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Old 08.07.2013, 00:43
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How to become a teacher, already have a BA

Hi all,

Google hasnt been so helpful, so I came here. I'm looking into getting a teaching degree. I already have a BA in English and I minored in Education. So how do I now get a teaching degree? I understand one needs a masters to teach Matur level. But what about primary and sek? I can only find 3 year programs where one really starts from the beginning. Is there nothing out there for those of us who already have a BA?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 08.07.2013, 06:05
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

This http://www.phbern.ch/studium/studien...eistungen.html

might help you.
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Old 08.07.2013, 06:18
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

To convert a BA to a BTeach it's a different path depending on whether you want to teach primary school or secondary school.

It's not easy to swap between the two - secondary you can probably teach one or two subject areas, but primary school teachers need a minimum of 5.

That's why a whole primary school teaching degree may be required.

In the english-speaking countries, you could do a postgraduate Diploma in Education, or a Masters in Education. They usually take 2-3 years.

Can you study in French, German or Italian, ie. do a course here in Switzerland ? Or do you have to do a postgraduate in English - that limits your options further...

My husband is an 'approved' primary school teacher for Switzerland, but with a caveat. He's trained in English, and teaches in English and in Zurich his employer (private swiss Montessori school) can employ him as a qualified/approved staff member, as there is a language exemption. He could in theory take a job at a local government primary school, but with language level C2 in German (for Zurich).

Having completed the accreditation process here in Switzerland with the EDK, he has a letter that states this very clearly.

In the shorter term, some "International" schools may be able to employ you without teaching qualifications, as they are outside the swiss system and are not required to comply with the local requirements. My husband's school is a 'swiss private school' and therefore must comply with the swiss requirements regarding qualifications and making sure they cover the swiss curriculum.

In the long term, however, I highly recommend you get the teaching qualification, because once you have it your career is quite secure
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Old 08.07.2013, 07:43
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

I have a teaching degree and have looked into finding a teaching job here in Switzerland and it's very difficult. I can say that all of the International schools that I have looked at all require teaching degrees also.

I think pretty much anywhere, if you already have a BA it isn't going to help you get a teaching degree faster. It's 2-3 years certification. Your best option, in my opinion, is to get certified through a master's degree program. That is what I did and you end up higher on the pay scale in the end doing it this way, at least in the United States.

Good luck!
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Old 08.07.2013, 09:01
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

This is not a criticism of the OP at all. Just a random thought that came to me reading this thread.

I see a lot of posts about people with some sort of bachelor's degree unrelated to teaching that then want to get certified to teach... but they don't want to take another few years of courses. I have friends back home that are the same way. Understandable, who wants to do all that studying again! But...is this because people think teaching is easy or doesn't require special skills? Or is it really that teaching was a passion all along but they took a different path and want to come back?

Are there any other professions where folks try (or do) make such a switch without taking classes? Just wondering why teaching seems to be the only profession that everyone thinks they can do, even if they've never been trained to do it.
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Old 08.07.2013, 09:05
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

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Just wondering why teaching seems to be the only profession that everyone thinks they can do, even if they've never been trained to do it.
I couldn't agree more!
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Old 08.07.2013, 09:14
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

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Are there any other professions where folks try (or do) make such a switch without taking classes? Just wondering why teaching seems to be the only profession that everyone thinks they can do, even if they've never been trained to do it.
What else are you going to to with a BA in English?
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Old 08.07.2013, 10:14
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

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This is not a criticism of the OP at all. Just a random thought that came to me reading this thread.

I see a lot of posts about people with some sort of bachelor's degree unrelated to teaching that then want to get certified to teach... but they don't want to take another few years of courses. I have friends back home that are the same way. Understandable, who wants to do all that studying again! But...is this because people think teaching is easy or doesn't require special skills? Or is it really that teaching was a passion all along but they took a different path and want to come back?

Are there any other professions where folks try (or do) make such a switch without taking classes? Just wondering why teaching seems to be the only profession that everyone thinks they can do, even if they've never been trained to do it.
I have a BA in English and in education, so this isnt a whole different path at all. Where I got my BA, you could get a teaching degree during your last year in English and become a teacher at the same time. I'm wondering if there's something similar here. I don't mind going back to school for a year or two, but I do mind starting all over again, where I'll basically be learning the same things given that I already have a subject and studied education.

