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International School Hiring Season Trends for 2017-2018

October 11, 2017

When it comes to landing a position at an International School, there are several ways candidates can increase their desirability in the eyes of the employer outside of the usual suspects (Degree in education, teaching license). Of course, a degree in education and teaching license will go a long way and there are some schools that do not look beyond this, with some International schools there are other factors that can be taken into account. Here are some things you can do to help you land that international school position you have been looking at:

hiring trends

Curriculum Experience

Although there are many different curriculums, the big three curriculums in International Education are British (Key stage/GCSE/A-Levels), American (Common Core/AP Level), and IB. Included in this for Earl Childhood Education is Montessori kindergartens. Having experience, or even taking a course in one of these will increase your hireability if this is the curriculum that the school you are applying for uses. The school will be able to see you have a level of familiarity with their materials which should help with the transition into the school. Simply put, it increases your dependability in the eyes of the school.

On a related theme, having consistency in your resume and experience is something that International schools do take into account. Being able to show a level of reliability with previous positions where contracts were completed, or maybe even extended, is great. International schools are looking for candidates who will stay with their school for many years. Address any gaps or potential red flags in your resume, as being proactive and explaining experience will prevent hiring managers minds from presuming the worse.

hiring trends

Professional Image

An International school is always looking to portray a professional image, and therefore want their teachers to do the same. Responding to emails in a timely manner, being on time for the interview and dressing smart seem obvious, but at the same time are essential. Also, be sure to do your research on the school beforehand by looking through their website, furthermore looking at the LinkedIn profiles of some of their current teachers is a smart move. By looking at people they have already decided to hire in the past, you can generate a good idea on the kind of people they are looking for. Whilst looking at current teachers LinkedIn profiles, be sure to update your own LinkedIn profile as well as social media accounts to ensure you are portraying the right image you want to give.

hiring trends

Showing Initiative

International schools like their teachers to show initiative and a willingness to take on responsibility. Be sure to show examples of this in your resume, for example if you have been involved in any coaching or extra-curricular activities. Linked back to point number one in this article, showing initiative by taking courses in a curriculum is great and highlights how serious you are about teaching in an international school, and about how you want to improve as a teacher.

hiring trends


Being flexible with certain requirements will improve chances of landing a position at an International school. For example, a level of flexibility with the school’s location can help, as International schools in certain cities and countries find it harder to attract teachers than in other areas. Another area which can help to be flexible on, if you are capable and comfortable on doing so, is the subject that you will teach. Some schools may find themselves in the situation where a candidate who can teach a couple of subjects in a hybrid role is exactly what they are looking for.

hiring trends


This article was submitted by guest author Teaching Nomad. They are an American owned and operated education recruitment company based in Shanghai, China. Their goal and purpose is to help great teachers find great teaching jobs. Year round, they have hundreds of teaching job vacancies. Whether your goal is to be an ESL teacher or teach in an international school, they have a teaching job for you. You can browse jobs online here for the latest job openings. Teaching Nomad makes finding a job teaching in China easier, so please feel free to reach out and contact them with any questions or inquiries!

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Keeping Up to Date With Policy and Practice at International Schools

October 2, 2017

Teachers, heads of department and principals in International Schools want to keep up with the latest in educational thinking – but given that they are often following curricula, policy and best practice set thousands of miles away from where they teach, what’s the best way to do it?


The wealth of resources available on the internet is the obvious starting point, but the problem is how to filter out the best resources.

In the twenty or so years that I’ve been involved in publishing educational materials, I’ve come up with the following ways of keeping in touch.

  1. Get regular updates from reliable, trustworthy sources who do some of the searching and filtering for you. My list is below – form your own and keep reviewing it so you know you’re getting good quality information (and not too much of it).
  2. Form a research group with colleagues. This could be in the form of a book group, picking a recent educational title and discussing it in a local cafe, an online discussion group, or a more in-depth action research group within your school, with neighbouring schools or online. There are plenty of ‘how to’ guides online – try this blog as a starting point.


  1. Try to find some local events to visit so you can network with colleagues and hear directly from researchers. The researchED group, for example, runs events all over the world – upcoming events at the time of writing include New York, Toronto and Amsterdam as well as their longer-established UK events. They are teacher-led, research-focused and very, very popular.

