How realistic are my chances of an IS job?

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mittheimp
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Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2024 9:16 pm

How realistic are my chances of an IS job?

Post by mittheimp »

Hi, and thanks for taking the time to read this.

I am wondering how realistic my chances are of getting an international school job.

I currently live in South Korea with two kids. The Korean education system is pretty brutal so the major motivation for seeking an IS job would be securing international school places for my kids. So having that as part of any package is essential.

I am a 50 year old British man.
I gained a PGCE back in 2004 in the subject of ‘Citizenship’ at secondary level. Citizenship relates to social science and humanities subjects.
Although I taught in a UK school for 18 months I never gained my QTS.
I also have an MA in TESOL, and a CELTA.
(So potentially I could teach ESL or humanities.)

For the last 17 years I have lived in South Korea – initially teaching ESL in a high school and for the last 11 teaching ESL in a Korean university.

I realise my age, non QTS and lack of recent specific experience goes against me. I’m aware China is the biggest market – so that is somewhere I’d consider. But I genuinely have no idea how possible this would be. Any solid advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
PsyGuy
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Location: Northern Europe

Inquiry

Post by PsyGuy »

What is wrong with you? But first, is there a spouse along with these two dependents?

Back to what is wrong with you, or more what arent you telling us, because something isnt right?
You have a PGCE that you got in 2004 back when you had to do a PGCE as a Uni program. A Uni conferring a PGCE without recommending QTS (as an NQT) is a very, very, rare event. You worked for 18 months though in the content area of citizenship so you had to be in a maintained (public/regulated) DS. So, you had to be in an induction program as an NQT (and thus have QTS), but to be at it for 18 months as opposed to the 1 AY as prescribed, its rare to have it extended but not impossible (usually its for medical reasons), but then even if you failed induction you would have received a barring order, you dont lose your QTS (even as an NQT). Even if you were list barred (99) for doing something bad, youd still retain your QTS. Even if youd had some unusual medical event, it doesnt track that it would have permitted you to graduate with the PGCE but not receive QTS but still teach for 18 months. So parsing the metrics:
1) Youre list barred or received a barring order and its easier to say you never got QTS then discuss it.
2) Some salacious drama happened (knocked out your headmaster, etc.) and some type of agreement was reached.
mittheimp
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Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2024 9:16 pm

Re: How realistic are my chances of an IS job?

Post by mittheimp »

Yes i do have a spouse.

There's nothing that wrong with me as far as i know. After completing my PGCE I couldn't initially find a permanent position (citizenship jobs were not that easy to find), so I covered a maternity leave for a term which then ended up as covering another maternity leave and then some other shortfall at the same school. As I was always there on an ad hoc basis I never started the process of ratifying my QTS. Something in hindsight i should have pushed to get done. I wasn't expecting to suddenly leave the profession but for personal reasons I then left the UK.
PsyGuy
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Location: Northern Europe

Inquiry II

Post by PsyGuy »

How do you not have QTS then? But first, what was your bachelors/first degree in?

Back to how do you not have QTS, because theres something still wrong here?
As I understand the chain of event: You completed your PGCE, your Uni recommended you for QTS, you received it making you an NQT, you worked a succession of maternity covers (substitute/supply/relief appointments). It gets murky again at this point regarding your induction status, but its also mostly moot because all the outcomes fail safe (in so far as QTS is concerned):
1) You never attempted induction because these were maternity (supply/relief/substitute) appointments and its unusual (not impossible) to participate in induction under such an appointment (the primary barrier in this case is there isnt a planned term of appointment for the entire AY). Youre thus still an NQT and still have your NQT QTS.
2) You attempted induction (an unusual pathway in this scenario) but never completed it to outcome. It just stalled somewhere without resolution and a report. Youre thus still an NQT and still have your NQT QTS.
3) You attempted QTS and were reported unsuccessful. Theres a barring order preventing you from teaching in maintained/public DSs. Youre no longer an NQT, you dont have a license, but you still retain your QTS credential, so you still have QTS.
4) You attempted QTS and were reported successful, you just never had it communicated to you. You now have full QTS, you just dont know it.
None of the scenarios result in an outcome where you dont have QTS in some form or another. In those where you remained an NQT you are now an ECT, but still have QTS. Have you looked on your teacher self service portal or contacted the TRA (TCL)?
mittheimp
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Re: How realistic are my chances of an IS job?

