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The International Teaching Thread
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TheBulldozer Offline
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The International Teaching Thread
After quite a bit of demand over the years, I have decided to start this thread to talk about working in international schools. International schools are not English teaching centers.

I work in an international school in a leadership role. Because of how small the international school world is, I will occasionally misrepresent my location or previous work experience for the purpose of anonymity, however I will contribute with factual anecdotes and understandings.

Sharing a bit more about international schools; at the highest end, international schools break the mold of what education is perceived to be. International schools are accredited but generally not bound by tax dollars, bureaucracy or stupidity. The people I work with and have come across at conferences are the most intelligent people in the world regarding teaching, learning and brain development. Combine this and a spirit of innovation, with a lack of bureaucracy, and I would argue the programs that top tier international high schools are turning out are superior to any learning experience a young person could receive. Bar none.

Even working at a middling international school makes for an interesting and potentially lucrative experience, while also providing the setting to live anywhere in the world.

I strongly recommend other men to explore the possibility of educating abroad. It's a blissful life to earn a quality salary, pay no taxes, have 13 weeks off a year, travel extensively, and be exposed to unique business opportunities. Senior members of the forum can vouch for my lifestyle and overall satisfaction with my career.

Instead of laying out a full on data sheet, I'd rather share information based on specific questions or concerns. I also encourage other forum members who also work in this field(and I know you existBanana) to contribute.
(This post was last modified: 05-30-2017 09:58 AM by TheBulldozer.)
05-30-2017 09:58 AM
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
Thanks for starting this thread. This might fit better in Travel than in Lifestyle but it's a bit of a hybrid topic in any event.

My stab at a definition: The term 'international school' typically refers to a private/independent school with an English language curriculum but that is located in a non-English speaking country. Some of the students will be the children of foreigners who are working in the country, army brats, etc. Other students may be local children who want an English-based curriculum.

Hiring may be done at job fairs (as is the case for independent schools in general). You can also work with an agency. You typically need substantial teaching experience.

I've never taught at an international school, but the people I've met here who do earn much more than what people typically do in the local economy (and more than teachers do in other schools). A Canadian woman who teaches English literature and a German guy who teaches German language. Both had solid teaching experience in their home countries before coming here.

Substitute teaching could be a good option for someone who is already on the ground, has a flexible schedule and could fill in last minute. Schools seem to have a process for this. I assume they want to see some teaching experience and subject matter expertise, but surely they are more flexible in terms of credentials than they would be for a full-time post.
05-30-2017 11:29 AM
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Heart Break Kid Offline
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
(05-30-2017 09:58 AM)MaleDefined Wrote:  After quite a bit of demand over the years, I have decided to start this thread to talk about working in international schools. International schools are not English teaching centers.

I work in an international school in a leadership role. Because of how small the international school world is, I will occasionally misrepresent my location or previous work experience for the purpose of anonymity, however I will contribute with factual anecdotes and understandings.

Sharing a bit more about international schools; at the highest end, international schools break the mold of what education is perceived to be. International schools are accredited but generally not bound by tax dollars, bureaucracy or stupidity. The people I work with and have come across at conferences are the most intelligent people in the world regarding teaching, learning and brain development. Combine this and a spirit of innovation, with a lack of bureaucracy, and I would argue the programs that top tier international high schools are turning out are superior to any learning experience a young person could receive. Bar none.

Even working at a middling international school makes for an interesting and potentially lucrative experience, while also providing the setting to live anywhere in the world.

I strongly recommend other men to explore the possibility of educating abroad. It's a blissful life to earn a quality salary, pay no taxes, have 13 weeks off a year, travel extensively, and be exposed to unique business opportunities. Senior members of the forum can vouch for my lifestyle and overall satisfaction with my career.

Instead of laying out a full on data sheet, I'd rather share information based on specific questions or concerns. I also encourage other forum members who also work in this field(and I know you existBanana) to contribute.


So I am finishing my undergrad degree and I have a couple of questions about graduate school

- Is a masters degree in education with no work experience good enough qualification to teach at international schools? (perhaps not the top ones, but I'm assuming some are easier to get into than others?)

