What Would YOU Do?

  Here’s a scenario that comes up this time of year, every year. An ISR Member would like to know what teachers would do.

  You accept a position at a recruiting fair in January even though you don’t think it’s the best job you could/should get. The money is good and you think it will help your international teaching career in the long run. But, since you’re not really wowed by the job, you keep your feelers out.

whattodo50179022  One day you get an email from a school you really like. They want to Skype interview you about a position. It has some administrative duties (yes!), it offers more money (yippee!), it’s known as a better all-around school, and in a better location for you and your family.

  You do understand the possible repercussions (blacklisting by the recruiting company) if you drop your other contract. Would you…

Interview only. It’s good for your ego and besides, you’re curious!

Interview and accept a contract. Damn the recruiters!

Decline interview. Ignore  the many benefits & accept your situation. “Your word is your bond”

Thanks for Playing….

79 Responses to What Would YOU Do?

  1. Been around, I agree that ISR reviews are an excellent way to try and check out schools listed. One needs to be very careful and do their due diligence but the knowledge of what and how to cover all possible aspects of a school only comes after a few appointments or a rogue school. As to your comment that blacklists should be applied to all that will never happen as the schools pay the recruitment agencies and some not all will spin a story or how great a school is when they know very well that the school has a high turnover of staff and the reasons for it. Perhaps ISR could put out a list of what and how to check out the essential things to know before accepting a contract. One thing I have consistently noted is contracts are sent and not signed by the Directors of the school and in some cases they are never signed even once you start work at the school. Some do Visa runs for months and others are often late with wages. A contract can be withdrawn for a rath of reasons by the employer before the position begins and in some countries you an do little about the payment of the items listed in your contract.
    After 8 years overseas I now look at a new schools website in as many places as possible. If there is no picture be suspicious. Is the School truly International or is it just in the name? Do they have a accredited membership of the organisations that they advertise on their website or just associate membership which can be fairly easy to get?Please consider compiling a list ISR as you are aware of the many pitfalls and often some of the biggest recruiters who show glossy advertisements using new staff to sing the praises of the schools are some of the worst places to work. They have an attitude if you do not like it there is the door.

    Like

  2. Been Around says:

    Four considerations for me:
    1) Do your homework and do not accept an offer where you would not be happy.
    2) In the scenarios – call/email the first school, explain your situation and ask them, if possible to let you out of your initial agreement. If not, live with your decision.
    3) Do the right thing, honor your word.
    4) Breaking a contract just to go to something better is illegal and people must remember that is is a small world and you could end up blacklisted. However, the behavior of some schools and administrators has been terrible. If teachers can be blacklisted, and some should, schools should be blacklisted too. The recruiting agencies should have a system in place to hold schools accountable and under threat of blacklisting if they do not live up to their word. Right now the International Schools Review is the only avenue that many teachers have to push back against malpractice by schools and administrators. Keep up the good work ISR.

    Like

  3. Reality School 101 says:

    The reality of doing this is much more difficult than one might expect if you are looking beyond the third tier schools. First off you have to keep it completely under wraps. That is where your difficulties will begin. If you happen to be sucessful in your interview the hiring school often checks your references. This means that in order to do complete your task, you have to have a sitdown with your references. Many referees will not find your continued interviewing to be above board, and they will find it within themselves to make a statement that you have already accepted a position. Lastly, if you have reported your acceptence to one of the recruiting agencies, they will advise the school to not make you an offer.

    Basically before you sign, be VERY sure. Beyond very! The system is set up in a way to protect recruiters and schools, and not candidates! Once we say yes to this marriage, there is no buyers remorse allowed, no matter how much better the other position might be.

    Like

  4. Anonymous says:

    haha…this happens all the time…and yes…blacklisting is a real possibility…I would definitely do the interview…on the curious side…however, if it indeed paid a sweet salary and I was at the end of my career..i.e. doesn’t matter if I’m blacklisted, then I would take the job and cancel the contract…but I would also likely pay money for doing so if they asked as long as it was reasonable…and if I was at the beginning of my career I would do the interview and if offered I would decline and try to set it up for future possibilities…unless of course you want to simply eliminate agencies one by one by blacklisting while your getting jobs…

    Like

  5. Marcos says:

    Keep in mind that in many places the contracts that you have initially signed have no legal value. Many employers will have their own interpretations of the terms outlined in the contract and you may have to deal with the unpleasant realization that the terms of the contract are violated many times over and bite the bullet. For instance, your contract states “the employer will pay for your taxes”, in the West one would assume that your income will be tax free. What do you do when you realize that the employer will pay for your taxes with the monthly deductions he makes on your wages – a real case scenario by the way.

