Singapore’s educational landscape is as diverse as it is exceptional, and its demand for qualified educators extends to the youngest learners. If you’re a passionate Filipino educator with dreams of teaching in one of Asia’s most vibrant and culturally rich countries, then becoming a preschool teacher in Singapore could be your calling.
This guide is tailored specifically for Filipinos and will walk you through the essential steps and requirements to embark on this fulfilling career path, from securing the necessary qualifications to navigating the application process and making a difference in the lives of Singapore’s preschoolers.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
How to Begin Your Journey as a Preschool Teacher in Singapore
The information presented in this article comes from a YouTube video from the channel named Layah Queen. In this video, the vlogger gives some ideas about what to prepare if you plan to be an early childhood education teacher in Singapore. If you want to watch the full video, then click on the link below:
Embarking on a teaching career in a foreign land is an exciting but challenging endeavor. To shed light on the path to becoming a preschool teacher in Singapore, we turn to the insights of a seasoned teacher with six years of experience in the Lion City. While she doesn’t claim to be an expert or represent the government, her practical experience is a valuable resource for those considering a teaching career in Singapore.
First and foremost, one must be mentally prepared to venture abroad. The initial thrill of boarding a plane and setting off to a new country is undeniable. However, after a few months in Singapore, homesickness can creep in, reminding you of the family and friends you’ve left behind. As an aspiring preschool teacher in Singapore, you need to steel yourself for the challenges that lie ahead. The journey may sometimes be a solitary one, with no immediate support system. You must be prepared to stand on your own two feet.
Working as an early childhood educator in Singapore demands courage and resilience. In this unfamiliar environment, you are your own strongest advocate. It’s crucial not to lose hope, for there are both trials and triumphs on the path to becoming an ECE (Early Childhood Education) teacher in Singapore.
What are the Requirements for Landing a Job as a Preschool Teacher in Singapore?
The vlogger shared the following requirements based on her experience:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education: First and foremost, you should hold a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. This is often the primary requirement emphasized by agencies during interviews. While obtaining your degree in the Philippines is possible, pursuing your education in Singapore is also an option. However, it’s important to note that acceptance is not guaranteed, as preference is often given to individuals who already have experience in the early childhood sector.
- Relevant Experience: Having prior experience is highly regarded, although it’s not an absolute necessity. The teaching style in Singapore may differ from that in the Philippines, and the vlogger herself didn’t have any prior experience. She immediately ventured to Singapore after graduating, with her only experience being her practicum in school. Fresh graduates can still secure teaching positions, but experienced candidates are generally favored.
- IELTS Certificate (General Average of 6.5): An IELTS certificate with a general average score of 6.5 is a common requirement. While some applicants without IELTS have been considered, they are typically placed on probation and given six months to obtain the required score. Failing to meet this criterion within the probation period might lead to repatriation. Ideally, having your IELTS certification before heading to Singapore can streamline the process.
- Valid Passport: Your passport must be valid for at least six months and should not expire within that time frame.
- Gender: Based on the vlogger’s observations, a preference for female teachers is prevalent, especially when assigned to child care centers. While there are male teachers, these cases are rare. This preference is often due to traditional norms associated with the care of children, as women are typically perceived as safer in these roles.
- Commitment to a Minimum of 2 Years: You should be willing to commit to at least two years of employment in Singapore, as many institutions require this duration to justify the hiring process.
- Diploma and Transcript of Records (TOR) in English: Your diploma and transcript of records must be in English or accompanied by an official translation.
Steps in Applying for a Preschool Teaching Position Through an Agency
- Research and Select an Agency: Start by researching and choosing a reputable recruitment agency that specializes in overseas teaching placements, particularly in Singapore. Ensure the agency has a good track record and positive reviews from teachers who have successfully secured positions through them.
- Prepare Required Documents: Gather all the necessary documents, including your bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, IELTS certificate, passport, transcript of records (TOR), diploma, and any other requested credentials. Ensure your documents are in order and meet the agency’s requirements.
- Submit Your Application: Contact the agency and submit your application, along with all the required documents. Pay close attention to any specific guidelines or forms provided by the agency. It’s essential to provide accurate and complete information during this phase.
- Interview with the Agency: Expect an interview with the agency to discuss your qualifications, preferences, and expectations. Be honest and clear about your objectives and be prepared to answer questions related to your teaching experience, if any.
- Acceptance and Placement: If the agency accepts your application, they will help you find a suitable teaching position in Singapore. They may arrange interviews with potential employers or schools. Once you receive an offer, evaluate the terms and conditions, including salary, working hours, and location.
- Visa Application: After accepting a job offer, work with the agency to complete the necessary visa application paperwork. They will guide you through the visa application process and ensure you have the required documents to apply for an employment pass in Singapore.
- IELTS Preparation: If you haven’t already, start preparing for your IELTS examination. Achieving the required score is crucial for securing your position, and the agency may provide resources or assistance for IELTS preparation.
- Travel Arrangements: Once your visa is approved, the agency will help you with travel arrangements to Singapore. They may assist with booking flights and provide information about accommodation options in Singapore.
