Discover Yew Chung Education Foundation

Building strong partnerships and trusting relations is integral to Teacherhorizons. We have been lucky enough to work with the Yew Chung Education Foundation (YCEF)  for six years and placed over 150 teachers. We are hosting a recruitment event in London on the 7th & 8th of December, so now is a perfect time to give you the lowdown on YCEF.

ycefYew Chung Education Foundation is a network of international kindergartens, schools, and colleges that provide quality education to over 10,000 students, spanning from infancy to tertiary, across 20 locations in Hong Kong and Mainland China. The organisation has a unique approach that blends Chinese and Western education and culture by having both Chinese and Western Headteachers for every school and teachers for every class. As each school is part of a larger group, opportunities to move internally or be promoted within the group are high.  The message from the co-principals gives a good insight into their school’s vision and ethos.

Yew Chung Education Foundation (YCEF) was established just over 80 years ago and educates over five thousand students in several schools across China and Hong Kong. The schools cater for students from pre-school through to high school as well as providing accredited higher education programmes tailoring to both local and international needs. YCEF nurture globally competitive students and shape them to be responsible global citizens.

A collaborative team teaching approach creates a genuinely holistic bilingual learning environment. Click here to find out more about the open-plan learning spaces, specifically designed to enable the campuses to become learning communities.

kidsThe curriculum

The curriculum is based on the National Curriculum for England and modified to meet the needs of the international student population. With this in mind, most of the schools run the UK curriculum up to IGCSE and then culminate in the IB Diploma Programme. The curriculum is further enhanced through a wide range of co-curricular activities and enrichment programmes, such as World Classroom and China Classroom, and students are encouraged to participate in a variety of clubs, sports and athletic competitions. Most importantly, students gain a deep understanding of and respect for cultural diversity, keen awareness of global issues, and develop a lifelong commitment to meeting the challenges of their generation.

 Click here to watch a brief video about YWIES Yantai.

classroomWhat is it like to work there?

Over the past four years, we have placed over 100 happy teachers in YCEF schools in Hong Kong and China and their feedback has been resoundingly positive. The schools look after their staff very well from start to finish, and they all provide a competitive salary, private healthcare, accommodation, and a yearly flight allowance. What’s not to love?

 

 Click here to watch a brief video about YCIS Hong Kong.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 12.06.04Where are the schools?

The variety of cities you can go to via YCEF is one of the reasons many people choose these schools. Of course, some are in major cities like Shanghai and Beijing. However there is also a school, for example, in the city of Qingdao, which is different than many cities in China, it’s on the coast and will challenge any stereotype about a “city in China” you have. This video shows some of the different experiences you would have living here.

How do I apply?

IMG_0879Click on the links below to have a look at each of the Yew Chung and Yew Wah schools recruiting through Teacherhorizons.  If you find a vacancy you are interested in, make sure you get in touch immediately with the International Adviser detailed in the advert! You can also interview via Skype if you cannot get to London, but priority will be given to face to face candidates.

 

 

YCIS ShanghaiYCIS ChongqingYCIS Hong KongYWIS BeijingYWIS GuangzhouYWIS TongXiang
YWIS Yantai,YWIS Shanghai ,YWIS Chongqing.

 

Best of luck to all! If you are interested but have not yet set up an account with Teacherhorizons, start by clicking here and creating a free profile. Once your account has been activated you will be able to see who to email for your chosen school and position. For any queries email info@teacherhorizons.com.

Written by Alexandra Plummer

A Happy Teacher Shares his Experience

Ever wondered how the process at Teacherhorizons works? Here is a first-hand account from Andrew Baker, a teacher in the Cayman Islands who was kind enough to share his experience of the process with with us. We thought it was so insightful we wanted to share it with you…

 

WhatsApp Image 2019-10-04 at 20.24.31My experience with Teacherhorizons was one of practical professionalism. The staff I worked with were insightful and showed a clear understanding of  not just the international teaching circuit, but local aspects specific to cities or countries. I was really encouraged by their promptness to respond to enquiries, the consistent offers of help, and the thoroughness in vetting myself whilst also maintaining a familiar friendliness. In other words, I felt they walked the line between professional-human-resources and approachable-diligent-support very well.

