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A career dilemma - M.A. vs. continue teaching
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1203

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've never applied for a B.C. teaching position, so I'm unsure of if I'd be accepted or not.

Also, teaching children isn't something I look for in a job. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy teaching the private students I have, but that's only a few hours a week. To be doing that as a main job isn't for me.


Fair enough!

I didn't have teaching children in mind, but I imagine that most BC jobs state YL.

Good luck in whatever decision you take!
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Phil 999



Joined: 16 Jan 2013
Posts: 10
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shroob, I really feel this post as I was thinking exactly the same as you about eight years ago in China doing the same thing.

I remember I was pushing myself too quickly. I remember looking at the BC posts worldwide too and thinking 'how can I get into this...'

I ended up doing the DELTA and then the MA in teaching English. I taught in an International School in China and had a child. Feeling pretty tired at this stage as this was all in about 5 years. Result: Burnt out and now I teach Oral English in a University because it is easy.

I'm now rebuilding myself and doing a PGCE so I can get back into an International School. In China. So I'm in exactly the same position after all that stress!

The MA has made me much more inquisitive as to what I do in class and it really helped me understand research but to get to Ph.D level you have to be a fanatic or maybe I should say lunatic! I admit to myself I can't do that, at least in any sensible time. I'm not sure my MA will have any use really apart from academic understanding of which you can learn if you need when teaching. The DELTA in China has no use now.

I'd do a PGCE back in my home country if I were you. You can do the DTLLS part time even or an International PGCE by distance with Buckingham or Nottingham. If you are after a family the International Scene will look after you better especially in China.
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Phil 999



Joined: 16 Jan 2013
Posts: 10
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh and one more thing!

I know you say you don't like teaching kids. At the International Schools in China there is a lot of EAP and EAL teaching and the kids are preparing to go to Universities in America/UK/Aus etc. I found this teaching more of a challenge n terms of dealing with maturity than Oral english at a Chinese University. Some of the kids are extremely smart and will challenge you intellectually, plus generally well disciplined. It's not like teaching kids at all.
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 974

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil 999 wrote:
Shroob, I really feel this post as I was thinking exactly the same as you about eight years ago in China doing the same thing.

I remember I was pushing myself too quickly. I remember looking at the BC posts worldwide too and thinking 'how can I get into this...'

I ended up doing the DELTA and then the MA in teaching English. I taught in an International School in China and had a child. Feeling pretty tired at this stage as this was all in about 5 years. Result: Burnt out and now I teach Oral English in a University because it is easy.

I'm now rebuilding myself and doing a PGCE so I can get back into an International School. In China. So I'm in exactly the same position after all that stress!

The MA has made me much more inquisitive as to what I do in class and it really helped me understand research but to get to Ph.D level you have to be a fanatic or maybe I should say lunatic! I admit to myself I can't do that, at least in any sensible time. I'm not sure my MA will have any use really apart from academic understanding of which you can learn if you need when teaching. The DELTA in China has no use now.

I'd do a PGCE back in my home country if I were you. You can do the DTLLS part time even or an International PGCE by distance with Buckingham or Nottingham. If you are after a family the International Scene will look after you better especially in China.


Thanks for the input, I am preparing for the future. I know that a P.G.C.E. would probably set me up better in the long run...however, I'm not sure it's for me. Before I decided to teach English I was down for a P.G.C.E. course in the U.K., I backed out due to a combination of working in a primary school for 6 months (not for me) and a fear of the stress during to the course. The numbers are also scary, something like 1/3 of NQTs have quit by the end of their first year. If I was t do a P.G.C.E. it would be in History (teaching secondary school students) and from what I understand, I'd need experience of working in schools before being accepted on the course. So I'd have to do all that, whilst having a 'year out'.



Phil 999 wrote:
Oh and one more thing!

I know you say you don't like teaching kids. At the International Schools in China there is a lot of EAP and EAL teaching and the kids are preparing to go to Universities in America/UK/Aus etc. I found this teaching more of a challenge n terms of dealing with maturity than Oral english at a Chinese University. Some of the kids are extremely smart and will challenge you intellectually, plus generally well disciplined. It's not like teaching kids at all.


To be honest, my reluctance to teach kids stems from working in a primary school in the U.K., I did that and, predictably, it was more like baby sitting than teaching. Plus the behaviour of the children left something to be desired, something you don't have to deal with when teaching adults (at least not in my experience!).

Of the children I've taught ESL to, I've had a blast. Granted I've only taught them privately, never in a school or institution. Last night I did a lesson in my flat and we drew a town map on the floor with whiteboard pens (tiled floors are the norm in China). Then I blindfolded one child and had the others direct them across town. Probably one of my best lessons and I had a great time with the kids.
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Phil 999



Joined: 16 Jan 2013
Posts: 10
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's your life man so go for what you feel. You can do the PGCEi by distance which is a general course, not a qualified teacher status one. I doubt you'd need teaching experience for that. There is no practical and it is mostly distance apart from a face to face in a city at the country you work. Nottingham do it.

