English teacher w/ 3 dependants..HELP!

FutureTeacher33
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:59 pm

English teacher w/ 3 dependants..HELP!

Post by FutureTeacher33 »

Hello! :D

My name is India. I am currently in college and working towards earning my Bachelor's in English and my Master's in Teaching. I have a non-teaching spouse and 2 small children. I have been doing quite a bit of research on international teaching. It seems like teachers with dependants AND a non-teaching spouse are not wanted for hire. So, therefore, I am working towards making myself more marketable and a more competitive candidate.

I have a passion to teach English-NOT a fan of Match and Science, however I do understand that those subjects are in high demand. Would you suggest me going with English or should I consider Math/Science?

That is my biggest issue at this point.

Also, is it REALLY that challenging to find a job as a parent? If you personally have experience with a similiar situation, please share! All feedback is most helpful.

Any information you can give is appreciated! Thanks for your feedback in advance.

ringler24
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 6:25 pm

Post by ringler24 »

Do you plan to gain teaching experience first before applying to teach overseas? I ask because I think without any experience and that many dependents you'll have almost no shot. I would think with 5-10 years of teaching experience and a willingness to go anywhere you might be able to find a position. I'm speculating on this based on my own research, so hopefully someone with experience overseas can confirm.

I spoke with someone at Search and was told that despite having an Ivy league masters degree in teaching, 8 years experience, and lots of leadership roles in my teaching career I have almost no shot due to my dependent situation and my regional preference. Everything I've read on here confirms that.

FutureTeacher33
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:59 pm

Post by FutureTeacher33 »

[quote="ringler24"]Do you plan to gain teaching experience first before applying to teach overseas? I ask because I think without any experience and that many dependents you'll have almost no shot. I would think with 5-10 years of teaching experience and a willingness to go anywhere you might be able to find a position. I'm speculating on this based on my own research, so hopefully someone with experience overseas can confirm.

I spoke with someone at Search and was told that despite having an Ivy league masters degree in teaching, 8 years experience, and lots of leadership roles in my teaching career I have almost no shot due to my dependent situation and my regional preference. Everything I've read on here confirms that.[/quote]

Thank you for your response!

I do plan on teaching here in the U.S. before applying to teach abroad. 5-10 years? Wow, I was not planning on teaching for that long in the States. I am thinking maybe 2-3 years as a minimum.

I don't exactly have a willingness to go 'anywhere', but I don't have a desire to teach in Western Europe, either. Some of the places I'm interested in include: Hungary, Beruit, Africa (not sure if they hire so much for families, though).

With that being said, I am still young and I'm just beginning my studies to become a teacher. I am enrolled in a 5 year program where I get my Bachelor's/Master's degree in Teaching. Then from there, I will need at [b]least[/b] 2 years teaching experience. So, it'll be another decade before I'm even able to apply for an international position. My main concern at this point is: What can I do, since I'm early in the game, to make myself more marketable?

Should I continue with an English degree? Should I major in another subject? What specialities are in demand? Or based on trends, what subject/specialities do you forsee being 'in demand' in about another 10 years?

I am preparing myself and my family now for a life abroad. I am claiming it, it will happen! :)
I am just preparing and need information about what'll make me more competitive.

PsyGuy
Posts: 9755
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

OK

Post by PsyGuy »

English is not in demand at all, and your family situation will keep you from getting the international experience you need, to get into the better schools.

I wouldnt focus my career around a teaching subject i dislike with a passion, thats not a way to live a life, but high demand subjects in general are:

1) Counselor (College)
2) Math
3) Physical Sciences (Physics, Chemistry)
4) Computers (IT), Design Technology
5) Life Science (Biology, Environmental Systems)
6) Special Education
7) Fine Arts

FutureTeacher33
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:59 pm

Re: OK

Post by FutureTeacher33 »

[quote="PsyGuy"]English is not in demand at all, and your family situation will keep you from getting the international experience you need, to get into the better schools.