Making a profile

Initially, I heard about the company through a colleague who passed on the email address of one employee. Upon getting in touch, I was quickly passed onto the appropriate member of staff dealing with my section (Secondary Science/Physics) and asked to make a profile on the site. The site is a work in progress but thankfully has all the key parts. I particularly liked their process of making a profile. It gave room and prompting to include a lot of extra detail (in the hope of making myself more alluring to potential employers) but left space for you to fill these details in at your own rate. Even without a full profile, I was still able to navigate the advertisements.

A quick nod to their thoroughness, they did first of all have to verify my profile and organised an initial Skype interview, which was done in a day or so, and reassured me the standard of teachers using the site would be high.

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The site is very intuitive to use and where it is a still a work in progress (e.g. the search functions have interesting algorithms) my Teacherhorizons agent, Tiffany, was quick to respond with helpful suggestions of how to best use it. They categorise schools depending on how thorough their knowledge is of the school, which enabled me to spread a wider net when searching for jobs, but also more heavily lean towards ‘endorsed’ and even ‘visited’ schools. The idea of dealing with a recruitment agency that has personally visited so many international schools was incredibly encouraging. My experience in international schools around the world has already made it abundantly clear that these workplaces vary massively.

One major luxury, is the ability to apply for jobs without having to fill in their respective application forms as well. With the Teacherhorizons site, you simply click apply and you are done.

Choosing a schoolWhatsApp Image 2019-10-04 at 20.24.29

There were slim pickings at first, but as the job season came about, several came up over the course of a week or so. Having done the leg work with my profile in advance, including getting three references sent to them, I was able to spend time vetting the schools freely. My wife and I chose to look in Africa, North America, Europe and South America. Our main constraints were finding a dog-friendly location and one where she could get work as a project manager that she would enjoy. The standard to which each school/job profile is complete can vary quite a bit. Teacherhorizons, as with the applicant profiles, has made the employer profiles quite intuitive. It explicitly prompts the schools to include keys details sometimes missed or avoided elsewhere.

The Application

You can put your preferred locations on your profile for prospectus employeesWhatsApp Image 2019-10-04 at 20.24.30 (1). It was a fairly standard ‘would you be interested in working here’, ‘when could we do a Skype interview’ and ‘please fill in the following small forms to aid our process’.  Surprisingly, from that point on Teacherhorizons did not step back. As I moved further along the appointment process, Tiffany offered advice and support when possible. I consider myself quite adapt at interviewing and have had a high success rate, but still found it pleasant to go through the process with more of a ‘team’ mentality. Again, that local knowledge of the country and the school helped our decision process a lot, and my wife and I eventually accepted a job to work in the Cayman Islands.

We’ve been here for two months now and it has been an adventure getting settled and adjusted. We’re already starting to find a local ‘family’ to call our own along with various great places to spend time. If you’re considering taking the leap into working abroad, I highly recommend it, and Teacherhorizons could be the group that open the right door for you like it did for us.

Andrew Baker

Science Teacher at Cayman Prep And High School

If you’re inspired, then why not browse our latest jobs in South AmericaAsia or Europe? Visit more of our happy teachers blogs to read more testimonials and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries  editor@teacherhorizons.com

Written by Alexandra Plummer

School visits in the UAE

We continue to share our valuable school visits in this week’s blog. Our team at Teacherhorizons have a thorough understanding of what makes a school desirable from a teacher’s perspective. We travel to our schools and check in with the quality and environment of the place often so that we can share this wealth of information with you. We know how useful it is for teachers in making a decision about whether they would like to work there.

Laura has recently been visiting a few places in the UAE and has kindly shared her experiences with us.

 

Fairgreen International School, DubaiIMG_9737

Fairgreen International School is a very small school at present. There are only 380 kids but the campus has a capacity for 1000 so there are definitely opportunities for growth. It is an IB school from PYP through to DP.

Location: It is situated on a brand new campus which will focus on innovation and sustainability. The building is also a pioneering architectural design concept. Located in Dubai Sustainable City – a very unique location. It also prides itself as a Plastic free campus!

Facilities:  are top quality – wood throughout, no plastic – all the usual state of the art classrooms etc but also research and food production labs, a library and learning hub, and arts and music labs, sports facilities. Students have access to an Innovation Centre, Junior Innovation Centre, Equestrian Centre, and biking and jogging tracks. One of The Sustainable City’s spacious bio-domes is dedicated to the school and will serve as its Health, Wellness, and Learning Centre.IMG_9729

Teachers and staff: The Headteacher is lovely, he was at IS Hague for 7 years and IS Bangkok, very personable and takes a strong interest in the personal and professional development of staff. All members were very supportive and there was a community feel in the school when I  attended for the open day.