Thanks for all the advice so far, btw.
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Old 08.07.2013, 10:20
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

Just to clarify, I don't mind studying again for a year or two. I do mind going to the ph and starting as if I'm a beginner. I'm in the German part of the country. I'd rather focus on being an English teacher. However, my German is ok and I'd be willing to try and study in German. I understand everything and can read perfectly. I'm just a little worried about writing papers with my spelling and grammar.
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Old 08.07.2013, 15:53
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

I would contact the different Paedagogische Hochschulen (Bern, Nordwestschweiz, Zurich), quite possibly you will receive advanced standing for the courses that you have already taken.
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Old 08.07.2013, 16:05
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

If you are British and have a British BA and were happy to go back home for a bit you could do a PGCE. It is 1 school year and is what everyone has to do to teach.
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Old 08.07.2013, 16:18
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

I was going to mention a 1 year PGCE in the UK (post graduate certificate in education)- including uni and teaching practice. But it won't really get you a job in Switzerland, unless you apply to private schools only. And you do need a good level of the local Swiss language to teach English. You need to be able to cope with emergencies, communicate with other staff and administrators, deal with school inspectors and parents- and English won't do outside the classroom.
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Old 08.07.2013, 16:20
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

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I'd rather focus on being an English teacher. However, my German is ok and I'd be willing to try and study in German. I understand everything and can read perfectly. I'm just a little worried about writing papers with my spelling and grammar.
You can't really have only one subject here (I know some exceptions, but not with English) and English as a second language is not the same at all than English for English speakers and literature. The choice of subject is your first problem, because you need qualification in both of them and has to correspond to Swiss needs on top of it.

German is your second problem, because you need to look in your canton of interest for what level you have to achieve in order to be allowed to teach in public school (and in which type of school). The fact that you'll have to participate actively in German and Swiss German in school life comes in mind... My experience is that language issue tolerance on the long run is absolute zero among teachers... and the level of language needed to follow pedagogical and administrative crap documentation is not what you need for a normal life in the real world. A school is fourth dimension, what common sense calls logic doesn't apply.
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Old 08.07.2013, 16:24
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

I've got a BA and an MA in Arts from a Swiss uni, 6 years of experience of teaching at university, and I'm facing an additional 18 months of studies (Haute Ecole Pedagogique) to be allowed to teach in public schools (secondaires and high school).
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Old 08.07.2013, 18:51
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

Being a brilliant mathematician or indeed a musician, does not make you a good teacher in those subjects. In fact, it can actually be a hindrance. And neither is being a native whatever language speaker. As said, your best bet is a PGCE in the UK in one year- and then teach here but in private schools only, and then face the 18 months at HEP to teach in state schools- in French, German or Italian.

When I did my B.Ed.Hons in UK, as a native French speaker, I had to do all my studying and essays in English, and demonstrate I was a good communicator in English, so I could take full part in the school programme, and rightfully so. Even if you only speak English in your classes, you need to participate in the full life of the school, deal with other kids outside classes, pastorally and otherwise, parents, emergencies, school trips, etc, etc.
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Old 08.07.2013, 21:38
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

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To convert a BA to a BTeach it's a different path depending on whether you want to teach primary school or secondary school.

It's not easy to swap between the two - secondary you can probably teach one or two subject areas, but primary school teachers need a minimum of 5.

That's why a whole primary school teaching degree may be required.

In the english-speaking countries, you could do a postgraduate Diploma in Education, or a Masters in Education. They usually take 2-3 years.

Can you study in French, German or Italian, ie. do a course here in Switzerland ? Or do you have to do a postgraduate in English - that limits your options further...

My husband is an 'approved' primary school teacher for Switzerland, but with a caveat. He's trained in English, and teaches in English and in Zurich his employer (private swiss Montessori school) can employ him as a qualified/approved staff member, as there is a language exemption. He could in theory take a job at a local government primary school, but with language level C2 in German (for Zurich).

Having completed the accreditation process here in Switzerland with the EDK, he has a letter that states this very clearly.

In the shorter term, some "International" schools may be able to employ you without teaching qualifications, as they are outside the swiss system and are not required to comply with the local requirements. My husband's school is a 'swiss private school' and therefore must comply with the swiss requirements regarding qualifications and making sure they cover the swiss curriculum.

In the long term, however, I highly recommend you get the teaching qualification, because once you have it your career is quite secure
To avoid misunderstandings: This is possible for your husband's school, but not true for all Swiss private schools here. In other words, not all Swiss private schools in Switzerland comply with the (same) requirements as public schools regarding qualifications and curriculum. The fact that a private school is Swiss doesn't mean that requirements that apply for public schools reg. qualifications/curricula are fulfilled.
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Old 08.07.2013, 21:52
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Re: How to become a teacher, already have a BA

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Are there any other professions where folks try (or do) make such a switch without taking classes? Just wondering why teaching seems to be the only profession that everyone thinks they can do, even if they've never been trained to do it.
Sure, loads. Retail sales, management and childcare all come to mind.

It's natural, people look at a job which doesn't have an obvious technical barrier to entry and they think "yeah, I could do that." (And honestly? They probably can. The question is how steep will their learning curve be and what about the hapless students/clients/employees who have to deal with them in the meantime.)
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