    I have worked as an international teacher for the last 8 years in Asia and Africa and I have found a very limited number of organizations that actually respect the terms of contracts – contracts often have no value and employer know that as an expact you will have no legal way of getting it reinforced. Hence, my suggestion is that unless you are 100% positive that your first offer will be a positive experience in every possible way, take the second offer. Check ISR reviews – they will be your best source of information regarding your future school community.

    In many place you will be welcomed as valued member of the teaching community and in many others will be treated and seen as an asset simply because you will validate their school status as an international school even if it is not. Also remember that our core Western values of honouring your word and commitment may not be applicable to many places and situations and taking the higher moral ground may be to your detriment. Put yourself and your family first – always. I hope my two cents does not sound to cynical but I hate to see my colleagues been abused by less scrupulous organizations.

    Good luck to all.

    Like

  6. B.Rawlins says:

    The hypothetical scenario says at the beginning that “you accept a position”. But what exactly does that mean? If your acceptance involved signing a contract, then you are legally bound, and there should be no question of backing out. A verbal acceptance would seem to be more ambiguous. Things need to be put in writing, so if your offer gave a specific time for a contract to be presented, then I feel the professional thing to do is hold the employer to their deadline, but feel free to see what else is out there on the job market, even to the point of interview. However, one should not break written agreements unless the employing party reneges on their promised deadline for a contract. We rightly point out the unethical and illegal practices so widespread on the overseas schools circuit, so it is important we hold to the principles set out in the ISR ‘Bill of Rights’ and our local professional trade union statements.

    Like

    • Catherine says:

      I agree with B. Rawlins that if both parties have signed the contract and the school and other party have supplied honest details then this is a different situation. Often positions are offered subject to Visa’s being obtained sometimes by the applicant and sometimes by the school. Without these legal documents the contract is a nonsense. On many occasions I have accepted a position and turned down others only to wait for months after arriving for the contract to be signed by the school or a Visa issued. In the UAE they have a clause in the Labour Law that schools use that states they can dismiss an employee for reasons stated (that amount to anything) that is not specific during the probation period so in fact you are not sighing up for a 2 year contract. You can be dismissed anytime in the 6 months and you have no recourse to any action. I will say however, you can pursue your pay and retain your accommodation for the period stated.. So look up Employment and contract Law but in some countries it does not exist or count for anything even if it is written down in legal documents as you are a expat in a foreign country. Think before you sign and it is often stated that if you give HR too much trouble or ask too many questions they will give you vague answers about health, visas and pay or ignore you.

      Like

      • Diego says:

        Yes, you need to be cognizant of the Country,culture and laws too.Not to mention enrollment numbers after you were hired.

        Like

      • Diego says:

        Also I have seen teachers get dismissed in the GCC in May of the year they were resigning in for stuff that would not have gotten past the principals office in other systems.Plus they lost all benefits and were forced out of the Country in 7-10 days.And we have people here talk about ethics,morals and love of teachings.None of that matters if you run afowl of those who control the strings.

        Like

  7. Vonnegut says:

    I do not think you can judge anyone elses situation. I think “serving the sentence” of your contract merely because you gave your signature 6 months before a job begins is ridiculous! This is not Prison! If I had to work in a place, knowing there was something better I could have done for myself and my family, and I didn’t even take the time to figure out if it was real, I would kick myself.

    I think so many of these comments get caught up with the ethics of a teacher, but fail to see that teachers should be teaching students about the “real” world. Many teachers have never worked outside of a classroom and therefore have never dealt with the cutthroat attitudes in the corporate world. There are 7 billion people walking the earth right now, and in a time of real crisis, you have to know how to make the difficult choices in life!

