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Thread: Teaching careers in NZ?

  1. #1
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    Question Teaching careers in NZ?

    Hi, first post here!

    I won't go into the whole back story here, but my wife and I were inspired to resettle in NZ after a month long vacation there a few years back. We just loved it and could envision raising our daughter there and growing old there together.

    We're both teachers in a small town in rural Texas. I teach high school history and my wife teaches elementary math. What are the prospects of the two of us finding positions there and making a new life? I get the sense that teachers are not in high demand, so I'm somewhat worries it will be difficult for us. The advantages we have going for us are a) we both will have 10 years or so of teaching experience before we move b) we're both very good and very passionate in regards to teaching c) don't know if this is an edge or not, but for schools with a US History class, I would naturally have good background in that.

    So, thoughts? We're early in our exploration of the possibility of moving to NZ and I'm trying to figure out how to make it happen. I'd appreciate any ideas, and feel free to ask me questions if you'd like.

  2. #2
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    Hello and welcome,
    Wish you all the best for your move . You may be able to research Teaching jobs at www.seek.co.nz , I don't have much knowledge in this area and hope some one else would be in better position to provide more info.
    Also try the "Search" options on the forum , there are few threads on Teaching jobs in NZ. I have listed a few here

    www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=24934

    www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=31418

    www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=9119

    www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=5092

    www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=32137

  3. #3
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    Hi and welcome,

    this is a really useful site for teaching jobs http://www.edgazette.govt.nz/
    I agree with your sense of teachers not being high in demand, we were told that NZ had trained up lots of NZ teachers recently and so didn't need so many, though I think maths is always a good subject I'm afraid I don't know what kind of history they teach here so can't help you on that.

    You may well find other interesting opportunities here than your current rural location offers. My partner was a maths teacher (13-18yr old), his maths and teaching abilities were very interesting to lots here, including schools, but he didn't go down the school route as he was offered a position in private industry, still within a teaching/training field but very different to schools! And this way he didn't have to worry about registering
    I guess it all depends on where you think you might end up here!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexanGreg View Post
    So, thoughts? We're early in our exploration of the possibility of moving to NZ and I'm trying to figure out how to make it happen. I'd appreciate any ideas, and feel free to ask me questions if you'd like.
    As an American, you'll find you have to go through a different process than other countries. The first place you want to start is here: teachnz.govt.nz and here: http://www.teacherscouncil.govt.nz/c...rseas-teachers.

    Teachers are no longer in shortage in NZ, so like the above person said, you'll probably have to think outside the box to use your skills to get a job in NZ.

    I don't think being a US History teacher will give you any advantage. In schools in NZ, the curriculum is set nationwide by the Ministry of Education: http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/The-N...ocial-sciences

    If you speak te reo Māori, you might have a better chance.

    Have you thought of moving to Northern California or the PNW? It's not that different from NZ and you wouldn't have the rigmarole of migration.

  5. #5
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    Thank you for your input, everyone! I'd appreciate any more tips or pointers that any of you have. I'm not entirely familiar with the education system (public & private) in NZ.

    KiwiEagle, I hope that you're wrong about that. It may not be seen as an advantage by all, but I imagine some principals/rectors would consider living in the US & familiarity with its many cultures as a big edge in teaching US History effectively. If a school in the US was teaching NZ history and one of the applicants for the job was from there, I'm sure that would be a consideration. Maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part, though.

    Another advantage I forgot to list up there is that we're not picky about where we live in NZ. We're from a pretty small town here, so we wouldn't at all mind living in a rural part of NZ. On our trip to NZ we visited several cities I wouldn't at all mind living in, including Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin.

