Getting a teaching job at a public school

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I have a friend who is currently in Berlin learning German. She has the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree in Education from a former Soviet country which was for the purpose of being an English teacher in a secondary school level. After graduating she taught English at her college. She later on immigrated to the United States where she got two further degrees. One was a Bachelor's degree in History and the other one was a Master's degree in History. Considering the shortage of teachers in Berlin and in Germany and her being an American citizen what can she do to break into the public school system in Berlin considering that her German is still not good?

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I would think it is almost nil (especially considering that she does not have a passport from a EU Member State). Another issue is whether or not her teaching credentials would be recognized in Berlin. Maybe she should look at international schools that teach in English (but there is almost certainly an incredible amount of competition for those positions when they do become available). Why isn't she trying to get licensed somewhere in the US?

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Maybe because teaching in the US is a nightmare under the "No Child Left Behind" idea? Maybe her friend actually wants to teach material, and not teach to exams that she'll probably end up doctoring anyway so she doesn't lose her job for having "slow" kids in her class.

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OK, I'll revise my question to this: how about picking a country/school where she speaks the language? She can't teach history in German public schools in either English or Russian (or whatever other language(s) she speaks fluently) and I doubt someone whose German is anything less than fluent is going to be hired to teach English (good luck with the job interview(s) and communicating with the parents who don't speak English or Russian well let alone the kids on a more-or-less daily basis).

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Okay. Now I agree with you. German is a must over here, and even being fluent by non-native standards for teaching usually isn't good enough for a lot of positions.

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So are we to assume that the language visa extension didn't work out and the fraudulent marriage scheme wasn't such a good idea after all?

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Good eye, Jeffo. I wouldn't want this person teaching kids in this country even if she were fully qualified to do so. What is she really trying to avoid in the US? :unsure:

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Wow. I obviously haven't been on here enough lately... I agree, good eye. I definitely don't think someone like that should be teaching history. It gives people like me who plan on making history their life's work look bad. :wacko: Why can't OP's friend go back to their first country? A friend of mine from the former Soviet Union can't wait to get back after she's done her schooling...

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In answer to the comments being given my friend went to the Education Dept. in Berlin. Her education degree could be recognized in Germany although she might have to take some additional courses. The main problem is that there is a very tough German language requirement and a very difficult test would be involved. In point of fact most likely in the next few years the hiring of foreign teachers will have to be increased greatly (and not just from the European Union) for the simple reason that there is a huge wave of teachers retiring in Germany. As far as the comments made by people about my friend going back to the Soviet Union and not being welcomed in Berlin well that kind of attitude will have to change for the simple reason that more people are leaving Germany than are coming in (besides the decline in the birthrate). This will lead to a faltering economy in the next 10 years unless things are reversed. I know that unemployment is a high problem in Berlin but a more deregulated economy in the Berlin and Postdam region could reverse things. In point of fact Berlin should become more like Hong Kong and Singapore with their dynamic and free economies at the same time that they are well-structured cities. So I understand the comments but they are short-sighted to say the least.

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Without more information, I don't think we can accurately say that any future needs for teachers in Germany cannot be filled by those already living here legally and having the requisite language skills (a group which would include noncitizens who graduate from German universities). Fact is, there are a lot of students who graduate every year from German universities who cannot find steady employment of the sort teaching provides and they deserve first crack at any teaching positions that open up.

 

I don't think Germany should be that desperate to hire a person who is apparently as ethically challenged as the OP's friend.

 

Finally, I know a bit about Singapore, and although I have a lot of admiration for the city-state's economic success, I have no doubt that there isn't much desire on the part of Berliners present and future for their city to be run just like Singapore is.

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The main problem is that there is a very tough German language requirement and a very difficult test would be involved.

You mean DSH, or whatever it's called, or something else c C2 level or similar? That's not "tough" in itself. What your friend was told is completely normal here - plenty of immigrants getting to that level as conquistador says in order to fulfil language requirements for education or work. It just requires a couple of years of hard work (plus cost of training). If your friend is serious about wanting to come to Germany and that job, that's the sort of compromise she'll have to make.

