job hunting, Portuguese jobs often popped up on the TH agency's website.

    Good luck!
  3. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Contact every school in Portugal and inquire. Keep actively scanning job sites, including local Portuguese ones. Visit as many schools as you can and make your interest known in person. Use all your existing contacts, and make new contacts if possible. Apply, apply, apply.
    It probably wouldn't do you any good to join an agency given the limited scope of your search.
  4. Unconventional33

    Unconventional33 New commenter

    I love math. Most of the grade 6 students come to me for help, because they feel the actual math teachers don't do a good enough job at explaining the material.

    Thank you so much for the invaluable feedback, especially the information on Key Stage 2 and 3 - I was still a bit perplexed when seeing it on so many of the job postings and deciding whether or not I would qualify for that specific position. We use different terminology here in the US.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to give me great information.
  5. Unconventional33

    Unconventional33 New commenter

    Thank you. I will definitely try reaching out to some of the schools. When might be the best time to reach out?

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