Post by mittheimp »

Hi. Thanks for your relpy. It was scenario 1, I checked out my status on the Gov.UK site and it does list me as having QTS. For some reason i thought there was a time limit before it expired - but reading on it i think that is just for supply teaching. So I am an ECT, all be it one that did a PGCE 20 years ago. My first degree was in Social science.
PsyGuy
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Response

Post by PsyGuy »

Its less the PGCE and more the QTS. It moves your from the ESOL ET to the IT pool. It also allows you to spin your ESOL in the Korean DE environment as applicable experience giving you about 8 years of IE experience, about 2 of which with the UK NC and a UK classroom. Thats valuable, theres an IT resume there.

So in response to your initial inquiry on your marketability as an IT:

Short Answer: Zero

Long Answer: Zero to Nil.

You have three major factors working against you:

Your Resume Doesnt Offer Much Value.
First, your not a social studies or humanities IT. Citizenship is a rare course and in the cases where it is its not enough of a instructional load to be an FTE appointment. Youd need something else, and the something else would be the bulk of your instructional load. You cant really teach anything like history or economics, maybe you could but theres isnt anything in the resume that says you could. Maybe some lower secondary social studies but thats pretty weak. You dont have experience or even much in the way of qualification for anything except ESOL. Thats what you are an ESOL IT.
Second, everythings really dated. You werent last in a K12/KS classroom over a decade ago, and closer to two decades for a BS classroom. Your teriary instructor/lecturer position provides some measure of current knowledge and best practices but its woefully incomplete for an ITs skill set.

Youre Way Too Expensive.
If you were single there would be a place for you in IE somewhere, and youd be worth a flyer maybe. The problem is an IS fills an ESOL classroom but has to travel four people to fill that classroom. 4 flights, a 3LDK apartment, insurance, 2 tuition/fee waivers/places, and everything else. There just isnt a critical shortage or high enough demand for an ESOL IT with your resume. You dont have IB, you dont know the US NC and your last look at the UK NC was close to 20 years ago. ESOL is the type of subject thats more aligned to ability levels rather than age/grade ranges after you get passed reading development and Im sure you could spin meds/peds/asst to being up to date on but behavior/classroom management, curriculum, etc. you dont have a lot of utility in those areas, and youd cost a lot. Youd probably be looking at cap for salary step and the masters for the advanced degree salary band. Youd cost more than what youd add.

You Wouldnt be Happy with the Education Received.
All the above there might be a few ISs that would be interested but while the SK DE system is brutal its rather high quality. Those ISs that would be maybe interested in you, you wouldnt be interested in them as the program they would provide your kids would be worse than what they are looking at now. I assume youd want your kids to do IGCSE and A levels so youre looking at a BS with a solid academics and likely a BSO and youre just not competitive for those ISs that youd be happy to send your kids to.

Moving Forward.
The only silver lining to this is you have everything to put together a reasonable resume for an IT. Your costs for trying are basically going to be a few quid. You dont need to add anything, you have a CELTA, a Masters, QTS, and a PGCE. Youve got 2 years of UK NC experience, and 6 more in an SK DS and youve not been doing nothing in ESOL for the last 11. You can register with SA for free if you register through the UK office (use an old address, or family or friend). Register with TES which is free and tends more towards BSs. TIE registration would cost you about £40/yr. That lets you peddle your resume and see what interest you get for pence rather than pounds. If your not completely frustrated with the reception youre getting you can then look at either the BKK or LON fairs which would add about £1000 in travel costs. About the only thing youd need to do at this point is collect your references and rewrite your resume for IE. Youre approach is youre qualified to Masters level, youre professionally and academically credentialed as a pro.edu, and you have a wide range of experience from beginner to advance in ESOL meds/peds/asst.
expatscot
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:26 am

Re: How realistic are my chances of an IS job?

Post by expatscot »

Going to disagree with psyguy here on the subject - I'm a Head of Humanities.

Firstly, you would a Humanities teacher. The subject of Citizenship as taught in KS3 & KS4 at the time you were in the UK is broadly an "introduction to politics" course - similar courses are taught elsewhere, such as Modern Studies in Scotland. The map across to international subjects is less clear, as this isn't really taught below A Level or IBDP, but you'd certainly be able to cover Cambridge's IGCSE Global Perspectives and similar courses.

Secondly, in most British schools, Humanities is a required subject at KS3 so all the classes pass through the department. It's quite easy to fill up a Humanities teacher timetable with KS3 classes if you have enough students. Your ESOL experience could be put to use here as this is where many kids really struggle - look at EAL jobs too.

However, I do agree about some of the disadvantages. You have two kids, so they are going to cost (you don't say how old they are, but this is significant - are we talking teenagers, or primary age kids?) Your own age might be a problem too - many countries start to have restrictions at around 55, and certainly by 60 some of the big ones like China are out.

