Qualified Teachers looking at international schools
Replies: 21 - Last Post: Nov 10, 2012 12:43 PM Last Post By: lindsaygii
Feb 13, 2012 1:16 AM
Qualified Teachers looking at international schoolsHi,
Hubby and I are both qualified, experienced teachers in Oz. He is Science (Chem&Bio) and I am History and Humanities as well as Head of Curriculum for a large, successful school. We also have a toddler.
We really want to make the leap into International Schools but won't be ready for a couple of years, so in the meantime, what steps can we take to make ourselves more 'marketable'. As we have a child who will be ready to attend kindergarten we are concerned about her education and there appears to be a close link between the quality of a school and the dependant tutition packages offered to staff, so we need to basically get the best school we can (read: not a school that is international in name only). Open to location etc but want to not be struggling. We'll stay OS as long as we're happy.
So what I'm interested in knowing is:
- Suggestions on things schools look for (i.e. I don't have a Masters but could do one). We are at a disadvantage in that our experience is with Oz curriculum rather than US, UK or IB. Science appears in demand and I know I have transferable skills, but I'm not sure how often a newbie is hired into an administrator position.
- Good resources for qualified teachers, especially those with children. Looking at blogs, anything. I have looked at TES online and International School Review. I like the Teachanywhere site for job ads as they have fairly direct advice on who the school is targeting and who the vacancy is likely to be suitable for.
Thanks in advance,
Feb 13, 2012 6:56 AM
1ISS.edu is one of the best around. You will pay some serious money to apply, but the return on investment is worth it. They work only with "real" international schools. Science teachers are in demand, especially if can also do maths. With your experience, you are correct, go only with first tier schools.
Feb 13, 2012 5:46 PM
2I've had positive experiences with Search.
Definitely get your Masters if you are serious about this plan. You'll probably earn more for starters and it will definitely make you more attractive.
The TES website and forum is UK biased but worth checking out (free to join).
I'm going to disagree with zzark. Of course a tip tier school would be lovely but there are plenty of perfectly good schools that aren't top tier and to write them off just for that would be stupid. Especially given the narrowness of your experience (no IB etc) and the fact that you don't teach a particularly in demand subject area. You could always focus on Australian international schools too although that virtually guarantees the school will not be top tier.
International teaching is a fantastic career choice and once you've got some experience (especially with IB) the world really is your oyster. But do be prepared to do a few years in a middle range school first if you can't land a top tier school straight off. I have international experience, IB experience (and I moderate for the IB) and I teach in a high demand subject (maths) but I haven't managed to land a really top tier school yet. There's an element of luck in there too.
Feb 13, 2012 5:46 PM
Feb 14, 2012 3:56 PM
4You might want to look at the website of the Office of Overseas Schools. This is the website the US diplomats access to check on schools overseas. Also take a look at the Tales of a Small Planet to get some more information about schools and places overseas. These sites will offer a very different perspective from the above mentioned ones
Feb 15, 2012 11:00 AM
Feb 16, 2012 11:30 PM
6It might be worth getting a TEFL qual such as CELTA (can be done in 4 weeks, expensive but highly regarded). Think about where you want to go for starters. I live in a small but very pleasant coastal city in China, where I know a number of Aust & NZ teachers at the local International School. They have great working conditions & very small classes. Best of all, most of them have children who attend the school free of charge. It is an IB school so at least find out what you need to know about the programme. I agree that Australian schools might also be a good place to start - there are Aust schools in Indonesia, HK, Singapore afaik.
Feb 17, 2012 10:13 AM
7I'm a high school science teacher in the US. Just attended the ISS (international school services) recruitment fair in Boston last week and landed a job in Quito, Ecuador. I also attended a different fair last year UNI (university of northern iowa) and was offered jobs and turned them down. So based on those two job fair experiences and speaking with schools...
1) Yes science is in demand, humanities are not, some schools prefer teaching couples (as it saves them money since they can give you 1 apartment instead of 2) but this also limits your options more as you're looking for a school with these 2 openings. Perhaps you need to consider going where one of you can get the job while the other doesn't? some of these schools pay fairly well and the majority give you free housing and tuition for dependants.
2) yes if your hubby can also do math there were lots of jobs looking for math/science (especially physics) -can your hubby can physics experience? huge demand there and relatively small qualified pool
3) yes schools do prefer IB experience but I don't and I was still offered jobs, a plus but not a must and I didn't feel like it was a big deal. The school is going to pay for an online training for IB for me to take before I come.