Overall impression: I witnessed a strong ethic of care, a great focus on sustainability, a collegial atmosphere with great students in a highly unique location.                                                    

 

You can look back on some of our past school visits here.
Laura also had the chance to visit some schools in Abu Dhabi recently. You can read about Brighton College Abu Dhabi, Al Basma British School below. She had a great day out and each school had something unique and special to offer. Abu Dhabi is a haven for expats – aside from the sunny weather, the beaches and the wealth of incredible experiences available on your doorstep, the UAE is continually ranked highly in terms of safety and security, quality of education, childcare services, healthcare and quality of life. Abu Dhabi has some fantastic attractions including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, The Louvre and Emirates Palace for those interested in culture and Yas Water World and Ferrari World for those wanting a fun day out.

Brighton College, Abu Dhabi.

IMG_9765Brighton College Abu Dhabi is a leading 3 to 18 British-curriculum school in the Middle East, with exceptional academic results – 72% of their GCSE results were graded at 7-9 (A or A*!) Brighton College Abu Dhabi is the highest-ranked 3-18 British Curriculum school in the city of Abu Dhabi.
Location: the school has an 8-acre site with world-class facilities including a 600 seat auditorium, recording studio, photo darkroom and a fitness suite that staff can also use. There are 140 teachers and 100 support staff. It was the first of Brighton College UK’s sister schools in the United Arab Emirates, joined in September 2013 by Brighton College Al Ain.
Students: They have a great commitment to developing well-rounded students. The Arts, Music, Sport all highly valued and students can also participate in Duke of Edinburgh

IMG_9783 Al Basma British School, Abu Dhabi

Al Basma British School is a thriving and oversubscribed school that was rated Very Good by ADEK in their January 2019 inspection report. In addition, in Feb 2019, the BSO inspection graded the school good with many outstanding features, commenting on the school’s remarkable rate of improvement.  It is a BSO accredited school (British Schools Overseas) and is offers a UK recognised induction year to NQTs and candidates with QTS who are yet to complete their induction year so is great for new teachers.

Location: Al Basma is located in a quiet and safe neighbourhood of Abu Dhabi called Al Bahia, near to the international airport and Yas Island. Dubai is a 35-minute drive from the school. A high proportion of Emirati students and girls and boys are taught separately from Y6 to Y11.

Staff: Allison MacDonald has been the Principal of Al Basma British School since it opened in 2014 and has the school has developed from strength to strength under her leadership.IMG_9772

The students: Full of life and character, they were eager to show me their work and proud of their identity and culture which is celebrated throughout the school. Their motto ‘Striving to be the best’ is also embedded into everything they do. The school is expanding and a new building is due to open up next year as the school is oversubscribed and very popular in the local area.
Overall Impression: The school has a really friendly feel to it and it is a very welcoming environment.

Have a read of our Happy Teacher Archives, for more happy teachers in Europe and other locations.

We have over 2000 schools in over 160 countries, so it might take us a while to get around them all, but we endeavour to! We visit new schools every month, so keep an eye out for more blogs like this one in the future.

Written by Alexandra Plummer

4 innovative ways to use technology in the classroom

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Innovation. A buzzword we have heard before, and one that isn’t going away anytime soon. But what does it really mean to be innovative in school?  We are lucky enough to have guest writer Dakota Murphey here again, telling us 4 sure-fire ways to help integrate technology and embrace our ever-growing advances and gadget-obsessed society.  Read on for Dakota’s insightful advice.

Incorporating innovation into teaching practice doesn’t need to break the bank either. Whether you’re a trainee teacher or you’ve been in the industry for years, here are four innovative methods to think about to become an even better teacher than you are already.

Don’t ban smartphones – use them.