On the whole, it's probably worth a punt. I'd focus on China now as that's where I suspect you might be more able to match what you are qualified to do with what you are expecting for your kids. Be aware, though, that Humanities teachers are ten-a-penny and it is competitive - you might be better applying for an EAL role but adding that you could teach some KS3 Humanities too.
PsyGuy
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Discussion

Post by PsyGuy »

Im going to disagree with @expatscot

This is IE not DE in the UK (Scotland, England, etc.).

Being a humanities IT in a specialty does not make an IT a humanities generalist. Being able to teach poli.sci doent mean the IT can teach history or anything else for that matter.

Could the LW teach poli.sci. Maybe, if the bachelors/first degree was in poli.sci. Id be more comfortable. The citizenship syllabus from the UK NC from 2 decades ago hits a few bullet points in the current poli. sci. syllabus but there are a lot of gaps. Could they teach the IGCSE GP course, again maybe. Were talking an LW who taught a year and a half almost 2 decades ago a related course that wasnt even around at that time.

Poli.Sci is a SLL level course, its one of many and limited to only a couples grades/years. I could see an IS being able to schedule a single course/form for each year/grade but thats at best half an instructional load. Its not like history thats taught at every secondary grade/year, and its not a popular or common course. For context, in IB "Global Politics" at HL had about 4,700 candidates sit. History at HL had about 37,000 candidates sit (At SL, Global Politics had an additional 3,100 and History an additional 8,600 sit)and thats just DIP it doesnt count all the other upper and lower secondary students (MYP final year candidates had about an additional 2,600 in history and 6,300 in humanities).
mittheimp
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Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2024 9:16 pm

Re: How realistic are my chances of an IS job?

Post by mittheimp »

I very much appreciate both of you taking time to respond. Thank you.

PsyGuy your answer is pretty much what I expected. i.e. My skillset is not in great demand, and having 2 kids enrolled in a school is an expensive package. I will nevertheless try my luck see what happens. Incidentally, I know ISs in Korea do have issues with having enough foreign passport students enrolled (the government demands a certain quota)- and maybe if they employ locally then the usual full package in terms of flights, insurance etc is more negotiable (i have no idea). So maybe looking in Korea is potentially a more likely route.

I got most of your abreviations - but what is SA?
sciteach
Posts: 258
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:49 am

Re: How realistic are my chances of an IS job?

Post by sciteach »

SA stands for Search Associates. This is a rather odd job agency compared to those found outside of teaching. Outside of the UK, it costs $225 USD to join and that's if you qualify. With your current experience (no official teaching experience) - I'd probably say they would not accept you.

What makes SA compared to other professions is they basically run a job board with confidential references (which you can't get since you have not worked at a registered school - or have not in 10+ years) and you contact the schools directly. Sometimes you get a response - but schools mainly ignore you.

The following is not true of all schools - but I find this to generally be true for many schools in the employability of people. This is from top to bottom - with some schools having different expectations.

Teaching Couple (no kids)
Single (no kids)
Teacher (with traveling spouse)
Teaching Couple (with kids)
Single (with kid)
Single teacher (with traveling spouse and kids)

Do note that some schools in asia put a high value on having some students at a school who are not local students. However - I do tend to say that students who are more "Western" in appearance tend to get more leeway.

If you do decide to teach in China - do your due diligence and research what your kids will be learning and experiencing in a mainly Chinese student environment. I would not have felt this way before the changed compulsory education laws in China a few years ago. I personally don't like them and will never teach at a school which has them - but I also believe that a country has a right to choose their own laws (no matter how much I disagree with them).

When it comes to subject employability - I don't know enough about your degree and specialization to accurately comment on that. I will say that Humanities / I & S is often seen as the "dime a dozen" type of teacher, which means there are lots of them and it's harder for good teachers in that field to get a job at a perceived high quality school say compared to someone who teaches math or science.

I'm also aware of some school in Vietnam and Thailand which have lower expectations for qualifications, but I've also heard of horror stories in how some of those schools are run and treat teachers.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10792
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Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@mittheimp

SA = Search Associates. They are a premium recruiting agency in IE. They are not an executive recruiting or head hunter agency. They dont do nearly that much work. They basically manage a database of IT dossiers and IS profiles that have vacancies. You can search for jobs and apply directly through their web portal, and occasionally, especially around fair events an IS will reach out to a candidate. In the UK public law makes it illegal to charge someone to find a job, so SA cant charge the USD$225 fee to IT candidates. SA doesnt do a lot access to the database is the focal benefit. On site, in person fairs are the secondary. Application and reference convenience are the tertiary benefits.

