Assorted newbie questions

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REmmerink
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Location: Latin America

Assorted newbie questions

Post by REmmerink »

Dear all,

I am 30 years of age and Dutch. I have a MA in Globalization and Development Studies (fully English taught program) and a BEd in History from a respected Dutch university of applied science. I have some prior experience in teaching history and geography to high school students, ranging in age from 11 to 17, mainly through internships and tutoring activities. So although my experiences are not that impressive, I do have some experience as every teacher in the Netherlands will have to complete four internships at different schools before being able to graduate, with an accumulated number of hours close to 500.

I have been checking out the possibilities for me to pursue a career on international schools, but I guess that you, as experts, can probably already answer some of my questions.

1: Is it even possible for a non-native English speaker to work on a IS abroad?

2: What are the chances for me to get a job on a IS. I have already registered for the major recruiting companies (Search Associates, TIC recruitment, TeachAway, etc), but am curious to know if this is the best way to go about it.

3: What geographical areas would you recommend me? I am not in it for the money, but for the teaching experience and personal and professional development.

4: Is it obligatory to attend one of these fairs I keep reading about? I think it would be able for me to attend the one in London next January, but I cannot really say that I can afford it at the moment.

Let's stick with these four questions for now. If I have any other, I will post them in the thread.

Thank you for all the answers, it is highly appreciated!

Best,
R.
Last edited by REmmerink on Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
sid
Posts: 1357
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Post by sid »

Being a second language English speaker isn't per se an issue. Teachers from different mother tongues are in the minority on the international circuit, but they are definitely out there. I can name at least 6 within my current school, without even thinking too hard.
Your main challenge will be the lack of teaching experience and possibly the lack of a clear qualification.
Teaching experience counts when it is full-time, in your own classroom, for a year or more at a stretch. Part-time, tutoring, internships and practicums do not count. You will need to get more experience before you will be truly competitive or even eligible for most positions. Generally schools want at least 2 years full-time experience at a minimum before they can even consider your application. Any school that doesn't, is a school to ask questions about.
Your qualification is a bit unclear. The names of your degrees don't mention teaching, but you do mention internships. You will need to make this very clear in your applications, as without a recognized teaching qualification, there are countries and schools that cannot hire you.

Is it possible that the agencies you registered with are considering you as a potential internship candidate? From your CV as you presented it, that seems possible, and would raise questions about whether there's a match between what you're expecting, and what you might get. Schools might be happy to hire you as a teaching assistant or intern (both low paid), which come with no guarantee of ever being able to move up to full teaching positions. And neither count as the experience you need to get hired in other schools.

No, going to a fair is not required, but I personally recommend it for candidates with less experience. It will give you a chance to meet many recruiters, learn a lot, and sell yourself personally, which you can't do through on-line applications.
shadowjack
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Post by shadowjack »

The CIS fair in London might be the best for you to hit up.
REmmerink
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:58 am
Location: Latin America

Post by REmmerink »

Dear Sid and Shadowjack,

Thank you both for your answers, I highly appreciate it!

About my qualification: I posses an Europass diploma supplement, identifying my degree at the Uni of Applied Sciences. It mentions that my degree is called BEd, Teacher Education in History. It also mentions my minors, the workload (240 ECTS), my grades and acquired competences. Is this supplement enough to demonstrate my qualifications? I would also have the ability to request an additional declaration of teaching at the Dutch government if necessary.

I already guessed that, with my lack of experience, a teaching position on an IS would be hard to acquire. However, I would be more than glad to work as an intern or a teaching assistent. I already requested this at Search Associates. Are there any other ways how to go about this? And what would be the best geographical regions to focus on then?

Thanks again,
Ralph
sid
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Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Post by sid »

Be very careful about working as a teaching assistant. Such work will not count as teaching experience, so you'll be in the exact same not-so-great position when you next go out to recruit.
Some schools can't even promote you internally from assistant or intern to teacher. If their policy is that they can only hire teachers with at least x years of experience, and teaching assistant/intern doesn't count, then they can't even promote you if they want to.
Of course, some schools are more flexible than that and their policies will allow them to promote an internal (known) candidate with fewer paper qualifications than are required for external (unknown) candidates. But be careful. If you're fully qualified as a teacher, and yes your paperwork does clarify that you are, then you shouldn't be looking for work as an assistant. You don't want to get shunted into a track from which there is no escape.
REmmerink
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:58 am
Location: Latin America

Post by REmmerink »

Thanks!

So if intern positions and teacher assistent positions would not be the best approach, what would you recommend then, besides trying to get more teaching experience here in the Netherlands?
sid
Posts: 1357
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Post by sid »

Find a school that will take you as a teacher. You'll have to start in less popular and/or weaker schools, but this can be valuable if you're prepared for it. It'll be a challenge, but can be fun. It can also be absolutely awful for someone who is less independent and needs/wants more support in their early years of teaching. Only you can say whether you are ready to go it alone, no admin support, in a school with very limited resources and possibly challenging children. There are lovely schools out there, with small enrollment and limited resources, that are absolutely lovely, don't get me wrong, but no matter what you have to be prepared for independence, whereas most new teachers really benefit from having lots of mentoring.
Or, as you say, get more experience before leaving your home country.
REmmerink
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Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:58 am
Location: Latin America

Post by REmmerink »

Okay, and how to find these schools that will hire a less or inexperienced teacher?

And would you recommend to approach them via these agencies, or via a more direct approach by sending motivation letters and C.V.s to individual schools? I guess that the ME or SE-Asia would be the best place to start, right?
scribe
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Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:18 am

Post by scribe »

Due to so many new schools opening in the UAE, in addition to the public schools hiring thousands - yes, thousands - of international teachers, it is possible to get decent positions without previous international experience which offer good experience, pay, housing, professional development, and resume building. Even established international schools do hire some teachers straight out of the university, so don't be afraid to try. If you are willing to be a middle years specialist in history (gr. 7-10) and post your email here, I can email you one possibility with details.....
REmmerink
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Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:58 am
Location: Latin America

Post by REmmerink »

That would be great, thanks!

You can reach me at :
Last edited by REmmerink on Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
REmmerink
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Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:58 am
Location: Latin America

Post by REmmerink »

Dear Scribe, I am still waiting anxiously for your mail :wink:
scribe
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:18 am

Post by scribe »

Sorry, have tried twice and can't get through some sort of security server -perhaps because it's coming from the Middle East?
REmmerink
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:58 am
Location: Latin America

Post by REmmerink »

Hmmm, strange..

Can you try: baronmunchhausen21@yahoo.nl ?

Thanks in advance!
REmmerink
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:58 am
Location: Latin America

Post by REmmerink »

Thanks for the mail Scribe, much appreciated!

If anyone has any more advice on the matters at hand, please feel free to participate in this thread!

Thx
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