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Teaching at PNET as an entry point to International schools?
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GreenCardigan



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 50
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:52 am    Post subject: Teaching at PNET as an entry point to International schools? Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

First off, thank you to all those who take a couple moments to read and, maybe, even respond to my questions. It is much appreciated.

I'm looking at making a move to Hong Kong in November of this year. I'm currently doing my B. Ed. at the Unversity of Queensland in Brisbane. Although, I'm originally from Canada.

My question is for those that have information about or have gone through the process of trying to land a position with an International School. How challenging did you find the process? And, from what you know, are schools willing to hire individuals who are not registered as full-time teachers in their home countries?

I imagine that many of the schools would like to have teachers with several years of experience. I did spend six years teaching in Japan, two of which were on the JET Programme, which I gather is similar to PNET and ESF (Correct acronym?), teaching in a high school. However, I wonder how potential employers--International schools would regard this experience and whether it would count towards anything.

And, as I mentioned, there's that pesky issue of being registered as a "teacher" or as a "pre-service teacher" in your home country. I'm not sure how schools would look on that.

I do have savings from my time in Japan, so I was thinking of heading over to Hong Kong and hitting the pavement looking for a position. I thought if I strike out with the International Schools, I could always apply to PNET, and make the transition to an International School in that way.

Would anyone have any advice to share on the best way to approach this job hunt?

Again, thanks to all those who take the time to read and respond. I'll be responding in the thread.

All the best.
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sistercream



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 487
Location: Pearl River Delta

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi.
First up, ESF is more akin to the international schools than to the EdB NET scheme (have you checked out the ESF website?).

Secondly, international and ESF school positions here are highly sought after, so the schools can really pick and choose their staff from among many applicants with exactly the qualifications and experience they want. I'm not even sure how many specifically ESL/ EFL teachers they employ - the one where I worked in years past used regular class teachers to teach language classes in the parallel language stream.

Even in the lower tier international schools it's unlikely you'd be hired without full registration and a couple of years post-qual. experience under your belt.

I haven't worked in the NET programme, so will leave others to comment on that.
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Honky Nick



Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Posts: 111
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have worked in both systems and it is possible to transition from one to the other, although I think it would be more difficult to get a job as a classroom teacher at an international school without having had experience in your (sort of) home country.

I think coming over and trying to get a job in the PNET scheme first is not a bad idea. It'll give you a place to start and it's much easier to weigh up your options and contact schools when you're actually living here. There are international job fairs every year, so you could attend those.

Good luck.
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect you might find it difficult to get into ESF or the international schools without 1. teacher registration back home and 2. relevant post qualification experience. However, PNET should be within your reach and pays more or less the same.

Another thing to consider though is that all the above will already have completed their main recruitment excercise for the academic year starting in September, so the next scheduled round of recruitment will be for September 2013. Posts do crop up during the year because of teachers leaving early, dropping dead etc., but these vacancies arise on an ad hoc basis.
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GreenCardigan



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 50
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the feedback.

I dio get my acronyms crossed up. I was actually referring to SNET and not PNET, but I believe that it is run through the same board of education and is essentially the same type of position, the difference being the former is a high school position.

Some of the comments I'm reading reflect what I believed was most likely the case, which is that it's best to be registered in a Province in Canada and to have a couple of years under your belt. Being so close to Hong Kong now, and excited about the possibility of living and working there, it's a little hard to put that on hold to go back to Canada for two years.

There was one comment which caught my attention. Perilla, you mentioned that "they pay more or less the same." Do you mean that SNET and ESF pay more or less the same? I don't think you were implying that teaching at an International School and working for SNET/ESF pays the same.

I have looked at both sites in detail, and I know the next round of hiring isn't until February 2013 for SNET, which suits me fine because my dilploma program runs into and concludes in November (Remember, it's Australia).

Here's a question: Is it possible to substitute teach at International Schools as a non-registered teacher? Might be a way of making contacts at the very least and could be an option in the short-term as I look for a more long-term position with a school or organization.

Thanks, guys.
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sistercream



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 487
Location: Pearl River Delta

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GreenCardigan wrote:


Here's a question: Is it possible to substitute teach at International Schools as a non-registered teacher?



Do you already have Right To Land or Right Of Abode in Hong Kong? If yes, then you might find some openings, but would probably do better to look for TA/ EA positions.

If you would need working visa sponsorship, not a chance.
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GreenCardigan wrote:

There was one comment which caught my attention. Perilla, you mentioned that "they pay more or less the same." Do you mean that SNET and ESF pay more or less the same? I don't think you were implying that teaching at an International School and working for SNET/ESF pays the same.

I have looked at both sites in detail, and I know the next round of hiring isn't until February 2013 for SNET, which suits me fine because my dilploma program runs into and concludes in November (Remember, it's Australia).


Yes, but I imagine the February recruitment will be for positions beginning in September.

And yes, SNET and PNET both come under the government-run NET scheme. And yes again, they both pay approximately (if not quite as much) as the international schools and the ESF.
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GreenCardigan



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 50
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I don't have Hong Kong citizenship. I thought that I could spend the first few months looking for work on a tourist visa, after coming over in late November/early December. (Do have Canadian and German citizenship)

About SNET, do those who have worked on it find the position challenging and fulfilling? Do they feel like they are able to make a genuine contribution to the school and the education of their students? Are there any paths to advancement or is that pathway blocked?

While I'm very interested in SNET, I'm a little concenred about what I have read regarding some disillusioned NETs, or maybe they're just a little grumpy.