4) masters - I do have one, it seems as though this really depends on the school whether they want you to have it or not, but if you do, you get paid more, I would suggest it if you can.
5) I don't necessarily agree with a previous post saying be prepared to do some middle school time, I was actually turned down for interviews at some schools with middle school openings because I did not have experience with that age group
6) ISS, it is costly, I paid $185 to join and once you join you can search their database for vacancies and also school profiles which were really helpful. The profiles give you information on compensation and also if children get free tuition/partial/none. Most of the schools seem to offer free tuition for up to 2 children. I looked at vacancies and contacted schools but did not hear back from any. I attended the recruitment fair (another $300 registration + travel costs) and was successful that way. I also contacted other schoolls that were not a part of ISS and only received 1 reply back. I think its necessary to attend one of the job fairs around the world. Another suggestion, sign up for earlier job fairs. I had jobs I was interested in that were filled at a previous job fair but wasn't removed from the ISS vacancy list (very dissapointing needless to say). I would say that you need to join one of the education recruiting firms. it seems most schools use them and do not reply back to teachers not going through them.
Any other questions just ask!
Feb 17, 2012 6:24 PM
8I don't necessarily agree with a previous post saying be prepared to do some middle school time, I was actually turned down for interviews at some schools with middle school openings because I did not have experience with that age group
No one is saying to do middle school time. You've misunderstood.
Feb 17, 2012 10:44 PM
Mar 12, 2012 4:40 AM
Aug 2, 2012 3:42 AM
11I am glad that I found this thread.
I also have been looking for job in an International School for over a year now.
Can someone give me some advice on my job search, because mainly, as far as I see it, all I do is sit here looking at the International Jobs section on TES, send off endless applications and never get any response.
Is there somewhere else I should be looking? Or is there another way of getting a post in an international school? e.g. a site, a methods, ANYTHING. I am getting desperate now as September is fast approaching and I am desperate.
I am a fully qualified Secondary Sociology teacher from Northern Ireland, but I feel confident that I could teach any humanities subject, what I really lack is opportunities!!!
Aug 2, 2012 4:18 AM
12Irishdave - Please read the suggestions already mentioned in this thread such as attending recruitment fairs, joining ISS, getting experience (you don't mention whether you have taught), getting a masters degree, checking out the website of the Department of State Overseas Schools for the names of schools.
One of the problems may be that you describe yourself as a "fully qualified Secondary Sociology teacher." I wonder if people don't understand what a person with this title teaches.
At least in the US educational system sociology is not a traditional high school or secondary school course of study. So what exactly does one teach with this title? Given that the usual core courses in a US high school are English language (literature and writing), Mathematics (algebra, geometry, calculus), Science (biology, chemistry, earth science, physics), Foreign Languages and History (US, European, World, etc), what subject would you teach?
Remember that there might be elective courses in things like psychology, sociology, economics, etc but most private schools overseas aren't large enough to hire a teacher who doesn't teach one of the core subjects in addition to an elective.
Aug 2, 2012 6:41 AM
Yes I don't disagree that the 'Sociology' part of it doesn't exactly impress most people, but however it is what I have and what I have to work with. I am aware that most schools don't offer Sociology nor require a Sociology teacher, however I believe that I can move sideroads into another subject area if given the opportunity, e.g. History or Music.
I suppose the next question that comes from this is whether or not International schools INSIST that teachers have degrees in their specialist subjects, e.g. English teachers MUST have degrees in English, History teacher MUST have History degrees and Primary Teachers MUST have specific primary education degrees.
I wonder about this, and I question it, Because I have examples of people who I know personally who are qualified in one area and teaching in a completely different area. This I believe is what I need to do because Sociology has proven to be rather useless, perhaps I underestimated how much of a nonsense it is. In Northern Ireland schools can afford to be picky and elitist, because they have a cue around the corner containing something like 10,000 unemployed teachers. So the specific degree aspect of recruitment becomes used as convenient a shortlisting tool. However, all of this aside, I am a teacher, I understand the principles of teaching and delivering a lesson and working in another subject area. I don't have much choice. But, it is the first instance, getting a school to take me on and let me show my qualities, that is the difficult part.
Aug 2, 2012 7:02 AM
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