Returning to teaching with international experience

Image of Shaun

Shaun returned to the UK in 2017 after teaching abroad for a number of years. Read Shaun’s story on how his international experience benefitted him as he looked to return to the classroom.

“I taught abroad for a number of years and returned to the UK in 2017. On returning, I felt teaching back in the UK was too daunting as things had moved on a lot since I was last in a UK classroom. I tried my hand at various other jobs, but felt that it just didn't give me the same job satisfaction as teaching. After registering with the Return to Teaching Adviser service, an adviser got in touch and was very supportive, giving me lots of advice and resources. 

The support helped me through my applications, giving me feedback that was valuable in ensuring I had the best chance of getting to interview.

For example, they highlighted things that I may have missed from the job specification and provided background information about the school. I believe the advice for approaching the observed lesson was exceptional – I received lots of great ideas (especially for science practicals). I think it’s very easy to try and do too much in an observed lesson and my adviser was great at identifying this and suggesting other approaches. I was also signposted to continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities that would help get me back into the classroom.

I was initially concerned my teaching experience abroad may have been an issue in terms of successfully getting a post. To overcome this, I drew comparisons between the curriculum I was teaching internationally and the curriculum in the UK, and how any differences could benefit the wider curriculum of the school.

I was also concerned that gaps in employment and time away from teaching would possibly be another barrier to getting back into teaching. To help combat this, I explained these gaps to my adviser and highlighted what CPD I had done. I found during interviews that gaps were never raised and schools were more interested in how I performed on the day, i.e. in the observed lesson with students, with the interview panel and in general interactions with staff.

I owe a great deal of thanks to my adviser for supporting me through the return to teaching process and am very happy to learn that they will continue to support me for the first two months of my post.

Register today to receive a tailored package of support from the Return to Teaching Adviser service.