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Teaching in Austria

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by SMT dude, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Whether you get a job or not, you'll enjoy Vienna, mosster. But like any other touristy capital, it's even more fun if you have a job to stop you feeling like a permanent tourist and to keep your treasury healthy.
    I would like to be optimistic, but the picture is this:
    All three schools mentioned by johnnersco are long established well-run outfits with a 'mature' IB programme of which they are proud. Vienna is a great place to live and the package they offer is good.
    This means that when they go recruiting they can be confident of attracting candidates with IB experience. They would also certainly expect Philosophy, Psychology and Social Anthropology (if they offer these) to be taught by people with a degree, or even a Masters and certainly more than a passable knowledge, of those specific subjects.
    It probably also means that they are not the kind of school Karvol works in, where Theory of Knowledge gets handed to the last person to sit down at the staffroom Christmas game of musical chairs: they will have some of the most talented teachers of Philosophy, Literature and Science (for example) working on the ToK team because the subject is given its due worth.
    For whatever reason, the IB does not offer Sociology.
    To make your position all the more difficult, in addition to the usual embassies and companies there are several other agencies, notably the International Atomic Energy Agency, who employ English speakers from all over the world, most of them with highly qualified 'trailing spouses' who like you are looking to work so as to keep their careers moving and enjoy their time in Vienna all the more.
    And brilliant bilingual locals and Eastern Europeans with Austrian/German PhDs and better English than you and me are also in the schools' employment market.
    So you are jumping into a pool that is well stocked with some pretty hefty fish. No harm, however, in sending a speculative CV to those schools. Everyone else does so, and at least unlike many you are a qualified teacher.
    Good luck anyway, and it would be great to hear in a few months' time that you have secured something interesting and lucrative.
  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    That is rather a misrepresentation of what I wrote isn't it?
    ToK is very seldom a subject one teaches by itself. There is a ToK co-ordinators job going in HK at an academic school and even it requests that one should also teach a second subject. Now your school may actively seek out ToK teachers, making it the sole subject they teach to the exclusion of all else, but most schools do not. It is, and always will be, an addendum to a timetable. The competition to teach the subject is not diminished in any way by this and, in fact, it is usually intensified as it is seen as an opportunity to teach something that one is passionate about without being unduly constrained by a syllabus.
    ToK is wonderful to teach as a subject, but it is only ever a side dish, never the main course. Like many side dishes it can be very flavoursome or it can be a waste of time, but no-one is ever going to go out to dinner salivating at the prospect of a wonderful side dish.

  3. What if it was a large pudding?
  4. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    A sachertorte?
    Then it would become primus inter pares as the subject to be taught.
    <img alt=" /><img alt=" />
  5. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Yes, on second reading it was, or 'twas, as the Plasticine Potentate would prefer it.
    Sorry... and the rest of what you say is spot-on, although the side-dish metaphor doesn't correspond to the IBO's model.
    ToK is placed in the centre of the Hexagon, so it better resembles an entire roast boar served in the middle of the table at some medieval banquet. Each guest will dig his knife in to the succulent porker, but will need to be served other less glamorous viands as well.
    Or changing metaphors, ToK is to the Diploma what the Hofburg is to Vienna.
  6. ooh that all sounds a bit bleak...Thanks for the good and honest advice...I will certainly put my optimistic head on and put in my CV...maybe its time for a break from teaching? Thankyou, that is really informative...
  7. No, I wouldn't.
    And what's worse, it looks like you've chased someone out of the teaching profession. Just like that!
    Where do the cheese and biscuits come in? I love Boursin, me.


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