I wouldnt focus my career around a teaching subject i dislike with a passion, thats not a way to live a life, but high demand subjects in general are:

1) Counselor (College)
2) Math
3) Physical Sciences (Physics, Chemistry)
4) Computers (IT), Design Technology
5) Life Science (Biology, Environmental Systems)
6) Special Education
7) Fine Arts[/quote]

As far as teaching English, you are saying that because of my family I will not be able to get my foot in the door teaching at a not-so-great school (because of the package-doesn't suit a family) and therefore I won't be able to have enough international experience to be offered a job at a better school (with a better package suitable for a family)? Is it possible that I could get my 1st international job at a school with a less desierable location (with a decent package) so that I can get my foot in the door-somewhere in Africa or the Middle East? I really would love to teach in Beruit, by the way. Do you know anything about teaching there w/ a family? Do you think it's possible?

I agree with and appreciate your advice and I'm going to follow it. It's no need more me to teach a subject I don't have a passion for because it wouldn't be fair to me or my students. One thing I may consider in the future, as a back-up, is to get endorsements in other subjects. Do you think that's a good idea?

Thank you for giving me a general idea of subjects that are in demand! I have an interest in Special Ed, but I found from many sources that it's not in demand within the international circuit, is this true?

And fine arts? Wow! I had no idea that specialty was in demand. I would LOVE to be an art teacher. But I just have a few questions about that:

1. As an art teacher, do you absolutely have to be a skilled drawer/painter? Because to be frank with you, I suck! But I am interested in art very much.

2. From your time of posting for jobs, have you really seen a lot of job posting for Art Teachers? Do you think it's worth pursuing and will be in demand within the next 10 years?

Thanks for your response and your time/help! I appreciate it!

heyteach
Posts: 459
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:50 pm
Location: Home

Post by heyteach »

Of course English is in demand. Most international schools will be bilingual (local language/English) or exclusively English. The national school I am currently at is also bilingual. The English department is one of the bigger ones (and at my last school, the biggest).

I would recommend you make yourself very knowledgeable as well with using technology in the classroom, as that is also in demand, and think of extra-curricular positions you can perform to make you a more desirable candidate (I lost out on a great position that I thought I had in the bag--they found someone with experience in digital yearbooks).

I would not give up your desire to teach overseas. As long as you're flexible about location you should be able to find a job with a few years experience. Schools do hire teachers with dependents. Don't fret over the whole silly "first tier/second tier" designations promoted by some on the forum. You do have to listen to your instincts. I don't advise settling for a place you may be unhappy at, either because of the location or the package.

Walter
Posts: 325
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:39 am
Location: UK
Contact:

DavePsyguy - more nonsense...

Post by Walter »

"English is not in demand at all..." Why do you write such stupd things? In the international schools I know there are any English teachers as there are math teachers and science teachers, and logic dictates that there are as any vacancies in English as there are in math and science each year. That is certainly my experience in all the recruitment fairs I attend.
It's received wisdom that IB physics and math teachers are like gold dust and all searches for teachers in other subjects give way to these educational rock stars. The truth is a lot more complex than this, and often changes by the year. There are times when I've found it harder to find a really good MS math teacher than a HS one, and the same can apply to MS counselors or scientists - the reason being that people who are really good in these fields often prefer to work in HS with older students. It is often hard to find good librarians - at any level - and good ES early years teachers (and music teachers) are rare birds.
Whatever you teach you have a chance of finding a job, because there will always be vacancies at fairs. You can bet that if there are only a few positions in a particular subject at a fair, then there will be correspondingly few candidates.
The first point a recruiter from a good school will want to find out is how good you are at your job. The second, unfortunately, is indeed your personal circumstances. I don't have a preference for couples over singles -the costs for the school are the same. I'm fine with single moms with a child. I'm fine with a teaching couple with two or even, at a pinch, three children. To hire a teacher with a dependent spouse and two children, though, would be a big ask, and the teacher would have to be exceptional.

FutureTeacher33
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:59 pm

Post by FutureTeacher33 »

[quote="heyteach"]Of course English is in demand. Most international schools will be bilingual (local language/English) or exclusively English. The national school I am currently at is also bilingual. The English department is one of the bigger ones (and at my last school, the biggest).

I would recommend you make yourself very knowledgeable as well with using technology in the classroom, as that is also in demand, and think of extra-curricular positions you can perform to make you a more desirable candidate (I lost out on a great position that I thought I had in the bag--they found someone with experience in digital yearbooks).

