Recruiting 101 for Newbies

October 25, 2012

Your first recruiting fair doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Fortified with up-to-date information, you can approach the recruiting experience with the confidence you need to go-after & successfully land the overseas position you’ve had your eye on.

Recruiting 101 for Newbies is devoted to helping YOU get the job you want. ISR receives frequent requests from teachers searching for information on recruiting fair protocol & procedures. If you have questions similar to the following, Recruiting 101 for Newbies may hold the key to your recruiting success.

Recruiting Questions Recently Sent to ISR

“When I finally get to the front of the line to sign up for an interview, how does that work? How much time do I have to “sell” myself – 15 seconds – 30 seconds – more?”

“After introductions, does the recruiter start the session with a basic question? Or do I launch into a short persuasive speech about why I’m the best person for the position?”

“If a school has already told me they want to interview me at the fair, do I stand in line to sign up for an interview, or is there some nifty ‘pass to the front of the line’ procedure?”

“If a school is interested in hiring me, when will they offer the contract? At the end of the interview? Will they call the number I provided? Will they email me during the fair?”

“The hotel where the fair takes place is super EXPENSIVE!! I’m thinking about a much cheaper place across town. Is there any advantage to staying in the venue hotel that makes it worth the cost?”

Recruiting 101 for Newbies is the place to get answers to these questions & more. We invite you to post a question &/or supply an answer to the inquiry left by another fair-goer. International Educators Keeping Keeping Each Other Informed is what ISR is ALL about! Scroll down to post/answer questions.

The Very Best Reviews

October 11, 2012

YOU depend on International Schools Review for the latest insightful Reviews on schools & administrators.

ISR depends on YOU for the most insightful & informative Reviews. Let’s consider some tips from ISR members for writing the most awesome Reviews:


Reviews should be objective

What’s IN? Reviewing the state of your school supplies (lacking or bountiful) is beneficial. Reporting how you & your colleagues work together (or against each other) to solve problems is helpful. A healthy objective Review only includes those experiences & conversations you’ve had yourself. Not rumors. Not hearsay. Not the expectations/thoughts/desires of others that you think you know.

What’s OUT? Including in your Review the rumors heard in the staff lounge about how the Director is sleeping around is NOT objective or beneficial to others.  Nor is relating how your school is losing students because the board would rather buy all admin a new iPhone than purchase textbooks. Unless you are on the board or the financial director, you don’t know the internal workings or motivations of your school. You can’t say that simply everyone calls her “Ms Grumpy Pants.” Really. This type of unsubstantiated comment does not make a good Review.

Reviews should be truthful

What’s IN? If you are truly unhappy about, say, the state of your housing accommodations, state the specifics of why you’re not pleased. Rather than resorting to hyperbole (“a gazillion cockroaches”) state exactly what & why it wasn’t suitable. Too dirty? Too greedy a landlady? The school wouldn’t help you in any way with a rental problem? What? Do tell!

Reporting snippets of conversations that were foul (“He called me untrustworthy in front of a parent!”) or situations (“She will not allow any teacher to contribute suggestions at staff meetings”) that you actually experienced will show your Review to be truthful & exacting in actual situations. That type of Review is hugely beneficial to a recruiting person, yes?

What’s OUT? It’s human for people & situations to get under your skin. It’s even truer in new cultures & work environments. But for a great Review, those snarky comments need not apply. If you add your own soured personal reflections on your colleagues/admin/school simply to strike back, it never helps another person who is trying to discover if a school is worth their recruiting time.

Reviews should be timely

ISR has been in existence for more than nine years. While it may be tempting to go back to 2004 & send in a Review just to finally(!) speak your mind, it’s not typically helpful for recruiting teachers hoping to learn what is happening now.

However, writing a Review at the beginning of a school year, and again few months later during crunch time right before recruiting time-off happens, or whenever a big change occurs on the Board or Administration, well…ALL these times are good for posting a Review. How does your school handle leave? Do they balk at news you have to have time off to visit an ill loved one back home? Are they sloooow to give the word on whether your contract will be renewed? Did they show their cards when they changed a grade you posted?

Schools evolve & your experience will, too. Posting several Reviews per school year gives a reader the best idea of how a school changes & improves (or degenerates). It’s in your hands to show, via an awesome Review, how the school develops & deals with change, good and bad.

With recruiting season right around the corner, ISR thanks YOU for your thoughtful, insightful Reviews, International educators keeping each other informed! Thank YOU!

Scroll down to blog this topic / Click here to Post a Review

Making Yourself at Home in Paradise

October 4, 2012

The life of an international educator can be thrilling, an eye-opening paradigm shift that will forever change the way you view the world.

Life as an international educator can also be, at times, extremely challenging. Thousands of miles away from the support of friends, family and colleagues back home, the rigors of finding and moving into a new home base while simultaneously adapting to a new school, boss and classroom can be overwhelming–especially so if you’re new to the international circuit.

One newbie teacher recently wrote ISR to say:
“My school was not at all supportive in helping me find an apartment when I moved to this job last year. Day one they simply loaned me a driver for one (!) day with a meager list of potential (?) apartments.

“I had to move three freakin’ times last year–what a drag! Why? The first apartment cost me two months’ rent extra because I broke the lease. Either me, or millions of cockroaches that came out at night, had to go! The landlady couldn’t care less.

“The second place was in a neighborhood that completely changed after dark to a very, very threatening slum. That fiasco cost me only one month’s rent. Finally I found a ‘just okay’ place and hunkered down until the end of the school year when I could leave for the summer break.

“All this moving disruption in my first year made it SO rough in lots of ways. I wish I‘d asked more questions and looked around extensively to get a better sense of what was right for me. But I learned my lessons and now I’m HOME, in all sense of the word, and looking forward to a fantastic year at an excellent school. Finally!”

For ease of “fitting” into a new school, you may have to curb your most pressing queries concerning the new job, but it’s of paramount importance that you feel comfortable with your new life outside the classroom. Your social scene, house/apartment are your retreat, a place of rest and regeneration. If you don’t have that, you’re really not going to be happy or at peace.

Veterans of international teaching have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to adapting to new cultures and fighting the loneliness and awkward confrontations of fitting into new neighborhoods, schools and friendships.

ISR’s advice is this: ASK a gazillion questions about everything. Be sure, from every angle, that this housing, these neighbors, the landlord, car, bank, community, etc. is right for you. Don’t worry about sounding paranoid or irritating when it comes to your peace of mind. Ask!

What are some of tricks up YOUR sleeves for settling into a new locale? Share with colleagues what helps YOU feel right at home on the ISR Making Yourself at Home Blog. Scroll down to post.