May 2, 2013
Thanks to the increasing number of international schools, there have never been so many opportunities in unique and exciting locations for teachers.
Today there are international schools everywhere – over 6,500 schools in 236 countries – and some of the more unusual locations are providing the most stimulating and challenging opportunities for the more seasoned and adventurous international teachers.
Corey Johnson is a Geography teacher currently working in Kazakhstan. He’s been teaching internationally for seven years. “Being an international teacher, I can work and see the world at the same time,” he says. “Each time I move to a new country I am gaining more experience. Knowing that a grand adventure is waiting for you out there is very enticing. Life in a new country is always challenging but it’s also rewarding. Things are very different here but that’s the adventure of it all.”
Kazakhstan is one of the more unique places for teachers to work right now and it is the international schools, led by the NIS (Nazarbayev Intellectual School Network) schools that are changing the face of education throughout the country. The aim is to develop a new way of educating local Kazakh students and the NIS Network is enlisting the skills of qualified, English-speaking, experienced international teachers such as Corey to spearhead the progress.
From Mauritius to Bangkok
For international teaching couple, Jane and Gerry Young, an extreme location change was their priority when they were ready to move schools.
“We spent three years teaching at the international school in Mauritius,” says Gerry. “There were huge career benefits there and we loved the lifestyle. We spent most of our free time outdoors in the sunshine, on beaches. When our contract ended we decided to find something just as exciting but completely different so we them moved from our sleepy little school of 260 pupils to one of the biggest names in international education – Harrow International School in Bangkok – with almost 1,200 pupils, and traded mellow Mauritius for bustling Bangkok – a different corner of the world and a whole new adventure.”
Many options near and far
With today’s international schools employing over 300,000 English-speaking teachers and all competing for the most skilled and experienced ones, those already with international school experience really can have their pick of the best jobs. Some of the more unique positions currently available are at the International School in Azerbaijan, at the International School Moshi in Tanzania which is located in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, and at the International School in Montenegro, as well at the NIS schools in Kazakhstan.
“Don’t limit yourself to the oftentimes ‘cattle market’ frenzy of the recruitment fairs, or restrict yourself to just the jobs featured in the vacancies ads,” says recruitment expert Andrew Wigford. “Many international schools are now using recruitment agencies to handle all their placements and these agencies often know of some of the more unique jobs that aren’t publicised elsewhere. For example, the Harrow International Schools, which have a five year recruitment contract with us, hardly use job fairs at all. That’s why it’s important to register with a recruitment agency, as you’ll find jobs – great jobs – that you don’t hear about anywhere else. The good recruitment agencies do not charge candidates any fee for this and still allow them the opportunity to look elsewhere, such as at the fairs. It’s an important part of keeping all your options open, especially if you’re looking for a really exciting or challenging next move and some agencies, such as TIC, provide a very personalised service to help you find exactly the right school and position for you.”
Andrew Wigford is Managing Director of Teachers International Consultancy (TIC), one of the leading specialist international school recruitment agencies in the world. TIC works with experienced international teachers and accredited and reputable international schools to provide a personalised placement and advisory service. For more information visit www.ticrecruitment.com
Teachers International Consultancy (TIC)
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Blogs of international school teachers: “Life in Kunshan, China” (An international school PARENT at Kunshan International School)
April 30, 2013
Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?
Our 30th blog that we would like to highlight is called “Life in Kunshan, China” It is not actually written by a teacher, but by a parent! Check out the blog entries of this international school PARENT who currently sends their children to Kunshan American School in China.
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“The school is quite large. We were only able to see the kindergarten area today – a meeting with teaching staff and tour of the school will occur later in the month – but what we saw was impressive: the kindergarten has a room with beds for naps, a separate and large room with great play equipment, a traditional teaching room and a separate reading room with about a dozen PCs for the kids to work on.
I was struck by the cost of the school: only 12,500 RMB/semester for Logan and 10,000 for Jordan. That works out to a little over $3,000/year for our two boys, a small fraction of what we’d have to pay to send the kids to school in Shanghai, and even less than we were paying in California for Jordan’s pre-school…”
It is interesting to get the international school parents’ perspective once and awhile. I actually just witnessed a “tour” going on today at work with our school secretary showing around a new/prospective family. I was out on break duty and was wondering what the parents were thinking as they watched all the students running around. Were they impressed by the school’s playground and how the students were using it? We should have the school secretary share more about what kind of feedback/statements she/he hears when giving a tour of our school. It could prove to be quite intriguing to hear what prospective/new parents (and their children) are saying!
And then there is the cost of sending children to the international school in question. Typically it can be very expensive for expat parents paying for themselves. But we all know that many expat parents don’t typically pay for the tuition themselves, their company pays for them. What a nice surpise then to find out the tuition at Kunshan International School is actually low when compared to other international schools in China.
On a side note, we also have an article on our blog about international school teachers’ dependence on IKEA when living abroad. Check out the article here.
“The teachers seem to take a deep interest in the kids. About a week before the start of school, Jordan’s (who was going to start kindergarten) teacher came to our house to visit on a Saturday, speaking with Jordan and answering questions we had. She was going to all the students’ homes, getting to know them and allow them to get comfortable with her (of course, this just doesn’t happen in the U.S.)…”
I have never heard of this happening! How great that a teacher at this international school goes to each student’s house to answer questions that the student and family have! Does any one know of any other international school that does this kind of orientation?
