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Working abroad as an NQT

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by he1a19, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. he1a19

    he1a19 New commenter

    I am sure this question has been asked many times before, however I am still very new to this.

    I am currently doing my teacher training in secondary science. As you can image the question of jobs is now starting to arise. I am at a point in my life where working abroad for a few years is a real possibility. I am looking at British Schools in the Middle East, particularly in Qatar.

    So my questions are:

    1. Is this a bad idea as an NQT?
    2. Are the benefits of working abroad as good as everyone says they are?
    3. Am I risking working away for a while having an impact on my career when I want to move back to the UK?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    1. Personally, it could be seen as beneficial to complete your NQT in England. You'll learn good practises and have timetabled support with union backing. Not always a guarantee to get that abroad. Some ME schools might take NQTs... I ways think it's because they'll be cheaper but I don't know.
    2. The benefits can be as good as they say. It depends what you're looking for when working abroad and where you go.
    3. A common question you'll come across on here when you ask that is:
    Do you want to work abroad if you're ready thinking of going home?
    Working abroad can enhance a CV for some heads and put some off. You're secondary science, you're pretty under demand and will be for a while!
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, I have sent you one of those TES Conversation things, he1a19.
  4. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    All decent schools will insist that you have at least 2 years experience (unless you are an A Level Physics/Maths teacher!). Any school that does not ask for this is probably not a good school
    ToK-tastic likes this.
  5. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    Oh the lure of tax free salaries...

    You've done most of the hard yards. Stay at home and complete the final stretch.

    Focusing on your desired location; QA is not the country to fumble your way through. In saying that, (your 1st hint) if applying your chosen behavior management style/theory is your forte then go for it.

    There are plenty of opportunities in QA. But the 'good' schools won't take you. (2nd hint) I'd suggest you search the TES forum to get to know what kind of schools will take you in your preferred location, QA.

    Best of luck.
  6. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    A good school will certainly want to see that you've taught for at least a couple of years in the UK. I've worked with Senior Teams that valued candidates who had worked in state schools facing significant challenges (eg underfunded, working with disadvantaged students, in special measures etc), if an applicant has practised in such circumstances then they are more likely to have developed strong teaching skills, and to be more appreciative of our well resourced international school (and the eager, well behaved, students etc).
    gulfgolf likes this.
  7. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Also best to get your Introduction/Probation/NQT out of the way before you leave the UK. If you want to work in NZ/Aus/Can/US will make your application a bit easier. If you need to return to the UK it allows you straight back into the state school job market.

    As stated above the better schools prefer candidates to have a couple of years experience before employing them.
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    It rather reminds me of the old Marx brothers quip: "I would never join a club that would accept me as a member."

    So no, it is not a good idea to go overseas an an NQT. On the other hand, as old stoppers has pointed out, the usual rules do not apply if you are a Physics teacher or a hotshot Maths teacher. If you are one of those superior and exalted individuals, then what applies to mere mortals is not applicable to you, of course.
  9. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Very true hiphip!
    Still, while you may be snapped up quicker if you are a Physics teacher, you will still be teaching the same students as everyone else in the school. If those students are of the sort that require careful managing, as an NQT you will struggle.
    Best to stay back for a while longer and develop your skills in places that have better support. International schools, for all their wonderful qualities, do NOT have support for NQT.
    the hippo likes this.
  10. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    In the UK, NQTs are supposed to be on a reduced timetable and of course they are meant to have someone to mentor them. Yes, gulfers is right in saying that you are going to get chucked in at the deep end as an NQT if you go to an international school.

    Sadly, during my five years there I saw that in Qatar that some schools actually made a point of hiring NQTs because they were cheap and easily exploited. The OP seems to be particularly interested in teaching in Qatar. My guess is that some pretty dreadful Qatari schools will be in a hurry to give him a job, alas. Yes, I did have some nice Qatari students, but they were the minority.
  11. KolleyKibber

    KolleyKibber New commenter

    I've worked with two very good teachers who did their NQT years abroad in two reasonably good schools, and have seen that it can be done successfully given the right environment. Is it advisable in most cases? Probably not. They were lucky to have good support networks to fall back on, and experienced staff who were more than willing to help them through. This isn't a given. One of those is now back in the UK, and found it difficult to find a position and salary that fitted with her experience. It appeared some British schools did not look so favourably upon it. That should be a (slight) consideration, too.
    the hippo and salamandes like this.
  12. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    A very good point from KolleyKibber. As the wrinkled pachyderm has noted over the years, quite a lot of heads in the UK seem to regard teaching overseas as a tax-free skive in the sunshine, away from the harsh realities of "real schools" in the UK (OFSTED, covering for colleagues who are off sick with stress, et cetera.) Maybe some independent schools might look upon your sojourn in foreign parts in a more favourable light.

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