Teach in a Department of Defense School

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
In my new book, 150 Best Federal Jobs, I focus mostly on jobs in the 50 states. I did this so that I could combine data from the Office of Personnel Management--which covers all federal employees, foreign and domestic--with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics--which covers only employment on these shores.

However, I knew there would be interest in overseas federal jobs, so I included an appendix about two important offshore federal employers: Department of Defense schools and the United States Peace Corps. It’s the former that I want to discuss in this week’s blog, partly because a lot of American teachers have lost their jobs recently and may be looking for opportunities elsewhere.

The federal job with the largest civilian foreign workforce is teachers, covering some 8,000 workers in September 2010. Most of these workers (and a few thousand in other occupations) are employed by the Department of Defense in schools that DoD operates overseas for minor dependents of active-duty military and civilian personnel. The schools enroll students from kindergarten through grade 12 and are modeled on American public schools.

Some of these workers are spouses of military or civilian DoD employees stationed overseas; typically they begin in time-limited appointments and may be able to move to a permanent position with experience and appropriate teaching licensure. Others have no marital connection to a DoD employee and apply from the United States.

To qualify for one of these positions, you need a teaching license from one of the 50 states. The DoD certifies you in a field and level that match the certification in your original state as closely as possible. You usually need to sign a mobility agreement that says you are willing to work wherever the DoD needs you. To apply for a teaching position that starts with the following school year, you generally begin the process between September and January 15.

If you are an education major at a college that has an agreement with the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS), you may be able to do your student teaching as a federal employee. Some students majoring in school psychology, counseling, nursing, library media, vocational education, or school administration are also eligible for student teaching for DoDDS. Ask your academic advisor about such opportunities. If you apply for spring placement, the deadline is October 31st; for fall placement, April 30th.

For further information about opportunities at DoD Dependents’ Schools, visit the DoDEA Recruitment website or phone DoDEA’s Recruitment Center at (703) 588-3983.


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