Ideally, I would like to teach something social studies oriented if that makes any difference.

- In countries like the USA, special education teachers are in high demand. Is there any market for this in something a bit more niche like International Schools or is the pool of special need kids too small of a community in the international circles?
(This post was last modified: 05-30-2017 11:46 AM by Heart Break Kid.)
05-30-2017 11:46 AM
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Elster Away
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
Any suggestions to start out for someone versed in languages but no teaching or language titles?

We move between light and shadow, mutually influencing and being influenced through shades of gray...
05-30-2017 12:04 PM
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Phoenix Offline
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
I have a few:

(05-30-2017 09:58 AM)MaleDefined Wrote:  I would argue the programs that top tier international high schools are turning out are superior to any learning experience a young person could receive. Bar none.

1. Tell me more about why this is.

2. What is the usual minimum hiring requirement?

3. Do they offer discounts to teaching parents enrolling their kids at the school, and how common is this?

Cheers
05-30-2017 12:37 PM
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Razors Edge Offline
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
(05-30-2017 12:37 PM)Phoenix Wrote:  I have a few:

(05-30-2017 09:58 AM)MaleDefined Wrote:  I would argue the programs that top tier international high schools are turning out are superior to any learning experience a young person could receive. Bar none.

1. Tell me more about why this is.

2. What is the usual minimum hiring requirement?

3. Do they offer discounts to teaching parents enrolling their kids at the school, and how common is this?

Cheers

1. Because Top Tier International Schools are IB curriculum based. A pedagogy set around 'enquiry based' learning enabling students to question things and drive their own learning and thinking....basically learning how to learn... providing them with dispositions/skill sets that they can use in everyday life.
Unlike back home where it is still a lot of old school teacher talk style stuff...memorise for a test and certain marks etc

2. Bachelor of education and 2 years experience back home. To get into a top tier school you will probably need some International Experience also and IB experience/training goes a long way.

3. Yes there is definitely discount sometimes free I believe.
05-31-2017 03:01 AM
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
I'm getting a teaching certificate right now, could I find a job at an international school with no teaching experience? Bachelors in economics and a teaching certificate.
05-31-2017 03:13 AM
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Moto Offline
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
Here is a trick to getting hired with little/no experience.. Be available and ready to go. During normal hiring season things are competitive. But sometimes teachers leave unexpectedly and schools are in a pinch. I found TIE (The International Educator website) to be a relatively inexpensive way to see lots of recent job offerings around the world from decent schools.

Do this along with some TEFL teaching (at home or abroad). This doesn't count as international teaching experience per se, but certainly doesn't hurt and provides a reason why you don't currently have a teaching job. This can be a short-term strategy of something to do while waiting for a better teaching job. Also the international schools probably won't look too closely at the TEFL experience, and won't think they're drawing from the reject pile while hiring.

But this stuff isn't easy, and it varies a lot from person to person. It requires some basic competency at a wide range of skill sets, from classroom behavior management to lesson planning, material and curriculum development, and so on. In the US, there is a lot more in place to help develop new teachers. You get a mentor teacher and so forth. In the international world it is sink or swim.
05-31-2017 07:07 AM
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
(05-30-2017 12:37 PM)Phoenix Wrote:  I have a few:

(05-30-2017 09:58 AM)MaleDefined Wrote:  I would argue the programs that top tier international high schools are turning out are superior to any learning experience a young person could receive. Bar none.

1. Tell me more about why this is.

As I noted in my initial post, we aren't bound by bureaucracy or standardization. While we're not 'businesses', we have to pay the bills and compete with other schools in the city/country/region.

This allows these schools to be incubators of learning and innovation. If both the research and our intuition tell us there is a better way to educate, it's much easier to put into practice.

If you're curious, read the high school handbooks for top tier international schools and see what they're doing. Some examples include:

A top school in Beijing has done away with schedules. Learn what you want, when you want to, because you want to, and get mentored in those areas by experts.

A top school in Hong Kong has effectively done away with grading in the traditional sense.

A top school in Singapore requires seniors to engage in a year of field research on a topic to graduate.

