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Teaching Chemistry overseas with limited A Level / IB experience

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by tm2383, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. tm2383

    tm2383 New commenter

    I live in Ireland where teaching jobs are few and far between. I have been supply teaching for 10 years out of necessity, not choice. Would an international school employ a teacher without significant A Level teaching experience and no IB experience? I have taught some A Level chemistry during supply work and I will be doing some private tutoring this year. Is there demand for science teachers overseas?


  2. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Short answer....yes....i only know about IB
    tm2383 likes this.
  3. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Would you get employed? Yes, if you have a background in science (any science). If you have no science background and the only experience is through supply work, I wouldn't build your hopes up. Any school that employs you under those circumstances is desperate and you have to ask yourself why.

    Would you survive? That is a much more difficult question.

    By all means apply, but be realistic about your chances and your expertise.
    tm2383 likes this.
  4. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    Chemistry can be difficult to recruit for so there is definitely hope. As Karvol says, be realistic about what kind of opportunites you might get - if you have to compromise on your first post look on it as a chance to gain real experience and who knows what might follow.
    Good luck.
    tm2383 likes this.
  5. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    I have to say I agree with karvol it would probably not be a particularly good school!!!
    tm2383 likes this.
  6. LiveToWin

    LiveToWin Established commenter

    I agree with the comments above, but would add that it's still worth applying. Chemistry is a relatively sought-after subject, and your senior teaching experience will help. You are more likely to get offers from schools in less desireable locations, and have to think long and hard before making a decision - don't jump at the first flattering offer that comes along. However, there are lots of variable that are unknown to you, which may mean that a suitable vacancy could arise.

    I would submit a few applications and test the water...

    Good luck,

    tm2383 likes this.
  7. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I don't understand how a Chemistry teacher has had to work in supply for 10 years due to lack of jobs. I thought they were as desired in the UK as abroad
    tm2383 likes this.
  8. jomaimai

    jomaimai Established commenter

    Abroad is a total different picture.

    I agree with the above. You will most likely find a school.
    Will the school be supportive to you? You will not know until you work there.
    You can post anytime, you will find good advice in the TES forums. There is always someone in your situation here!
    tm2383 likes this.
  9. phil-osophy

    phil-osophy New commenter

    I am also a uk chemistry teacher with 30 years experience in a variety of different schools. I have registered with several agencies but am surprised how few chemistry jobs I have seen advertised - is it just early in the season or am I missing something. Lots of general science and biology around.
    What counts as a less desirable location? I would like to go somewhere of the beaten track, preferably a smaller school.
    tm2383 likes this.
  10. LiveToWin

    LiveToWin Established commenter

    It's not early, but not too late either - jobs can be advertised as late as May or after for August/September starts. Don't forget to look at jobs marked "Science" as these may be suitable for you - general Science with some senior Chemistry, perhaps.

    What constitutes a "desirable" location depends on what you want. If you are chasing the money/city lifestyle you can look at Singapore, Hong Kong or the Middle East, for example. Other people prefer the European life but generally settle for lower salaries and higher taxes, especially in Western Europe.

    There are plenty of smaller schools all over the world. Perhaps have a look at the IB website and use the "Find a School" function to get an idea of some places of interest. Although candidates for these places are often favoured if they have IB experience, that's not always the case. Be aware, however, that a school in your perfect location may not be a perfect school!

    tm2383 likes this.
  11. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    Science is a shortage subject and you should be able to find something. If it's a decent IB school, then they should send you for training. If not, you may struggle to acclimatise, but after you've completed your first two-year contract, you'll be able to move on with some relevant experience under your belt. The advice about about applying for general science jobs initially is also sound.
  12. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Can you specify more about your experience? Random individual days won’t mean too much, but a five-month maternity cover for DP Chemistry would say at least a little.
    tm2383 likes this.
  13. glenister_kj

    glenister_kj New commenter

    I am a chemistry teacher and I teach in an international school. There are loads of chemistry jobs out there, however, they often advertise as “science” and then want chemistry as the specialism.

    Many schools don’t advertise jobs on TES and it’s worthwhile sending a speculative CV to schools in places your interested in.

    Thailand is a good place to start. Need any help then let me know
    tm2383 likes this.
  14. phil-osophy

    phil-osophy New commenter

    Thanks for that info - I teach in Scotland at the moment but again many schools don't advertise chemistry jobs, especially mid year, as they say there aren't any teachers!
    Hadn't really thought of speculative applications - although I don't mind general science I would miss teaching higher level Chemistry.
  15. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    My school's advertising for a couple of science jobs. Message me if you're interested.
    tm2383 likes this.
  16. phil-osophy

    phil-osophy New commenter

    I think I have pm'd you Miketribe!
    It's a very short message just to see if it works!
  17. amlolex50

    amlolex50 New commenter

    Where is your school?
    tm2383 likes this.
  18. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

  19. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    You did indeed, and I replied...
  20. tm2383

    tm2383 New commenter

    I should have made it clearer in my first posting that my degree is actually in Molecular Science (I followed a Biochemistry profile) so I am a chemist (with a good knowledge of Biology). My PGCE is in Science Education and I have completed my NQT Year as well as 2 additional professional development years called EPD1 and EPD2 which are mandatory in N.Ireland. I have taught up to GCSE level doing maternity covers in Biology, Chemistry and Physics as well as the Biology modules of BTEC Applied Science (A Level equivalent, but portfolio, not exam based). I have done a lot of day to day supply work as well. Most of my supply work has been in science, although I have taught other general subjects as well.
    T0nyGT: As for the UK availability of teaching jobs, there are hardly any teaching jobs in N.ireland at all. I know that i could go to England or Scotland and have a reasonable chance of getting a job (I know there is at least a theoretical shortage of science teachers from what I understand. Maybe that doesn't translate to many ACTUAL teaching jobs?) but rather than elsewhere in the UK, I have though of possibly going overseas.
    Does that increase my odds, or do I still need more IB and A Level experience to have a chance in a country like Spain?

    Thanks :)

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