International School Community Blog

Great Article – How to Break into International School Teaching

International School Community would like to highlight this article by Clay Burell – How to Break into International School Teaching

It is a good overview of what you need to think about if you are a person that is wanting to join our international school community.

Parts of the article we would like highlight are:

“Give yourself months to complete the registration process for these outfits; in fact, just get started now, since I think your file will remain active for at least a year, possibly more, after you sign up. You have to submit an online resume, cover letter, educational philosophy, copy of your teaching certificate, recommendation letters, teacher evaluations, and gobs more stuff to their database.”

We liked the phrase “just get started now.”  It is true.  It is better to get started on the process sooner than later.  Some of the applications for recruitment fairs like Search and ISS can take months to complete.  Especially the confidential references that you need to get your references to submit.  But we thought it good to note to newbies that it is NOT necessary to go to a recruitment fair at all to find your first job.  There are many other ways (Skype, contacting the school directly, etc…) that you can do to get your foot in the door.

“There may be a bit of a “career ladder” to climb to get a job at the top-tier schools. Many people start in less selective schools, build a resume there and establish themselves as international school teachers, and expect their next fair to land them a job at one of the better schools.”

It is important to have a think about whether there are really top-tier schools or not.  There are many international schools out there that many people want to work because they think it is a top-tier school.  But in the reality of working there, many of them are just normal schools with the same issues that plague many international schools everywhere (disorganization, bad management, overworked staff, etc…).  We have seen many times newbies getting jobs at these top-tier schools.  If you are lucky and you are in the right place at the right time, then you can get a job anywhere.  If you are the right fit and have the right personality, many times top schools will not hesitate to hire you disregarding your lack of international school teaching experience.

Beware before signing a contract. If you break it, you may be blacklisted for the next job fair. Strongly consider sucking it up until your sentence ends.”

We are not for sure this is sending the right word about the lives of international school educators.  One must come to their own conclusion about whether there is indeed a blacklist or not.  It is hard to imagine school heads are taking the time to add somebody to a list, then sending it out to all the other international schools around the world and then having another school read that list and compare it to the list of candidates they are interview to see if there is a match.  If you do indeed break a contract, I bet that the school and you can come to an agreement that will be in the best interest of both parties.  If you are not the right fit, then it is best to not work with each other anyways.