How to Move From Substitute Teaching to Permanent Teaching

A substitute teacher is one who teaches a class on behalf of the regular teacher who is absent due to various reasons such as illness or personal leave. To become a permanent teacher, you must serve two consecutive school years of tenure. Substitute teachers must serve 75% of the total school year in order for it to be considered as tenure.

It is a great idea to set your sights on climbing up the ladder from substitute teaching to becoming a permanent teacher. However, you must identify this need quickly. Some schools might refuse to hire you because of your age. These are schools with a specific age bracket for their teachers because they want those that will stay on for a longer period of time.

The first step to take is to network if you want to gain a full time position. It is important to know the right people sp that you can fulfill their needs, from the school principal, to the teachers and the staff. These are the people who are going to give you the right information, as well as let you in when a permanent teaching position is available. Ensure that you’re easily available and flexible, especially with last minute requests that you are bound to receive.

One of the key pointers is that you need to not be timid when asking for help. Talk to the school administration and other teachers. These are your co-workers and they will give you ideas and provide you with assistance, but remember to do this professionally. Create a rapport with the school principal. This way, you’re bound to be considered for any job opening that may come up.

In some areas like New York, to become a permanent teacher, you must apply for certification. This certification is valid for only a limited amount of time. All applicants must pass the New York state assessment teaching skills. You must also progress to level three of the certificate levels. This certificate doesn’t expire but it has to be maintained through continuing education.

Therefore, you must understand the evolving education requirements. Renew your certificates at least every five years to keep up with the changing times. Continuing education must be done in an accredited college. It’s also important to show a mastery of general knowledge and professional preparation for your certificate. You also need to pass a general test, college level academic skills (CLAST) and have a valid teaching license given by the U.S state or its territory. A valid certificate also issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards will be of added value when applying to become a permanent teacher.

Finally, always do a follow up on any interview or job request that you have made. This will ensure that you’re constantly on the mind of the person who you had consulted with earlier about a job opening. Do this in a way that portrays professionalism and you will be sure to successfully transition from substitute teaching to gaining a permanent teaching position.

Competition for Expat English Education in Global Cities Heats Up

For expat workers with families, suitable education can be one of the most costly and frustrating hurdles to navigate when transferring to a foreign assignment. To insure that children are able to transition back into their home system at the end of the assignment, move on to a top university or to another international assignment it is preferable for them to have been following an international school curriculum with English language instruction.

For comparison we’ll look at the cost and some of the considerations in finding an international school in two popular expat destinations: Zurich and Hong Kong.

Cost of Living and Cost of Education Don’t Always Match

As a baseline we’ll use a London, England private international school such as the ACS International School in Egham or Kings College Wimbledon and compare that to both Hong Kong and Zurich.

While overall Zurich and Hong Kong (HK) both rank in the top 10 most expensive cities for expats while London sits well back at #17, education is a different story. It provides a relative bargain for private international education with school fees 7.7% lower than London while Zurich area international schools are more than 20% higher. If you had school aged children then taking an assignment to Hong Kong over Zurich would seem like the cost conscious choice but fees don’t paint the whole picture.

Hong Kong

Since the establishment of the English Schools Foundation (ESF) in 1967 for the education of expat children, there has been a strong international school presence here. There are over 100 international schools, mostly teaching in English but the increasing popularity of international schools among permanent residents, the HK equivalent of citizen, has created on overwhelming demand.

While Hong Kong recognizes both English and Cantonese as official languages and officially at least, English is an important component of government run schools, the reality is different. Even if you are a parent who would like your child to experience a “local” education in this city, a recent survey by the Native English Speaking Teacher’s Association in HK found that even though government policy allows public schools that teach in Cantonese to accept English-only speaking children, they do not.

In addition to demand, several other factors are putting upward pressure on international school fees in Hong Kong. The 20 schools that are operated by the ESF have lost their subsidy established under the original 1967 government ordinance. Starting with the students entering kindergarten in 2014, the subsidy has been eliminated. In the past year ESF has already raised their fees more than 5%.

At the same time its education bureau is trying to expand educational options by making a handful of development sites and two empty schools available by bid to interested international schools. Among the interested schools is the prestigious British boarding school, Malvern which is looking to open a campus catering to elementary level education. They plan to reserve 90% of their available placements for students that hold foreign passports. While private international schools do not receive subsidies from the Hong Kong government, they are offered preferential lease terms and access to a designated green space.

Still, the lack of space in the city makes it extremely difficult to open new international schools so the demand for spots at the existing schools continues to grow. The Hong Kong education bureau estimates waiting lists for most international schools are several years long forcing parents to consider other options.


In 2011 the education department for canton Zurich moved to bar permanent residents from attending international schools in the area. Residents of Zurich must put their children in German speaking public school unless they can prove they are only temporary residents or that their child will complete their education in a non-German speaking jurisdiction. Widely viewed as a regressive policy, the stated aim was to better integrate foreigners living in Zurich permanently or over the long term into the local community. So far this has been the only Swiss canton to implement this kind of policy but the move highlights some of the difficulties surrounding the availability of an international curriculum with English language instruction.