The other question I had about SNET and PNET is the idea that this is a lucrative position. From what I gather on the civil service salary table, listed on the HK government's website, SNETs start very low at only 23,000HK (even with a B. ed. and two years of teaching experience) plus 14,000 as an allowance (don't know whether this is paid to the teacher directly). That's still only 37,000HK. Is this really considered lucrative in Hong Kong? (Didn't include gratuity. Don't know if that's paid out monthly.)
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ozman



Joined: 12 Jun 2004
Posts: 133
Location: HONG KONG

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding being a SNET with EDB:

challenging and fulfilling?? yes for first; no for second.
depends on the school you get and what they want you to do.
Depends if you get Band 1 EMI school; Band 2 or low Band 3 where you can expect "challenging" behaviour with students who have little interest in learning plus lots of students classed as "SEN".

At the top of SNET scale I'm getting over $52,000 per month; we are due 5 - 6% increase which will be backdated; this does not include allowances, e.g. housing over $16,800 plus 10% retentions plus 15% gratuities and other stuff. I get over $70,000 per month but have full qualifications and years experience. The housing and extras are paid same as salary; it all goes in a lump sum into your account each month. what you do with housing etc. is up to you.

REgarding substitution with ESF. You must have full registration with HK Exam and Accreditation Authority otherwise no ESF school will look at you. To get this, your qualifications will be scrutinised and you should have registration in your home country as well.
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GreenCardigan wrote:
That's still only 37,000HK. Is this really considered lucrative in Hong Kong? (Didn't include gratuity. Don't know if that's paid out monthly.)


Let me turn this question around. HK$37,000 is about US$5,000 - per month. And that isn't including the gratuity, which is paid in a lump sum annually. Where in the world wouldn't that be regarded as a very good salary for a teacher with just a year or two's post qual experience?
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oxi



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 333
Location: elsewhere

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GreenCardigan wrote:
The other question I had about SNET and PNET is the idea that this is a lucrative position...SNETs start very low at only 23,000HK (even with a B. ed. and two years of teaching experience) plus 14,000 as an allowance (don't know whether this is paid to the teacher directly). That's still only 37,000HK. Is this really considered lucrative in Hong Kong? (Didn't include gratuity. Don't know if that's paid out monthly.)


Yes, it's lucrative. What are you comparing it to?

It's better than most middle east jobs - eg. compares very well with BAE in Saudi. Better than UK. Better than most HK local teachers. Better than most I know of. Not bad compared to HK international schools. Actually I would like to know what the best international schools in HK pay if someone can say? Or any others that people know pay better?

If you're comparing it other expat jobs outside teaching in HK, eg. banking, that's another story.
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Joshua2006



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ozman wrote:


challenging and fulfilling?? yes for first; no for second.
depends on the school you get and what they want you to do.
Depends if you get Band 1 EMI school; Band 2 or low Band 3 where you can expect "challenging" behaviour with students who have little interest in learning plus lots of students classed as "SEN".
Band 3 CMI....like mine.
Challenging? No.
Fulfilling? No.
Enjoyable teaching experience? No.
Stressful? No.
Rewarding? No.
Easy teaching? Yes.
Discipline issues with students? Yes
Take any work home with me? No.
Heavy workload? No.
Happy with the pay packet? Yes.
Working for money and not for the love of the job? Yes.
Do I want to change schools? No, unless it was a top school.
Would DSS pay more? No.
Would there be a better career chance in a DSS? Yes.
Would I recommend it to others? Yes.
Why? Money.
Are there better paid teaching jobs with this little stress? I sincerely doubt it.

Currently on about 34k. That's going up by nearly 2k with this pay rise. I also get a point increment in July. I get 3 k extra a month....what for? Well, no extra work and no extra stress and no extra hassle. Then add the housing allowance. It's all good and I really don't any other jobs that involve this little work for this much money.


[/quote]
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ozman



Joined: 12 Jun 2004
Posts: 133
Location: HONG KONG

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well said Joshua, and I DITTO everything. Spot on: except "challenging".
the Band 3 behaviour can be challenging; so is trying to teach to uninterested students and maintaining your sanity at the same time.
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GreenCardigan



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 50
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the thought, guys.

Couple of questions: 1. Would it help to be in Hong Kong when SNET begins hiring or does it matter? (With the JET Programme interviews were conducted in Canadian cities). 2. Is there any age preference the administrators tend to look for? (I'm now in my early 30s)

Joshua, I appreciate your honesty. Besides the money, is there nothing you find redeeming? Great colleagues? Kids? Professional Development? Get to attend seminars and train new SNETs? Possibly working fo International schools in the future? Anything?

By the way, what's DSS?

Thanks, guys.
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Joshua2006



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GreenCardigan wrote:



Joshua, I appreciate your honesty. Besides the money, is there nothing you find redeeming? Great colleagues? Kids? Professional Development? Get to attend seminars and train new SNETs? Possibly working fo International schools in the future? Anything?

By the way, what's DSS?

Thanks, guys.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Subsidy_Scheme

Nice collegaues indeed....but you are still usually quite insular if you have been used to working in a foreign staffroom full of, well, foreigners such as yourself. There isn't quite the same 'commradery' (sp)....Kids....mixed bunch in a Band 3 CMI...very mixed bunch. How many times a day am I told to, well, duck off, in Chinese? Lose count by 8.30 am. PD? No. Seminars? No. Train new SNETs? Definitely no. Came from an international school. 50% extra in pay packet now. See 'Money' above....
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