With the hiring season upon us, there is a divide among us international school teachers. Will the international school you are interviewing with prefer to hire a teaching couple or a single teacher?
I guess it could seem like the international school is being a bit discriminatory when they state their preference (sometimes in the job description vacancy itself). Still, there might be several factors that come into play in their decision to be explicit in what they are looking for. (Here is a link to our first blog article about this topic, by the way.)
Sometimes hiring a single teacher can be more expensive than hiring a teaching couple. We all know schools love saving money! Money aside though, the administration at international schools also knows the lifestyle that prospective teachers are signing up for. The setup could be good for both singles and teaching couples, but the city and country where the school is located could also lend itself better to a single person OR a teaching couple.
It is hard to guess which type of teacher would be better for which setup, but the administration can see patterns developing amongst their staff. For example, are the single teachers or the teaching couples staying longer (or shorter) at the school? Are single teachers finding it difficult to save money there? Are single teachers able to easily meet up with other expats or locals in the city for a date?
The fact is, though, that single teachers get hired all the time during each recruitment season. If you are a quality teacher with a good resume and references (plus luck and timing), the school will consider hiring you. However, it might be good to know which international schools have a good record of hiring single teachers.
Additionally, if a school gives an offer of employment to a single teacher, what are the exact details about the benefits the school is offering you specifically? What is the lifestyle like for single teachers who live in different cities around the world?
So many factors and things to consider!
Luckily, ISC was designed to help international school-teaching couples and single teachers find the information they seek. Using the Comment Search feature (premium membership needed), we found 373 comments that had the keyword “Single teacher” in them. Here are 11 of them:
Singapore “Housing allowance has increased and now includes allowances for single teachers, married teachers, and single-hired teachers with families.” – Chatsworth International School (69 total comments)
Zambia “AISL still tries to hire early in the process to get the best teachers in front of students. According to fit, priority goes to teaching couples but there is a variety of couples, single teachers, local & international hires employed each year usually through Search Associates.” – American International School of Lusaka (106 total comments)
Spain “There is no housing allowance. An average flat in the city will go from 700€ to 1000€, 1-2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. For single teachers who only rely on their salary can be tricky to make it to the end of the month.” – Benjamin Franklin International School (125 total comments)
Morocco “There are no age restrictions. The school hires single teachers, single teachers with dependents, and married teachers with dependents. They offer free tuition for 2 children. They look for teachers with prior international experience, but there are exceptions.” – American School of Marrakesh (52 total comments)
South Korea “The School tries to hire across a broad spectrum – teachers here span the decades and have varied experience around the world. Many are teaching couples with young families or grown-up children. There are also many young single teachers here and they have a strong network. All dependent children have a free school place.” – North London Collegiate School (Jeju) (49 total comments)
Oman “It is not true anymore that they avoid single teachers. There are many on campus. Oman in general can be hard for single people. They are trying to hire people with IB experience. Women cannot sponsor their husband’s visa, so the trailing spouses get a long-term visitor visa (I believe).” – Al Batinah International School (112 total comments)
Vietnam “The school hires single teachers and teaching couples with or without dependents (spouse, children) from different parts of the world (America, Europe, Asia, Africa).” – International School Saigon Pearl (217 total comments)
Zambia “Overseas hire faculty are provided with housing relative to their household size on a purpose-built compound with many amenities. A single teacher is allocated a two-bedroom apartment, a teaching couple is allocated a three-bedroom apartment, and a family a four-bed villa. Electricity and water are covered by the school. All teachers live on a purpose-built, modern compound in proximity to the school.” – American School of Doha (65 total comments)
Indonesia “We prefer to hire teachers with relevant IB experience. As a small school, it is not easy to “learn the ropes” from others – there is one class per grade level in primary, and one teacher p/subject in secondary. We hire single teachers, teaching couples, and teachers with families – there is no preference. However, it should be noted Bandung is not a city known for its nightlife or social scene.” – Bandung Independent School (134 total comments)
Azerbaijan “School hires families and single teachers. They go through Search Associates. They interview via Skype. Our first interview was with HOD and Principal, second interview – with the Director. Experience with IB program is a benefit as well as teaching in other international schools.” – International School of Azerbaijan (80 total comments)
Germany “The school tends to have only teachers coming from English-speaking countries so there is one big dominant culture. They tend to employ single teachers too…” – Metropolitan School Frankfurt (103 total comments)
If you know what the single-teacher situation is like at your international school, submit your comments here!