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Questions for possible career changer

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Postby PsyGuy » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:44 am

@geoguy

In reply to your inquiry:

1) You could but EEu also has third tier ISs, and that seems to be your primary focus, its less about the job (as long as youre in IE) and more about you getting to be where you want to live. You would be competing in the IE market as an intern class IT as none of your tertiary experience really counts, but geography is a common subject in BSs (not in ASs), and you have a Ph.D in the field which would give you an edge. You would be in a better position than most intern class ITs. So sure its possible, its not even improbable, the issue is going to be how competitive the Ph.D and your experience as a lecturer compare to other IT candidates with a lower degree but more applicable classroom experience. At the intern and even entry class IT levels your competitive, but unless an IS has a very old school BS program thats essentially a 1st year Uni lecture seminar, and thats what they want to keep doing, than the degree means less and less and more about transferring knowledge to adolescents at SLL, and you have no SLL curriculum experience at AP/DIP/A*.

2) Yes its young enough to be hired, you dont start hitting problems until your 50.
If you did return to the UK I wouldnt do a PGCE, there are many routes to QTS, you would be eligible for the Researchers in Schools (RIS) program which provides significant benefits including a 100% free training program culminating in QTS, while your working on a full salary in a DS for those two years. You get longer breaks and a shorter work week. The MO->QTS is really only if you dont want to return to the UK at all.

3) In general ESOL is a faster entry into a region, but at the cost of lower comp. Your a UK citizen/subject you can work (as of now, this very second) anywhere in the EU you want, you just go there. EEu is usually easier to get into than WEu, but in your case EEu would be more difficult, but not anymore difficult than it would be for anyone else (visas are generally easier). Africa and LCSA are usually pretty easy to get into, its a serious hardship post, LCSA doesnt have very good comp except at the elite tier ISs and most of the African region especially Egypt have extensive recruiting needs. You could reasonable start in those regions at some tier of an IS as an intern class IT.
If your goal is going to Russia/Ukraine or EEu getting there through an ESOL appointment is going to be faster, easier and more convenient, but the coin is pretty horrible until your managing an ES. A masters in ESOL is really only useful if your goal is a Uni appointment (compared to an ES), and you could more easily get a geography appointment with your resume. A CELTA (DELTA) course would be appropriate and marketable.
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Re: Questions for possible career changer

Postby geoguy » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:59 pm

@PsyGuy
Many thanks for your response. Interesting to learn about RIS, will look into it.

Just to clarify please...
When you say 'intern class IT' do you mean an intern as in internship - like a teaching assistant to a teacher?
Re it being harder after 50 does that apply even to positions in more hardship locations?
In point 3 you mention that EEur would be more difficult for me to get into in my case - why might that be?

Thanks again!
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Postby PsyGuy » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:33 pm

@geoguy

In reply to your inquiries:

1) No, intern class ITs are the lowest class of professional IT on the PASS (scores around 0), its general description is a professional IT/DT who is fully credentialed but lacks the requisite 2 years of professional experience, post credential in a KS/K12 environment, search the forum for PASS if you want the full table..

2) Yes, though its relative, post 50 in one region can have better worse utility and marketability than another region, but at 50 an ITs priority is finding a region that your going to retire out of, because your ageing incredibly fast between visa restrictions and the energy of younger ITs, you either need to be settled in your IS or moving into or already being in leadership.

3) My assumption is your a UK Citizen which makes you an EU citizen and you can work anywhere (as of this moment) in the WEu without a visa. Compared to EEu youre in the same position as everyone else in that you need a visa to work in Russia or Ukraine, etc., meaning you need a sponsor and thus an appointment first before you can realistically relocate to the EEu.
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Re: Questions for possible career changer

Postby geoguy » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:12 pm

@PsyGuy

Thank you again! With best wishes
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Re: Questions for possible career changer

Postby geoguy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:14 pm

Hello again,

Thank you for all the previous assistance. I just have a few queries further, if you don't mind:

1) What is the potential for getting a permanent job in an IS? One of the issues I have faced working in foreign unis is that I am always on contracts; is it perhaps a bit more secure in ISs? Or does it vary by country/region?

2) If I obtain QTS through Missouri program @PsyGuy referred to, then I assume I will mostly be employable at 3rd tier ISs. After two years there and performing well is it conceivable I will be marketable at 2nd tier or higher (even without PGCE and 2 years in a DS)?

3) What if I wanted to return later on to UK and teach there, would lack of PGCE be an issue? Would only the private schools be an option?

