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Teacher from TA and overseas problems

Discussion in 'Overseas trained teachers' started by Nico76, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Nico76

    Nico76 New commenter

    Hi there,
    I am new here and I find this forum very useful.I am an EU national from Eastern Europe,graduated in my country with two teacher's degrees.I have years of teaching expereince back home and I have been working as a TA in a primary school for more than a year.The school knows I am a teacher and they give me 'HLTA' jobs as well,as PPA or absence cover for the whole class.The reason why I started as a TA was that I did not know the UK education system when I first came here,though I wanted to teach.Also,I did not have my QTS yet.I could have got supply jobs but had no idea how to teach here at first as the system is so different.Now I am experienced and few weeks ago I gained my QTS of which I am very proud.I told my school, they were happy but some behave strangely and I think they are jealous.A TA who is a qualified teacher? I told them from the beginning,but they only realise it now.I thought they would be supportive and happy,but it seems most of them isn't.Some of them are fine but I am not sure if they gossip behind my back.Whatever,I am looking for a proper teaching job now,and my school knows.Now I am confident and I think I would be able to teach a class.There is another problem though.I am not an NQT but I think because I am from the EU I am considered as one.My certificate says I am exempt from serving an induction period,so I don't think I will have to do it.Still,I am afraid schools will not choose me because I was only a TA,even if I taught some,and my overseas experience will not count.And simply,despite of equality of opportunities,I am not British,not native and those will be chosen,not me...
    There is a girl though in my school from Eastern Europe too and she is a teacher,so I am not giving up.(don't tell me to ask her some advice cause she is quite rude and arrogant,we don't really like each other,perhaps she sees me as her rival...)so I am 'fighting' for it myself.I know it is not easy to be accepted but I am trying hard.
    I have recently started applying for permanent jobs and just in case,registered with supply agencies too.
    Could someone give me an advice what to do,are there any areas of London that would accept me more than others,or any similar experience of anyone?
    Thans a lot!
  2. Hi
    There shouldnt be an issue but if you worked through to get your QTS and gain experience shows you are dedicated and should only be a bonus for the school. I dont think there are areas in London that are any more accepting than others. Might be best to do a bit of supply and get the feel of areas and schools that you feel comfortable with. If you are in East London, and wish to register with another agency try mail@hemispheresolutions.co.uk and they can help you with this and provide more advice
    Good luck with the search.
  3. Nico76

    Nico76 New commenter

    Thanks,that is what I would expect from my school,but unfortunately people are jealous,becuase they have put me in a box as a TA.I hope this will change as I need to stay there for a while.I have registered with two agencies who are looking for longer term supply work for me,as I cannot rely on day to day supply.But yes,I would like to try as a supply first and hopefully I will have chances from September.I might try that agency though I am in South London.I did not want to offend the British with what I said and I know that they have to accept anyone without making differences,but still,this is my experience with other scools,that they tend to choose a Brit,rather than a non-Brit.I am also an EFL teacher and I understand that in this profession they need a native speaker that can demontrate native language,but I also got a comment from my headteacher after she gave me the job.She said I was lovely at the interview and all that but there are little concernes about my accent,as children have to hear the sounds clearly.Well,I do have some accent as I was not born British,but I am trying hard and I think I have no problems,I run successful phonics groups and children are impoving.These are the reasons I am afraid they might have not to choose me.
    By the way,the other Eastern European at my school has accent too,of course but they accepted her,they understand her and she can do it.I feel I can do it too,but I need to get the chance to prove it.Hopefully schools will give me that chance..
  4. Hi, Nico76,
    My name is Annie and I am from Bulgaria. I just got my QTS too on the basis of my Bachelor's Degree as a TEFL from Bulgaria, but as you said I do not know anything about the educational system here or the curriculum so I am a bit afraid.
    I found a job as a TA in January this year but since the UK Border Agency did not issue me a work permit I could not start and I lost the job.
    Now that I have the QTS I feel bad about applying for TA posts but at the same time I do not have much experience as a teacher so I do not know what to do.
    Also, they told me that in a Primary School you should teach everything and I am not quite sure that I can do that. I wonder how teachers here do it? I am good at languages but what about science for example. The difference is huge.
    What would you suggest as the best option for me?
    By the way yesterday I just tried to contact a language school advertising an EFL post and the answers was: "WE ARE LOOKING FOR NATIVES AND BY THE WAY YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED THAT YOU USED A WRONG PREPOSITION IN YOUR EMAIL"
    I felt like crying coz I knew even before I contacted them that most probably they would want only native speakers, but the unprofessional answer they gave me was shocking. But anyways, do not give up. :)
    Best wishes,
    P.S I hope you have found a job as a teacher already.
  5. Nico76

