Can I teach ESL at an international school?
When it comes to teaching English overseas many people imagine it always involves teaching in rundown inner city schools or backwater villages with few resources. However, while there are plenty of jobs like that out there, there are other options that are far from this scenario. International schools aimed at wealthy locals and expat children are one such option. Here you will find teaching jobs located in a modern environment where resources and facilities are typically top class. If you have not yet looked into teaching in an international school environment, take a look at the following reasons why you really should.
Subjects are taught in English
Unlike most ESL teaching jobs that are aimed at local students and involve teaching English at typically low levels, international schools actually teach most of their lessons in English. In order to break into this potentially lucrative market you will need to be qualified to teach a mainstream subject such as Math, Science, Art, Music, Foreign Languages, Physical Education, etc. Essentially, at an international school they teach all the same subjects in English as you would in any English speaking country such as the US.
A diverse student body
International schools usually have a very diverse body of students that come from countries all over the world. In many schools of this type it is not unusual to have students representing as many as a hundred countries or even more. This is why it makes perfect sense to teach every subject in English as it is generally the most common language among the student body, whether as a first language or a second language.
High-quality campuses and facilities
Many people imagine that teaching overseas means teaching in an old building with old fashioned equipment and outdated facilities. While there are many jobs like that out there, you are unlikely to find them when applying to teach in an international school. In most cases, this type of school has excellent facilities that are often the very best available in the area where they are located. You can expect to find the most up-to-date equipment, superbly maintained campuses, and high-tech classrooms. Many international schools can be compared to the very best private schools you might be familiar with at home.
Very competitive packages
With many standard overseas teaching jobs you will receive a salary that is typically more than the national average, but not enough to save a great deal every month. Things are a little different in your average international school. Salaries are generally very high and the additional benefits you receive can often be particularly attractive. It will vary from school to school, but a typical package could include free housing, paid airfares, full health insurance, pension contributions, and a yearly sign-on bonus. In some cases, usually in the Middle East, your salary can also be tax free, which further enhances your lifestyle and saving ability.
Professional environment and professional development
As well as offering excellent pay and benefits, international schools also provide comfortable working environments where professional educators from all over the world come together to provide the very best learning experience for their students. Many international school teachers will have experience of teaching in other countries, while the principal is likely to be a highly qualified and experienced professional who is keen to further develop the school community. Professional development of teachers is also a common factor in this type of environment. During your stay you can expect to be involved in workshops and seminars that will further add to your CV/resume and your knowledge as a professional teacher.
Although teaching jobs at international schools will not be open to everyone as most positions will require a high level of teaching qualifications and experience, they offer a great opportunity for those who meet the criteria. Unlike most other people heading off overseas to teach you will not need to worry about what languages will be spoken as all your lessons will be taught in English, all your colleagues will speak English, and all correspondence with children and parents will be in English.