au pair

From Au Pair to kindergarten teacher

by Alena on Nov 21, 2019
How to become a kindergarten teacher after au pair
Your Au Pair stay is coming to an end but you’re not ready to say “bye” to the kids? Then don’t! Think about becoming a kindergarten teacher instead. The perfect thing about this option is that you already have skills and experience, hence all you need to do is just find the right place and keep doing what you love! 

What does a kindergarten teacher do?

As a kindergarten teacher, you are expected to design and implement a teaching plan, to teach kids some basic grammar (like the alphabet) and help them develop and/or improve social skills. You can explain to pupils how to share their emotional state, organize materials and tools for the learning process, motivate kids by using different methods and activities. You will need to communicate openly with parents and be able to supply them with details about their children’s progress and any other info they may need. Sounds familiar, right?   

How much does a kindergarten teacher earn?

It really depends on the country. So, for instance, in the US the average salary is around $40.000 per year. In Germany, you can start with something like $30-40k but in Poland, it can be around $20.000/year. It also depends on your experience - usually, in the beginning, you will probably be paid the minimum wage but in some months or years you can ask for a promotion. 

Where to start?

The first thing to do is to sit and write down all your skills. You need a nice updated CV to start looking for a position. Second - decide if you want to stay in your Host Family’s country or move somewhere else (don’t forget to check the visa regulations if it’s relevant for you). When you did the first two steps, start sending out your resume. If you get an invitation to the interview soon - great, if not - don’t give up! Stay positive, show to the potential employer that you are motivated and passionate about this job.  

How being an Au Pair can help you become a teacher in a kindergarten

The times, when employers wanted a diploma from you, had passed, now your experience makes your resume attractive. Being an Au Pair is like taking university classes, only the learning process happens differently: usually you’re not reading books or listening to professors (although you can if you want) but instead, you’re learning new things from actually doing them or, in other words, learning from experience. 
Important: you should learn how to present yourself. You’ve solved the conflict between two kids? Congrats, you have “conflict management skills” now. You were in charge of a kid’s schedule and organized many different things on your own? You can put “project management” experience in your CV. Just remember, not only formal education or your work for some companies matter. Knowing how to learn from experience is what makes you a great candidate.   

Hints & tips

Collect the feedback 
We live in a world where recommendations and references mean everything. We rely on others’ opinions about what to eat, which hotel to choose or when to have kids. So the employers are no different, and they want to know you from your previous employer’s perspective. That’s why you need to be prepared: ask your family to write a recommendation letter or be creative and make a feedback video interview with them.

Think about the future before it becomes present 
Use the time during your Au Pair stay to start planning what you are going to do afterward. Check different options, maybe even go to a few kindergartens and ask if they have an open position now or in the near future. Also, check the requirements for staying, start saving because you will need some money for the first month to pay the rent and to provide yourself with food. 

Don’t be too modest
In many cultures, there is a piece of common yet very stereotypical advice for women to be humble and quiet, not to brag about their experience and competences. For many, it creates fear to speak up, to look professional and to feel that their skills and qualifications are valid. We encourage you to be self-confident and to see your experience as relevant and useful for your future job research. 

Work on your network 
That’s important for your future especially if you plan to look for a job in the country where you worked as an Au Pair. Use all the possible opportunities to expand your network: attend a language course, travel, become a volunteer for some local initiative, organize a small event like a cultural talk. Keep in touch with people and don’t hesitate to tell them you’re looking for a job - maybe they know someone or will just pay attention and inform you if they hear or read about a vacancy.

Are you interested to learn more about various jobs after your Au Pair stay? Then stay tuned and read more next Thursday! 
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