    That being said, the “most” ethical situation is to pack it up once you accept a position, but be realistic that the world is a fluid place and something could come along to attract you away from that contract. I also believe timing has a lot to do with how I make my decision. I have seen many positions come open in August for that end of August position. This is because things do change, unfortunte but true. Giving the information that you are not coming early (January -March) allows plenty of time for that position to be adequately filled.

    Being open with the school that contacts you is also an important thing. If you are willing to accept the consequences, is the school you are being approached by anle to? Will they judge your moral character as badly because you put yourself and your family above that of a school contract? Schools have hundreds of employees, they can recover from you not showing up, someone else will fill that position. At the end of the day, you will be teaching your subject, much better to be doing it confident you are in the best place you can possibly be!

    Like

    • GringoenParadise says:

      Well said! Your response actually makes sense! Such is life!

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        Tough one this – at fairs, we agree to honor verbal contracts as a condition of attending the fair, so it is not just the contrct with the school. Backing out at the last minute puts the children at the school in a bad position, too.

        Someone noted that the important thing is to REALLY know what you are getting into before making the agreement. If the school is new to you at the fair and makes an offer after a short interview, I think something is not right: no time for us to do our checking or the school to really probe about how good a fit we are fo them. Better to ask for more time to consider or a chance to SKYPE with a teacher who is there already before making a commitment – my wife and I look for a carefully informed decision, not an excitement jump into the abyss!

        Make a mistake, suck it up and deal for a year… tell the school you are not happy and would like to move on after the first year, and tell the recruiting agency, too. Do it in time to go to another fair and for the school to rehire. Will the school come back at you? Some will, some won’t – our experience is more that proprietary schools are much less forgiving.

        Bottom line for us is that we made he decision to accept the contract: we are teaching our students and they are why we are teachers. We can handle ALMOST anything for a school year and then move on… and we have been doing this for over 20 years!

        Like

  8. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, this question is one of “situation ethics,” where factors such as loyalty, commitment, career development, and government action are not equal in all situations… or symmetric between school administrators and teachers. Only once – outside the teaching profession – have I enjoyed having three excellent job offers at the same time. I turned down two and then accepted the third… only to learn that a contract had been awarded to another company and the job offer was rescinded. Fortunately, when I called one of the other companies, he said that if I could get to his office within an hour, he could still hire me… I raced across town and just made it. Nowadays, it would be almost impossible to get through the electronic filters in time.

    My daughter and her husband just accepted teaching jobs with a school that had been expanding its physical facility. Just after that, the government announced that it was using eminent domain to take land for a highway that cut right through all the newly constructed facilities. With sincere regrets, the school had to withdraw its offers. Fortunately for them, the next best offer was also quite good.

    At one school at which I worked, the new Director of Studies was approached by a teacher with just such an issue. He requested a release… and was denied. Innocently – and foolishly – the teacher answered the Director’s request for the name of the other school. With that information, the Director wrote to the other school badmouthing the teacher. With the damage done, the Director then fired the teacher.

    To sum up, one should agonize over the situation, make a decision that seems best based on imperfect information, and then do the best one can with the selected school. Lingering indecision will cost more than the results of the decision. ###

    Like

  9. Anonymous says:

    Having worked overseas in 3 posts over 8 years, I would be very VERY tempted to take the new offer, which sounds like the dream job ONLY if I knew I did not have to interview for several years. I would be upfront about it with my new school in case the old school found out and the administrators were best friends. I would take the risk of losing both jobs because I would be pursuing my goals and dreams. The Monty Hall theory is that you always opt for door #3 and since this is a 2-door game you have a good chance of losing entirely. On the flip side, unfortunately, international school administrators are not the most ethical crew and would not hesitate to do some dirty work on their side if it served them to replace one recruit with another. Teachers caught in this situation have no support or legal route. If they have a signed contract (which one often doesn’t get until arriving in the host country, and belong to a placement agency that they have paid money to, they may get some financial and moral support. This international work provides no protections for teachers and most international schools do not promote professionalism among their staff. I have taught at some very small schools where administrators were compassionate and caring and really worked hard to help staff make the best of some circumstances beyond the school’s control. I have worked at the top tier “Harvard machines” and been floored by the ridiculous and unethical behavior of administrators who live in holy terror that a board member will target them if they dare make any sensible decisions. I would like the question to have been: “would one take a job that was not really feeling like the best fit?” I hope not; it does not serve the school you accept the job with and it does not serve you in your passion for teaching. So another way to look at this issue is how true to your passion are you when you take a job?