    I'm really interested to learn more from those of you who know the ins and outs of education in NZ. Thanks again for the input.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexanGreg View Post
    KiwiEagle, I hope that you're wrong about that. It may not be seen as an advantage by all, but I imagine some principals/rectors would consider living in the US & familiarity with its many cultures as a big edge in teaching US History effectively. If a school in the US was teaching NZ history and one of the applicants for the job was from there, I'm sure that would be a consideration. Maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part, though.
    I'm not sure how common teaching 'US History' is here. At the stage that my older children are at (Year 9&10), history is taught as part of Social Studies, not its own subject. I think that will come in Year 11, when they do NCEA or Cambridge or IB exams. I'm sure there is a part of US history in as far as it concerns the rest of the world in every history course (my sons have just done a unit on the Vietnam War), but I don't think that being US American would be seen as a great advantage over anyone else who has taught history, to be honest.

    Primary school teachers tend to teach everything, they don't really have subject teachers at that stage (up to intermediate), so your wife would be primary school teacher rather than a maths teacher, I suspect.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexanGreg View Post
    KiwiEagle, I hope that you're wrong about that. It may not be seen as an advantage by all, but I imagine some principals/rectors would consider living in the US & familiarity with its many cultures as a big edge in teaching US History effectively. If a school in the US was teaching NZ history and one of the applicants for the job was from there, I'm sure that would be a consideration. Maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part, though.
    I do believe it's wishful thinking on your part. That is why I put the link to the curriculum. The curriculum is set on a nationwide level. As Daniela explains, there is no US History outside of what a student might learn in the course of their Social Studies curriculum and as part of whatever history lesson they are getting. There is not a desire for a US centred perspective. Perhaps at the University level you'd have more of an advantage. That being said, I can't say that I know for sure that there would never be an advantage for you. Perhaps, somewhere in NZ, there is a principal who thinks it would be an advantage to have an American perspective when teaching historical events. Anything is possible if not probable. I'm just suggesting to you, that if you pursue teaching in NZ, touting your American perspective might not be seen as the desirable quality you feel it is as courses that include American history are only a small section of the overall course.

    On a side note, is there a US High School that has a course called NZ history?

    As to the maths teacher at the primary level, your wife might be able to get a job as a support teacher who helps in the classroom with maths skills. My children's school has a relief/support teacher whose emphasis is on maths skills.
    Last edited by kiwieagle; 28th June 2014 at 09:57 AM.

  8. #8
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    KiwiEagle, I get what you're saying now. If you go back and read what I was saying, it was based on the misunderstanding on my part that there is a US History course at some secondary schools.

    I've been teaching World History for 6 years now, so I'm already experienced in teaching from global perspectives rather than strictly from an American point of view. I'm versatile as a teacher, as is my wife. I'm sure we can find our niche within the NZ ed system, it will just come down to doing some research and being patient.

  9. #9
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    And to answer your other question, no unfortunately not a NZ history that I'm aware of. Ever since our trip from a few years ago I throw in a little NZ tidbit here and there where I can. My students are always really curious about the Auckland Warriors flag in my classroom next to a picture of me looking puny in comparison standing next to Simon Mannering.

  10. #10
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    Teaching is no longer a skills shortage profession (when we first applied) and so will be treated as just another applicant in the queue for skilled resident visa depending on the level of points you have and the current quota for the cut-off. You will need to submit a resident visa application along with documents to NZQA for assessment on the level of compatible qualifications to NZ standards as well as register with the Teacher's Council. It's quite a lot of stuff to do and no doubt will occupy a good couple of months as you try to sort this out.

    In the meantime, you can apply for teaching positions in NZ, which is usually seasonal around June-July and Nov-Dec for positions. Doing so will give you the opportunity to assess the market currently as well as narrow your choices and preferences on where you want to teach - either in the bigger cities or smaller towns, public or state-integrated or private schools or high or low-decile schools etc.

    History isn't always in demand but if you can throw in some experience in social studies, English, maybe a foreign language, or even ICT and current affairs subjects as part of your teaching experience, you may be able to find more job openings than just history alone.

    My husband who taught in a private school was mainly a physics teacher and he was prepared to teach maths as well but he was hired to teach middle and upper levels of science (which included both chemistry and biology), a bit of ICT thrown in too.

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