*Disclaimer: This is a general description for cross-cultural teaching. There are so many things that change for the specific situation each person is in. This is a tool for you to look at to help you see if this is a place that you could serve the Lord. If you have more questions or are interested in teaching, please contact us.
General Job Description: Teaching
Reports to: School administration; OC Team leader
Relates to: School community; other OC teachers; non-teaching OC team
Overview: The teaching ministry spans a multitude of opportunities around the OC world from Preschool – 12 schools, to universities, to seminaries, to teaching English as a second language and more. Teachers come from all walks of life and get involved all over the world.
* In these situations, the “job” is the ministry. We like to see that you are using your time to invest in your ministry as a teacher. Your students expect the best of you. Teaching is not a way to stay in a country to do another ministry.
Specifics: Pre-K to grade 12 schools
Teaching in an internationally located school is much like teaching at a school in the United States. The main differences relate to doing life in a different place and the resources that are available in that place for education. Class sizes tend to be smaller and parent expectations tend to be greater. Extra-curriculars are limited but still exist and relate directly to the culture within which the school exists. Some schools include boarding, but the majority are day schools. As a teacher in one of these schools, it is very possible that you will teach outside of your subject matter as a secondary teacher. Opportunities range over four major groupings of schools: Department of Defense schools, Secular International schools, Christian International schools, and Missionary Kid schools.
Colleges and Universities
Like K-12 schools, teaching at the next level is much like teaching in your home country. One thing you need to consider is that the majority of our students may not be English speaking. Also, it is very possible that you will be required to get additional education within the country you are serving to be qualified to teach at that level.
Teaching in seminaries is another critical need. Since seminaries can operate on an “intensive” structure, it is something that you can do during short term ministry trips. Also, the extra educational requirements that universities may have are not normally required at from seminaries. Once again, most if not all of your students will be non-English speakers so local language is helpful. Translation is possible but something is always lost (or added) in those scenarios.
Teaching English as a second language (or any of its clones) is a popular ministry, especially for shorter-term workers. A certificate to teach English is normally required and sometimes a necessity to get a visa for the country of service. Another common requirement is that the teacher is a native English speaker. If you speak English with an accent, even though you may be a citizen of an English-speaking country, you may not be considered an ideal candidate for the position.
Salary: For most of these opportunities you will be required to raise financial support for a salary, benefits and ministry costs. Some schools pay a modest salary. The higher the salary, the more requirements to get the job and the more competition there is for the available positions. TESOL positions often pay and in some countries are quite lucrative. Once again, the higher the salary, the stiffer the requirements.
Position Requirements: The ideal candidate for a teaching ministry is certified in their area of focus, with at least two years of experience. Some opportunities will require this. In some situations, a school may forgo its ideal candidate to meet a need on a more temporary basis so lack of a certificate should not deter you from following God’s leading.
Candidates for most teaching positions should anticipate a double application process; one to be accepted by the ministry or company and a second to be accepted by the mission agency.