4) I have seen an MA Education that would allow me to specialise in foreign language pedagogy. I am interested in it as it would allow me work in universities teaching academic English in countries that rarely advertise for Geography lecturers. Would an MA Education with specialisation in foreign language pedagogy be seen favorably at all if I also applied to work in ISs teaching Geography (so in this case I would have MA Education plus PhD Geography and QTS through Missouri program)? (just to keep my options open!)

Thank you again for your help with this. Kind regards
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Postby PsyGuy » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:39 am

@geoguy

Outside of the WEu in regions that have collective bargaining or ISs that have established a tenure system, there arent permenant contracts. IE contracts are generally term contracts, two years being the most common. Generally in such ISs that have permenant/tenure contracts you have between 3 months and a year of probation and then between 1 and 3 years before you receive tenure/permenant contract, which varies by region and locality.

Yes, you will have the same general marketability and utility track as an IT. How you got credentialed matters more early in an ITs career when their resume is pretty lite, as you gain experience the route you took to getting a credential matters less, what matters is your performance in the classroom and on SLL assessments. Its that performance (and your fit as an employee) that matters in navigating up through tiers.

If you have QTS, regardless of how you got it and a doctorate in your teaching subject your not going to be at a disadvantage lacking a PGCE in a high needs teaching field. Both independent and maintained DSs will be available options.

It would be an advantage though likely not a worth pursuit or meaningful advantage. Youre going to find more marketability getting an edu masters in IE than a Masters in TESOL. No amount of training equals any amount of experience is the rule. The only significant benefit a Masters in TESOL is going to be is in applying for Uni ESOL vacancies. At this point your priority should be getting into a KS/K12 classroom, not adding additional academic qualifications.
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Re: Questions for possible career changer

Postby geoguy » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:59 pm

@Psyguy, thank you again for the really helpful responses. For those schools that offer contracts are they usually renewable (e.g. until either . wants a change, or until the teacher retires?)? Cheers
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Re: Questions for possible career changer

Postby Thames Pirate » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:49 am

In Western Europe you typically can get what amounts to tenure after your initial contract. It's very difficult for a school to get rid of you.

In most other countries it's by contract. In some of those even the contracts can be easily ignored, particularly by leadership. If you want a permanent contract, you would almost certainly have to be in WE or possibly the odd outlier. That said, good schools like to keep good teachers, so if you are at a halfway decent school and you want to stay, you will generally have the option. Recruiting is time consuming, stressful, and expensive (consider just the relocation costs!), and too much turnover destabilises a school.

Good schools tend to keep good people.
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Postby PsyGuy » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:56 pm

@geoguy

Almost all ISs offer a contract. Typically the initial contract is for 1-3 years (with 3-5 being more common in senior and executive leadership). A portion of that first contract, usually 3 months too a year is probationary. Then in regions that have tenure/permenant status sometime after the first year or the initial contract you get tenure and become much, much more difficult to dismiss.
Outside of the tenure/permenant contract system renewals are typically available upon mutual agreement. There are some employers, locations and regions where contracts are term limited, meaning that the IS either cant employ you further beyond a set number of years or doing so is the equivalent of granting you tenure or making you a permenant or lifetime appointee, and as such it almost never happens. Outside of the WEu, Japans shushin-koyo is a system you can still find in place at ISs that are connected to/part of (not just affiliated) to JP Uni entities.
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Re: Questions for possible career changer

Postby geoguy » Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:09 am

Ok thank you again all for the really helpful advice and info. Kind regards!
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Re: Questions for possible career changer

Postby geoguy » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:00 pm

Hello all (@psyguy in particular)

I saw a job advert for a Geography teacher at a school in eastern europe that has certain requirements (see below). With a PhD in Geography (several years teaching experience at uni level) and assuming I get QTS through the MI route, might I be considered even though I do not meet some of the essential criteria, like IB curriculum, 2 years teaching experience (i.e. would I have any chance to be selected for positions with such requirements)?

Requirements
Bachelor Degree (Master in education is a plus)
Teaching qualification from English speaking country (Bed, Med,PGCE, SACE, Teaching license)
*Please note that TEFL, TESOL, CELTA are not teaching qualifications
A minimum of 2 years of full-time teaching experience.
Experience with international school is a plus.
IB curriculum teaching experience is a essential.
Substantial experience and excellent references.