    Like

    • trav45 says:

      So another way to look at this issue is how true to your passion are you when you take a job?

      I’m sorry, but that is such a copout. It’s self-justification for bad behavior. If a school offered you a position, then backed out because they found a better candidate, I’m sure you’d think, “well, the school is following their passion for providing quality education.”

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        You misunderstood. Why would you “settle” for a position that you were not passionate enough about, so that when a “better” offer comes along, you bail on the original agreement? Do what you are passionate about and this game of choices would not ever become an issue.

        Like

        • GringoenParadise says:

          Unfortunately the world doesn’t always work that way. You’ve got to eat and pay the bills.

          Like

          • trav45 says:

            One assumes the original position was a decent job, or you wouldn’t have accepted it in the first place. So my first post stands. Stick by your word.

            Like

            • GringoenParadise says:

              “Decent” is the word. Why have “decent” when you can have “great” or “fabulous”? Lots of teachers accept “decent” jobs all the time just to have a job. Working in US public schools is decent but hey overseas is usually better. Some of you are okay with settling, but if given a better opportunity, I would never settle, unless I had to.

              Like

  10. Kathleen says:

    I got into education for the students not for me. The school that thought they had a position covered may have lost out on finding a suitable replacement by the time they hear you have backed out of your commitment. The students are now the losers because they are going to lose a year of their lives with a sub-par teacher. They can’t get that year back – and all because you were more concerned with YOURSELF than with all of them. People who think like that should not be in education at all because their priorities are sadly and badly misplaced. If that was the class your child was going into, you would blame the school – not the jerk who “posed” as a teacher and wound up to be just a “con-man” or “con-woman” without conscious.

    Like

    • anonymous says:

      Who says the new teacher will be sub-par? ?There are tons of good teachers out there. The ones chosen for the job sometimes comes down to politics. I got into education for ME. I love it, but it is a job that PAYS THE BILLS. I will not work for free, no matter if it is a passion. Your response is SO cliche. If you really want to make a difference, volunteer teach to poor students who cannot afford to attend the school you are working at.

      Like

  11. anonymous says:

    I would never screw over a school, but I have been screwed over, but I have to live with me and set an example for my students of being a person with integrity, even if the school or administrators are not.
    I got blacklisted by a school which agreed to release me from a contract when I saw that they were not above board in how they were running the school. Is “agreeing to release” breaking contract? I thought it wasn’t or I would have stuck it out.

    Like

  12. I never apply or interview for a job that I don’t want. Once I get an offer and I agree to the terms and the contract is in my hand and signed, I STOP LOOKING. I have made a commitment and I honor it because, I believe, I have one thing of value and that is my word and ethical principles. If I compromise them, I then become everything I have come to despise in this world. Loyalty and honesty are rare and I have to follow them if I hope to be the change I want to see.

    Like

  13. Kim Ward says:

    Don’t even go there. Your word is your bond. Such bad form to renege on an agreement and if you DO, not only will you get blacklisted by the recruiting agency, other future employers could and probably will find out. Your name will be mud. Just not worth it. Do your time in the school you’ve accepted and move on after your first contract if it’s not for you.

    Like

  14. Anonymous says:

    Have been in this situation once and made a big mistake. Yes it was a better deal all together but it bites you in the butt later. Will never make that mistake again!

    Like

  15. Anonymous says:

    Once you’ve signed a contract or given your word, you’re committed-full stop.

    Like

  16. Anonymous says:

    You could end up losing BOTH jobs. Administrators talk, and the first school could very well torpedo the second job. Who wants a fair-weather employee? I just went through the job fair scene and held out for a great position. But if I had given my word to my second choice, I would have kept it. Integrity. It’s the kind of thing GREAT schools are looking for.

    Like

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is the problem when Education in bought and sold like product in a supermarket. There should be clear pay scales and package conditions made availiable for teachers in the job advert. You can find very little about these schools and nothing is transparent. If this job were in industry would we be asking the same questions????
    I think not, the person would most likely go to the more interesting job, in the better area with greater prospects for them and their family.