I would not give up your desire to teach overseas. As long as you're flexible about location you should be able to find a job with a few years experience. Schools do hire teachers with dependents. Don't fret over the whole silly "first tier/second tier" designations promoted by some on the forum. You do have to listen to your instincts. I don't advise settling for a place you may be unhappy at, either because of the location or the package.[/quote]

Thank you for your response! It is very encouraging!

Being that most schools are bilingual, is there a foreign language I should study in particular? I have to select a foreign language to take to obtain my degree and was going to go with Spanish, but is there another language I can study that would make me more marketable with various schools?

As far as using technology in the classroom, is there any certification that I can work towards obtaining to show that I am knowledgeable in this area? Or how would I go about this?

When you say 'extra-curricular positions', do you mean to volunteer for those while I am doing my 2-3 years of home country teaching to gain experience? Just wondering because I also was thinking about extra-curricular endorsements like drama, speech, literature, etc. that I would also be able to teach/apply for a position as a teacher in that area with an English degree. Is this an endorsement or credential I can obtain for these areas as well? That would be awesome. That way I can teach those areas! :)

Thank you for your post! It really means a lot to me. I am definitely flexible when it comes to the location and school. All I care about is that my family won't be starving (I don't care about living luxuriously) and that we can have the basic benefits. I do understand that it's an industry where you really have to hustle, so I do not mind being at a 'tier 2' school until I can make my way up. And that's more than likely how I'll have to do it. I'm interested in Beruit anyway (if I absolutely had to pick a top choice) and I doubt that there is a lot of people wanting to go to the Middle East, so that right there may heighten my chances. And the schools in Beruit seem to be welcoming to families based on their packages. Do anyone have information about how many years experience they look for?

I have a question about that: How soon should I reach out to schools personally just to ask questions or express my interest (not apply for a job)? Is it fine to do this while I'm student teaching or doing my 2-3 years home teaching?

FutureTeacher33
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:59 pm

Re: DavePsyguy - more nonsense...

Post by FutureTeacher33 »

[quote="Walter"]"English is not in demand at all..." Why do you write such stupd things? In the international schools I know there are any English teachers as there are math teachers and science teachers, and logic dictates that there are as any vacancies in English as there are in math and science each year. That is certainly my experience in all the recruitment fairs I attend.
It's received wisdom that IB physics and math teachers are like gold dust and all searches for teachers in other subjects give way to these educational rock stars. The truth is a lot more complex than this, and often changes by the year. There are times when I've found it harder to find a really good MS math teacher than a HS one, and the same can apply to MS counselors or scientists - the reason being that people who are really good in these fields often prefer to work in HS with older students. It is often hard to find good librarians - at any level - and good ES early years teachers (and music teachers) are rare birds.
Whatever you teach you have a chance of finding a job, because there will always be vacancies at fairs. You can bet that if there are only a few positions in a particular subject at a fair, then there will be correspondingly few candidates.
The first point a recruiter from a good school will want to find out is how good you are at your job. The second, unfortunately, is indeed your personal circumstances. I don't have a preference for couples over singles -the costs for the school are the same. I'm fine with single moms with a child. I'm fine with a teaching couple with two or even, at a pinch, three children. To hire a teacher with a dependent spouse and two children, though, would be a big ask, and the teacher would have to be exceptional.[/quote]

Thank you for your response!

You mentioned that IB Physics and Math teachers are like gold dust. What can one do to become IB certified?

I completely understand when you say "To hire a teacher with a dependant spouse and two children is a big ask and the teacher would have to be exceptional." That's why i'm working towards being the exceptional teacher that you need! LOL. I want the recruiter to be so blown away by me that they are WILLING and EXCITED to accept my family as well. So, I do understand that I have a lot of work to do. The challenge is motivating, to say the least.

FutureTeacher33
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:59 pm

Post by FutureTeacher33 »

Just to add, I also plan to study abroad for a semester or so. Will that also look good on my resume as an applicant with dependants?

Also, I am wondering, for people who work with organizations for their first time teaching experience (like Peace Corps, Teach America, etc) does that help the applicant to stand out with dependants?