I was at a conference in Singapore a few months and sat next to a Japanese student living in Indonesia. I asked her where she was studying and how she liked the school. She told me she was going to present this summer at a data analytics conference hosted by IBM regarding how she's used big data analytics and designed a multivariable function to predict the spread of radical Islam and terrorism, and the implications it would have for South East Asia.

Mindblown

I can give more examples, but you see the point. Top schools laugh at universities and what they require. They've effectively said, "You're out of date and we don't care what you require. We do this better than you do anyway and we still know you'll accept our students. Deal with it."
(This post was last modified: 05-31-2017 07:12 AM by TheBulldozer.)
05-31-2017 07:10 AM
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
International schools review website is a good point to start. Especially the section where you out for an annual fee. You get in depth reviews of specific schools. The free section is great too.

There are a few rvf members on here who are teaching at top tier schools. more money but sometimes more stress. The IB schools are unique. They want experience in IB but how do you get any when thy won't hire you withou any. Catch 22. Exceptions happen of course.

Folks the hiring season is heavy in December, January and February. Many teachers quit or don't show up in September etc. So, keep your eyes open for last minute opps. Even after te Christmas break.mmany teachers don't come back. Here you can dictate more terms. For example, in January say you will stay on till June. So "6" months. However, Reports are due what first week of June. (elementary)Parents start taking the kids out in June and by mid June you have 20% of the class. So you group classes together and chill with other teachers till the end. Add in the various holidays, you only "work" 4.5 months ish. If you like the place sign on for an extension. If not, you get a new reference and experience.

Best of luck folks,
05-31-2017 11:07 AM
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
International schools review website is a good point to start. Especially the section where you out for an annual fee. You get in depth reviews of specific schools. The free section is great too.

There are a few rvf members on here who are teaching at top tier schools. more money but sometimes more stress. The IB schools are unique. They want experience in IB but how do you get any when thy won't hire you withou any. Catch 22. Exceptions happen of course.

Folks the hiring season is heavy in December, January and February. Many teachers quit or don't show up in September etc. So, keep your eyes open for last minute opps. Even after te Christmas break.mmany teachers don't come back. Here you can dictate more terms. For example, in January say you will stay on till June. So "6" months. However, Reports are due what first week of June. (elementary)Parents start taking the kids out in June and by mid June you have 20% of the class. So you group classes together and chill with other teachers till the end. Add in the various holidays, you only "work" 4.5 months ish. If you like the place sign on for an extension. If not, you get a new reference and experience.

Best of luck folks,
05-31-2017 12:55 PM
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Moto Offline
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
I, as an international school teacher, have a question for OP. How would one go about pursuing leadership roles, ideally without ever working/teaching within the US? Are there any broadly recognized online masters degrees is administration?
05-31-2017 04:16 PM
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Suits Offline
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
(05-31-2017 07:10 AM)MaleDefined Wrote:  A top school in Beijing has done away with schedules. Learn what you want, when you want to, because you want to, and get mentored in those areas by experts.

Which school is this?

I'm the King of Beijing!
05-31-2017 06:20 PM
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Adrenaline Offline
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
I'm a fully qualified primary school teacher in Australia, and will have 2 years experience by years end, but only in relief work (which is my preference at home- same pay, less responsibility). Is relief teaching counted as the 2 years experience necessary for international schools?
06-02-2017 12:21 AM
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Moto Offline
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
(06-02-2017 12:21 AM)Adrenaline Wrote:  I'm a fully qualified primary school teacher in Australia, and will have 2 years experience by years end, but only in relief work (which is my preference at home- same pay, less responsibility). Is relief teaching counted as the 2 years experience necessary for international schools?

It won't count as the standard 2 years of full-time experience, but will certainly be a leg up on a truly green, fresh out of college candidate. You have a shot at many 2nd-tier schools, especially in a fill-in or long-term sub role, which can lead to a more permanent position.
06-02-2017 03:26 PM
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
(05-31-2017 03:13 AM)AWright Wrote:  I'm getting a teaching certificate right now, could I find a job at an international school with no teaching experience? Bachelors in economics and a teaching certificate.

Yes, you could find a job without experience. It's extremely late in the hiring season right now, but China (too high of demand, too few teachers) and less desirable places will still have openings.