    Nico76 New commenter

    Hi Annie,
    Thanks for your reply,I have just seen it.
    So,we are quite in a similar situation then.I think it is not too bad to start as a TA first,for about a year as you get great experience and confidence in a school,specially if they let you teach a class too.I can see your degree is TEFL so I think you should try TEFL jobs,but the problem is,as you said that too,they want native speakers only.The answer they gave you was very rude and shows how big headed some British are.I would have definitely replied to them in the appropriate way...
    I think if you would like to teach in a primary school you might have to do PGCE to be qualified in primary schools.Otherwise you might find it hard to teach different subjects.It depends on what your degree says in your qualification.
    I have not found a teacher's position at all,although I have been applying since January.They did not even invite me for an interview.It does not matter I have years of teaching experience and I also taught in a UK school so I am about to give up.I might try supply from September or try to find another job and give up on education.I am also applying for TEFL jobs as my second degree is English as a foreign language but not much success either.I used to work in a summer school though in London teaching foreign students,but only for 2 months.In summer they are desperate for teachers,they even take foreigners,but from September they ignore you.You can try these school for experience though.
    About the QTS,I think they just give it to everyone,to show how equal they are,they give you hope and wish you all the best and in the end you can wipe your .... with it.Sorry for being a bit rude but this is my opinion now as I am getting fed up with the 'liberal' Great Britain,where there are 'opportunities for all'.I don't really think so at all.
    Anyway,good luck to you too and I look forward to hear from you some time.
  6. Nico76

    Nico76 New commenter

    And by the way,did you have your work permityet?
    It is horrible what they do to Romanians and Bulgarians as they are EU nationals and they should have the same rights as everyone else in the EU.
    I have been here for 2.5 years and I might not stay for too long and will be moving on to another country where they don't discriminate this much.

  7. Hi, Nico
    Thanks for your reply.
    Well I still do not have my work permit unfortunately, but at least I am going to start studying this September so I will have working rights as a student.
    It is funny indeed what we have to go through to get working rights here. The ironic thing is that my flatmates are Indian and he is on a work permit and his wife got dependent on him without any problems. So obviously for me the worst obstacle at the moment is that I am a 'EU' citizen and my husband is an Indian, so no dependency for me. But life goes on. :)
    I just found a volunteer job at a school so that I can learn more about the UK teaching system and how things work and once I get my working rights as a student I will start searching for something paid.
    By the way from what you have written I feel happy that I am going to study something different from teaching. :)
    I hope though that both of us will have some success with finding a job.
    In which part of England are you?
    I am looking forward to your reply.

  8. Hi Annie
    My name is Kremena and I am from Bulgaria too.I have nearly the same problems as you.I got my QTS in February, but as you said they give everyone QTS just to believe that we are the same as they and there is no discrimination. But in my opinion, there is descrimination, because no one offers me a proper job since February.
    I have been working as a Parent Volunteer at School because that was the only way for me to be closer to my children and to improve my English while studying GCSE English.
    I was sure I was on the right way.
    But the problem is that no one wants me to work in school as a teacher, because of my background and because of my accent(I am afraid).
    I am trying to find a permanent PE Teaching post from September, but all the agencies offer me supply jobs.
    I think, no, I am sure, they prefer for their teaching posts only native speakers, no mather how good are they.
    I also was thinking to give up, but I really wanted to try to continue my teaching career here in England.
    The thing is, that when someone tries to contact me ,and hears my accent, or voice , or that I am from Bulgaria, they all refuse to contact me in the future, no mather that I have 10 years teaching experiense in all aspects of PE in Bulgaria, no mather I used to have 10 years experience in athletics as a former athlete in National Team of Bulgaria.
    At present, I am working with 2 agencies, they promise to find me at least PE supply job from September, but I am not sure wether they are serious or not. I have to wait until September and see what is going to happen then.
    I am so nervous, because I need more experience in school, but no one gives me that chance.
    I am thinking about another year in study (PGSE in PE), but I think there will be some problems with my enrolment, because of the same reason-my nationality.
    I will apreciate every answer or opinion in my case.