    Like

  18. China Teacher says:

    This is a no-brainer. When you take a job, your word is your bond, as you say. Stop looking around, because no matter how you rationalize it, you are wasting other peoples’ time and disrespecting them.

    Remember that as a teacher, you are modeling ethical behavior for your students whether you intend to or not. Be the teacher that you would like your own children to have..

    Like

    • Diego says:

      If it was a perfect world then I would agree, but it isn’t.I have been around teaching for over 20 years and have seen people teach one day and the next they are gone.Bonds or contracts can, and will be broken from time to time and I would say its 50-50 for good reasons vs poor reasons. It goes two ways for me.If you are hired and brought long distances from your home and are let go without just cause,then thats wasting someones time.I am not sure how modeling behavior for students you may not teach is involved here either.

      Just being honest here.

      Like

      • trav45 says:

        I’m not sure what you’re arguing here. Some schools demonstrate unethical behavior, so it’s OK if I do it, too? Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s what it sounds like.

        Like

        • Diego says:

          Pointing out you need to look after yourself.Recruiting and hiring is a business,and not nesessarily bound by ethics or morals.Schools need teachers,teachers need jobs.Of course each side should negotiate in good faith at time of recruiting,but should ones opportunities cease months before the job starts?I do not buy that you should not have other looks or do not consider opting out of one job if the school has time to find another teacher. It is good to have options.

          Like

  19. Anonymous says:

    This is a complicated question and I happen to be in the situation right now.

    For me I have always chosen to be very careful about what jobs I agree to take. But even this time around with being careful less than 1 month post fair I received an offer for a job in a place I really want to live.

    Now of course I want to tell the employer I contracted with that it is only now January and they can easily find someone else to fill that August position. But I can’t because I gave my word that I would work for them at the hiring fair I recently attended. I did research the school in detail and it looks like an ok school.

    Yes there are dreadful schools, nasty countries to live in, bad working conditions, etc. But in the end I gave my word and I will go. It is only for 2 years and I have lived in worse as the child of a career overseas person.

    I do not feel I have the right to back out simply because a more attractive offer now comes my way. This is a lesson to me to in the future not be so quick to take the first offer I am really not too keen to live in the country even though the school itself is rumored to be great.

    But each situation is different and I will not pass judgement upon others who choose to remain in the contract or who choose to break the contract before arriving at the school.

    Like

    • trav45 says:

      Here, here. I once took a position where the director lied his entire way through the interview. When I arrived and saw the school, I knew I was in big trouble. Everyone else who arrived with me left after two weeks. I had some late offers come in from other, better schools, and it was tempting, but I gutted it out and left at the end of the year. It was a MISERABLE year, but I don’t regret making that choice.

      Like

  20. Anonymous says:

    For many years, I would have agreed that once you signed that contract, you made a commitment and should abide by it. But now, with the international teaching position being so competitive, schools and recruiters have the upper hand and many show no integrity whatsover. I constantly use the saying “two wrongs don’t make a right” with my students but in this case, think of number one just as they do. AMR

    Like

  21. Diego says:

    If its prior to, or just past last hiring fair,take the better job and ask to be released from first job.Employers always keep names from the shortlisted canidates handy and if they are a worthy employer,they will consider your request.If not,then you will know your decision has some merit.People do get out of contracts early and as long as employer has reasonable time to fill a post then they should be ok with your request.It does work both ways too,schools can release you for a variety of reasons, some reasonable and others not, so take the best when you can.

    Like

  22. lkilgore says:

    Money comes and goes. Jobs come and go. Personal respect and credibility, or the lack of, will remain with you forever. If you commit to a new school, stick with it, regardless of what happens later. To use the argument that schools are not trustworthy and will turn on you, is not a justification for you doing the same towards the school. At the very worst, you endure a two year contract, make the best of it, learn something new from it, and then move on to something else. Don’t turn yourself into a prostitute, willing to sell your soul to the highest bidder. Show some integrity and some backbone.

    Like

  23. Sarah says:

    Life is too short to be unhappy and to live with regrets. You should always act in good faith but when an opportunity that makes your heart sing comes along, you are destined to follow your bliss.