While many teachers may think that smartphones are devil devices, disrupting the classroom, distracting students and negatively affecting their mental health, they can actually be incredibly beneficial when used in the right way. Here are some methods you could use to utilise them effectively in the classroom:

  • Photos & Videos.  Smartphones have incredible cameras which can do a lot more than taking selfies. Also, you could train your students to use video editing tools – in today’s technological world, it’s important for their video content to be well scripted, arranged and aesthetically interesting.
  • Audio Recording. If you’ve been to university, you’ll have probably used a Dictaphone to record your lectures. Smartphones can now do the same! In a languages class, for instance, recording the correct pronunciation of a particular word or phrase could help with oral assignments.
  • Response System. Students love to feel like they are being listened to, so why not make the most of their smartphones by using them as a student response system? Use polls, feedback and data apps o keep students engaged and eager to learn. They can also be used to run anonymous polls, gathering feedback and data about any particular issues you want to discuss.

Utilise tablets.

In essence, tablets are simply bigger versions of the smartphone, but their added size can actually be extremely beneficial- they could also save your school a ton of money on textbook and printed material costs.

  • Send materials & information. Teachers can now send materials and information to their students online, replacing the need to print out individual assignments for each student. You can also set tests with predefined deadlines to each pupil, meaning there’ll be no more convoluted excuses as to why homework wasn’t completed.
  • Collect data. Certain programs and software will also congregate all the data for you, making your life easier when it comes to marking your class’s work.
  • Work on the go. Utilising tablets also means you can take your work on the go, allowing you to do it anywhere and everywhere. Plus, since students love a touch screen, being able to complete tests and assignments in this way should excite them a lot more than using a pad and pencil. In fact, it could even improve their grades – a Californian medical school recently found that using tablets in their teaching improved grade scores by approximately 23 per cent.

Teach outside.

Teaching indoors can become bland and repetitive so why not mix it up a little and head to the great outdoors? We all know how miserable it can feel being stuck inside when the weather is so beautiful outside, so don’t stand for it – make the most of your natural surroundings.

  • Focus. Learning outdoors isn’t only great for getting some fresh air – recent research has found that learning outdoors actually helps students better focus once they return to the classroom. It can nurture creativity, enhance communication skills and improve attitudes about the environment. While it’s true that certain topics, like science or geography, better lend themselves to teaching outside, there’s no reason other subjects can’t as well.

Use assistive technology.

  • Support all needs. Many technologies, like talking calculators, variable speed recorders and electronic worksheets are of great benefit to students with learning disabilities, allowing them to capitalise on their strengths while minimising their weaknesses. Using assistive technology, those with difficulties can now have a voice, making it easier for them to learn and for you to teach them. Phonetic spelling software, for example, enables dyslexic students to convert words they’re unsure how to spell into the correct spelling, meaning they get across exactly what they intended to say.

There you have it – four innovative ideas to shape your way of teaching. Students have an abundance of ideas like no other. Talk to them, involve them in your process, and ask them how they want to be taught. Only by working together will you be able to progress effectively.

Dakota Murphey is a mother of two from Brighton. Looking to share her knowledge and experience through her writing. Find out what else she’s been up to over on Twitter: @Dakota_Murphey   

Let us know your experience of using technology in the classroom  Editor@teacherhorizons.com

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Ask yourself these 5 key questions…

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Last week we suggested 5 questions to ask yourself in September. This week we cast the net a little wider, asking us what to consider when we consider teaching in international schools. What questions can guide us to make an informed choice about our career? International schools are seen as reputable institutions offering a high level of excellence in education, making it a desirable place to excel in your teaching career.

So, picking a school should be easy, right? Not necessarily. Not all international schools are of the same caliber or are going to be a good fit for you. Good news though, we are here to help you figure out what you want from your potential employers.

You can start by asking these 5 questions to help you on your way to teaching in a top notch school international school in no time!

  1. What are my values?

Ask yourself what you are looking for.  What are your values? You can then adjust accordingly. For example, would you prefer to work in a non-profit or for-profit school? For-profit schools are run more like a business. While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that, the school may be mainly accountable to parents and shareholders. Non-profit schools are more likely to care about the wellbeing of teachers and students. If this is something that is dear to you and your motivations, you might be happier here in the long run.

  1. What recognition should I seek out?

Finding accreditation means that others have done the research and vetted the places, giving you added confidence in your choices. Good schools are accredited (or in the process of being accredited) by external organizations such as Council of International Schools(CIS), North Eastern Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Council of British International Schools (COBIS). IB “World Schools” are held to the same rigorous standards worldwide so you can be sure they offer a consistent quality of organization and education. We display a school’s accreditations on its profile page. This information is usually freely available on the school’s own website as well.

