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No role? Make one!

Moving to an International School is an exciting prospect, full of opportunity. But what if there is a position you would like but does not exist in the school? As Nuzha puts it – ”No role? Make one!”

Teaching is such a versatile job that allows us to travel the world if we want to. Relocating to teach in an International School comes with it’s own challenges; such as new school systems and procedure. Whilst most are running smoothly, many are not so up to date with what’s ‘up and coming’ in the UK. Lead practitioners, coordinators and key stage departmental deputies are positions not yet created in some British schools.

One of the advantages of moving abroad is the opportunities available. Sometimes it can be difficult to progress in UK schools where there are long standing excellent teachers holding such positions whereas promotions come and go more often abroad.

But what if there is a position you would like but does not exist in the school? Well, make it!! Here are several factors to consider before proposing any role:

1. Need – you have to show the school there is a need for the position you would like to create. The first question will be why? Many schools are run by companies and whilst the school wants what is best for the students, a financial benefit will always play well with Head Office. Proving that the position will excel learning and attract more students therefore more income will always look good on a proposal.

2. Job description- if you can’t find one make one but majority of UK schools advertising will have a document with the description of the role. If not, ask your previous school for one. Clearly outline what will be expected from that role and know the expectations inside out. If your school like the proposal you may be interviewed about it. Don’t just copy and paste.

3. Evidence – make sure you have trailed whatever it is you are proposing. If you would like to be a KS3 coordinator within department, make sure you can show how this will enhance the progress of your department. Trial out the ‘role’ within your classes. Interventions for students, chasing up homework, clear progress given the strategies the role will entail.

4. Feedback – speak to your head of department about the role. Get them to play devil’s advocate and preempt any questions that may arise. They may know a lot more about the dynamics of the school and better aid your pitch. Send your proposal to colleagues in other school that are already in that position to make sure you have not left anything out.

You may get the position you may not but at least you have shown your Head teacher your forward thinking approach and your drive to do better for the school. It is something they will keep in mind and who knows, maybe next available post they’ll encourage you to take it?

Moving to an international school to teach can be a daunting experience. New country, new people, new language. But the teaching is not new. That is why we’re so adaptable to change. Give us a pen and board and we’ll start doing what we do best. Imagine what we can do with more than that? All you’ve got to do is ask.

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The author

Nuzha currently works as a mathematics teacher and has been involved in the education sector for over 7 years. Nuzha has worked in the public and private sector as well as being involved in curriculum writing publishing several syllabi in the private sector. Nuzha has also worked as an examinations coordinator, marker and worked closely with intervention students setting up summer camps to give them the boost needed for the next academic year. She is also involved in the training of new teachers and regularly holds training sessions with them. All of this experience positions Nuzha perfectly to be a regular NexEdblogs contributor.

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