Want to work for an international school in China like this blogger sends their children to? Currently, we have 142 international schools listed in China on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:
• Beijing City International School (31 Comments)
Blogs of International Teachers
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Blogs of international school teachers: “Creating Collaborating Sharing” (A veteran int’l educator at Sinarmas World Academy)
March 23, 2013
Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?
Our 29th blog that we would like to highlight is called “Creating Collaborating Sharing” Check out the blog entries of this international school educator who currently works at Sinarmas World Academy (10 Total Comments on our website.) in Indonesia.
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“Some of you may have known that I have moved schools this year and have just started my job as the Elementary School IT Coach at Sinarmas World Academy. It is located in West Jakarta, Indonesia. It is a relatively new school (4 years old) and an absolutely beautiful campus. There is lots going on technology-wise as we are a 1:1 school from Grades 4-12 and then shared laptops for Grades 1-3. We have over 70 ipads in addition to that. The school is warm, has a community feel and a strong vision. One of the things I enjoy about the school is the fact that there is a strong blogging culture and all students, teachers and administrators have blogs which creates a learning community…”
How great to work at a beautiful campus and to have such excellent technology resources! That is amazing that all teachers and administration have a blog. Working at a newer international school has it pros and cons, but this one seems to have a lot of pros!
“Moving to a new country and working at a new school forces everyone to seek out all these needs. You need to find a new home, car, friends and learn the culture before you can even think about the school. I believe administrators need to really consider their faculty and where they are at any given point in the school year. Obviously, the goal is to have all teachers at the top at self-actualization where people feel a genuine sense of purpose, intrinsic rewards and contributing to the community. During the 1-2 weeks of new teacher orientation, it is critical that administrators help teachers attain their basic and safety needs BEFORE even trying to talk to them about the curriculum. The other challenging is building community and helping new teachers integrate into the new community and feel a sense of belonging. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen at one of the schools I worked at and resulted in new teachers being extremely stressed, frantic and behind the 8 ball from day 1. International schools need so spend that time supporting teachers in finding housing, setting up utilities, finding nannies, places to shop and eat, etc.…”
I like that idea about how administration should make sure their new teachers have all their basic needs met before they talk to them about curriculum. It is important that international school administrators take note that their job also entails making sure their new hires are alright and adjusting well to their new environment. And as this blogger stated, it can all backfire very quickly if the new teachers are still not having their basic needs met by the first week of school with the students.
Want to work for an international school in Indonesia like this blogger? Currently, we have 37 international schools listed in Indonesia on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:
• Canggu Community School (10 Comments)
Blogs of International Teachers
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Survey results are in: On average, how many interviews do you go to at an international school recruitment fair?
March 10, 2013
Going to one to two interviews at an international school recruitment fair can probably mean one of four things:
• You probably don’t have very much experience teaching in general and teaching at international schools and are finding it hard to get schools’ attention.
Additionally, you just might not be up for going to five, six, seven interviews. More interview can equal to more stress for you at the fair. On the other hand, if you are very desirable to international schools at the fair and are open to where you would like to go, the more interviews you secure the better the odds that you will get some job offers!
There are many factors to consider when deciding on which international school at which to work. Figuring out how and where an international school recruits can prove to be helpful information to know; just so that you are prepared and can make the necessary and appropriate plans. Luckily on International School Community, we have a School Information section in the comments and information part of each school’s profile page that discusses this very topic.
• Describe their hiring policies. Which recruiting fairs do they go to? How do they typically hire (e.g. face-to-face interview, Skype, etc.)? Are there any hiring restrictions mandated by the country?
There have been many comments and information submitted in this topic on numerous school profiles on our website.
One International School Community member said about working at Misr American College (37 Comments): “M.A.C. attends the Cambridge job fair in Boston which is hosted by Search Associates and they have also attended the Dubai fair. I have seen their ads on TIEonline as well. They will also do skype interviewing. They employ a variety of ways to get their teachers. I was able to bring my spouse when I signed on with them and they helped get his residency. Not sure if they are still doing this though.”
Another member said about working at Seoul International School (69 Comments): “They use Search & ISS and do a lot of recruiting in Canada (all of the heads of the school are Canadian). Last year the HS principal did a lot of interviewing via Skype.”
Another member submitted a comment about working at Colegio Granadino Manizales (43 Comments): “I was hired at the recruiting fair in Kingston, Ontario, As far as I know, they also attend the Iowa fair and some teachers are hired via Skype.”
If you are currently a premium member of International School Community, please take a moment to share what you know by submitting some comments and information about how your international school recruits and what recruitment fairs that they go to each year. You can start by logging on here.
Stay tuned for our next survey topic which is to come out in a few days time.
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Member Search Feature Update: What positions do our 1980+ International School Community members have?
February 25, 2013
After using the member profile search feature on the main homepage of International School Community, we found the following results: (updated from 12 August, 2012)
13 Activities Coordinators – (up 11)
Want to get a job at an international school in one of these positions? Log-on to International School Community and start contacting our members to get answers to your questions. Many of our members definitely know about the life of an international school teacher at the school they currently work at and the schools they have worked at in the past.
Check out all of our 1981 members here.
Information for Members
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