Thank you for your assistance with this.
Regards,
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Postby PsyGuy » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:39 pm

@geoguy

You may very well be considered. First, when ISs write these requirements they are more a wish list of the ideal candidate than all of them are hard written in stone requirements. Some of them can be, items such as credentials and degrees may be necessary for visa and immigration, but some of them such as IB experience, etc. are more wants than needs, and they may be wants that are flexible. Second, the requirements may have compensations for something not listed that may very well substitute, such as your Uni experience and doctorate. SLL among curriculums is very congruent, and SLL is generally aligned with first year Uni course. Third, costs of applying are almost zero. You likely spent more time writing this inquiry than you would have sending your application materials. You miss every shot you dont take and there is no negative to applying except they might decline and your out nothing more than a few minutes of your time.
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Re: Questions for possible career changer

Postby geoguy » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:13 pm

Ok thank you again @psyguy, much appreciated!
Cheers
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Re: Questions for possible career changer

Postby GrumblesMcGee » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:14 pm

You'd probably be considered. At the risk of sounding arrogant, if you aren't considered, it doesn't strike me as a place you'd want to work anyway. You're overqualified for IE, but lack a track record of success (at the K-12 level, internationally, and in a specific curriculum). Some schools will understandably cross you off the list for that reason. Most schools that will cross you off will do so for short-sighted reasons.

My reading of the market when it comes to IB schools is that far too many of them are locked into an insistence on a very specific type of experience: IB experience (and often IB experience in the exact course/area they want to fill). On the other end of the spectrum, there are (subjectively terrible) IB schools that seem desperate for decent teachers (or, occasionally, just anyone with paper qualifications) and who don't care and are (ostensibly) willing to help you get the training you need. There seems to me to be far too little in between those two extremes.

I'm still fairly new to the game, but I've met a lot of excellent teachers with IB experience, both in their present roles or in previous jobs. I get that there are some elite schools "have their pick" and feel emboldened to narrow the field of candidates. After all, if you're at Elite International and can get 200 applicants who fit your narrow criteria, why open it up to someone who doesn't? I get that logic, but there are two problems with it.

First, far too many schools hire that way and aren't as great as they think they are. When Middle-of-the-Road International starts acting like Elite International and imposing the same restrictions on who they'll consider, that signals something to dedicated, skilled, and otherwise-qualified teachers: they're better off sticking to a non-IB track. If they want to crack into IB, they'll either have to cobble together IB qualifications on their own (which IB makes really hard, in a puzzling/cultish way), or they'll have to settle for what's left in the IB marketplace: schools that are desperate enough to hire non-IB teachers and coach them up. It's unfortunate that there doesn't seem to be much middle ground. And it's even more unfortunate that schools that consider themselves elite lack the will (or capacity) to bring in excellent teachers whose only "flaw" is that they're not ready to seamlessly take the baton and autopilot IB courses. These are precisely the schools that should be taking a "chance" on a Ph.D. like you, and you're precisely the kind of candidate they should be looking at (someone with higher ed experience in the U.S. who can help their students prepare for success at that level). With hiring--especially elite-school hiring--taking place so far in advance of the employment start date, there's no reason an elite school with IB needs can't hire a good teacher and arrange for them to get up and running with IB training before their contract starts.

The other side of this coin is that an overinsistence on IB experience leads to a market with plenty of mediocre teachers having IB experience simply because they're willing to take the bottom-rung jobs. So while you're not a candidate to cross over from a great non-IB school (or from higher ed), opportunistic teachers with mediocre CVs can take a job at a dodgy start-up or for-profit IB school, pad their CVs with certs and evals from whoever is overseeing them, and climb the ladder.

I admire the IB ethos and curriculum, but I don't give extra value to someone being an IB teacher with 7 years of experience because I know the organization and its schools have (perhaps inadvertently) transformed it into a cultish and exclusive club. Mandy Mediocre can squeak through their B.A. in math at Fourth-Tier Western Central Tech, tack on a teaching certification, and quietly grab IB experience at China. If they don't make waves, they'll get good evaluations and references. Maybe they interview well and have nice facial features. They're the pretty (usually white) face leadership hopes will sell parents on their school. Next thing you know, they're moving up to a mid-level school. They're doing their in-house PD, and maybe their employer pays for them to get an online M.A. I'm not people with this trajectory can't be great teachers, or shouldn't be considered by top schools, but how is that seven years more valuable than your seven years (or more)? You spent that time earning legitimate content-area advanced degrees and picking up teaching experience teaching at advanced levels that mid-level international schools (likely with lots of mid-level local students and not advanced, native-English speaking students) can't even dream of. But to the elite schools, you (often) are not even a viable candidate. Mandy Mediocre is...and some schools will consider them a far better option: more prepared in the short-term without much orientation...and cheaper.
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