Going from TEFL to international schools

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Bagudoko
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Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:24 pm

Going from TEFL to international schools

Post by Bagudoko »

First, a big thanks to all the posters here who have volunteered to share their knowledge and experience. I've spent hours reading the posts, and there's a ton of great information on this board. Unfortunately though, despite having learned a lot, I'm still left a bit unsure of how to proceed, so I thought I'd share my situation and ask for advice.

I'm a 32 year old single male with a B.S. in Psychology and a CELTA (TEFL certificate). I have about 6 years of experience teaching EFL in a few countries, both to young learners and adults. I've worked mostly in language institutes, but I also worked at a public junior high school for 2 years. I have no debt and some savings, and I'm not in a terrible hurry. I'm not picky about where I work or where I study, although I currently have a decent job in Chile, and my family lives in Illinois.

So... I'm trying to decide if I go to the U.S. to study for a M.Ed., study for a M.Ed. online, do an alternative certification like TeacherReady, or some other option I'm overlooking? Although my degree is in Psychology, I'm most interested in teaching Physics and EFL... and/or possibly another science or non-EFL English.

I read in a couple threads that it doesn't make sense to study for a Masters right away because international school experience is more important... so it's better to do a quick alternative certification and work on your Masters later, while simultaneously getting international school experience. Do the majority agree with that?

sid
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Post by sid »

Sounds like an excellent plan. Certification first, so you can get a job, and then Masters.

CaliPro
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Location: United States

Post by CaliPro »

Yes get certification, then Masters later.

Bagudoko
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Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:24 pm

Post by Bagudoko »

Okay, thanks guys. I'll start doing more research on my options for certification. Here are some things I've picked from other threads. Let me know if anything isn't accurate or if I'm missing anything important.

• Should be permanent or easy to renew from abroad
• Shouldn't take more than a year
• Shouldn't cost more than $3-5,000
• Shouldn't require PD, or should allow online PD for renewal
• Look for opportunity to do fieldwork in an IB school
• Praxis testing is ideal

Any problem with the fact that I want to teach Physics even though I don't have a Physics or Education degree? And can my TEFL license or experience be useful for anything at all in the process?

CaliPro
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Location: United States

Post by CaliPro »

Not having a degree in your field is not a death sentence. Obviously having one is better but you will be able to find one without it. Like always experience is king.

ESL stuff will not be useful imo

CaliPro
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Location: United States

Post by CaliPro »

[quote="oldmanCHAN"]How will you market yourself for physics if you have a degree in psychology and a TEFL on paper?[/quote]

You can only do so much without experience or a related degree. So when it comes to getting that first job.....

1) Kill the interview
2) Take job in lower tier school and/or undesirable location
3) Use connections
4) Get lucky

Bagudoko
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Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:24 pm

Post by Bagudoko »

[quote="oldmanCHAN"]How will you market yourself for physics if you have a degree in psychology and a TEFL on paper?[/quote]

Right, exactly my question. I'm sure I can be a good Physics teacher, but do people hire Physics teachers without experience or a degree in Physics? And if not, what can I do?

[quote="CaliPro"]
1) Kill the interview
2) Take job in lower tier school and/or undesirable location
3) Use connections
4) Get lucky[/quote]

Okay, thanks. :) Anything I can do to make myself look better on paper?

CaliPro
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Location: United States

Post by CaliPro »

[quote="oldmanCHAN"]I think the only practical idea of the ones Calipro mentioned is having connections. You can't kill the interview or take a job at a lower tier school/undesired location if the recruiter filters you out because of what they see on paper credential-wise.

If you want to market yourself more effectively on paper you need to apply for related jobs or get a related degree. This is a competition after all. However, if you do get yourself into a school, teaching whatever, you could apply for what you want internally.[/quote]

Killing the interview was under the impression that you get an interview to begin with. Obviously lacking experience and related degrees will mean less interview opportunities.

However, you should get atleast one, in which case you need to "kill it".

Nemo.
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:04 am

Post by Nemo. »

I want to be a brain surgeon. I have a book about it and some saws. Would the OP please make himself available for me to practice.....


It would do the kids he wants to teach a favour lol

Or get a physics degree. Psychology isn't a science

heyteach
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Post by heyteach »

Since the OP is not in a hurry, I would suggest he get properly credentialed and then teach Physics at home for at least two years. That should help make him all the more marketable plus give him more experience with kids and classroom management. TEFL certification, esp. teaching at a language institute, doesn't count for much at international schools.

PsyGuy
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Post by PsyGuy »

You need to get certified first and then do a masters BUT if you can find a short masters 12-15 months that would include certification that would be ideal.

I would not put you in an upper secondary/DIP physics classroom with no experience and no physics background, and you cant get the physics experience without getting into a physics classroom. You really need at least a couple physics classes either Online/CLEP/F2F to argue that you know the material. many certification programs that are through a university will not allow you to pursue a physics certification without coursework. Alternative programs dont usually require coursework, but unless your willing to work in a public school back in the USA at an at risk school your not going to get into a classroom.

ESL experience and credentials dont count accept in very narrow circumstances. As others have discussed you need to get past the screening process to get to the interview and with a very lite resume you wont get many offers.

Your more marketable in ESOL, SPED/LS or the social sciences (psychology, economics, etc). Get some experience, and some Ib experience add certifications do some online or distance coursework and then when youve got the experience to show you can handle a classroom then you can argue why even with your minimal coursework and certification youd be successful in a physics classroom.

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