Abroad? Yes, there are plenty of teaching jobs overseas. Hundreds of private schools in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean are always looking for qualified teachers. Of course, you probably have already seen dozens of emails from ESL schools in Taiwan. Are those jobs real? Yes, they most certainly are. But, caveat emptor. Do your research carefully. There are some lemons in the bunch.
But we are not talking about only ESL teaching jobs. How about teaching in a country like Argentina? Say you are a Spanish speaking graduate with a degree in American language and literature from Brown or Boston University. You have worked hard getting that degree, but the job market here is nasty and you don't want to start your master's degree for a few years. So, why not get out into the world and gain some real life experience. Alejandria will show you listings of all the schools in Argentina.
Many of these are international schools whose students are English speaking. Why is that? Places like Buenos Aires have large expat communities. They usually insist on sending their children to a school with an American or English style curriculum so that their children can fit in more easily back home...
- Make arrangements to meet employers and be interviewed at the NAIS Annual Conference which takes place in February/March. Check the NAIS site for time and venue.
- Review openings listed on Klingenstein Job Bank.
- Review openings posted on various state, regional and national association websites.
- Attend interviews.
- Negotiate job offers.
- Request official copies of your transcripts, certifications and degrees.
- Notify your network as soon as you accept a job.
- Send hand written thank you notes.
- If you are just beginning the process, now is the time to plan your job search.
- Assemble your portfolio if you teach the art and other practical subjects.
- Cast your net widely as you search for a job.
- Be flexible if you can with regard to location and salary expectations.
- Get unofficial copies of your transcripts, certifications and degrees.
- If still looking for a job, keep an eye out for unexpected openings. Filling a position just before school opens is always a tough proposition, made easier if your name happens to be on a list of approved, pre-qualified applicants.
- Scan the job openings.
- Use summer conferences to network.
Here are a couple of examples of the conservative, old-fashioned approach to applying for a job most private schools still use.
Director, Mathematics and Science for Minority Students or (MS)2
Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, transcript and two letters of reference.
Candidates for all faculty positions should send a letter of interest, resume, list of three references, and academic transcripts
- Use a plain white paper. This does not have to be a fancy vellum or parchment type of paper.
- Center your letter perfectly on the page.
- The letter is typed using Microsoft Word or similar program.
- Use a plain font such as Arial.
- The font size should be 12 points.
- Print the final copy using a laser printer as laser jet ink smudges.
- Use the address indicated on the school's employment page.
- Create a customized cover letter for each position applied for.
- Put the cover letter and your documentation in a large envelope so that you do not have to fold the materials.
51 Grove Street
Peoria, IL 61602
Dr. Virginia Felton-Smith
1. Make sure that your credentials are impeccable. You will probably get looked at for that English position if your degree is in American Language and Literature from one of the better colleges such as Brown, Duke, Stanford or Cornell. If your degree is from Harvard, Yale or Princeton, go to the top of the list. A bachelor's degree is ok, but you better make the right noises during the interview about your plans to finish your master's. Private schools vastly prefer to say that 80% of their faculty have advanced degrees. If your degree is terminal, that's cool too, as long as you are not terminal too.
1. Speak and teach a second language.
Teachers who speak French, Spanish and Mandarin are much in demand in any school. Add a degree and certifications in those subjects to your credentials and you will be a 'hot' property! Unlike public schools where language skills are necessary just to deal with a non-English speaking population, private schools offer academic courses in French, Spanish
and Mandarin language and literature. Many of these courses lead to AP level examinations. You will have the opportunity to use that honors degree work in foreign languages to your advantage.
2. Hold specialist certifications.
An ESL certificate or a reading specialist certificate will virtually guarantee you employment for life at many schools. Schools which enrol non-English speaking students frequently require those students to master English at a very high level in order to complete their academic course work with good grades. An ESL certified teacher is an integral part of the teaching strategy and an important element in a diverse community. A reading specialist can effectively remediate reading and comprehension skills allowing the language arts teachers to focus on coursework.
3. Be an AP exam reader.