My list of policy updates

These are the best policy updates I’ve seen and the ones that I find most useful. This is a UK-flavoured list as that’s where my experience lies, and I know many of you teach a British or British-influenced curriculum; it would be great to hear from US curriculum colleagues as to where you would go for similar advice.

  • The Education Endowment Foundation research update service.
  • The Education Policy Institute newsletter (sign up on their home page or follow them on twitter via @EduPolicyInst).
  • Schoolsweek and its editor Laura McInerney (on twitter as @miss_mcinerney).
  • UK government policy announcements are also very useful – you can sign up to them by first searching on this page then entering your email address.
  • Steve Besley’s Policy Watch.
  • Global education news alerts from the OECD.

I hope you found this useful – and if you have a spare 5 minutes and have experience teaching primary in an International School, I would also appreciate it if you could help me out on a research project that we are doing into the various international primary curricula and fill in this quick survey – many thanks in advance.


Sam Derby is a Director of Oriel Square Limited, a strategy and publishing consultancy specialising in education. Find out more here.

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What To Expect When You’re Going To Study Abroad

June 11, 2017

Studying abroad offers students many wonderful opportunities and experiences that they just cannot get at home. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that studying abroad is a popular option for many who are looking at a post-secondary education. Just like any major decision in life, there are Pros and Cons to consider when studying abroad. For those that are doing this for the first time, here are some things you can expect when studying abroad:

Expect a Language Barrier at First 

If you are choosing to study abroad, there is a good chance you will be heading somewhere that has a different national language than you are used to. This is one of those factors that works as both a pro and a con. At the start, it will seem negative as you learn to adjust, learn the language, and figure things out. However, over time, this will be a positive experience because you will be learning a new language which can only help you down the road in your education and professional life.

In order to adjust to a language barrier, be sure to enroll in a language class as soon as possible. If you do not want to take a class, you can always use an app or some sort of audio CD that teaches you the basics of the language. Additionally, you will need to immerse yourself in the local culture. Locals are often very helpful and patient when you are trying to learn a new language or culture.

Study Abroad

Expect a Bit of Homesickness

Even if you are excited and anxious to start your studies abroad, it is still perfectly normal to feel at least a little homesick. This is just part of the adjustment period and it will become less noticeable over time. Find ways to stay connected to your life back at home whether it is through video chats, emails, messages, or even postcards. This connection with home and your loved ones will help to keep you grounded and feeling positive.

Expect Things to Feel Overwhelming and Confusing at First

When you head to a different country, you will be dealing with finding a place to live, finding transportation to and from the school and other places you need to visit. You might also be looking for part-time work if allowed, meeting new friends, and getting used to an entirely new way of life. This can be rather overwhelming especially since it is all happening at first.

Again, it is important to remind yourself that this is a temporary feeling. As you start to familiarize yourself with a new place, you will feel more comfortable, confident and those feelings of confusion will be a distant memory.

One of the best ways you can fight these feelings is to get out there and make some new friends. They can help to make you feel more welcomed, help you learn your way around, introduce you to the best places to eat or hang out, and also introduce you to their circle of friends. Meeting people will also prevent you from feeling isolated, which can happen when studying abroad.

Get Your Finances in Order Before You Leave 

Even though we are living in a global economy where countries are more connected than ever, it is still a good idea to get your finances in order before you leave. Get yourself set up with an online banking account so you can access it with ease from any destination in the world. This will allow you to make bill payments, see your balance, and transfer money any time.

You will also want to familiarize yourself with the local currency and know how much it’ is worth when stacked against your home currency.

Study Abroad

Go in With an Open Mind

Keep an open mind when studying abroad. Do not automatically assume that things may be one way or the other – difficult or surprisingly easy. Prepare yourself the best you can, and take things one day at a time. Soak up the culture and the people. Enjoy the new adventure in life. Do not limit yourself by thinking negatively or basing things on inaccurate assumptions. Embrace this wonderful opportunity without any hindrances. An open mind will truly allow you to make the most of studying abroad.