Here's a screenshot I just took from tieonline.com for Econ positions.
   

You, generally, need to start your job search in September-November for the upcoming academic year.

[EDIT: I got a PM about ESL jobs in int'l schools but can't upload images to PMs. Here is what the ESL offerings currently look like on tieonline.com]

   
(This post was last modified: 06-05-2017 04:52 PM by jdreise.)
06-05-2017 04:41 PM
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
The idea of teaching has been on my mind for a couple years now. With that said I'm probably 2-4 years out from closing up shop.

What I'd like to know is whether my experience / skill set would make me a potential hire for International Schools that pay good wages (country relative) in well a pussy paradise type country i.e. Thailand, Phillipines, DR, Colombia etc. You get the idea. I'm more so looking to just spend what I make and grow my principal by not having to touch it. With that said I'm not someone who wants to go live on a $1000 a month anywhere.

-Business undergrad, JD (Law Degree)
-Litigator several years experience
-Self-employed
-Substantial Trial Experience (month(s))
-White Canadian
-Late 20's
-Good Spanish (Haven't taken any tests but verbally I communicate near flawlessy. I do have some issues with writing though)

What I don't have. Any sort of teaching degree or useful work experience aside from Law.

I have no idea whether this type of background is of any value in terms of getting an international school job. My thought was that being a trained litigator with actual experience in the court room it would be a good sell to the parents of the kids at international schools and on the business side.

Why I'd want to do this? Honestly my goal is just to live in a place I'd really enjoy and law doesn't seem to me to be very mobile.
(This post was last modified: 06-11-2017 06:32 AM by lavidaloca.)
06-11-2017 06:28 AM
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Moto Offline
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
(06-11-2017 06:28 AM)lavidaloca Wrote:  The idea of teaching has been on my mind for a couple years now. With that said I'm probably 2-4 years out from closing up shop.

What I'd like to know is whether my experience / skill set would make me a potential hire for International Schools that pay good wages (country relative) in well a pussy paradise type country i.e. Thailand, Phillipines, DR, Colombia etc. You get the idea. I'm more so looking to just spend what I make and grow my principal by not having to touch it. With that said I'm not someone who wants to go live on a $1000 a month anywhere.

-Business undergrad, JD (Law Degree)
-Litigator several years experience
-Self-employed
-Substantial Trial Experience (month(s))
-White Canadian
-Late 20's
-Good Spanish (Haven't taken any tests but verbally I communicate near flawlessy. I do have some issues with writing though)

What I don't have. Any sort of teaching degree or useful work experience aside from Law.

I have no idea whether this type of background is of any value in terms of getting an international school job. My thought was that being a trained litigator with actual experience in the court room it would be a good sell to the parents of the kids at international schools and on the business side.

Why I'd want to do this? Honestly my goal is just to live in a place I'd really enjoy and law doesn't seem to me to be very mobile.

Without the teaching certification, accredited international schools simply can't hire you. However with a one-month bootcamp course you could be teaching English. You won't be able to start out at making more than 1,000$ a month in any pussy paradise, but perhaps in the middle east you could be making bank quickly.

You could find your way into a Legal English niche. Many doctors, lawyers, and business people (who can pay good $ for their classes) need to learn the sub-category of English specific to their profession which general English teachers don't really know. There are schools (language institutes) that specialize in business English, medical English, and so on. From there, you could start to build your own practice catering to legal professionals.

Or just get your certification. Your experience would be an asset for teaching classes in political science, government, and those types of subjects.
06-11-2017 08:24 AM
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
Thanks for your response.

I don't think I could rationalize it on a $1000 a month income or less. Thats about 1 days work here and middle east would be shittier living situation.

I'm just looking for a bridge while I let my net investments grow 25-35% so I can retire comfortably on 50 or 60k a year but if it requires me to go do substantial schooling i.e. a year thats not gonna be worth it for me.

I'm not sure how to get a teaching certificate. It would seem here I have to do another year of school which I wouldn't do. I'm not sure if theres a way around that or I can do it in a different / easier jurisdiction.
(This post was last modified: 06-11-2017 09:01 AM by lavidaloca.)
06-11-2017 09:00 AM
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Moto Offline
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
(06-11-2017 09:00 AM)lavidaloca Wrote:  Thanks for your response.

