How graduates can secure teaching jobs abroad

Thursday, October 6th, 2022 00:00 | By

The dream of every graduate teacher is to secure a well-paying job and teaching abroad has an advantage over locally available jobs.

With the creation of the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs in President Ruto’s administration, it’s the right time for teachers to look for opportunities outside Kenya.

According to Winnie Nyaga, a teacher in Hong Kong, the experience of working abroad is both rewarding, frustrating and lonely at times as you yearn to connect with your motherland.

Being an African teaching abroad requires courage, fortitude and hard work. An African teacher must work twice as the European colleague to prove their worth. The most surprising outcome is that students will respect you once they discover that you are competent.

The first hurdle that is encountered when applying for a job internationally is the euphemism racial tag “English native speaker”. This statement means that being African, you don’t qualify to apply for the job. The only African country that is categorised as English native speakers is South Africa and this refers to the white South African.

This English native speaker phrase has been widely criticised and a leading teacher employment agency, Search Associates, no longer uses it as a benchmark in recruitment.

The first step towards achieving your dream to teach in the diaspora is to have a requisite degree in education. A post-graduate diploma in education will be required for those who don’t have a degree in education. The second requirement is that you are highly encouraged to have a master’s degree in your area of specialty. For instance, most states in the USA only employ teachers who have a Master’s degree.

The third most important requirement is that you must have some teaching experience. It would be difficult to get international recruitment fresh from university as these jobs are highly competitive.

One way to overcome the experience hurdle is to apply for internship in a school. For example, The Aga Khan Educational Foundation offers internship for fresh graduates every year. You can also apply for internship at your local secondary school.

It is also important to be well informed. Have knowledge of world affairs as international teaching interviews might include questions on current geo-political affairs.

The biggest mistake graduates make is that once they leave college, they cease to be intellectually active.

You also need to have good knowledge in information technology because in international schools, you set exams, type them and deliver to the students. Virtually all lesson are conducted using PowerPoint and Learning Management Systems like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google classroom and others. 

These days, learning is in duality – both face-to-face and online.

Proficiency in English is another advantage. Watch international news and learn the nuances of the English accent. You don’t have to speak like white people. What matters is that you are clear, audible and succinct.

A good CV is an advantage. The ideal CV has basically two pages that has your Bio data, education background, teaching experience, educational philosophy (why you chose the profession) and your references.

Remember prospective employers receive thousands of applicants, therefore avoid lengthy unnecessary content in your CV. Once you have been shortlisted for an interview, you will then be required to provide further prove. Some interviews are online. Be confident and create eye contact with the interviewee.

Lastly there are many websites that you can apply for jobs online. The common denominator is DON’T GIVE ANY MONEY for online jobs. Genuine websites will not ask you for a single cent. Back off Immediately when an agency or website asks for money.

The following websites are credible, and many teachers have used them to secure jobs internationally. https://www.facesinc.org/, https://jobs.devereux.org/, https://www.searchassociates.com/ https://www.tes.com/jobs/, https://www.teacherhorizons.com/

Remember, reading is the fertiliser that keeps the brain intelligent. Don’t wait to get a job to be a teacher. Keep yourself engaged by offering free tuition to students.  You get added advantage on your CV when you state that you have been offering free teaching tutorials. Good luck to all and never give up. I didn’t that’s why I am here in Hong Kong.

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