Getting A Job In An International School For Unqualified Teachers
The good news is that a teaching credential is not necessarily a prerequisite for teaching in an international school. Obviously the best paid teaching jobs at the top internationals schools will nearly always require qualifications as well as experience but that doesn't mean that all international schools do. All International schools would prefer to hire qualified staff, however due to to many reasons they may not be able to attract qualified staff and will therefore give people without QTS a chance.
Finding a School That Will Hire You
A school will lower the requirements for one main reason, they struggle to find staff with the skills, experience and qualifications. This can be due to 2 main reasons, a scarcity of specialised teaches or the schools has problems.
In particular international schools find it hard to find Maths and Science teachers. If you have previously worked in a career in these fields or have a masters in them many international schools will overlook your lack of teaching credentials.
School problems are normally a combination of the following:
location (if they are not in a big/popular city they will probably struggle to attract teachers or if it is on the outskirts)
pay (if a school is offering less than 20,000 rmb they are unlikely to expect a teacher with QTS)
management, problems with management are harder to spot from a job advert, but if the wage is high (25k+) and they are desperate for staff in a Tier 1 city there could be problems in management. The best way to find out is to try and contact someone who is already working there.
poor HR department that doesn't know how to advertise their jobs.
Obviously all schools have problems, and it is preferable to work somewhere without any but if you are looking to become a teacher in an international school you will probably have to make some allowances. Schools that suffer from these sorts of problems are great as a transition school. They hire a TEFL teacher in a year or two you can use the experience gained to apply for schools in better locations, pay, management etc. Check out our International Schools and see if you can spot any!
Which School To Choose?
When considering an international school the curriculum is very important and the grade. Once you have experience in say the American Common Core in primary school you may find yourself stuck in schools that teach this. An IB school has a big advantage due to the international nature of the course most international schools will value your experience highly regardless of their own curriculum . This is why IB experience is valued so highly.
When applying for the job, be sure to write a cover letter express your interest in that particular school, this will show that you are interested and that you know a little bit about their curriculum and can sell why you think you would be a good fit. Make sure that your c.v is up to date and that you have read the 8 Tips To Improving Your C.V
Before your interview read up on the school and curriculum especially if you are unfamiliar with it. Try to find out as much as you can about the school as this will impress the interviewer. Make sure you are on time! Especially if it is over skype and you have a time difference. Think before hand what makes you a good candidate and prepare for questions like
"why do you want to work here?"
"why do you want to be a teacher?"
"what can you tell me about xxx curriculum?"
"how would you control a class that is out of control?"
"what rules do you have in class?"
Also during the interview is your opportunity to find out more about the school. As mentioned before there are often issues at the school which is why they are hiring someone who is not qualified. Ask questions such as "how many positions are you looking to fill?"
"why do people leave your school?" ( people leaving is not necessarily a terrible thing, if they are going on to better jobs with their experience having taught at the current school it shows that you could also be getting a better job in the future by taking this one)
Make sure in the interview to nail down exactly what you will be teaching and where. Many schools have an international part and a local part, make sure you are in the international part. The school might not be able to tell you exactly what grade especially if they are hiring for quite a few positions, but try to get an idea.
If you are looking at teaching long term the best thing to do is to start getting some qualifications. Check out our guide to Personal Development, in particular the PGCEi.