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

Studying abroad is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that can enrich your life in ways you never thought possible. With that said, there is a bit of an adjustment period and this is completely normal. Knowing what to expect can help you make it through that adjustment period much quicker.

Study Abroad Punyaa Metharom has always harbored a love for teaching.

He has been teaching English as an Additional Language, English, and Writing at Bromsgrove International School in Thailand for eight years.

When he isn’t teaching, he loves to travel around the country and beyond. Punyaa wants to have a firm grasp on the world so his students can as well.

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International Teaching: the Ultimate “Real Job” Adventure

October 29, 2016

About seven years ago I decided to take the leap, leave my stateside teaching job and get a teaching job overseas. Once I made that decision, though, I found that the process of actually getting from my public school classroom in Georgia to a private international school classroom somewhere in the world was easier said than done.

International Teaching

Unlike in the USA where you fill out an online application, go in for an interview and then start your job in August, getting a job overseas is like, well, it is like a second full-time job. After I successfully completed the process myself, I reflected on it and decided it actually felt a lot like doing a 14 month master’s program. So, I imagined what a program syllabus might look like for the “degree” of “getting an international teaching job” and this is what I came up with. 

EDU411 sec.2016

7-9 pm Tues-Fri (14 month class)

Instructor: Shawntel Allen (global gypsy, addicted adventurer, and educational box breaker)

Course Description: A you-can-do-it, no-better-time-than-the-present, what-have-you-got-to-lose, kick-in-the-pants roadmap designed to get you from here to there.

Pre-requisites: Students are encouraged to have completed at least three of the following:

MATH: 072 – Excess Baggage Weight Exchange – Trading in shady ex’s for Xtreme sports gear

EDU: 222 – What Box? – Educational theory minus ethnocentrism

ENG: 369 – Facebooking, Tweeting and Instagraming are the New Scrapbooking – Journaling the journey 140 characters at a time and documenting “out of work activities” in “work appropriate” photo albums

PE: 123 – Skin Thickening – Techniques for deflecting the criticism and judgments of people whose idea of risk-taking is trying a different route on the drive to work…once.

BUS: 421 – Opting Out – Investing in viable alternatives to the “American dream” (AKA-spouse, 2.5 kids, dog, hybrid SUV, SEC season football tickets, and house in the suburbs)

AVI: 747 – Flight Lessons – Giving your chick-a-dees wings

Required reading: Students need to be intimately familiar with various websites including International Schools Community, The Lonely Planet, Yahoo travel, the US State Department, and Duolingo.com language learning site.

Section 1: B-O-R-I-N-G….There must be more to life than THIS?

Lesson 1 (June): MAP READING – realizing that your current job and/or relationships are not taking you where you want to go in life

Lesson 2 (July): DEMOLITION – breaking down walls (people, ideas, financial obligations) that block your view of possibilities that are available to you.

Lesson 3 (August): ORIENTEERING – finding your way in the labyrinth of international teaching opportunities

Lesson 4 (September): FISHING – figuring out what bait to use and where to look for nibbles and bites in the international school job market

Section 2: I AM OUT OF HERE! The world is my playground.

Lesson 5 (October): FIRST AID – recovering from blunders such as mixing up headings on cover letters and incorrectly guessing the gender of a recipient

Lesson 6 (November): TARGET SHOOTING – researching and focusing on schools who are the best fit for you-location, benefits, size, staffing needs

International TeachingLesson 7 (December): SCUBA DIVING – taking the plunge-attending recruiting conferences, SKYPE interviewing, signing a contract

Section 3: BUT ISN’T IT DANGEROUS/AREN’T THERE DISEASES/WHAT ABOUT THE POLLUTION THERE? (Also known as the art of eye-rolling at doomsday soothsayers and all-of-a-sudden experts on your new location…and other keys to getting through the toughest months.)

Lesson 8 (January): SPELUNKING – surviving the change from the brightness of a signed contract to the dark tunnels of to-do lists.

Lesson 9 (February): MUSHING – keeping focused on the trail even though the end seems distant-not letting doubt and doubters make you quit.

Lesson 10 (March): ROCK CLIMBING – carefully grasping hold of each new task and piece of information about what to do and how to prepare-relying on the random “beta” and steady belay from those at the top – as the climb to the goal begins through purchasing, packing, and document assembling.

