For those of us who have been in the international teaching profession for numerous years, it is still very daunting having to think about acquiring a new international teaching post. There are so many new fresh young teachers out there that are eager to fill the same post that we are vying for and often times at a lower salary!
There are various ways of going about acquiring such a position, one being through attending one of the elusive job fairs that are held each year. These events tend to be pretty much like a cattle call of sorts; in and out of hotel rooms to ‘sell’ oneself to principals and directors from schools all over the world. I myself have been to several and it is a very exhausting procedure!
I have been to four job fairs in my career and I had no desire to attend another one due to the time and effort involved in attending one and not to mention the cost of attending them. I much rather communicate with the schools directly when I see there is a job opening that I might be able to fill. I just kept putting myself out there and had faith that the right job would come my way! I am in no means saying do not attend these fairs, I am just saying I prefer not to go to them.
I feel the best way to see which international schools have teaching positions is to sign up onto one of the various international job sites such as TIE On-line, Search Associates or ISS to name a few. And in recent years it seems like some folks are cashing in on the international job search market and are becoming ‘head hunters’ of sorts to locate teachers for the various openings that are still not filled after the job fairs. Getting your resume/CV on there is of utmost importance. This way the schools can see that you are interested in relocating.
After being in the international teaching profession myself since 1995, I have encountered countless connections with educational professionals who are now spread out all over the world. Through these connections I have been able to reach out and obtain inside information on various openings that I might be able to fill. But it seemed that even with these connections I still had a hard time getting a Skype interview after applying to numerous openings.
Just recently, another venue for locating an international teaching post is by joining one of the Facebook groups ‘International Teachers’ or ‘International Language Teachers’. These groups are very helpful in letting one know if there is an opening at their school. It is also a good place for a teacher to post a desired job in hopes that one of the members will know of an opening.
I believe the key in acquiring the desired job is networking, networking, networking! Tell people what you want and keep putting yourself out there. Persistence does pay; do not give up! Those last-minute jobs are out there, you just need to your eyes peeled to your computer screen to locate them. It is possible to get a job in June!
This article was written by International School Community member Joni Kerr.
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International School Community is also an excellent place to network with other international school teachers. All premium members are able to send a private messages to one or all of our 7700+ members.continue reading
Highlighted article from the Matador network: English teacher Amy Villagio shares about getting hired for international school jobs.
She talks about her experiences attending the UNI Overseas Recruiting Fair in Iowa.
Sections of the article that we would like to highlight:
“One of the hallmarks of the international teaching job fair experience is the sign-up period. This is somewhat akin to a cattle stampede. Tables are set up in a huge room arena-style, and candidates head to their top schools, turning in their invitation if they have one and signing up for a time slot, or turning on the sales pitch and angling to get into any remaining interview times. Beforehand you’ve done your country research, noted all available jobs in your subject area, and prioritized according to countries, schools, and assignments. Now it’s down to following your carefully mapped-out plan of which table to go to first.”
The sign-up period at international school recruitment fairs are tough. They are full of excitement and anticipation. Waiting in lines with your potential competition is nerve-wracking. The general idea is that the schools with the longer lines are the more desirable and better international schools to work at. One time at a recruitment fair one of our staff went to the American International School Budapest was the school with the longest line. Another time at the UNI fair one of our staff members noticed that Shanghai American School – Puxi was the winner of the longest line. Somehow word gets around about these schools and all the candidates want the opportunity to work there. These schools get to be really picky. Just taking resumes at the cattle call and giving the message out: “We’ll call you if we would like to set up an interview.” Sometimes it is very important to “carefully map-out” your plan of attack during this time of the recruitment fair. If you are too slow to get to a school, their interview schedule will have already been filled with other candidate interview times. Sometimes it is good to wait in line if that is the case. Really though, most candidates goals should be to get as many interviews as possible as they tell you it is good interview practice going to interviews even if the school is not one that may or may not interest you.
“I interviewed with schools from Germany, Kuwait, Syria, and Thailand. Finally, I was down to my interview with the school in Cameroon. Here I got the hard sell – “I’m offering you the position, you’ve got about five minutes to decide, you’re my number one candidate, I’ve got other English teacher interviews after yours and I can’t guarantee this later on…I took it. Later I drove back to Colorado, racking up ridiculous cell phone charges calling friends and family and announcing in gleeful shock: “I’m going to Africa!”
The moment of “you have 5 minutes to decide” is an awesome feeling, even if being really stressful. We have all been in moments when you future is on the brink of a big chance…all based on your one word answer “yes or no.” Earlier in the article the woman in the article she stated that she was excited that she had received a request in her box to interview at one of her top schools that she wanted to go to in Eastern Europe. Then throughout the crazy, up-and-down experience of the recruitment fair, she ended up take a job in Cameroon. It is amazing how you can go from really wanting to go work at one international school to then accepting at job at a completely different one. Unbelieveable!
“This time it was different – I was signed up with ISS, International School Services, and had purchased a bank-breaking ticket from Cameroon to Bangkok, plus reserved rooms at the Shangri-La. Administrators had access to my file beforehand, and started contacting me for interviews right away. With the advent of Skype and the often exorbitant expenses (did I mention I had already bought a ticket from Cameroon to Thailand?), fairs are quickly on their way to becoming obsolete. An administrator from a little school in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, a city I’d never heard of before, and I started talking. Several skype interviews later, he offered me the position, and I took it.”
Thank goodness! We are so happy to hear that Skype is making its way towards a new way to hire teachers at international schools. Yes it is more ideal to meet in person with the people that are interviewing you. Actually, it is more ideal if you can actually interview with the people from the school at their school! However, Skype is the next best answer to this whole ordeal. It is good for the environment and good for the pocket book for both parties involved. Unfortunately, in this woman’s experience, she had already bought a plane ticket to go to the recruitment fair when she got the position after interviewing over Skype. Oh well, you must always be prepared. Sometimes there are sacrifices that you must be ready to deal with when you are on the hunt for your next job at an international school.continue reading