What is ib certification
I teach in an MYP and DP school in Japan. I previously worked in schools in Malaysia and China (which weren't IB schools). I am guessing that you want to work in an international school that offers the IB program. (There are many international schools out there that you could work at which don't offer IB, so obviously, IB experience to them is not really important).
First off, you don't need to get "IB certification" before working in an IB school. You just need to find a way to get yourself hired at an IB school. Then the school will send you to workshops and you can get certification that way. I don't recommend paying to do it on your own because it isn't really necessary.
If you want to work in an IB school, it is very helpful to have IB experience. The best IB schools will require it. So how does someone go about getting hired at an IB school if they don't have IB experience?
There are plenty of IB schools that are not as picky about their hiring for various reasons. One reason might be the location of the school. Many schools in less sought after destinations (such as in China and the Middle East) have a harder time attracting teachers, especially schools in cities that aren't as well-known. One way to get your foot in the door to the IB world is to be willing to go somewhere that isn't Western Europe or Argentina or Japan. you need to be adventurous and try somewhere off the beaten path, such as Vietnam or Turkey or Kuwait.
Another way to get your foot in the door is to be willing to work for a school that is not as prestigious/established as some of the top-tier international schools. There are plenty of younger schools that are just getting started building their identity. They don't have the reputation of the top international schools but they can give you the chance to learn the IB because they need teachers. For example, many schools in China offer the IB. Not
international schools, but Chinese primary and secondary schools which cater to parents and students who want an international style education. Actually, in China, Chinese citizens cannot attend international schools (the government restricts where they can study). Only foreign nationals can. But some parents want an IB education for their children. More and more Chinese schools are starting to offer the IB, and they often want foreign teachers to contribute to the global-mindedness of the program. Many of these schools offer English immersion programs in addition to the IB curriculum. This would be another way to get IB experience to start you off in your international career.
The truth is, it is very difficult to get hired at the really good international schools unless you put in your time at the lower tier schools. You need to be strategic about it. Go somewhere less desirable or work at a school that is less prestigious. If you can get IB experience at one of those types of schools, seize that opportunity! It is the first step to working your way up to the better schools. You have to put in your time at the bottom first.
The reason schools really want teachers with IB experience is because the IB way of doing things takes a long time to get the hang of. It is a very layered, deeply-thought out program. My first year teaching IB was very stressful because I was trying to wrap my head around both the MYP and DP ways of doing things. And the IB requires that IB schools have a certain percentage of teachers who have recent training in IB topics. If you have that training, it makes you that much more valuable to potential employers.
I love the IB. It is an excellent program. It has made me a much better teacher and it has given me confidence in my teaching and my planning. It is based on constructivist methods, which I really believe in. If you can find that opportunity to get IB experience, take it!
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