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So you want to return to teaching in the UK?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by jennifer longhu, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. Just read a thread where people are enquiring about returning to UK, so hope this will be helpful.

    Best wishes in your search.
  2. I'm afraid that I can't give you any technical advice on searching, Alineboundy, but I can perhap give you hope: this sounds like a useful combination of subjects to me.

    Flexibility of competent staff is highly prized by Heads; this would most probably therefore be seen as a bonus when you apply for a post in one of your subjects.

    Best wishes.
  3. 20 years away from the UK in an international school, eh? I sincerely hope that you are not thinking of looking for a job in a state school! If you are, and you are successful, you'd better steel yourself for a very nasty shock. Please don't do it.
  4. Great post. Feeling more confident about a return and some of the things to consider when looking at UK jobs.

    I do have a slight concern, I haven't taught for 18 months due to my 2 year old daughter being ill and needing constant care, it was easier and quicker for my wife to get a job and for me to stay home (My previous contract ended). I've used the time to keep up with developments in teaching in the UK but will being 'out' for such a long while be a disadvantage?
    I think our concern about moving to the UK is being sure there is a job to go to rather than looking once back.
  5. BishBosh - you will need to present in your application the positive points of your sabbatical.

    In what way did you improve personally and professionally that will make you more of an asset to a school? Did you have more time to advance your subject knowledge and develop skills? Were you able to re-read some of your texts on pedagogy, or learn about new techniques through TES each week and following up the points raised?

    But the main thing is: are you an excellent teacher? Are you an excellent teacher who can prove excellence in the application (exam results for a start, or performance-related pay or bonuses), and will you demonstrate this in the observed teaching that is pretty standard nowadays.

    And absolutely Above All Others Question: are you an excellent teacher of a shortage subject and prepared to move anywhere in the UK?

  6. alineboundy,

    I'm normally associated with not being particularly helpful on these blogs, but UB40 and many of your other friends are right. PLUS, when I did something similar, I found supply worse than when a job was secured.

    Good luck to you.
  7. There are indeed plenty of posts in "Opinion", "Pay and Employment" and even "Behaviour" about the comparative delights of independent and maintained-sector schools.

    Search on both "private" and "independent".
  8. jennifer

    would be nice if you could give some advice or put something similar for teaching overseas .... if you have any advice that would be greatly appreciated ... and also do let me know how International school look at non-whites??

    Its all good being excellent or having done excellent things at school but do they employ non whites? I have yet to see any schools that do that so any advice would be welcome - thanks!
  9. Sorry, I am no expert on that, I am afraid. You'll need to look at the threads that deal with these subjects.
  10. I wonder if Jennifer or anyone else can give me any advice ...

    I'll be returning to the UK after 5 years abroad. During that time, and my 4 years in the UK prior to that, I have been a HOD of English (in two different schools), set up and taught a GNVQ Media Studies course, been a Literacy co-ordinator (in two different schols) and KS3 Drama Co-ordinator . I came to teaching in my 30s so am hardly a spring chicken but don't relish the thought of going back to being 'just' a classroom teacher. I find I need to have extra responsibilities now to keep myself stimulated!

    I'm concerned about whether I should apply for HOD posts, or go for less responsibility given that, realistically, I'm probably not as up on the latest developments as those who've been in the UK. At the same time, I don't want to undervalue myself in case prospective employers wonder why I'm not wanting more responsibility.

    Any thoughts??

  11. Hi misspitstop,
    Having just left england I can offer this.
    A teacher here in HCMC asked me a very similar question cos she is returning to the UK. I was a HOD in a fairly normal comp. I looked at dozens of HOD cvs for my replacement. The ones who had no experience of being sworn at and being worn down by daily doses of disrespect and verbal abuse went straight into the bin. These included international teachers and those who had only worked in "nice" private schools. I am not saying they would not be able to cope, I just stuck to those who had clear evidence of having been in similar schools.
    Going back to teaching in an english comp after having taught for a few years on the international circuit would be a severe shock for anyone.