I don't think I could rationalize it on a $1000 a month income or less. Thats about 1 days work here and middle east would be shittier living situation.

I'm just looking for a bridge while I let my net investments grow 25-35% so I can retire comfortably on 50 or 60k a year but if it requires me to go do substantial schooling i.e. a year thats not gonna be worth it for me.

I'm not sure how to get a teaching certificate. It would seem here I have to do another year of school which I wouldn't do. I'm not sure if theres a way around that or I can do it in a different / easier jurisdiction.

If you go through the Teaching English Abroad thread, you will find a certification program out of Florida that allows you to do most of your studies online while doing your student teaching / internship (non-payed work for about 5 months) at an international school abroad.

Most states have an expedited certification program where you do a summer bootcamp, but then must work for 2 years in the inner city at "high needs" (ghetto) schools with generally very challenging students. So this is probably not what you're looking for.

I did my certification the slow, old-fashioned way while attaining my undergrad degree. It took an extra year out of my life, but at least I could go abroad and get paid immediately after.

1,000$ a month goes pretty far in Mexico these days. In fact you won't get much more than that even at top-tier international schools here. The negative is that TEFL teachers make that much less, if they only work at institutes and not private students.

From the info you've given, I don't see why not invest in a one-month bootcamp TEFL certification (CELTA is best, but really hard and intense) and go to the pussy paradise of your choice. You won't have to really worry about starving and probably won't ever have to touch your nest egg. If you can always come back to practicing law in the US, why not? This way you can see if you even like teaching, before investing a lot more time/money to get a state-issued teaching license to work at international schools.

If China is pussy paradise to you, I do know people who have landed teaching jobs at lower-tier (probably non-accredited) international schools in China with only a CELTA.
06-11-2017 09:31 AM
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
Been meaning to post here for a while. In the TEFL thread, somebody posted some good info about international schools, but he said you needed a masters in education. Has this been the case for you guys, and if so, what are you the programs you recommend?
06-11-2017 12:47 PM
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
(06-11-2017 06:28 AM)lavidaloca Wrote:  Why I'd want to do this? Honestly my goal is just to live in a place I'd really enjoy and law doesn't seem to me to be very mobile.

Consider saving up back home where you earn well and then don't concern yourself with earning while you're abroad. Unless you're planning to put down roots in your new land, figuring out how to earn close to what you could make back home may not be worth it.

I have to disagree with the suggestion to teach English. Language schools, at least where I am, are not going to pay decently, no matter what your profile is. This is doubly true without experience. And it takes a freelancer time to build up a clientele of students and companies.
06-11-2017 02:23 PM
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
Busy time of year for me.

I'll respond to some questions and points in a week to ten days.
06-12-2017 06:50 AM
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
(05-30-2017 11:46 AM)Heart Break Kid Wrote:  - Is a masters degree in education with no work experience good enough qualification to teach at international schools? (perhaps not the top ones, but I'm assuming some are easier to get into than others?)

Ideally, I would like to teach something social studies oriented if that makes any difference.

- In countries like the USA, special education teachers are in high demand. Is there any market for this in something a bit more niche like International Schools or is the pool of special need kids too small of a community in the international circles?

The issue of trying to go to an international school without experience is more related to obtaining a work visa. Just about any accredited IS can only hire teachers with more than two years of experience because the teacher would not be able to obtain necessary permits and visas to work overseas. International teachers have either full on residency permits or long term work visas from their host country.

Special education is for the time being not a hugely in demand field in international schools. There is a big push to be more inclusive of students who need special services. However, international schools are not public services. Because the cost of providing those services is disproportionately high, most do not.
06-18-2017 06:40 AM
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RE: The International Teaching Thread
(05-30-2017 12:04 PM)El_Gostro Wrote:  Any suggestions to start out for someone versed in languages but no teaching or language titles?

Get a masters degree in education and work for a few years in your home country as a licensed teacher.
06-18-2017 06:41 AM
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