Blogs of international school teachers: “Art Teach Travel.”
July 25, 2012
Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?
Our 21st blog that we would like to highlight is called “Art Teach Travel” Check out the blog entries of this school teacher who has lived and worked in the United States for many years teaching art. She has aspirations to join the international school community in the very near future. She has written some great insight related to the different kinds of international school recruitment fairs currently on offer to people looking for a job at an international school.
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“Since 1955, International Schools Services (ISS) has been dedicated to providing international students access to a premier Western education. It is difficult for ISS to give me data regarding how many art positions are available each year because, unlike UNI, they have continual, year-round recruitment fairs at various locations around the world. Currently, ISS has five recruitment conferences scheduled in 2012-13 to include Philadelphia; Nice, France; Atlanta; Bangkok and San Francisco. There will be more posted as dates are confirmed.
In 2010, a variety of schools, in countries such as China, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Switzerland, UAE and Vietnam, needed art teachers but each year the represented schools and countries are varied. There is no way to predict how many schools from how many countries will need art teachers each year. When I recently inquired there were 11 positions most recently available…”
I think about this too. For most teachers looking for a job at an international school, in any given year, always must take a gamble. The gamble is just how this blogger described: you never know what vacancies are going to be available the year you decide to look for a job abroad (and in the city or country you most want to work in). Some more experienced teachers in the international school community do tend to wait until the right job comes up (usually found out through their extensive network of international educator colleagues) and then they decide to leave their current school. However, there are a number of teachers that don’t have that luxury and they take a big chance that the perfect job will present itself the year they decide to look. Going to the recruitment fair is fun though really. If you are luckily, you have many interviews to consider at the fair. I think I went to about seven interviews at the last recruitment fair that I attended. They say to even go to the ones that you are pretty sure you are not interested in…because “you never know.” Also, it is quite interesting to learn more about the many different international schools around the world and what they are doing and have to offer.
It is good to check how many positions are available on the recruitment fair’s website before you get to the fair, but it is also good to know that things can change very quickly. The vacancies listed on their website can change….a lot, so be prepared as you are walking around during the first round robin session and checking out their vacancies posters. Though on the other hand, if you have contacted a school beforehand and they have shown interest in you about a vacancy, still go up to the table and get the latest update (if you don’t see the vacancy listed on the poster), as you never know what has happened and the position might indeed be available again in a day, a week, etc…
“So now, years later, I’m asking the same question: Should I stay or should I go? This time, I’m talking about my job, the Dallas art scene, my home in Texas and my country. I’ve been exploring how to combine my love of teaching with my love of adventure and travel. Teaching art in an international school may be my way to do that.
Although there are many educational placement companies, I have narrowed my search down to three: UNI (University of Northern Iowa), ISS (International Schools Services) and SA (Search Associates). Although I’ve never taught internationally, I have read many others’ personal accounts through various forum blogs…”
Waiting for the right time to enter the international school community can take awhile for some people. Taking the risk of leaving your current job in your home country, leaving your friends and family, and then ultimately leaving your home country itself is quite the challenge. I remember my teacher friends being ready years before me. I had many things that I had to deal with first, and it took me six years (after I first started teaching with my teaching license) until my life was ready to finally go to a recruitment fair. I don’t remember thinking that staying (in my current job and home country) really was option anymore…once I had finally made my decision to teach abroad. Luckily, things worked out well and I got the job of my dreams at the first recruitment fair that I had ever been to, with no prior international school teaching experience. I think the “power” was definitely in the candidate’s favor back then!
Now I am currently at my third international school, and I still ask the questions to myself “Should I stay or should I go?” Even though most contracts are for two years, it is always good to stay a little bit after that initial contract and sometimes there is a nice financial incentive to stay longer too! Your school in your home country probably wouldn’t be offering you any bonuses to stay with them! One of the many perks teaching at international schools versus teaching in your home country.
If you are also interested in starting your career in the international school community, feel free to check out the 1245+ international schools that are listed on International School Community here. Also, don’t forget to check out our latest submitted comments and information about these schools.