Teaching in the UK isn’t the only career path for Edge Hill University PGCE graduates – many are enjoying exciting lives overseas.
All say there is a world of opportunities out there – you just need to keep an open mind when you’re planning your next career move.
One of those who decided to pursue an international role was Louise Rolf. After graduation, she moved to London and taught history at a large comprehensive in Middlesex.
“That was an amazing experience,” she says, “but the high cost of living in the capital did take its toll and so I moved overseas to be able to earn more and save for the future. I teach in a British curriculum school, it wasn’t a huge difference. However, the school I work in does encourage and allow you to be more creative and innovative with your teaching. There is more freedom here than in the UK.
“Since living in the UAE I spend a lot of time on the beach, camping in the desert or on the beaches of Oman. It is also a great place to travel from so there have been trips to Lebanon, Jordan, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia.”
And she has some good advice for those thinking about a teaching career: “You really need to want to do it. Try to get work experience and really think about if it’s the right path for you. If it is, and you complete your teacher training, then stay open minded when looking for jobs. There are amazing opportunities overseas. You do generally need two years experience in the UK before moving abroad to a good school so consider this if you do eventually want to live abroad.”
David Toze is the first to admit his career path has been unconventional. After graduation, he worked in a hardware store in Birmingham and had an idea that he would like to do a MA in Caribbean Literature, but his mum persuaded him to put his training to good use. His first teaching job was as the only man in a 13-strong English department at a Birmingham school – and it was one of those colleagues who tipped him off about a job in the Philippines.
“I moved overseas purely by fluke,” says David. “I was a real home-body and never thought of moving elsewhere.”
But after a two-hour interview in a café in Euston, David suddenly found himself with a job in Manila. Since then he has worked as High School Principal at the American Community School in Surrey, then Headteacher at schools in Bogotá, Vienna, Austria and Guernsey. He then returned to the Philippines to become Superintendent of International School Manila.
David adds: “The schools and ways of teaching are so different here in comparison to the UK, and, in the good schools, it has to be said that they are better.
“I love the job I have, so, although the early years were tough, I am so happy that I do what I do. I married when I was in Colombia and now have a Colombian wife and twins – oh, and five cats.”
And he also has advice for those considering a teaching career overseas: “Think carefully about what you are doing and why you want to do it. Keep an open mind and never rule out a country or region. You never know where this career path will take you. Would anything ever tempt me to return to teach in the UK? Nothing. Never. Ever!”