Thanks!

heyteach
Posts: 459
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:50 pm
Location: Home

Post by heyteach »

I'm an art teacher and while there are a fairly surprising number of openings, there are generally fewer art teachers at a school than English teachers. I'm certified in English as well and taught that at a previous overseas job, which is why I know both areas. Stick with what you know and would enjoy teaching. If you can't draw or paint well, you won't be able to teach it and won't have any credibility with your students.

While in a few cases being bilingual yourself might give you an edge, it's unlikely you'd be able to reach that level of proficiency in your college program. I speak Spanish reasonably well but never spoke it at my last job in South America. Study a language you'd enjoy for traveling, or might be able to use closer to home (e.g., there are a lot of Spanish-speaking immigrants in your local school district--there is where the language might give you an edge).

Don't focus on certification for technology--it's the experience you have using it that will be valuable. I only just learned how to make a Power Point last year (my first classroom with a projector!) so my skills are pretty rudimentary. Figure out innovative ways to use technology (projectors, Smart Boards) and programs like Moodle or EdLine, and especially how you would have your students use them.

By extracurricular, I mean after-school stuff like coaching, tutoring, yearbook, drama, speech and debate, club sponsor, etc. Again, get the experience and expertise rather than an endorsement.

Also be conversant in understanding the basics of AP--if you're planning teaching HS--and the IB, particularly MYP and DP. My current school has a pastiche of curricula including the IGCSE which I had no knowledge of and needed a lot of on-the-job coaching in--but obviously, they were still willing to hire me!

Beirut was also one of my top choices, but I know I didn't interview very well. Families are important in the ME and Latin America so you may do well.

Another thought: if you're willing to give up some autonomy in choosing your city or even country, Dept. of Defense schools might be a good choice. There's a long thread in the forum on this topic though I haven't read it in quite a while so don't know what detours the conversation has taken.

I would not waste your time or that of the schools "reaching out" just to ask questions if you're not applying. They're extremely busy and often don't even acknowledge receipt of your application or materials. As you work through your program, keep reading the forums and maybe even find a local ex-pat forum for desired destinations.

ringler24
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 6:25 pm

Post by ringler24 »

Peace Corps wouldn't count as teaching experience and Teach for America only accepts applicants with no teaching license or degree in education so you won't qualify for that. You said you were planning to study abroad. Maybe you could find out about doing your student teaching at an international school, possibly one where you would like future employment. If not, try to student teach in a top public or private school, somewhere where they are doing really innovative things. Hiring is really tight in the US right now so use your student teaching experience to make connections. With your family situation you'll need those ties to help you get your foot in the door when you're ready to teach internationally and even to get a full time job in the U.S.

FutureTeacher33
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:59 pm

Post by FutureTeacher33 »

I would like to add that when it's time for me to begin applying, my situation may be differnt. My spouse may not be coming with me (as he is starting his career as well, which involves traveling). If I apply for a job with just 2 dependants and we can afford all of our expenses for our children based on my spouse's income (who will not be counted as a dependant), will my chances of getting hired be increased, being that my children's expenses aren't the school's concern?

Also, I am looking into declaring a minor. I'm sure that'll make me more marketable as well.

Some of the minors offered by my university include:
-Computer Science (Could help to show I'm knowledgable in 'technology in the classroom? Other than that, I have no interest in this minor.)
-Creative Writing
-Foundations of Special Education
-German
-Spanish
-French
-Philosophy
-Writing
-Religious Studies
-Portuguese


Which one of these do you think would offer me the most 'edge' when applying for International Schools?

FutureTeacher33
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:59 pm

Post by FutureTeacher33 »

[quote="heyteach"]I'm an art teacher and while there are a fairly surprising number of openings, there are generally fewer art teachers at a school than English teachers. I'm certified in English as well and taught that at a previous overseas job, which is why I know both areas. Stick with what you know and would enjoy teaching. If you can't draw or paint well, you won't be able to teach it and won't have any credibility with your students.