While it would seem that this move would increase the number of spots open to temporary expats it also puts the responsibility on parents putting their children in school for the first time to prove that they intend to move at some point in the future or that their children will complete their schooling elsewhere. The rule does not distinguish based on the passport that a child holds or their mother tongue.

Competition Spawns an Industry

The complexity of finding an appropriate school and increased competition for spots at English language schools has even spawned its own consultancy industry. People like Ruth Benny head of Top Schools Hong Kong amongst other, have leveraged their personal experience as expat parents and professional experience as educators to assist other parents struggling with finding the right school for their children. These professionals offer one on one consulting for expat parents struggling to find the right solution for their school age children in a hyper competitive environment.

Xpatulator provides school fee data for comparable schools in more than 700 cities worldwide. In Hong Kong, they collect enrollment fee data from schools such as the Hong Kong International, American International and King George V Schools and in Zurich from the Zurich International and Swiss International School.

NYU Law School is in a Great Location For Finding Work After Graduation

For many New York residents who aspire to become lawyers, the NYU law school is often in the students list of potential schools to attend to get their degree and training to pass the bar. This school has many benefits that tempt even people living in other states to want to make the move out to New York City to attend this school. The schools obvious prestige, to the students, faculty, and more importantly- the law firms looking for bright new graduates to serve in their firm, make it a top choice for many.

One of the main benefits of the location of the school is that it is in a big city where some of the United States most powerful firms to work for reside. If you do well in school and pass the bar with flying colors, many law firms will even seek YOU out. They love the ambition and fresh talent of new lawyers and many firms want to get you before you develop your experience somewhere else so you will gladly follow their own pattern of practicing law, especially if you show supreme talent in school. Some firms will even train you during a probationary period right out of school.

These firms tend to like to hire students that come from NYU law school due to its excellent training program and pedigree of producing some of the top lawyers in the world. The schools tuition is up there around 45,000 dollars, no small change, but you get every penny back in the form of a top notch education. The school has several programs for helping its students find jobs, both temporary that could land permanent positions at some of the most powerful firms in New York, and permanent positions. They work with many of the law firms in and around New York, offering entry level jobs as paralegals and more to get their feet wet. Essentially many of the entry level jobs don’t appear to always be jobs for lawyers per say, but they get you in there and allow the firms top brass to get a look at you and see what your capable of, and what your willing to do to get into their firm.

New Orleans Residents Facing Education Crisis Due to Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is kicking in with a nightmare storm in New Orleans. A city that has barely recovered from Hurricane Katrina is being affected by Hurricane Gustav. One group that is greatly overlooked is the K12 students who will be missing school. The schools in New Orleans are still recovering from Katrina. and making attempts to implement changes that improve student performance. Any slowdown in each K12 student’s education is a dagger in the heart of what’s been described as very unstable communities.
The New Orleans Gustav Hurricane is easily reminding residents of how slowly school was restored after Hurricane Katrina. In fact some neighborhood schools could not be reopened after Katrina. The parents and teachers in the city need to join hands in developing an education plan for these crisis situations. Increasing opportunities to read and do home work may be one great way to keep students intellectually active. Nearly 2 million people have fled the Louisiana coast including residents from New Orleans. There are thousands of disappointed students who need to keep their minds stimulated. Too many of their schools are faced with changing principals and teachers. Some of the teachers who are frustrated with the unstable weather like Gustav may be leaving the area permanently. If New Orleans is like many school systems where the teachers are retiring class sizes may increase until new teachers are hired. The New Orleans School District needs to diligently work toward developing attractive incentives that motivate teachers to stay.

The students who live in New Orleans deserve the best education possible. Public schools always need more financial support than what they are receiving. It takes substantial dollars to run an inner city school. Many of these schools face underfunding and a storm like Gustav has catastrophic impact on their budget. Teachers already take money out of their own pockets to purchase classroom supplies to keep their classes moving in the right direction.

Hurricane Gustav and other storms should not stop the education process. Parents do play a major role in keeping their children’s mind active. The local school and parents must come up with a strategy that includes homework assignments like writing about their experiences for the time that they are moving out of New Orleans. Students need to know that there are learning opportunities all around them. The affects of hurricanes are felt through a student’s attitude toward the learning process that their parent creates. It is very difficult times for students who want to learn and to pursue a dream to attend college. A big consideration is how all of these students can get caught up after they return to school to complete assignments.

If we fail to educate students we fail to prepare for our future. Students need to learn how to think independently. They don’t realize that information is retained better when it is fun. Each season hurricanes will come but New Orleans will be prepared with lessons and assignments that students can complete. These students are in need a stable learning experience and maintaining a focus on education helps.