Teach in Auckland

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You may think that teaching abroad in an English-speaking country is a bit of a cheat. After all, with a new language comes additional cultural awareness. But in Auckland, New Zealand, you get the best of both worlds - a modern, English-speaking city with a rich, living Maori history that is prevalent at every level of society. Check out the details of teaching in Auckland, and see if it might be a good fit for you.

Government Sponsored Programs:

While it's not a placement program per se, the Ministry of Education-approved Education Personnel Agency has a one-on-one JobFind Assistance Programme that helps teachers from overseas find a teaching job.

New Zealand Dollars
New Zealand Dollars
Private Language Academies/Schools:

Like all schools in New Zealand, the Catholic school system in Auckland is divided into Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary schools. While the New Zealand Catholic Bishops' Conference does not require certification in Religious Education, it is expected in order to work in their schools. Check that link to download the handbook and find out more about certification.

Embassy Auckland (http://www.embassyces.com/schools/auckland.aspx) offers English courses and private lessons to a wide variety of foreign-language speakers. They recruit UK and US TEFL teachers for their summer sessions between January and June. And the English Schools network lists dozens of English-language academies in Auckland; you can check them out and see which one(s) should make your list of possible opportunities.

International Schools:

There are a number of international schools in Auckland, including Kristin School, for up to age 13; and the Auckland International College, for ages 14-18; The AIC awards students the International Baccalaureate, and offers American SAT classes as well. You can check out their employment opportunities here.

Public Schools:

There are more than 500 public schools in the Auckland City metropolitan area. Although job vacancies can be found in a wide variety of places (see info below), your best bet is the Ministry of Education-approved Education Personnel.

Private Schools:

Indeed, a jobs search engine for New Zealand, list openings for private tutors in Auckland. If you'd rather that someone have your back while working as a tutor, you can register with TutorsHome, which links students in need with qualified tutors.

View of the City of Auckland
View of the City of Auckland
When and Where to Look for Jobs:

There are plenty of job websites that post education vacancies in Auckland; here's a fairly comprehensive list:

  • SEEK is good for ESL positions.
  • Trade Me has teaching and tutoring jobs.
  • Career Jet is more geared towards higher education positions, but also includes jobs like nannying.
  • The Educations Gazette lists vacancies in state and state-integrated secondary schools, area and primary schools, and early childhood services.
  • Jobseeker has an extensive Google-like search engine for Auckland teaching jobs.
  • Education Personnel is a recruitment agent that has the seal of approval from the Ministry of Education. They also have an extensive support program for foreign teachers who'd like to teach in New Zealand.
  • Oasis Education is another educator recruitment agency.
  • Randstad, the popular international employment agency, has a dedicated department for primary and secondary education opportunities.

Your first stop should be the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. Through the New Zealand Qualifications Authority you can take the International Qualifications Assessment (IQA) so that your foreign experience is made comparable to the equivalent to a Diploma of Teaching (ECE) or Bachelor of Teaching (ECE); you'll also need to register as a teacher with the NewZealand Teachers Council, and fulfill the Limited Authority to Teach (LAT) requirement for English. And finally, you'll need to have police clearance, which is an application process that performs a criminal background check in your current country of residence. Note, however, that the government of New Zealand does not recognize teaching as a skill in which there is a shortage of workers; therefore, the bar is set fairly high for candidates, as a school has to show that it could not appoint a suitable New Zealand teacher in order to hire you. That being said, special education teachers are in great demand and is your best bet for entry into the education system in Auckland.

Salary & Cost of Living:

How much you'll be making depends entirely on your experience and the results of your Teacher Salary Assessment conducted by the Teachers Council of New Zealand. As stated above, the starting salary can range from $35,000 to $45,000, which can mean the difference between breaking even and saving, or even losing money.

Enjoy the beauties of New Zealand while volunteering
Enjoy the beauties of New Zealand while volunteering

As for living costs, you can expect to pay about $1,150 for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center; obviously that can be reduced if you're willing to live a bit outside or take on roommates. A monthly transportation pass will cost you about $140 a month, and your utilities including Internet could run you as high as $300 a month. Clothing and other shopping can be high as well - remember, you're on an island at the bottom of the world! So if you want to make sure that financially, teaching in Auckland is not a losing proposition, you might want to hold off and get more qualifications and/or experience under your belt so your salary will be higher.

Classroom & Work Culture:

The school year is divided into four terms, with the first term beginning at the end of January after having been on break since before Christmas; all other term breaks average about two weeks. There are also Autumn, Winter and Spring holiday breaks within each term that last about two weeks each.

  • Student/Teacher Relations: There is no great difference between student-teacher relations in New Zealand and other English-language countries like the US and UK.
  • Dress Code: Teachers should dress corporate-casual, leaning towards conservative (no short skirts for women, no jeans for men).
  • Greetings: Students call their teachers and administrators by their last name; there is no physical greeting necessary. However, note that Maori greetings may be common at your school; they are as follows:
    • Morena Tamariki (Good Morning Children)
    • Morena Kaiako (Good Morning Teacher)
    • Kia Ora Tamariki (Hello Children)
    • Kia Ora Kaiako (Hello Teacher)
A Lighthouse in New Zealand
A Lighthouse in New Zealand
Why Teach in Auckland?

Auckland provides ample opportunity for a wide range of interests, from career advancement to striking a healthy balance between work and outdoor activities. And while experienced educators may find their time in Auckland to be more lucrative, new teachers and TEFL graduates will appreciate having Auckland as a home base from which to explore this incredible part of the world.

Photo Credit: New Zealand Dollars - Auckland City - Lighthouse

Contributed by Amanda Lansdown

Amanda Lansdown works at Travel Insurance Cover, a New Zealand company providing travel insurance. Their Discover NZ Policy is available to residents and non-residents and provides cover for travel within NZ.

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