    Like

    • Chezdago says:

      This is the best reply I have read and the one I agree with most, follow your heart in good faith. Unfortunately, we can be prevented from doing this by a system that does not favor teachers and instead is focused on the bottom line. The whole system needs an overhaul and international teachers need a union/legal representation so international educators can pursue their dreams. How are we expected to teach students to follow their hearts if we are not allowed to do so.

      Like

  24. Johnny says:

    Interview and see if they offer you a contract. If they offer you a decent contract you tell the other school that you are no longer interested. You have given them plenty of time to get a new teacher as you are not bailing last minute on them.

    Based on the scenario the job is better for your FAMILY. Family comes 1st. I would be concerned about those who put the school first and family last.

    Like

  25. GringoenParadise says:

    Take your dream job. Life is short, and everyone makes mistakes. The international teaching scene is stressful and competitive. The hiring process is nothing but politics. One thing I have learned in this market: LOOK OUT FOR YOURSELF! A bad fit of a school is not good for anyone involved. Send a note saying “circumstances have come up” or something like that, and move on! Live life with no regrets. All that stuff about keeping your word, bologna. Sorry, but the international teaching scene is not based on honesty or integrity. If it was, half of the terrible schools at Search, ISS and the other job fairs wouldn’t be allowed to recruit there. They recruit for these schools knowing that they are horrible.

    Like

    • Your comments are why our world is full of deceit and dishonesty… I truly feel sorry for you and your lack of loyalty and ethics…good luck because what goes around comes around.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed

        Like

      • DB1 says:

        No, he’s right. I’m sick of high minded rhetoric about words and bonds and ethics. This business is a business. It is rigged heavily in favor of the schools and the recruitment agencies. People revolve in and out. There are thousands, thousands of teachers. If you bail on a job, the school picks up the next resume and makes a call. Problem solved. “But would you want a school to do that to you? Tell you they’ve changed their mind?How would you feel? Put yourself in their shoes! Well, first, I don’t care how a school recruiter feels and second I know they don’t particularly care how I feel. Next, They have a stack of applicants. They are not in the lurch any more than they wish to be by delaying moving on to the next person. They have administrators whose job it is to find people. I don’t. I have to move and strike. They will get over the heartbreak of my rejection just like I’m supposed to get over the heartbreak of an interview, smile, handshake but no ultimate offer. If I am “committed”, and a better offer, more lucrative, more attractive assignment, better location, better career opportunity, better long-term prospect, comes along I will take it and live with the stigma/”blacklist” (which is more a mythical beast that a real animal with teeth) rather that the regret of passing up what I really want. What goes around sometimes comes around, but not always. I will roll the dice if I think it is worth it.

        Like

      • GringoenParadise says:

        You are naive. I feel sorry for you! If you really want to be high and might, stop teaching at these bourgeois schools and teach at local public schools. International school teachers are FULL of themselves. I have been doing this for 18 years,and I have never had a problem. Where do you work and what do you teach?

        Like

  26. Nicky says:

    I agree with the poster who mentioned the attacks we as teachers make on schools which do not keep their word or honour our contracts. If we think this is bad behaviour and complain about it then how can we, in any good conscience do the same thing? If we are acting like kindergarten children where ‘they did it first’ then we do not have any moral integrity. When I sign a contract (because I am reasonably well educated), then I know what I am doing and the choices I am making. You knew that saying yes to the school that you are not so enamored with was a safe ploy, you wanted to have somewhere definite to work at. So you knew exactly what you were doing, its too late now to start humming and hawing, comparing schools and dithering about.

    Like

  27. Matthew says:

    People keep saying most schools would let you go on a whim. I do feel sorry for you and you must have had some bad luck, but this has never happened to my family. As a current admin. in a less than desirable post with a less than desirable package I realize teachers may change their minds. Although I would be annoyed, I wouldn’t blacklist somebody for changing their mind. However, I have been lucky enough not to hire people without character. Switching jobs is the most stressful part of this career, especially when your family is involved. I have never signed a contract I wasn’t going to honor on either side of the table. Please don’t let the bad apples in this business make you think that the majority of schools are corrupt. 13 years and 5 schools has taught me that no school is perfect, even those big name schools with glittering packages.

    Like

    • I agree with you, Matthew. I feel for some of the people who have such shallow characters on this site. They are one of the reasons why the moral fiber of many in this world have deteriorated and the ethics are so poor. Thanks for your comments and I would be honored to work for an administrator like you.