Lesson 11 (April): MOTO-CROSS – holding tight and adjusting speed as needed along the twists and turns of the trail while also remaining strong-willed when faced with extra bumps and roadblocks like booking tickets, storing possessions, severing leases, learning a new language, and arranging banking and other financial obligations.


The end of the “class” and the beginning of the dream!

International TeachingLesson 12 (May); SURFING – enjoying the moments of swift forward movement propelled by waves of activity such as securing a departure date, interspersed by both the anticipation of waiting for the next wave and the hard work of paddling out for the next ride like setting up final doctor and dentist visits .

Lesson 13 (June): SNOWBOARDING – letting go and going with the flow as the ride gains momentum through activities such as finishing the school year, moving out, turning off utilities, selling your car, completing continuing education credits for future certification renewal – hoping that all the preparations you did up to this point enable you to weave smoothly through these obstacles

Lesson 14 (July): SKY DIVING – after a cross-country trek of visiting friends and family, this final lesson entails packing the parachute (in 8 or so 50 pound bags), boarding the plane and making the final jump….embracing the adrenaline rush that accompanies the thrill of the free fall into the realm of the unknown and the out-of-your-control.

Attendance: Weekly class times optional and negotiable based on workload/To-Do lists. Mandatory class session-Meet at Departure Airport July 25th at 6 AM and board flight, change from domestic to international flight at first layover (with the help of porters to transfer all of your extra bags), then be on the flight to your final destination for an on time departure.

Grading Scale: Pass/Fail (any failed portion=fail for class)

50% sign contract

50% arrive at final destination 

Extra credit for passing any re-certification tests, license renewal classes, or learning a new language before departure.

*Enrollment limited-sign up early.


International TeachingShawntel Allen is a career teacher who has taught in Indiana, Georgia, Venezuela and Colombia. She has also lived in France and Benin, West Africa. She loves to cook foods from places she has visited and places she hopes to visit. Her classroom does not have any traditional student desks (only video rockers, bean bags, couches, pillows…) and her goal is for her and her students to be 100% paperless. She is currently teaching in a one-room schoolhouse on the remote island of Afognak in Alaska but is “back in class” looking for a position in an overseas international school for next school year.

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RoboRAVE: Today’s Play, Tomorrow’s Pay.

October 4, 2016


RoboRAVE is a growing Robotics education program to teach teachers and students how to design, build, program and test robots to perform a variety of tasks.  It is also a competition for teams of kids, ages to 8 to adults, to test their design in one or more RoboRAVE Challenges. Kids have the choice to use any hardware and software.

RoboRAVE focus on STEM education.

Here kids learn to use what they have learned in Science (mass, velocity, forces, friction etc) along with Maths (Variables, functions, formulas etc.) to develop Engineering skills (design, materials, systems) using Technology (programs, sensors, computers) in order to get the best results. Learning is fun. It is sharing of information and above all teamwork.





Kids have to build robots in order to perform tasks in a stipulated time (3 minutes). Kids need to build and use autonomous robots, so they become familiar with the mechanical parts, electronic boards and software programs.

One of the challenges is Robotovate – Entrepreneurial challenge. Here kids present their idea and develop the idea into wonderful products.


Kids compete in their own divisions in challenges like Line Following and A-Maze-ing.

1. Elementary School – 3 to 5 Grades

2. Middle School – 6-8 grades

3. High School – 9 to 12 Grades

4. Big kids – College & Above

Fire Fighting and Robotovate are open challenges. Everyone plays in One division. Robot Performance and Team Presentation performance are graded separately.


Now for the first time, we are organizing RoboRAVE in India. This year we have Kochi, Kerala as the venue. The competition is coming up during 5th & 6th November 2016.

It is a two-day event. Kids can practice and tune their robots on actual challenge tracks on the first day. They can conduct demos and score bonus runs while the second day is the actual competition.

In order to participate this year, Schools can register online on http://www.roboraveindia.org

First they have to register their coach and then their team.

For further details and support, mail to info@roboraveindia.org


Contact: Jisha Sera Joji, National Coordinator, RoboRAVE INDIA at +91 9847322999

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