 

Your friend also needs to lose her "Berlin should be grateful to have me" delusion as well (not to mention the "people are so short-sighted" one). Why on earth would it be grateful for teachers who can't communicate with children? It's not as if there aren't enough slacker Germans who get to 40/50 and think "hmm, what can I do to earn a living...ahh, there's always good old teaching".

 

German history, as taught by someone who spent their life in the USA and USSR - wonderful.

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If your friend really wants to become a teacher, she should start by looking here

 

http://www.berlin.de/sen/bildung/lehrer_werden/

 

This page also refers to people with foreign teaching certificates who want to teach in Germany.

 

And in any case, as the others have written, I would expect my children's history teacher to speak the language clearly and without any grammatical or otherwise mistakes; and to have probably been trained or re-trained about German history. If she's serious about becoming a teacher, she must probably get back to school and get some refreshment of her teaching.

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Considering the shortage of teachers in Berlin and in Germany

Uh, what shortage would that be? :blink:

 

1) there is a shortage of classrooms, not of teachers.

2) you're the friend aren't you? :rolleyes:

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I agree that 'shortage of teachers' is only partially true.

 

– Every few years, we hear about a shortage of teachers, but there are still unemployed teachers

– The situation varies between the different states

– There's a shortage only in certain subjects (sciences)

– Until recently, there was a shortage of permanent positions in some states that cut down on budgets and filled the gaps with temporary substitutions

 

Your friend could have a look at the state Europaschulen, a project in Berlin that exists for various language combinations. The schools have a 50:50 ratio of German and foreign language native speakers for teachers, and likewise 50:50 German and foreign native speakers as pupils. Foreign teachers need a good knowledge of German. Perhaps there are jobs as substitute teachers?

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I think you already know the answer to your question. If your friend is unable to speak German properly (and by that I mean flawlessly) then the chances of being employed teaching history in a school where German is the medium of instruction is zero. Think of the same situation in the US. A history teacher who didn't speak English properly wouldn't have a hope. The only exception would be a) if the school is bilingual and your friend could teach in English or b.) your friend was teaching English or Russian

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Hey, the chances to get into a public school are basically 0. All teachers in public schools have to have a degree in teaching from a German Uni. No exceptions. The chances for private and language schools are not very high either. Believe me, I know the situation since I have an MA in Tesol and I am still finding it hard to find a job. Most language schools expect you to be a native English speaker AND to have a good level of German.

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the chances of being employed teaching history in a school where German is the medium of instruction is zero. Think of the same situation in the US. A history teacher who didn't speak English properly wouldn't have a hope.

It's too bad the OP's friend isn't qualified to teach at uni. In Canada, the ONLY way to get a job as a professor is to not speak any English whilst attempting to instruct courses in English. Maybe it works the same way here? :rolleyes:

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– Every few years, we hear about a shortage of teachers, but there are still unemployed teachers

It's actually sort of two curves merging and diverting. Usually there being a shortage, everyone tells the kids to become teachers and 5 years later a third of them won't find a job because there's too many of them. Then, since there's too many, they tell the next batch not to become teachers, and it reverses...

Just like in any other industry. Except, additionaly, there's of course a float in demand, currently we're bounding over the last post-reunification babyboomer years, which might manage to coincide with a large number of teachers pensioned for about a year or two. After that, the number of kids in schools will drop. Enormously. And hence the demand for teachers will drop to below the levels of remaining teachers.

There's statistics for that, including forecasts. Unless you've got a hard on for teaching at a Hauptschule, don't stick your career to education. For the next 10 years, anyway.

 

 

Maybe it works the same way here?

Nah, that's just the medical departments here (i swear not one doc or nurse at the uni clinic Heidelberg spoke "native" German...).

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When I trained years ago in the UK, we were told the same thing about the baby boom and teachers retiring. It never happened. It may happen but there are lines and lines of teachers already trained waiting to take their places.

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remember having met a German guy on the way to Munich from Nuernberg. He was studying at the University to be a Teacher, and he said, there are loads and loads of young people going for the teacher-training (Germans), because job market is good, and the situation is going to be bad when he comes out of the course!!

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