  1. What do teachers and headteachers have to say?

Stories from the source itself are always the best way to find out how things really are. Listen to feedback from teachers, did the school live up to their expectations? Where their expectations realistic or similar to yours? You can also find out about teachers’ perspectives on a school using sites such as International Schools Review. Do be aware of bias though, and try and weigh it up with your own logic.

You can also try and chat with headteachers. If you don’t manage to connect directly with the headteacher of a school that you are interested in, Teacherhorizons conduct in-depth Skype call with each headteacher to find out about their vision for the school and their requirements for candidates. We also check out the headteacher’s background – what is his or her educational background and experience? A good school will have a well-qualified headteacher with plenty of experience and a good track record.

  1. Where would I be comfortable teaching?

Thinking about safety in international school teaching is vital. While the romanticism of jetting off to a far-flung destination can be alluring the reality is that some countries are unsafe to travel to; others have just a few unsafe regions. We check current FCO advice for the locations of our schools, and would not place a candidate in an area that’s unsafe (for example, parts of Iraq, Afghanistan and all of Syria).

  1. What do I want in terms of professional development?

What do you want from your professional development? Align this when looking for work. Reputable schools help their teachers to develop professionally. At Teacherhorizons we look for schools which offer great support and training to their teachers.  If a school isn’t prepared to invest in its staff, the quality of education will suffer, and teachers will feel undervalued.

On our blog posts, we occasionally share information on our school visits, but these are a fraction of the amount that we visit! Teacherhorizons visit as many schools as possible – our number of visits keeps on growing.  You can also be assured that through Teacherhorizons we research and display as much information as possible on our school profile pages, relieving you of arduous research tasks.  When you see the “Approved by Teacherhorizons” symbol on a school profile, it means we’re confident that the school offers world-class job opportunities.

Browse our international school job vacancies to find out more about the schools we work with. If you already work in an international school, tell us your experiences so we can share it with others and build this community even more. Write to us at Editor@teacherhorizons.com

Written by Alexandra Plummer

5 questions you might be asking yourself this September!

For many in the education sector, September feels just as a pivotal time as of January, if not more so! It’s the start of a new school year, a time for reflection on how things were and a look to the future. We say our sweet goodbyes to our offscreen time jetting around the world and a firm welcome back to reality—schedules, homework, bureaucracy and all.

For many, September means an entirely new experience, a new school, even a new country.  Read on to find out how to turn those jitters into excitement.

What Should I do if I feel overwhelmed?

Tiffany says…Get out there! It might be the last thing you feel like doing in your first few weeks. It certainly was for me. As soon as I left my air-conditioned room, the smells, the noise and the heat of Cambodia would hit me, and it was overwhelming. However, once I bit the bullet and got out there, I noticed how wonderfully different and exciting the place was and began to get accustomed.”  You can read more on Tiffany’s advice in her blog post here.

How can I best prepare for the unknown?

 In short, you can’t. But you can eliminate some uncertainty through research. Knowing background information on the school, country, and town you are moving to will help to prepare you and calm the nerves.  Ryan says “Having as much knowledge about your intended destination makes the transition so much easier.”  You can read more from him, here.

 

Interested in teaching internationally? Look at our Country page here, and start applying for jobs by creating a free profile. 

kyle-glenn-598701-unsplashHow can I best adapt to an entirely new culture? 

Empathy and compassion. Utilizing these two skills can help you in all areas of life, especially in new surroundings! As you embarked on this adventure in the first place, chances are that you enjoy learning new cultures and meeting new people so use this curiosity to listen and learn from other peoples ways of living. Staying present is also useful, try not to compare to your past placement too much. “the teachers who are happiest are those who appreciate what they have & where they are – not the ‘grass is greener’ types who suffer from the nostalgia of places and seem constantly unsettled.”  You can read more on that, here. 

How can you stay calm when you are feeling culture shock?

Our CEO Alex Reynolds put it really well when he stated: “However different cultures are, the fundamentals remain the same across the world – family and education is very important, parents are generally kind and concerned about their children.”  This can be a useful reminder when we are in a new place and feel daunted about change. Even if the cultural difference feels really different and you worry about suffering from culture shock, take a look at what we all share and have in common and go from there!

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How do I know if I made the right choice?