      Like

      • GringoenParadise says:

        You are really full of yourself and seem high and mighty? What is wrong with the world is judgemental people like you, thinking your thoughts are above others. So you mean to tell me the school where you work is clean as a whistle? Again , where do you work and what do you teach?

        Like

        • trav45 says:

          Sounding defensive there, eh Gringo?

          It doesn’t matter what my school’s ethics are. I’ve worked in good and bad schools. My ethics are just that–MY ethics, and if I let others’ behavior diminish my standards, what does that say about my strength of character?

          Like

          • GringoenParadise says:

            Yes, I am defensive because people like you are so judgmental. I get so sick of high and mighty international teachers. Trav45, you have your way of doing things, and I have mine. That does not make me a bad person or a bad teacher. That makes me human. And if we want to talk about real character, let’s talk about teaching in schools that need us, not uppity international schools. I think you, like many other international educators, are full of yourselves. You try to be like Mother Teresa but are far from it. What exactly are your ethics? Are you teaching the rich or the poor? Are you giving back to the local community? How much do you give of yourself volunteering apart from your job? That’s real integrity and ethics.

            Like

            • trav45 says:

              A) I never said you were a bad person OR a bad teacher. I said I believe in making ethical choices.

              B) You have no idea what my reasons for being overseas are, so who’s being judgmental now, by saying all international teachers are holier-than-thou. I actually tend to agree with you that the majority of us, whatever other reasons we have–are doing it for the money. I love my job, but if I weren’t making a good living, I certainly couldn’t afford to do it. And I do try to give back to the community. In Egypt I volunteered with Sudanese refugees, in other areas I’ve volunteered with habitat for humanity, I’ve donated a hefty amount of money to pay for failing boilers for a local orphanage. Most international teachers I know do similar things–even more than I do.

              Like

  28. kh says:

    I must be oldschool because once I sign a contract I stop looking. To me, you don’t use others’ poor behaviour to justify your own.

    Like

  29. Ken says:

    I taught internationally for 15 years, on 4 continents. After the negative hiring fair experience and its associated costs, after seeing colleagues getting “screwed over” by corrupt administrators, I realized there is really no such thing as loyalty in the international school setting. That doesn’t mean of course that you don’t do the best job you can.
    I got 3 excellent jobs by doing skype interviews, and by-passing the hiring fairs altogether. At one point I had 3 job offers and I accepted them all. When I got the job offer which I deemed to be the best, I sent a polite email to the other schools, indicating that due to unforeseen personal circumstances, I would not be able to come.
    You must keep your cards close to your chest though during this process.
    I consider this to be a moral and legitimate practice, given the nature of the majority of international schools.

    Like

    • Diego says:

      I agree with you.You can keep your options open and you can ask to get out of your contract if you do it in the right way.All this chatter about moral compasses and the children loose out is should not apply if you are professional and can manover the politics involved in a “professional manner”.And mind you, there are politics involved and when politics are involved you need a clear head,good direction and understand that you are one of many looking for the best job.If you loose sight of that,try social work.

      Like

  30. Michael says:

    Please, International teaching is one big merry-go-round that lines the pockets of the big recruitment agencies who in turn plough plenty of $$$ into ISR to keep the spin going.

    On the credibility of this post… certainly has a Search Associate feel about it all…

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I would have to disagree. Most posts on here are quite anti agencies if anything. You could hardly say ISR is biased towards them when any comments made by agencies are shot down…

      Like

  31. ymbk says:

    What kind of person are you when you turn out the light at the end of the day?

    If you commit to a contract, and then welch later because a better job comes along, it doesn’t say anything about what schools do, or which job is better, it’s about YOUR character . . . . The first job was good enough at the time, and you made a commitment that caused many, many people to begin working based on that commitment. That shouldn’t be taken lightly. Children’s educations may suffer because of your choices . . . The problem with the world today is people looking out for themselves.

    If your word isn’t any good, and character like that, you shouldn’t be working with kids in the first place . . .

    Like

  32. Kellye Crockett says:

    Before accepting a contract I would do my due diligence and research the school in question. If I accepted a contract, verbal or written, I would honour it and also keep in touch with the second school re a possible future opening. I would also decline the interview as it would be a waste of time for both me and the interviewer.