    Good luck to you Annie!
  9. Dear Eastern Europeans,
    I am from Romania and have been accepted on a PGCE course to do secondary Maths from September. Of course we all have accents since we were not born in the UK and I found it quite offensive when a head teacher mentioned to me that my accent was quite strong and I should do something about it. I just told her that in the UK there are Scottish accents and Irish and Londoners and Mancusians and all sorts and it is more about my subject knowledge and making myself completely understood than about an accent I don't even want to give up since it shows my roots. Well, I chose a different way doing the PGCE and hope the oportunities for a job will come easier this way, though I know that I'll be chosen just after a native with the same qualifications...
    Keep your head up and remember we might be even more clever and able to do things in a better manner and the chance will come for us. Be positive.[​IMG]
  10. Hi there,
    I would like to join the club of Eastern Europeans teachers with QTS who are trying to get into the UK system.
    I qualified in 2002 in Romania, then came to London and done different things until I've got my ILR. I have a 1 year old boy and I recently put him in nursery thinking that I can start getting experience in schools in some way in order to get a proper teaching job later. It doesn't seem easy though after hearing about your experiences so far...but I still think everything has a start. For me a TA role would be suitable anyway for the time being as I don't wan't to get all the stress related with planning and paperload. I still want to spend valuable time with my little one and in the meantime to feel I do something useful towards my career. And I think working in a school environment regardless the position will add to the personal improvement in terms of language barriers and observing good practice of different teachers. It's not all bad...that teaching job will come at last...don't give up!
    Good luck to all and hopefully will hear good news soon.

  11. Hi all,
    I'm a Hungarian ex-teacher in a very similar situation to some of you: trained and taught EFL in Hungary, came over to the UK, gave up my career to stay at home with the kids and now would like to go back to teaching but don't know where I stand. Just applied for QTS and hope to teach secondary DT with textiles. I'm over 40 and am really worried that I won't be able to find work because of my age and also being a non-native. I too have a foreign accent, but I'm determined to keep it, I'm proud of being Hungarian and do not want to become English, if you know what I mean. We should all be proud of our background. As far as having difficulty in understanding us, just how many English people speak clearly and grammatically correctly?! I live in Liverpool, the way people speak here doesn't sound anything like English, it's a totally different language within English - I've lived here for 10 years and still don't understand them! : )
    Also, in Hungary you have to study for 5 years to get a degree - I'm sure it's similar in other Eastern European countries and my English grammar and spelling are better than the average English person's, not to mention general knowledge - few people know where Hungary is (is it in Russia? - they ask).
    It's very nice to hear from people in the same shoes as me, please keep us posted about how you all are getting on. I feel very isolated and generally don't get much sympathy or help regarding my career.

  12. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    I´m always curious about "how others see us" and at risk of hijacking the thread, I would be fascinated to hear the opinions of the 5 or 6 (?) exclusively East Europeans on this thread as to what they have experienced in English classrooms whilst there as teachers/TAs etc.

    (Obviously if you see the question as irrelevant and/or impertinent for reasons of hijacking, you will just ignore my request.)

    Oh, one contribution to the accents debate; don´t imagine that teachers in England from Belfást, Glasgow, Cardiff, Liverpool etc do not have problems. They do!
  13. Hello,
    I am a Romanian trained teacher as well, currently not in the UK, but planning to get there. I'm a bit dissapointed about your experiences in England but you shouldn't give up, you're Eastern Europeans, come on! We're ambitious people, hard-working, honest and reliable. Don't let a few failures put you down!

  14. Hi Ildiko I'm from Hungary as well I feel isolated too. I do have the same experience like you lot have. I do think they categorise Eastern Europeans badly, I'm here 11 years and I must say most ofmy experience sadly were discriminative. It would be great if we could support each other. Please reply.
  15. Hi Nic, I'm Eastern European as well. What you need here if you got your degree from foreign country. First an agency called NARIC recognition of your degree (equvivalent to what British degree) next registration with tda and gtc.( it's expensive but if you applying for teaching position already you need it, because on the application form they ask your dfes number and you have to put the gtc in there, because you don't have British degree number. I would like to help much as i can and also they always ask British teaching experience so if you could ask your school to do voluntary teaching that would be great in your CV.
  16. Hi Big Frank,
    Well I don't care anymore how others see us', before yes I did. Here 11 years and had a few very but I mean very bad experience. The accent we should not even think about it because come on guys Jamaican teachers or any foreign we all have accents. Britain is multicultural so that's comes with it.
  17. Dear Nico76, I read your e-mail of some time ago, hope you get a chance to read this post. Can you give some further information about summer schools. How can I apply?

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