You don’t. But if you feel you made a well researched and informed choice around the school you chose and have insight and curiosity around the location, you will at the least have an adventure and some stories to tell afterward. Don’t make any rushed decisions in the first few months, it takes time to settle. A top tip from John Regan is:  “The one thing I have found in international teaching is that people tend to move around a lot. I would say to teachers that they must stick with a school for at least two years, and ideally three years.  So my main piece of advice is to stick around.” You can read more from John, here. 

Read about one of our teacher’s first week at school, here! 

The life of an international school teacher isn’t always plain sailing but it is exciting!  There are so many reasons which make teaching abroad desirable, and many why it is a challenge. Try and hold on to the desirable feelings while you navigate yourself through the first months. To be successful and happy with your new expat life embrace qualities of tolerance & diversity. Be flexible and openminded. Keep reminding yourself why you choose to teach abroad and embrace those qualities of curiosity, exploration, and adventure.

Are you an international teacher? Do you have hints and tips on teaching abroad? Would you like to share inspiring teaching stories from anywhere in the world? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us to share your knowledge and views with us!

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Thinking about teaching in South Korea? Here are 5 reasons to do so!

South Korea is a popular destination with international teachers. It has a vibrant expatriate community and relatively high potential for saving. Weather wise, you get distinct seasons with cold winters and hot humid summers. The food is eclectic and flavorful and staples like Kimchi have become internationally renowned.

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Despite where Kimchi is situated on your list of desirable foods, there are many other reasons that South Korea pulls a crowd in the teaching world. Inspired by one of Teacherhorizons latest vacancies on the Island of Jeju, South Korea, we have compiled a few reasons for you below. 

Great for any stage of your career

Whether you are at the start of your career and trying to build experience or a more seasoned teacher and looking for a place to ground for a while, South Korea suits both. For beginners, some international schools in Korea accept teachers with between 0-2years experience so it is a great place to get to know international teaching at a deeper level. For those more experienced, South Korea mostly offers comfortable teaching packages making it a great option to familiarise yourself in an interesting culture and save money at the same time. 

High Potential for Saving 

Most international schools pay well and have a supported package that includes severance, airfare, and accommodation. The cost of living is in line with the salary so the potential for saving feels possible. A large expat scene and community, including opportunities to teach on the side and save money. ‘Hagwans’ are private English school companies that are everywhere in the country offering extra-curricular classes, this could be a good option for building some extra work between contracts to save extra for your travel.

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A great jumping-off point for travel in Asia. 

Korea is a good jumping-off point to visit different places around Asia and the world.  But you don’t even need to jet off too far, you could visit Jeju. Jeju is also home to International Schools and as mentioned, Teacherhorizons has a vacancy there now.  As a holiday destination, the island has plenty to offer. It is well worth checking out if you want a nature fix, appreciate art or just to soak up a more relaxed island vibe. 

The high value placed on Education

Education is regarded as central to society in Korea. Expect very driven and polite students and a culture that places such value on education that the level of respect towards teachers is also high. However, with this comes a high level of pressures placed on students.  Often children go to their main schooling hours and then various after school clubs making their days long with little time for play. Being aware of this can help you navigate your classes in a fun, compassionate and engaging way.

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An exciting expat community 

Expat life in South Korea is bustling. Even outside of the international teaching bubble you will find other expats teaching in universities, public schools, and private businesses. People are enjoying the active community, the popular culture in Korea is charming and there is never a dull moment. Seoul the capital has distinctly different areas, from tech-hubs to student areas, to party places so you can find the right district for you. People eat out a lot in Korea, so many evenings are spent in sociable BBQ joints or over a steaming bowl of Kimchi-Jigae (soup) in the winter months. 

Have you lived or worked in Korea? Perhaps you visited Jeju Island? Tell us about your experiences at editor@teacherhorizons.com

 

 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

What I know now about teaching abroad that I wish I knew then.

We all have moments where we look back on our past with new insights and think, if only I knew what I do now. Well, now you don’t have to experience that feeling because we have collected previous teachers “if only…” moments and put them together as valuable advice. Don’t leave home without it!

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Read how a teacher of ours experienced life abroad, here. 

What I know now that I wish I knew then…

“I wish I knew how different teaching styles and expectations can be overseas. Even though I’ve taught within the British curriculum (In Italy) , the cultural expectations in both Italy and Cambodia have been so  different to those in the UK.”

