1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

UK-specific teaching characteristics

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by roberto03, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Dear Theo,
    I have already obtained the QTS in 2010 as an EU citizen. I already have 3 years of experience in math and physics and ICT teaching outside the UK.
    Unfortunately, I don't currently teach mathematics in the UK.
    How can i reduce the gap with other UK-experienced applicants as far as regards specific characteristics of math teaching in your country ?
    For example:
    • proper knowledge of the National Curriculum
    • challenges in math teaching that are mainly found in your country
    • etc ...
    Thank you for any advice.
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Well, here's this for starters, Roberto:
    We don't say "Math", we say "Maths".
    The school subject is Maths or Mathematics, not Math.
    Not easy, I'm afraid.
    Although in theory, in theory, there is a shortage of Maths and Physics teachers, many schools have now filled these gaps with other teachers. Do you actually have a Maths or Physics degree (as opposed to general Science)? If so, this is an advantage for you.
    There are a great number of unemployed teachers, most with UK experience and training, and it is likely that a school will prefer to employ someone like this.
    However, to be more positive, if you are prepared to work in a somewhat run-down area in central London or Birmingham, for example, you may find it easier to get a job.
    You can google this and find the official documents.
    I have no idea, but the people on the Maths Forum may know.
    But a bigger problem is, without a doubt, your lack of familiarity with what I might politely call the "Culture" of British education. And this will put you at a big disadvantage, as Heads will be wary of this lack of understanding.
    A Head faced with the new Ofsted regime would be unwilling to appoint someone who had never even heard of the Ofsted grade descriptors, yet alone actually be trying to " be acutely aware of the pupils' capabilities and of their prior learning and understanding and plan very effectively to build on these". The different levels of planning required (basically by the DfE - let's put the blame on them!) are mind-boggling.
    Your experience is certainly valid, but not, of course, the same as actually having worked in a UK school. You will not have worked with a SENCo for your EAL pupils, or those with SLDD or MLDD. You'll have no experience of working with a TA or even possibly having a HLTA covering your classes when doing maths moderation. You won't have done any CPD on inclusion, or CP and the 5 principles of ECM. Yet alone H&S! Have you ever taught the GCSE (or even the IGCSE) specifications? Do you favour IB or AS and A-levels?
    You will be unfamiliar with the collection and use of data for supporting learning, and its associated jargon! What does contextual value-added data mean, how is it more important for some schools (which schools?) than the plain value-added data? Learning achievement tracking - would you use PANDA or Raise online? What are the KS targets? Could you do levelling for SATs? SLT will be expecting you to do loads of things!
    How many of the abbreviations above do you understand?Do you have even a vague understanding of all this jargon? Unfortunately, teachers here do . . . which makes it harder for you. I have, of course, made the above paragraphs deliberately hard for you! I just want you to see the scope of the problem that you are facing. School culture varies so much between one country and another.
    You don't say where it is that you are working currently. Your best chance of getting a post in the UK would be if you could teach first in a British-curriculum school in your own country. This would give you the background that you lack.
    The problem here is, of course, that they prefer to appoint English native speakers.
    I suggest that you investigate this anyway, and also do a load of on-line research about the UK education system, before applying for any post.
    Best wishes
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Win That Teaching Job seminar on Saturday February 25th

Share This Page