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Teaching in the USA after PGCE year - advice needed please!

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by banANNA1234, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. banANNA1234

    banANNA1234 New commenter

    Hi All!

    I am looking into applying to teach in the USA next year and I am wondering if anyone has any advice??

    I am a British Citizen and am currently completing my PGCE year so by June/July I'll have completed my PGCE and will have Qualified Teacher Status.

    I am aware that teaching abroad might push back my NQT year but I am ok with that.

    I am wondering:
    • Is there anything I can be doing now that might make an application look more attractive?
    • Have any of you moved to the USA to teach? How did you do it and was it difficult?
    • I have looked into teaching with companies/groups such as Participate or Nord Anglia British International Schools - they both say I will need a minimum of 2 years' teaching experience. I have sent emails off to them but am waiting for a reply - does anyone know if this 2 years' teaching experience is at all waive-able?
    • Are there any other routes to teaching in the USA that people are aware of and might be able to point me in the right direction on?
    • Any other information is highly appreciated!!
    I have spent so much time looking on the internet, however with differing ages of articles I am finding it hard to see what the current situation is and any specific advice as to how to make it happen. I have seen people that have travelled and taught abroad after completing their PGCE years so I feel it must be possible but I don't know where to start!

    Thanks in advance!
  2. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Well, I think in many/most places in the world, two years of actual experience after qualification is the minimum desired requirement. The programs you mention are fairly competitive and so they will generally have many applicants to choose from. So, even if the two years requirement was waivable, in the event that they did not have any candidates with at least two years experience, they are not likely to face that problem.

    I am from the US and trained/worked there, so can't really speak to the problems of UK trained teachers coming to the states. But, generally speaking, each state has its own requirements/paths to teacher certification. If you are dead set on trying to get to the states right away, then you might try googling teacher shortages in the US and looking into states that are desperate for teachers. Some of those states might be more willing to consider candidates with no experience and to deal with the issues of visas, etc.

    If you're desperate to get out of the UK without putting in a few years teaching there, then int'l schools in other parts of the world might be a better bet (e.g. Asia, the ME, etc.). Some of those countries will also have experience requirements for visas, but many will not or will have schools that can get around them. That being said, the better schools anywhere in the world will want some experience in the teachers that they hire so you would have to be ready to pay your dues in some less than ideal schools or locations.

    Your best bet really is to stay put and make yourself more marketable before venturing abroad but there might be ways to find a teaching job somewhere in the world with no experience. As for the US, it is possible in theory but it would probably be easier to get a job being an au pair or something similar in the US then landing a teaching job with no experience (happy to be proven wrong, for your sake though).

    Sorry to not have more helpful/hopeful feedback for you. Maybe someone else will have better news/insights. Good luck!
  3. glenister_kj

    glenister_kj New commenter


    2 years is mostly what is required, however, if you can offer “other” things then you could easily boost your application to compensate this.

    Nord Anglia schools (from experience) love technology in the classrooms. Why not become a Google Advanced Educator. It’s free to train and you only pay for the exams (around £15.00) and there is two exams.

    Or become an Apple Educator.

    Or even better, both!

    I got into an international school without the experience because I had a lot of “extra” things to offer

    Good luck and PM me if you need anything
  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I have had some American colleagues over the years and they have all said more or less the same thing: getting a teaching job in the US is difficult if you are not an American teacher. Not impossible, but very difficult. American schools do not, on the whole, accept British qualifications / certification and of course the American curriculum is not quite the same thing as the English National Curriculum. At the moment, Mr Trump does not seem too keen on allowing lots of foreigners into the States. On top of all that, some states in the US have "closed shop" agreements with the teaching unions.

    Well, I have never taught in the US, so maybe there are other people out there who might be able to give you much more accurate and detailed information, banANNA1234.

    Having taught in the UK, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Romania, the UAE, Qatar, China and (as from January of 2019) Bulgaria, I suppose that I am a bit of an old hand. I occasionally try to help teachers who are new to international schools, so you could send me one of those TES "Conversations".
  5. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    You could also do a search of the many, many threads on this forum as this question has been done to death!
    sparklesparkle likes this.
  6. banANNA1234

    banANNA1234 New commenter

    Hello all, thank you so much for your detailed replies! I completely understand that it's not an easy process, but I'm fairly determined to get myself over there and if I can manage it for this year I'd rather not wait a year - even if it pushed back my NQT by a year or two.

    @glenister_kj -- I don't seem to be able to PM you - I'm a bit of a tes newbie, sorry! Before teaching I was an engineer and then STEM club manager, so technology wise I am fairly highly qualified and STEM education is my passion - actually that's one of the reasons I'd like to go to the states, I think it would be really interesting to see how STEM is approached in contrasting settings! I am going to look into this apple and google educator programs option too as it would be helpful! I've sent an email over to nord anglia with a quick background and hopefully they will be able to advise me as to my next steps. If you have any further advice I'd love to know! Thank you.

    @makhnovite, I have looked at other threads however struggled to find people in my exact position in a thread that is recent - I understand these things can change year on year and wanted to know if anyone could offer up the most recent information.

    Thanks again all - really helpful and if anyone has any further information please do feel free to share! :D
  7. tigi

    tigi Occasional commenter

    You could look at the international schools there (Nord Anglia) but they will probably want experience.

    Being determined doesn't make it any more likely that you'll be a good hire, sorry. If you just want a year abroad in the States why not look at volunteering opportunities?
  8. pizza15

    pizza15 New commenter

    In short it is not going to happen. Get experience under your belt and then apply if jobs come up at the NAE schools.
  9. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    NA don't hire NQTs. They have plenty of applications for every post in their American schools and so I guess they're never in the position to need to.

    I don't think there would be anything you could do to persuade them.
  10. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Agree with other posters. This is a highly unlikely proposition given your experience. If you must get to the US, it'll have to wait until you fulfill at least the minimum requirements. And let's remember, those requirements are related to the fact that you'll need a visa, and those are only given out to people who fulfill certain conditions. Determination is not one of the conditions. Qualifications, experience, and the need of the school/state are at the top of the list to get a visa.
    What's so special about the US?
  11. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Nord anglia arent the only schools available. There are plenty of others out there. But i have to agree, you will struggle massively with no experience
  12. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    I understand these things can change year on year - no, bananna1234, the basics do not change year on year.

    Getting a job in US state school is a lengthy and difficult process, getting a job in a US private school is less so but you will need to be sponsored for a green card, getting a job in an international school is easier admin wise but of course extremely competitive. Finally of course getting a job in a good school is always difficult for inexperienced teachers, the kind of school that will employ you is one that sees your youth and inexperience as a way of exploiting you!!! All of which has been said on here in the past. Finally none of your points that you asked for help with are specific to you.

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