“Don’t over glamorise international schools. They can have just the same management issues, behaviour issues, parental issues as any other school back home. Don’t expect them to be perfect!”

“To go to more adventurous places in my 20s and more secure, well-paid locations later which are more family friendly.”

“How to be strategic in building an international career”

It takes planning and goals to create a career internationally that works in your favour. For example, if you get IB experience straight away you are in a position of more choice in place and school, down the line. “Visualise an end goal and work backwards to see how to get there.”

Priorities

Making a list of what your priorities are when choosing a school is a good start. That way you can focus your research on fitting the school with what you want.  Do your ‘due diligence’ on a school before accepting. Prioritising the schools over the location will open up doors, new experiences and take you to places that you may otherwise not consider.

“I wish I knew to be more open!”

“Say yes to opportunities even if they are daunting”

Working in a range of schools also helps you to learn from different people and cultures. Be open to learning the language and exploring the location you are based.

Browse our international schools for information and current vacancies.

What have you learned from teaching internationally that you wouldn’t have learned from teaching in your own country?

“How scary it can be not knowing anything about the different culture or language until your immersed in it. It’s really made me respect more the children that I taught and the families I worked with in the UK that were new to the country and the language. It can be tough! Also, it’s reminded me how amazing my job is that I am able to have these experiences!”

Our CEO Alex Reynolds has put together a succint and well versed summary of what he has learned from all his experience, and witnessing those around him take the leap towards an international teaching career.  Thanks, Alex!

However different cultures are, the fundamentals remain the same across the world – family and education is very important, parents are generally kind and concerned about their children. Children  want to learn but also to have fun, staff rooms are usually a place for teachers to vent like a big therapy session, the teachers who are happiest are those who appreciate what they have & where they are – not the ‘grass is greener’ types who suffer from a nostalgia of places and seem constantly unsettled.

Management is key – a genuine, strong leader with a vision for a school and genuine educational values can make a hugely positive impact on a school whilst a ‘leader’ whose heart isn’t in it can have the opposite effect.

The fundementals of teaching and education don’t really change – some things become trendy, go out of fashion and so repeats the cycle. It can make teachers cynical but the best teachers can ride these waves and will keep their own philosophy of education and values when it comes to international education.”

We would love to hear your own experiences! Feel free to reach out to us: editor@teacherhorizons.com

 

 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

How Innovation Can Improve Your Teaching

This week we are lucky to have guest writer, Dakota Murphey, sharing her wisdom on innovation in education. She takes us beyond the buzzword and into practical ways to innovate in the classroom. Enjoy this informative read, we sure did!

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It may sound like a cliché, but kids really are our future, so it’s imperative that they are properly educated.

Cast your mind back to when you were at school – what made you decide to tune in or out of a lesson? I know for me personally, I learnt best when I was challenged – either with a quiz or an interactive game.

Why innovation is important

Due to the rise of technology and the internet, my schooldays of paper-based learning are fast becoming replaced by, or utilised alongside, a wide range of more innovative methods – and that’s a great thing! The world is changing, and we are all moving forward as a society, whether we like it or not. It is therefore vital for education to follow suit.

The rise of technology

In order to educate, you need to innovate. But, in order to innovate, you need to be educated; only with an innovative mindset will you be able to enact the changes that enhance learning in your classroom.

Those changes all need to stem from the technological advances of recent times. While many teachers may think that smartphones and tablets are devil devices, negatively affecting their students’ health, interactivity and wellbeing, used in the right way they can actually be incredibly beneficial. In fact, a medical school in California recently found that using tablets in their teaching improved grade scores by 23 per cent.

Since the world has become more and more embedded with technology, using its developments as innovative techniques in the classroom can help build technology-based skills and enable students to learn how to use devices and software correctly. This was proved back in 2014, when Ofcom’s annual report found that the average six-year-old child actually understands more about digital technology than a 45-year-old adult does!

Ideas for becoming more innovative

read-4208554_640Every student has their own way of learning but, with most UK schools known for being underfunded and limited in terms of equipment and supplies, old-fashioned techniques make it difficult to have anything but an all-or-nothing teaching approach. Now, thanks to technology, each student’s learning can be more individualised, implementing teaching techniques specific to their way of learning.