- Orientation and Training: Some agencies offer orientation and training programs to help you acclimate to your new teaching environment. These sessions can provide valuable insights into teaching practices and expectations in Singapore.
- Begin Your Teaching Career: After arriving in Singapore and completing any required training or orientation, you can begin your teaching career. Be sure to adapt to the local education system, build rapport with students, and embrace the unique teaching methods and culture.
Applying via Direct Hire
If you’re considering applying for a preschool teaching position in Singapore via direct hire, it means you intend to seek employment directly with a school or educational institution without the involvement of a recruitment agency. Here are the steps to guide you through the process of applying for such a position:
- Research and Identify Schools: Begin your journey by researching and identifying preschools, kindergartens, or educational institutions in Singapore that you’d like to work for. Explore their websites, read reviews, and gather information about their application procedures and job openings. It’s crucial to target schools that align with your teaching preferences and career goals.
- Prepare Your Application: Collect and prepare all the necessary documents, including your bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, IELTS certificate, passport, transcript of records (TOR), diploma, and other credentials. Ensure that your documents meet the specific requirements of the school or institution you’re applying to. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your relevant qualifications and teaching experience.
- Search for Job Openings: Check the official websites of the schools and educational institutions you’ve selected. Many of them post job vacancies directly on their websites. Keep a lookout for job postings related to preschool teaching or early childhood education.
- Submit Applications: Follow the application instructions provided on the school’s website. This may involve filling out an online application form and uploading your resume and supporting documents. Make sure to submit your application before the specified deadline. Double-check for any additional materials or requirements that may be requested.
- Attend Interviews: If your application captures the school’s interest, they may invite you for an interview, which could be conducted in person, over the phone, or via video conferencing. Be well-prepared for the interview by showcasing your teaching skills, passion for early childhood education, and your ability to adapt to their teaching environment.
- Evaluate Job Offers: Once you’ve gone through the interview process and received one or more job offers, carefully evaluate each offer. Consider factors such as salary, benefits, working hours, location, and school culture. Ensure that the terms and conditions meet your expectations and requirements.
- Visa Application: If you accept a job offer, work closely with the school’s human resources department to complete the necessary paperwork for your employment pass in Singapore. They will guide you through the visa application process and ensure that you have the required documents.
- Relocation and Settling In: After your visa is approved, it’s time to prepare for your relocation to Singapore. Make travel arrangements, secure accommodation, and plan your move. Be ready to adapt to the local teaching environment and embrace the educational practices in Singapore.
How to be Mentally and Emotionally Prepared to be an Early Childhood Educator in Singapore
- Embrace Independence: One of the first things to understand is that you will embark on this journey alone. While it’s natural to feel excited at the prospect of living and working in a foreign country, be prepared to face moments of homesickness. Missing your loved ones is entirely normal, but your determination to succeed should drive you forward.
- Maintain Resilience: Adaptability and resilience are invaluable qualities as you venture into unfamiliar territory. The teaching style in Singapore may differ from what you experienced in the Philippines, and you’ll need to adjust to new methodologies and classroom dynamics. Stay open to learning and growing in your role as an early childhood educator.
- Cultivate Courage: Courage is vital in any transition, especially one as significant as moving to a new country. Your ability to navigate through challenges, both personal and professional, will be a testament to your courage. Keep in mind that many others have successfully made this journey before you, and you can too.
- Build Self-Reliance: Self-reliance is a cornerstone of success in Singapore. When living abroad, you’ll face numerous situations where you’ll need to rely on yourself to find solutions. Whether it’s handling daily chores, managing finances, or addressing professional challenges, your self-reliance will be your greatest asset.
- Stay Positive: Maintaining a positive outlook is essential. You may encounter setbacks and obstacles, but these should be seen as opportunities for growth and development. A positive mindset can help you navigate the highs and lows of your teaching journey in Singapore.
- Adaptability: As an OFW, you’ll need to adapt to a new culture, work environment, and teaching methods. Being open to change and willing to embrace Singaporean customs will help you integrate smoothly into your new role as a preschool teacher.
- Resilience in the Face of Challenges: OFWs often encounter obstacles while working abroad, such as homesickness, language barriers, or initial adjustment difficulties. Maintaining resilience and finding healthy ways to cope with these challenges is essential to succeed both personally and professionally.
- Financial Responsibility: Managing your finances responsibly is crucial when working overseas. You’ll have to budget for living expenses, remittances, and possibly supporting family members back in the Philippines. Financial literacy is an important skill for OFWs.
- Support Networks: While you may not have immediate family nearby, building a support network in Singapore is essential. Connect with fellow OFWs, local colleagues, or other educators in your school to establish a reliable support system. These connections can provide guidance, camaraderie, and assistance during your journey as an OFW preschool teacher in Singapore.
Embarking on a career as a preschool teacher in Singapore, particularly as an Overseas Filipino Worker, demands not only the essential qualifications and skills but also a strong sense of determination and adaptability. The journey may come with its share of challenges, such as homesickness and the need to build a new support system far from home. However, with the right blend of qualifications, perseverance, and readiness to embrace a foreign culture, this path can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding career in early childhood education.