International Schools Review
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Switch to IS

Switch to IS

Postby Karooneet1 » Mon May 20, 2019 8:47 am

Hi,
I used to be an ESL teacher in Bangkok. After three years of teaching I went back to South Africa to obtain my Post Graduate Certificate in Education.
I returned back to Thailand in 2018 to start work in the English Program of a very good private Thai school.

I would like to make the switch to an international school in the next few years. The problem is that I don't have any experience in the British, US or IB curriculum. I am not going to go teach in either the US or the UK, which means I'll never have any experience in either of those curriculums. I can, however, do a post graduate or MA course in IB, which will make me an accredited IB teacher. The problem with that is the fact that I will be limited to IB schools.

I recently had a discussion with an acquaintance who works at a good international school about the best way to get into an IS. The said person believes that it is very much dependent on who you know, and that if you are a good teacher, you can get in.

I definitely want to do a MA as I believe it would go a long way. My question is, should I do one in IB or should I do a more general course to open me up for more opportunities.

I would also appreciate some recommendations with regards to distance learning/online MA programs.

Thank you very much.
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Re: Switch to IS

Postby shadowjack » Mon May 20, 2019 9:01 am

Doing an MA in IB with no IB experience is not the way to go.

As to being an English teacher - start applying to international schools AS an English teacher - don't doddle about and worry - teaching English is not US or UK dependent - the skills sets are very similar. I am a certified English teacher (though rarely teach it) and have taught English in UK schools and US schools - not a hugely different skill set or curricular knowledge needed...
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Re: Switch to IS

Postby shadowjack » Mon May 20, 2019 9:03 am

Karoneet - also, if you want to be an "accredited IB teacher" I'll give you a hint. There is no such animal. If you are a certified teacher, you can take a 600 dollar online workshop (might be 800 if you are not at an IB school, I forget) and be "accredited". It still won't open a lot of IB doors.

Find out the IB schools that are not as prestigious as others and which train you and then apply.
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Re: Switch to IS

Postby Karooneet1 » Mon May 20, 2019 10:04 am

Dear shadowjack,

Thanks for your reply.

What you say makes a lot of sense. I'm not an English teacher though. I teach grade 5 Science. I'm sure the same will apply. The friend of mine who works at an international school has said exactly what you said.
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Re: Switch to IS

Postby expatscot » Thu May 23, 2019 2:47 am

You're going to have to work your way up, I think, but what you want to do is not impossible.

First, I would look for IB schools which do the diploma, but which teach the English (not UK) curriculum up to Y11, so KS3, IGCSE, then IB Diploma. That way, you will gain the experience in the UK exam system and should be able to adapt to IGCSE pretty quickly, while gradually working up to IB. Don't look at the US schools, especially the lower tier ones - from my experience and that of a number of non-US colleagues, they tend to be a bit reluctant to even consider non-US teachers at any level.

Once you have the IB Diploma experience, then doors will open more for you. I've kind of followed that pattern and will be teaching IB next year for the first time, so hopefully that's me on track!
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Response

Postby PsyGuy » Fri May 31, 2019 4:34 am

Well you very likely ill have experience at some point in the UK and/or UK NCs, most of the ISs are NC ISs compared to IB.

An MA in IB education isnt going to make you very valuable in IB. The rule is no amount of training equals any amount of experience. First, most recruiters and leadership dont know or dont think much of the IB T&L certificates or the IB awards. Second, while a lot of the SLL curriculum including IBs DIP are congruent with one another, programs like PYP are very different than what most DTs learn int heir EPP/ITT program or even how they have practiced. If you need or want an MA, than one with an IB award is better than one without, but an MA with IB award isnt going to make you an IB accredited IT.

The requirements to be an IB accredited IT, which I agree with @SJ, really doesnt exist, is to meet the PD training requirements for authorization and a weekend F2F workshop or online workshop will accomplish that. There is some efficiency if you have a lot of credentials over a number of fields, but whether you obtain the PD training requirement though a workshop, an IB T&L certificate or another type of IB award all achieve the same goal. Even if you arent a credentialed DT/IT you can still take an IB workshop and meet the IB PD requirements.

To that end, you need classroom experience in IE in a K12/KS environment, start by building on your current credential and experience. Once youve built a resume for yourself you will be marketable to all kinds of ISs.
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Re: Switch to IS

Postby edwardwilson » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:07 am

I believe IB would be more beneficial for you than the other general courses.
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