Other forms of technology software, such as audience response systems (ARS), can also be incredibly useful. These systems not only keep classes engaged and eager to learn, but can also be helpful in monitoring a classes’ current knowledge level. This, in turn, allows teachers to shape lesson plans around any identified knowledge gaps and set relevant homework.

Here are some other innovative ways that technological advances are being implemented in schools:

  • Classroom Robots. An exciting form of technology that has recently been successfully tried out in South Korea, robot teachers are said to have made lessons more interesting and entertaining for students. Plus, since they are connected to the internet, they enable teachers from anywhere in the world to be ‘present’ in the classroom.
  • Assistive technology. Using assistive technology in the classroom can be an absolute godsend for students with special needs. Phonetic spelling software, for example, can allow dyslexic students to convert words they’re unsure how to spell into the correct spelling, getting across exactly what they intended to say.
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Innovative teaching techniques to think about

While it may be true that technology can really help somebody’s way of teaching, there are several non-technology-based techniques. Utilising puzzles and games alongside textbooks can each be a highly effective way of keeping pupils engaged and interested.

Teaching outside of the classroom on field trips, role-playing and developing storyboards can be highly effective methods of building enthusiasm and passion. Building on STEM subjects – chemistry, mathematics and the sciences – the topics that will give students foundational skills for later on in life is also a good technique.  Implementing methods which help with a student’s career choice,  can be a great way of keeping kids engaged.

Talk to students

Students are young, hungry and, when nurtured correctly, incredibly passionate. Talk to them, involve them in the process, and don’t be annoyed or frustrated if a particular technique doesn’t work out.

With this in mind, it’s vital for teachers to keep track and monitor how successful certain teaching techniques and innovative methods have been.

It may sound like another cliché, but it’s important not to worry about failing. Making mistakes is a part of human nature – it’s how we respond to them that makes the difference. Don’t doubt yourself, and always remember what Albert Einstein once wisely said: “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

Dakota Murphey is a mother of two from Brighton. Looking to share her knowledge and experience through her writing. Find out what else she’s been up to over on Twitter: @Dakota_Murphey 

We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Feel free to reach out to us: editor@teacherhorizons.com

Written by Alexandra Plummer

How to complete your Teacherhorizons’ References

The teachers we place tend to have at least one reference completed by a Headteacher or Deputy Head. Completing your references on your profile is therefore imperative to getting your desired teaching placement.

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This blog gives an up-to-date account on how to complete your references using Teacherhorizons’ system. It’s really quick and easy, here’s how!

Adding references to your Teacherhorizons profile

NB – the maximum number of references per candidate profile is 3. If you already have three completed references attached to your profile and you would like to add another, please contact Laurence on info@teacherhorizons.com and request that 1 or more of your references be archived to allow you to add contact information for another referee to your profile.

  1. Go to www.teacherhorizons.com/my-settings and enter your sign-in credentials. 

 

  1. After clicking ‘Sign in’ you will be redirected to the edit section of your profile. From here click the ‘Important information’ tab on the right side of the screen.

 

  1. This will open up the option to add contact information for the referees you would like Teacherhorizons to contact.

 

  1. Once you have added the first referee’s information (all sections need to be completed), click the ‘Send’ button. 

 

NB – This will automatically send a reference request email to the referee. 

NB – The email address used to contact the referee should be a professional email address (i.e. not Gmail / Hotmail).

NB – If the options in ‘Referee’s position’ are not appropriate, please select ‘other manager’ and write the referees title in brackets next to his/her name.

 

  1. Once you have clicked ‘Send’ a reference request email will be sent to the referee. You will then be given the option to click the ‘Continue’ button to add another referee 

 

  1. Repeat step 5 to add an additional two referees.

 

NB – Each referee will receive an email with a link to complete the reference form online.

NB – An automated reminder will be sent to the referee after 7 days if the reference has not been completed.

NB – After 72 you have the ability to reset or delete a reference if you would like to replace them with someone else or send the reference request email again.

  • Click ‘Reset’ to send the reference request email again.
  • Click ‘Delete’  to replace the referee with another person.

 Try to complete as much as possible on your profile!  Ideally, your profile will be at least 90% complete so that we have the best chance of finding your ideal job. If you have any questions about completing your profile, do let us know.  You can also reach out with any comments to editor@teacherhorizons.com

 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer