Becoming a German State Teacher.

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PLS, could you link to the websites for finding teaching jobs in NRW that you mentioned earlier? I'm working as a freelance English teacher in Bonn right now, and I've been looking around for something more permanent, but haven't had much luck with the schools here. I'd like to see what possibilities are out there.

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Bayern is a particularly tricky place to find work if you didn't train here.My wife used to work with a Physical Education and Computer qualified teacher.She had grades of 1.2 and could only work in a Catholic school not a state school as she qualified in Baden-Wurrtemberg.My wife had 3 years teaching Music & Deutsch in Catholic and state schools and now has to take the State exam after 2 years in University as her second subject is only at Master level and not Doctor as is her first subject.

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PLS, could you link to the websites for finding teaching jobs in NRW that you mentioned earlier? I'm working as a freelance English teacher in Bonn right now, and I've been looking around for something more permanent, but haven't had much luck with the schools here. I'd like to see what possibilities are out there.

 

It might be useful to do some substitute teaching first to see if you like it and get a grasp of things. You can find available positions in NRW here: VERENA

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There is also an age limit to becoming a Beamte (or so I have been told). It might be worth finding out what it is in your Land. If you manage to get Beamte status in one Land, it is very rare that you can move to a different Land. One of my colleagues managed it, but in order to do so had to swap with a teacher from Bayern with the same subjects. Other colleagues had to resign and are now teachers with contracts rather than Beamtes. (So worse pay). Different Laender permit different subject combinations too. Sorry, I can't tell from your post if you are thinking of primary or secondary teaching, so don't know if that would affect you.

Whilst your German doesn't have to be perfect (mine certainly isn't), I find that having to write all of my tests is challenging and I have had parents complaining about the 'peculiar wording' of tests and that was why their son didn't get a very good grade. (Unfortunately for them, I had copied the question they were complaining about directly from the text book!). I have also had parents telling me that the reason their daughter has a bad grade (as in failing the year) is because she couldn't understand me.

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jb2 I don't think it would matter if you were perfect in German there are always those parents who just can't accept that little Johnny or Jill just aint' Einstein, they'd find something else you were obviously doing wrong to account for their poor performance, like using black pen on the board instead of blue. You just have to roll with it. Glad you could back yourself up though. I would have loved to see the look on that parent's face when you pulled the text on them to show where the question came from.

 

But I have wondered about the trials and tribulations of trying to write and mark papers in German when it's not your first language doing it in English is hard enough sometimes.

 

Thanks for your account of working in a school as a none native.

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The look made my parents' evening!

I give my tests to the head of faculty to check before giving them to the pupils (not just to check the language but also content.) He was very surprised the first time, but I felt that I had to do it so that parents couldn't turn round at the end of the year and blame me for the poor grades - well they still try to, but don't get anywhere. I now tell them that this is what I do at the 'meet the teachers' evening at the start of the year.

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Regarding teaching in German, I've only done it in universities, not schools, but I think the same principles apply. Basically, I've always found it's not that marking and preparing materials is that much harder/more time consuming than in English, but I have to be rather more organised. I can't be printing something off ten minutes before class if someone else has to look it over; I need to have examples prepared (depending on topic) before class instead of being 100% spontaneous, and I can't just skim corrections the night before if I'm going to have to look something up.

 

Besides, it's not as if the majority of German English teachers are going into class speaking perfect English...

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Flavia I agree. I often think well I am sure the German English teachers are far from perfect (and everyone must know that) but I think there is a double standard in that respect. I have noticed most companies here feel you only need 'decent' English to work in English for them even if the company language is English but they will still insist on native or near native German. I have come to the conclusion it is a way to protect German jobs which is probably fair play in some way.

 

I guess it is the same in the school system.

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I just read in another thread that it seems some places in MV are so desperate for teachers that they'll even take those without a teaching qualification. I wonder if this might be a way to eventually get into the system...

 

 

I know a lot of smaller towns in M-V are hurting for English teachers in the school system, I don't know if Rostock is small enough to fit into this category or not. You might run into some problems getting a teaching job in a public school because you don't have the same teaching license as other German teachers (similar to a bachelor of education I believe, depending on where you're from) but I believe the private schools have a little more wiggle room on this. I've also done a certification similar to CELTA, I have almost NO experience and I just got a teaching position with contract at a private school here teaching 4 english classes (15 classroom hours a week) and I will be picking up another class on top of that in a few weeks.

