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Preparing to Teach in Another Country

By: Christia M. Besko

In order to teach in another country such as Ireland, I would have to prepare myself in numerous ways both educationally and mentally...below you will see five things that I would do to help make my new teaching experience an easy transition:

1. Learn to speak the native language.

Although Ireland does speak English in most areas, they do have their native language, which is Gaelic. Many parts of Ireland still use the Gaelic language and I feel it would be beneficial to show I respected their language/heritage by being able to communicate with them. I would also prepare my self for a culture change by reading as much as I could about the country of Ireland, its culture, beliefs, traditions, government and its educational system.

2. Familiarize myself with the terminology used in Ireland such as:

Minister for Education and Science...Determines national education policy and plans and coordinates the provision of education in recognized schools and centers for education as well as support services. The Minister of education also monitors and assesses the quality, economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the education system provided in the state by recognized schools and centers for education.

Inspectorate...the Inspectorate evaluates and promotes the achievement of quality education processes and outcomes for primary and second-level education sectors. He/She facilitates the development of all pupils in the primary and second-level education sectors, particularly those with special needs, by the provision of a comprehensive psychological service for schools, teachers and children. He/She provides advice on education policy and issues across the full spectrum of provision, including out of school programs. The Inspectorate is also responsible for the operation of the State examination system and for all aspects of the preparation, marking and standards of the various State examinations.

Partners in Education...The education system in Ireland involves the participation of a large number of interest groups...referred to as "Partners in Education."

White Paper...Charting the educational future, it represents Government policy for the future of education in Ireland. The detail of the implementation of the principles and aims of this policy are included in the White Paper.

3. Learn how Irelands school system operates such as:

Ireland refers to their levels of education as primary education for the primary grades, second-level education for their high school years and third-level education for post high school years. Learning about how the school system operates...one thing I found was that Ireland only requires children to be in school from ages 6 to 15 years. I'd also need to know, how long their school days are, how long is their school year etc...

4. To see if there was anything that I needed to do to teach in their country such as:

Find out if there is reciprocity between Ireland and the United States...if not what do I need to do? What courses and how many courses would I have to take? Would I need to take these courses in Ireland or could I fulfill the requirements in the United States? How do I receive permanent/temporary certification to teach in Ireland? Are there any fees associated with receiving a certificate? How long is a temporary certificate good for? What kind of Visa or Passport would I need to teach in Ireland?

5. Familiarize and learn how Ireland's grading system, assessments, and state testing operates.

What do I use as a grading system? Does Ireland use an Alpha system, numeric system, etc...What types of assessments does Ireland perform? Does Ireland use Portfolio Assessments? Does Ireland have standardized testing? If yes, at what grade levels? If no, how do they assess how their students are performing?

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