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Old 22.09.2015, 12:31
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Teaching with a non-teaching degree

Hi, I've been looking for information about this for a while but I'm struggling to get a solid answer.

I'm EU citizen, B Permit living in Ticino. I've been teaching English for the last 7 years - 3 here in Switzerland - with my CELTA certificate in language schools, but I'd like to know about possibly moving into the school system to teach English (I know the international schools have more flexible rules, I'm talking about the Swiss system). I have my B2 certification in Italian, I'm fairly confident I could improve it further if needed.

The only problem is I don't have a degree in Education - I have a law degree from a UK university (3 year bachelors).

I know there are strict requirements for teachers, but does anyone have any experience of going into teaching with a non-teaching education background? I would hope there is some kind of 'conversion' system such as operates in other countries (where a shorter Education course, normally 1 year, can be taken for graduates). If not, I might have to write it off as a pipe dream.

Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old 22.09.2015, 12:51
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

Switzerland has a shortage of teachers which has resulted in many so-called Quereinsteiger becoming teachers. There are many articles on this in the German language press, e.g.:

http://www.nzz.ch/quereinsteiger-sin...lag-1.16064180

It appears that Quereinsteiger must study for at least one year to become a teacher, according to this article:

http://www.nzz.ch/schweiz/schnell-di...fft-1.18044143

For more articles, google on "lehrer quereinsteiger".
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Old 22.09.2015, 12:53
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

My mother in law (Swiss) teaches in a private school, she has no qualifications at all (apprenticeship, degree, teaching qualification etc).
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Old 22.09.2015, 14:30
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

You can teach as long as you are in the process of re-qualification or intending to do so. You cannot be hired full time, though, in this time period. The re-qualification you can do at Haute Ecole Pedagogique, it takes a year for full time re-qualification, in which I do not think you can teach a lot. I would opt for a part time re-qualif, while you are teaching. You need an institution that would hire you for a part time (or, as a sub, being paid less), though, so the MO would be - first find a place to hire you, then sign up for the next year to HEP. You will need a level of B2 to study and work, but in reality you need to be very much close to fluent. There is not much chance to find a decent local job without having a relevant teaching degree, just the fact that here you can do only a short, one year program to re-qualify is not the way things are done elsewhere, usually.
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Old 22.09.2015, 15:06
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

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You can teach as long as you are in the process of re-qualification or intending to do so. You cannot be hired full time, though, in this time period. The re-qualification you can do at Haute Ecole Pedagogique, it takes a year for full time re-qualification, in which I do not think you can teach a lot. I would opt for a part time re-qualif, while you are teaching. You need an institution that would hire you for a part time (or, as a sub, being paid less), though, so the MO would be - first find a place to hire you, then sign up for the next year to HEP. You will need a level of B2 to study and work, but in reality you need to be very much close to fluent. There is not much chance to find a decent local job without having a relevant teaching degree, just the fact that here you can do only a short, one year program to re-qualify is not the way things are done elsewhere, usually.
In a State School. Private Schools can hire who they want.
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Old 22.09.2015, 15:10
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

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In a State School. Private Schools can hire who they want.
Yes.

OP wants to teach in the local, state system. Licensing is a big deal.
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Old 22.09.2015, 15:16
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

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Yes.

OP wants to teach in the local, state system. Licensing is a big deal.
Sorry... I mis-read the original post
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Old 22.09.2015, 15:17
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

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Sorry... I mis-read the original post
No biggie, Monkey. It is known private sector is more flexible. It does depend, though, on a particular school's needs. Some filter out rigidly, too.
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Old 22.09.2015, 16:12
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

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You can teach as long as you are in the process of re-qualification or intending to do so. You cannot be hired full time, though, in this time period. The re-qualification you can do at Haute Ecole Pedagogique, it takes a year for full time re-qualification, in which I do not think you can teach a lot. I would opt for a part time re-qualif, while you are teaching. You need an institution that would hire you for a part time (or, as a sub, being paid less), though, so the MO would be - first find a place to hire you, then sign up for the next year to HEP. You will need a level of B2 to study and work, but in reality you need to be very much close to fluent. There is not much chance to find a decent local job without having a relevant teaching degree, just the fact that here you can do only a short, one year program to re-qualify is not the way things are done elsewhere, usually.
That's really helpful, thanks.

One of the major problems I'm having is that all the information I can find is in German, which I don't speak!

I'll start contacting a few schools and see what I can find out.

All the replies are very much appreciated!
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Old 22.09.2015, 16:15
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

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That's really helpful, thanks.

One of the major problems I'm having is that all the information I can find is in German, which I don't speak!

I'll start contacting a few schools and see what I can find out.

All the replies are very much appreciated!
I understand. Just imagine, though, you want to be studying, and the materials to read (for pedagogy and didactics) and bunch of the work you will have to turn in, will be in German.
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Old 22.09.2015, 16:20
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

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I understand. Just imagine, though, you want to be studying, and the materials to read (for pedagogy and didactics) and bunch of the work you will have to turn in, will be in German.
I would have though if the OP studies in Ticino, then they would be studying in Italian!
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Old 22.09.2015, 16:23
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

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I would have though if the OP studies in Ticino, then they would be studying in Italian!
Yup, correct.

Alta Scuola Pedagogica Ticino (Ecole membre de la SUPSI)
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Old 22.09.2015, 17:15
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

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I understand. Just imagine, though, you want to be studying, and the materials to read (for pedagogy and didactics) and bunch of the work you will have to turn in, will be in German.
Not easy to write formal essays in Italian or any foreign language with B2. I did my teaching Degree in the UK with French mother-tongue, but I had lived in the uk for 10 years by then (Environmental Studies, French and German). Even so, the first few were a total nightmare as formal essays use structures and formulas rarely used in everyday communication (as in B2).

Last edited by Odile; 22.09.2015 at 17:55.
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Old 22.09.2015, 17:28
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

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Not easy to write formal essays in Italian or any foreign language with B2. I did my teaching Degree in the UK with French mother-tongue, but I had lived in the uk for 10 years by then (Environmental Studies, French and German). Even so, the first few were a total nightmare as formal essays us structures and formulas rarely used in everyday communication (as in B2).
So true! The esays might be demaned in English if OP's major is English, but a whole lot of pedagogy/psy/didactics will be in the local language, including the official study dept. communication. I think it is easier to do part time while working already and strengthen the professional register with obligatory work teacher conferences, meetings and seminars.
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Old 22.09.2015, 22:35
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

You can get a master's in English Language Teaching at Nile in Norwich. The degree is recognized in most Cantons.

Mind you, it's getting harder to find good English teaching jobs in public schools because most schools would prefer to hire someone who can teach English and another subject such as German or P.E.
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Old 22.09.2015, 23:54
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Re: Teaching with a non-teaching degree

I do believe that even with a UK teaching Degree, you still have to do the One year for the Swiss teaching qualification (a bit like PGCE in the UK) to teach in State schools in most (perhaps all, not sure) K/CAntons. You also need to show that you have proficient use of the local language, to be a form tutor and deal with communication in emergencies, personal contact, admin, discipline, etc, etc).

I was asked to teach at the local 6th Form (declined I am happy to be retired)- and they said because I am Swiss and did my schooling here, including my BAC at the same school (in 69 lol)- they would accept my UK Degree, exceptionally.
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