  12. Hi redback,

    thanks for the reply. I understand what you mean about not having had exprience of swearing etc. That's not so much an issue for me though.

    The first school i worked at in the UK was in special measures for the 3 years i was there - we had OFSTED in every term! I then went to one of the most, if not the most, 'challenging' schools in my area (5% A-C or something) in one of the poorest wards in the country. Oh, and we also had a full OFSTED the year I took over the Eng Dpt. to see if we had made enough progress to come out of 'serious weaknesses' or whatever we were in. It was a slightly crazy year!

    So I have had more than my fair share of difficult kids and challenging schools but I didn't decide to leave because I couldn't 'cope' with all that any more. It was something I'd wanted to do for a long time and it seemed a good time to go since my daughter had just finished Yr 6 and would have been moving schools anyway.

    I don't have any illusions about how hard going back into state schools would be and, to be honest, I'd rather not do so now that I have had the pleasure of actually teaching rather than crowd control, and teaching kids who do well and want to succeed.

    I'm more concerned about the level of responsibilty I should go for because, as I said, I don't want to be unrealistic nor do I want to undervalue my experience and abilities.

    Any more advice or thougts gratefully accepted.
  13. Hi misspitstop again,
    I will give you my experience based on being a HOD in a standard comp.

    As HOD I was pressured into doing anything which would improve results. I was expected to put in a lot of hours and do a lot of extra coursework lessons. There was this unspoken expectation that I should practically do the coursework for the students which I refused to bow down to. I also drew my line in the sand when it came to teachers in my department being sworn at. I demanded immediate SMT action. SMT couldnt refuse but I felt I was the only HOD standing up for a teachers right to respect.

    I have spoken to other HODs and all had similar tales. The stress was near intolerable. Being paid more doesnt stop stress making you ill.

    If you sign up to be a HOD you sign up for a hard life.

  14. coupedeville

    coupedeville New commenter

    Miss PS,

    Try looking on the Standards Site, you'll be able to bone up on new and up to date policies. This will help any application you make. Being able to give the right answers at interview is always a plus. If you are up to date with current terms etc then there is nothing to stop you applying for more senior posts. Might be an idea to apply in the private sector though.
    They will usually look upon time spent abroad as a positive.
  15. Thanks again redback ... words of wisdom! I really don't think I want my stress levels shooting through the roof.

    And thanks coupedeville, good advice about the Standards Site, and the private sector certainly seems a much more appealing option than state sector. Fingers crossed!
  16. I've just returned to teaching in Britain after 3 years abroad. Although in a slightly different situation to you (I'm primary), I applied for assitant head posts back in the UK, got three interviews and got offered the job at the first of those interviews (even though I didn't have experience of doing this post before). As someone else mentioned, you can catch up with new developments on the standards site and by talking to anyone you're still in contact with in teaching in the UK. Whilst, like me, you might not know the current acronym for something, it's all pretty much the same stuff at the end of the day. I tried to highlight why my experience abroad was so beneficial (multi-cultural experience, incorporating ideas from teachers all over the world into the English curriculum, etc) and this seemed to go down well in letters of application and the interview. That said...it's been a pretty rough 8 weeks readjusting!!!
  17. Thanks Jason, that's encouraging. I know I have developed a lot both as a teacher and as a person since being abroad, I forget sometimes.

    I've never regretted for a minute my decision to go international, and it's certainly the best thing I've done for my daughter! Hearing how hard things are in the UK and reading how people have found it so hard to get jobs there after returning does make you feel a bit despondant though. But thanks all for your advice.

  18. I returned to the UK after teaching abroad and my short advice is - opt for the private sector if at all possible. I am teaching in the state sector and it has been a nightmare - behaviour, warped expectations (doing coursework for pupils) and stressed out teachers. Make sure you have a very good reason for returning to the UK otherwise you may regret the decision.
    Good luck! Myself, I'm off abroad again before I end up as stressed and jaded as everyone else!
  19. Thanks awayfromhere, it seems like to private sector is the way to go. Hope you find a great job overseas


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