As I say the 'kids' at the International School I taught at are just a year or two short from University. Really not much different from adults and they used to surprise me with their maturity sometimes.

It sounds like you have your mind set on the MA. I did. I don't regret doing that as you just have to go with what you feel. If I hadn't done it then I'd want to do it now so...

Just be wary that in China your MA and DELTA probably won't get you much further than what you do now. Also I've found that it matters little where I teach, it is what you yourself can get out of the teaching. You say 'no professional development' where you are. I've learnt you need to seek that development from whatever position you have. I have more professional development now than ever and I teach a simple Oral English class. Those simple Oral English classes are very good places to conduct research and you can do that in communities now if you use your nod. You could be here teaching Oral English for 20 years and learn a lot more than those at the BC or so called professional outfits. You'll find money really is what a lot of this is about, not your development so look after yourself and look within rather than expect.

Jus my opinion. Hope I don't sound harsh.

Anyway, Good luck.
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Phil 999



Joined: 16 Jan 2013
Posts: 10
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also Shroop (and I'll make this the last one I promise!)

If you did the PGCEi you could then go on after and do a Masters Education if you didn't want to teach at an International school. I think I'd have better opportunity with a Masters in Education than TEFL or Linguistics, at least in China.
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 974

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil 999 wrote:


It's your life man so go for what you feel. You can do the PGCEi by distance which is a general course, not a qualified teacher status one. I doubt you'd need teaching experience for that. There is no practical and it is mostly distance apart from a face to face in a city at the country you work. Nottingham do it.

I didn't know that, it's useful information for the future. I'm a little put off by a P.G.C.E. though, as teaching in a state/international school isn't something I envisage, not as a subject teacher any way. This may make me sound lazy but the workload, stress and pressure just isn't for me. I have relatives and friends who work/worked in state schools and it's something that makes me feel stressed just thinking about it.


As I say the 'kids' at the International School I taught at are just a year or two short from University. Really not much different from adults and they used to surprise me with their maturity sometimes.

That's great, I should say that I have recently been teaching a group of children privately and they are a joy to teach. Aged 8-11 but their behaviour is impeccable and we have a good time together. Like anything I suppose, generalisations don't tell the whole story.

It sounds like you have your mind set on the MA. I did. I don't regret doing that as you just have to go with what you feel. If I hadn't done it then I'd want to do it now so...

Just be wary that in China your MA and DELTA probably won't get you much further than what you do now. Also I've found that it matters little where I teach, it is what you yourself can get out of the teaching. You say 'no professional development' where you are. I've learnt you need to seek that development from whatever position you have. I have more professional development now than ever and I teach a simple Oral English class. Those simple Oral English classes are very good places to conduct research and you can do that in communities now if you use your nod. You could be here teaching Oral English for 20 years and learn a lot more than those at the BC or so called professional outfits. You'll find money really is what a lot of this is about, not your development so look after yourself and look within rather than expect.

I'm aware of your point about further qualifications not being of use in China. It's disappointing, but that's the way it is. I see the MA as an investment in my future, though I'm extremely happy where I am now, this may not be the case in 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years.

Jus my opinion. Hope I don't sound harsh.

Anyway, Good luck.

]Also Shroop (and I'll make this the last one I promise!)

If you did the PGCEi you could then go on after and do a Masters Education if you didn't want to teach at an International school. I think I'd have better opportunity with a Masters in Education than TEFL or Linguistics, at least in China.


Sorry for my late reply, Phil 999, I thought I had replied a while back but I must have just pressed 'preview' and not 'submit', my apologies.


Quick update: I have pretty much decided to go for an MA and am in the process of applying to universities, though I have a quick question...

Does the naming of the degree course matter to employers? For example, the two courses I am looking at are TEFL related, but have different titles. One of them is called 'Applied Linguistics with TESOL' and the other, 'English Language Teaching'. I see a lot of jobs advertising that they want an 'MA in TESOL'. Does this mean that they're only interested in people with a degree with that specific wording, or are they flexible?

Thanks again!
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Phil 999



Joined: 16 Jan 2013
Posts: 10
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problems. Good luck with the MA.

I can only speak from my experience in China about the name of the certificate where it has made no difference to me. I find a lot of ads for UK University jobs ask for TESOL or related subjects so I don't think it matters much. If you go onto a PhD you'll be getting more specialized. I found Masters level tough but it is still pretty general and I worked on a lot of literature researching with books that were written by authors picking at other peoples work, for example Rod Ellis. No disrespect to that. Ellis is a legend but I can only imaging most MA TOEFL,TEFL,Applied Linguistics, whatever, will be similar. It was almost an extension of my DELTA where you are building up knowledge for the most of it in many ways. I wouldn't worry about the name as long as it is TESOL related, but others may weigh in there.
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