I disagree with @sciteach, you have the KS/K12 experience. You have two years in the UK and while they were maternity covers they were FTE and TOR appointments you also have the 6 years in SK ESOL you did at a DS and you did it under having QTS. If SA wants to accept you the experience and other requirements are there. If SA wants to reject you there is also ample reason, your age, your dated experience in KS/K12, youre very expensive and your teaching field (ESOL as well as humanities) is rather saturated.

I agree with @sciteach about the marketability of the various family dynamics. Kids are career killers. You find exceptions like you do everywhere. Where ITs make the mistake is thinking the exceptions are going to happen and benefit them and then they get frustrated when they find out they dont or the exceptions are very few and far between.

There are ISs that will be interested in western/anglo ITs kids, its becoming less common that thats a driving factor. Its easier and cheaper to hire kids with the right look from a talent agency and use those for the photos in various IE marketing, but stock photography and now with AI those images are even easier to procure and dont cost a tuition/fee waiver/place. I imagine living in SK your spouse in SK, and so your kids are likely dont have the full anglo look.

Discussing your humanities marketability and utility is a red herring, youre not a humanities IT, youre an ESOL IT, thats where the resume is. Youre humanities IT resume has much less experience on it and its a lot more dated than your ESOl resume, the ESOL resume is the strongest. There are a number of teaching areas that are saturated, and some including humanities are over saturated.

There are numerous hardship regions both outside and inside of Asia (Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, etc) and would also include China and SK. The little tiger regions in Asia (JP, HK, SG, etc.) are the small group of regions not considered a hardship.
SK is a bit of an anomaly in IE, it has a small first tier, an almost empty second tier and a robust third tier. Its part of the contributing factors to why SK is part of the hardship group (though much less so than some of the regions), its very difficult to get out of the third tier while staying in SK. If you arent recruited into a first tier IS bringing an IT to SK then they tend to languish in the third tier longer or they transition out of SK.

Pursuing a local job search in SK is certainly a worthy idea. I see it having three problems though.
The first is, as I discussed in element three above, the quality of the edu and the IS. Theres about three BSs in SK youd be happy sending your kids to. Maybe two more youd be comfortable with. Less than ten total if you look outside of BSs that would be okay. Those ISs usually dont have to compromise when it comes to recruiting.
The second issue is that as an LH (Local Hire) you usually dont qualify for tuition/fee waiver/places. In an OSH package those are the bulk of the cost. The ledger value is about 12K per student and the actual value varies considerably depending on the ISs enrollment and and what age/grade level. The cost of the comp benefits in an OSH package (flights, housing, insurance, etc.) combined for a family is equal to or less than a single tuition/fee waiver/place. Thats a big ask even as an LH for an ESOL IT in a region with a lot of ESOL practitioners.
Third, youve got 11 years at a SK Uni, IE would probably amount to a haircut in coin. Without an OSH package its going to hurt a lot more.
expatscot
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:26 am

Re: Discussion

Post by expatscot »

PsyGuy wrote:
> Im going to disagree with @expatscot
>
> This is IE not DE in the UK (Scotland, England, etc.).
>
> Being a humanities IT in a specialty does not make an IT a humanities
> generalist. Being able to teach poli.sci doent mean the IT can teach
> history or anything else for that matter.

Yes, it does. Have a look at virtually any British school across the globe, and you will see history, geography, politics, psychology, business, and economics teachers all teaching humanities to Y7, 8 and 9 - as combined courses. You will also see history teachers teaching geography at IGCSE, maths teachers teaching psychology, and economics teachers teaching politics.

If you are a humanities teacher in any British school internationally, it is very, very unlikely that you will be expected, or indeed able, to teach only the subject your degree or PGDE is in. Frankly, it's the only way they can maintain a full KS3 curriculum.

I agree with you to a point in that it's unlikely the OP specifically would get a job at at middle-to-top tier school, but he might at a lower level (although this wouldn't be great for his kids, which is his priority.) But more generally, for those with much more recent experience, it's not necessarily impossible.
PsyGuy
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@expatscot

No, it is not. Take a better look there. The A* psychology DT/IT is not teaching A* geography or A* history. I previously wrote that the LW 'MAY' be able to teach some lower secondary humanities including integrated social studies and humanities.

Its true even for third tier (floater third tier ISs at least) because humanities ITs are a pence apiece. They can get a lower secondary IT who has more recent and current experience than one whose last experience with the curriculum was nearly two decades ago.
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