    Like

    • jane says:

      Well said!

      I would also tell the second school how much you’d like to be there but you feel it’s important to honor your word.

      And, the whole part about keeping feelers out there just in case once you’ve signed a contract is a problem for me. Once you sign a contract, that’s it. You honor it.

      Like

  33. J.B. says:

    Honestly, it depends on age and relative position re: retirement. If I were closer to retirement, I would seriously consider taking the new contract.

    Like

  34. Philip Burrage says:

    At recruitment fairs they say once you agree that is it. On the other hand, most international school would screw you over at the drop of a hat. The most common thing the advisers said to me at jobs fairs was “a bird in the hand…”.
    Although you may be left empty handed, I would say only accept if you are 100%. It is, and I have experienced this myself, a gut instinct.
    If you accept a job, you have to take the moral high ground and your word is your bond. Don’t be like the 90% of international schools and act on a whim.

    Like

  35. OMGArsenal says:

    I would choose the first one….do the interview but wait for an offer, then advise the first school that you’ve had time to think their job through and have changed your mind and will not accept to teach there. Schools do this all the time to candidates. You are not even obligated to explain why you are breaking your word, but if you do explain, keep it short and sweet and not apologetic but rather frank and firm. IF schools generally honoured their word, I would say honour yours but most don’t so don’t feel bad about breaking your agreement, at least you’re not breaking contract half way through the year.

    Like

  36. joe says:

    Somebody’s not happy in their marriage! Arf!

    Like

  37. Anonymous says:

    At times like this I ask myself… What would Dr Spilchuck do?

    Like

  38. Anonymous says:

    This is the kind of post that makes my blood boil. When so many of the posters on here talk about unscrupulous recruiters, directors and Head teachers, the moral compass takes a different turn when it comes to a different job offer. The simple answer to this question can be summed up in the following way: You get married to somebody who is run of the mill, not hugely attractive but not an absolute dragon either. Severalmonths later ( despite your initial advances to her) an absolute hotty a number of years younger than your wife comes up to you and makes an indecent proposal offering you her body and everything else with it for enternity.

    What would you do? Trade in the old model for the better offer? Ignore the fact that you have made a commitment to your wife and have a night of unbridaled sex , OR politely thank the young vixen for her unwanted and all too late attention and go home , satisfied that actually your intial decision may not set the world on fire, but ti is the commitment that you have made

    Like

    • OMGArsenal says:

      Your analogy fails in a number of ways. Marriage is a contract for life, unlike a job which is a temporary term limited commitment which the employer may or may not respect. why don’t you identify yourself like the rest of us do?

      Like

      • Overseas says:

        I agree the analogy fails. Taking a job is more like getting engaged. If during the engagement you meet your soul mate than you should by all means break off the engagement and go with your soul mate. Accepting a job is like an engagement. If it turns out it’s a bad fit then go with the best fit.

        Like

      • trav45 says:

        ROFL!!! You think the screen name OMGArsenal is identifying yourself!?

        Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow!! So because you desperately set the bar so very low for a spouse that would never ever leave you because her self-esteem is just that damaged, you justify that in choosing a job with the same low caliber of standards. Okay………..

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I understand the analogy but as most teachers do not stay in one job for more than two years it cant really be marriage…either that or we are all bigamists?! Anyway view the other job but don’t take it…….the beautiful ones just go and break your heart anyway!!!

      Like

  39. Anonymous says:

    It is a no brainer….You take the better job….Most schools will screw you over anyway!

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      That misses the point , the grass isnt always greener on the other side. Using the analogy of a hot younger model making lewd suggestions versus a safe but boring wife , if you take the young hussey up on her offer you may find that she passes on an STD or worse fleece you of all your worldly possessions before dumping you … at least you know that you average looking wife is more likely to remain loyal to you!!!

      http://letras.mus.br/robert-mitchum/from-a-logical-point-of-view/

      Like

    • Catherine says:

      If this is the same person writing the (2) posts then I am confused. In reply to the 9.35am reply I will only comment it is What you are NOT told by some/most International Schools that you need to investigate BEFORE you sign the contract. When you arrive at a school that is nothing like it was described to you without a working visa the fun begins.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s