3 Myths about Working with Teach For Bulgaria Teachers. Debunked!

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All schools can submit their teaching vacancies by April 30, if they want to work with participants in Teach For Bulgaria’s program “A New Way to Teaching”

As we’re nearing the end of the school year, principals get a clearer picture of any potential teaching vacancies they might have to fill over the summer. This is the perfect time to seriously consider hiring new motivated teachers from Teach For Bulgaria’s new cohort of “A New Way to Teaching” participants. 

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Petya Ivanova, arts and primary school teacher at 156th Primary School “Vasil Levski” in the neighborhood of Kremikovtsi since 2016

Principals of schools located in all regions of the country are eligible to apply this year and get an opportunity to work with some of the new participants in our program. At this stage of the process we accept potential teaching vacancies which can be confirmed after the end of the school year.

The deadline is April 30, but we encourage you to submit your teaching vacancies sooner, because some of the new teachers have already started the program and will have access to all submitted vacant positions at the end of March.

Our long-term partners know our work very well and never hesitate to submit their new vacant positions when the time comes. However, we realize that principals who have never worked with us may be more hesitant. This is why we decided to debunk 3 popular myths of working with Teach For Bulgaria teachers.

They are not qualified

All participants in “A New Way to Teaching” either have a teaching certificate prior to joining the program, or are in the process of acquiring one. The participants who need to obtain a teaching certificate go through a 2 or 4-semester university course at accredited Bulgarian universities as part of the new national program “Motivated Teachers”, launched by the Ministry of Education and Science. The program allows Bulgarian schools to hire motivated specialists from different fields of expertise, even if they do not have a teaching certificate. Teach For Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Union of Teachers are responsible for modules 1 and 3 of the ministry’s national program, i.e. teacher training and support.

Daniel Simeonov, Silvia Itova, Elena Tatarova, and Emil Emilov. Teachers from different cohorts of Teach For Bulgaria’s “A New Way to Teaching

All participants in “A New Way to Teaching” are either recent university graduates or experienced professionals with diverse backgrounds. Teach For Bulgaria also provides them with professional mentorship, access to ongoing trainings based on their individual areas of improvement, peer to peer learning opportunities, and networking. Having one or more Teach For Bulgaria teachers at your school also improves your public image because our participants are often featured in various television and radio programs. We also introduced special modules on the effective methods of online teaching last year which seem to be highly appreciated by our partner schools.

Find out more about the training our participants go through here.

Another important aspect of the program, and something that definitely should not be underestimated, is that all participants go through a rigorous selection process. So far this year we have over 2000 applicants and a little over 70 new participants. This rigorous selection guarantees that our participants have the right motivation, mindsets, and qualities to become successful teachers at your school.  

My school is in a region where Teach For Bulgaria doesn’t work 

Up until last year Teach For Bulgaria only worked with partner schools in a limited number of regions. However, we are now accepting vacant positions from schools located all over Bulgaria. Any municipal or public school in Bulgaria can submit their open positions, regardless of performance, location, or context of work. This enables many principals who have wanted to work with us, but haven’t had the opportunity yet, to make the first step towards becoming our partner. 

Competition is much higher this year, so we encourage you to submit your vacant positions as soon as possible. The new teachers will be able to make their choice as early as the end of March. 

They only teach for two years

“A New Way to Teaching” is a two-year program, but many of our participants stay at the school where they have been placed even after the end of the program. 

Many of them take on leadership positions, assume new responsibilities, and work as vice principals, manage different projects, or start their own initiatives at school – clubs, competitions, student parliaments, school celebrations, etc.

Teach For Bulgaria keeps supporting all alumni who continue working in education or are committed to supporting our mission to provide every child with access to quality education in another way. 

Whether a specific teacher stays at the same school or not highly depends on the school environment, the efforts that have been made to integrate them into your team, and their personal career plans and aspirations. Our experience shows that if you are trying to retain a specific teacher, you need to let them know well in advance. Don’t wait until they come into your office with a one-month notice. 

Even if you don’t manage to convince a particular teacher to stay, don’t be too concerned because we recruit new participants every year. That way, even if you have a new vacant position in two years, you can always apply for a new teacher. This will also allow your students to work with teachers with diverse backgrounds and previous experiences, thus getting a wider access to a variety of development opportunities and creative inspiration. 10 years after Teach For Bulgaria was founded we are happy to say that many students of Teach For Bulgaria teachers are becoming teachers themselves. Take Gergana Chlakova for example. Not only did she become a teacher, but she also participated in “A New Way to Teaching” and after the successful completion of the program decided to dedicate her career to the professional support and development of new teachers by joining Teach For Bulgaria’s Training and Support team.

You can also read:

Verka Petkova: Experienced Educators and Innovative Beginner Teachers Form a Unity – a Successful Pedagogical Team

A Letter from a Principal: I Recognized the Importance of Being Together in These Trying Times

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