 

 

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Not entirely sure about the situation in Meck-Pomm - I've heard similar rumours, but there's not hordes of advertised vacancies. This is the current list for temporary positions.

 

Here's the current info for Seiteneinsteiger. It's a bit vague, though.

 

In general, right now I know of a lot of would-be English teachers with the complete set of German qualifications who are having to wait several years for a Refendariatsplatz, and a few other qualified people who've got jobs a very long way away, and rather further down the totem pole than you'd expect (Bayern-trained teachers working in Schleswig-Holstein, for example, and not because the love of their life lives in Lübeck). So unless you have a *really* in-demand second subject, there aren't huge numbers of public school jobs waiting to be filled at the moment.

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Not entirely sure about the situation in Meck-Pomm - I've heard similar rumours, but there's not hordes of advertised vacancies.

 

Do you have idea why they'd be willing to hire someone who is completely unqualified if there are not that many vacancies? If they are really that desparate, you'd think that they be willing to give foreign qualified teachers a chance...

 

 

 

In general, right now I know of a lot of would-be English teachers with the complete set of German qualifications who are having to wait several years for a Refendariatsplatz,

 

Have they tried Thüringen? Rumour has it that Thüringen is currently desparate for teachers.

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Do you have idea why they'd be willing to hire someone who is completely unqualified if there are not that many vacancies? If they are really that desparate, you'd think that they be willing to give foreign qualified teachers a chance...

I really don't know. If the unqualified are floating English teachers in Grundschulen, that makes sense, because there's still a lot of very untrained primary English teachers out there, and the demand increased fairly quickly without changes to uni education to make that possible. It's also plausible that there's funding for this sort of thing. If it's for older students...it might be just about likely if there is a demand for English as a single subject without the necessary hours to employ someone in a full-time or part-time position. I'd be monumentally surprised if foreign qualified teachers were employed rather than freelance though, unless Schulleiter in rural areas have more budget flexibility than I thought.

 

Meck-Pomm may also have the same problem as Thüringen (discussed below) - numbers of teachers needed and demographics don't add up, so there's need but no jobs.

 

 

 

Have they tried Thüringen? Rumour has it that Thüringen is currently desparate for teachers.

 

My students and geographical flexibility are concepts that are virtually incompatible. (Don't ask me why.) We're not actually drowning in teachers here - the bigger problem is the subject combinations. Lots of people doing English/German, English/History etc, and the demand isn't there.

 

The situation in Thüringen is actually a bit more complex than not having enough teachers. I've heard that a lot of teachers educated there go elsewhere because the pay is not great, but the teachers are quite well respected so get offered more money in other states. The bigger issue is that the demographics are so unstable, so it's hard to calculate where the demand is. New people don't get employed in schools that are numerically on the edge, so the average age goes up, and some areas are't covered, but it's not possible to change that without shifting students to other schools. I believe the long-term prognosis is that Thüringen *will* need more teachers in regular schools (not so much vocational - that's where the attrition is), but that the exact numbers and needs are nowhere near being finalised.

 

(There's a very interesting PDF on this topic: Eckpunkte der Personalentwicklung der staatlichen Schulen im Freistaat Thüringen, but I can't find a way to link to it, and it seems a bit too specialised to upload. Google should find it for the terminally curious.)

 

This is rapidly becoming my specialist subject!

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I will graduate with a PhD in Global Studies this year, and have a Masters in Global Studies, both from a German university Given the difficulty of finding a permanent position in German academia, I was advised to look at teaching English at the school level.

 

I have B2 German and can work on it, but is this a feasible option? My experience is teaching at the University level and also  teaching private classes in English and in private schools.

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I can only speak anecdotally but, yes, it seems to be a fairly common path, at least round my way, of course employment prospects are often very localised.  My impression would be that there are a range.  Some people I know who taught English go on into secondary schools, others are right at the start with the little kids.   Not sure if the routes would be the same, or of equivalent formality / quaifications etc.   

 

But when I say "common path", I am not talking about people with PhDs, of course.  I doubt they'd do that.  Of course you potentially have far more professional options to academia than school teaching.  

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12 minutes ago, solomongrundy said:

I was advised to look at teaching English at the school level.

 

I have B2 German

Ok, so a native German kid writes this...

 

"I asked my father how long it would take and he appreciated that it would take three hours."

 

... and you have to explain what/where the mistake is.

 

How do you do that?

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