While in a few cases being bilingual yourself might give you an edge, it's unlikely you'd be able to reach that level of proficiency in your college program. I speak Spanish reasonably well but never spoke it at my last job in South America. Study a language you'd enjoy for traveling, or might be able to use closer to home (e.g., there are a lot of Spanish-speaking immigrants in your local school district--there is where the language might give you an edge).

Don't focus on certification for technology--it's the experience you have using it that will be valuable. I only just learned how to make a Power Point last year (my first classroom with a projector!) so my skills are pretty rudimentary. Figure out innovative ways to use technology (projectors, Smart Boards) and programs like Moodle or EdLine, and especially how you would have your students use them.

By extracurricular, I mean after-school stuff like coaching, tutoring, yearbook, drama, speech and debate, club sponsor, etc. Again, get the experience and expertise rather than an endorsement.

Also be conversant in understanding the basics of AP--if you're planning teaching HS--and the IB, particularly MYP and DP. My current school has a pastiche of curricula including the IGCSE which I had no knowledge of and needed a lot of on-the-job coaching in--but obviously, they were still willing to hire me!

Beirut was also one of my top choices, but I know I didn't interview very well. Families are important in the ME and Latin America so you may do well.

Another thought: if you're willing to give up some autonomy in choosing your city or even country, Dept. of Defense schools might be a good choice. There's a long thread in the forum on this topic though I haven't read it in quite a while so don't know what detours the conversation has taken.

I would not waste your time or that of the schools "reaching out" just to ask questions if you're not applying. They're extremely busy and often don't even acknowledge receipt of your application or materials. As you work through your program, keep reading the forums and maybe even find a local ex-pat forum for desired destinations.[/quote]

Thanks for getting back to me! I love this forum. It's been one of the most, if not THE most, helpful source I've found so far.

You've helped me make my decision. I am going to continue pursuing my English degree! I am so excited about this, more than I have been in a while.

What you said about the foreign languages makes perfect sense. It's not like I'm going to become a Foreign Language instructor. Any language I do learn will just assist me if that's what I'm surrounded by (whether in my home country or in the country I get placed). So, I won't put much emphasis on that except taking courses to fulfill my degree requirements.

I will definitely take your advice on what you said about technology and extra curricular activities. This ties into what you mentioned about student teaching/teaching at an innovative school. Schools like those will be more "in-the-know' about these sorts of things and have these sorts of things(activities/programs/technology) available.

I would love to learn more about IB and AP programs/schools. I do understand on-the-job training is available, but where can I get a certification so I can have that when I'm applying? Or how would I go about securing a position here in the States where I am teaching an IB or AP course? Is this challenging as a new graduate?

As far as international schools in Beirut, just so I can get an understanding of how hard it is a get a job there, would the schools there be considered 'tier 1'?

And thank you for informing me that those areas are more 'family based'! I will continue to research more schools in those areas, although I have heard that Latin America is low-paying. I wonder if I could still find a decent school there where I can support my family at a basic level...?

Thanks for telling me about the DoDS, I appreciate that! I will look furthur into it.

I appreciate everything!

FutureTeacher33
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:59 pm

Post by FutureTeacher33 »

[quote="ringler24"]Peace Corps wouldn't count as teaching experience and Teach for America only accepts applicants with no teaching license or degree in education so you won't qualify for that. You said you were planning to study abroad. Maybe you could find out about doing your student teaching at an international school, possibly one where you would like future employment. If not, try to student teach in a top public or private school, somewhere where they are doing really innovative things. Hiring is really tight in the US right now so use your student teaching experience to make connections. With your family situation you'll need those ties to help you get your foot in the door when you're ready to teach internationally and even to get a full time job in the U.S.[/quote]

Wow, thank you for that! I had no idea that Teach America only accepts applicants with no teaching license or degree in education.

I am with you 100% with EVERYTHING you said. I have realized that early on, that it is always about networking and who you know. I will continue to reach out to current international teachers and become involved. As someone once said to me "the world of education is smaller than one might think".

As far as student teaching internationally, I did notice that Search Associates helps people find 'intern positions' which are paid for and what not, just like a full-time position. Do you think it would be wise to look into this furthur? Just wondering if this is the same as student teaching?

Also, do you know of any other teaching organization (Like Teach for America) that would be useful to me for landing my first gig?

Thanks!

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