Would YOU Hire Me?

right_for_job-87843161As teaching candidates it’s quite normal to have questions about our suitability for employment at an International School, especially when we’re focused on finding a job at a school of our choice.

Problem is, who can you ask to evaluate your chances of getting what you want? ISR has a simple solution which is to Post a Peer Evaluation Request on our newest venue: Would YOU Hire Me?

The Peer Evaluation Request (below) originally appeared on the ISR Open Forum. In hardly any time at all this has received over 3,500 views & scads of replies from International Educators offering insightful, constructive advice. It’s this level of collegiality we had originally envisioned for the ISR Forum.

If you would like advice in regards to your own personal potential to land a job at a school that tops your list, we encourage you to take advantage of our newest venue: Would YOU Hire Me?

We’ve included the following Peer Evaluation Request as a sample of what a teaching candidate may want to include in their entry. This is a real request from a real teacher. Feel free to answer this post, create your own that reflects your personal situation, or respond to any/all requests for Peer Evaluation you feel inspired to answer. As always, you can choose to remain anonymous when posting to ISR.

Peer Evaluation Request 
(from ISR Forum)

Post by Cafare52 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:53 pm

I taught for 2 years in the US before going overseas to a reasonably respected IB program but left after 2 years because of salary and cost of living. Now I am in a city that I really like on a good salary but I feel my skills are atrophying and the program is weak/non-IB and students are mostly local (of the ESL variety). It is hugely disappointing. I am not an unreasonable person whatsoever but don’t really feel like I will grow in the direction I want to at my current post. Like everyone else in our profession I think I am a superstar but unlike them I actually am one.

So next hiring cycle if I choose to leave I would have:
-2 years in States
-2 years at IB school teaching non-IB classes.
-2 years at AP school teaching non-AP classes.
-Masters Degree
-IB training but no IB teaching experience
-All 6 years of experience in Secondary Social Studies including Economics.

Is the 2, 2, and 2 year thing a red flag? What do you think here? I know I interview well and can explain things away but is that the type of thing that would prevent me from getting an interview?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Please scroll down to respond to this  request or post your own

18 thoughts on “Would YOU Hire Me?

  1. Hi, everyone!

    My goal is to land an IB English and/or TOK job at an American or British International school.

    Currently employed at an international school in Europe. I have four-years experience teaching IB English A and B, one year TOK, two years CAS Coordinator. I lack US teaching license and a master’s degree (start on masters with University of Sheffield in Sept 2017). For my full CV, check out my website: drewsparkman.com

    Would really appreciate some feedback here or send me a message from the website.


  2. I am an experienced school counselor in the US with both academic and clinical experience. I would like to work with high school or college students, preferably in a Spanish-speaking country, since I do speak the language. However, we are open to location. I have not worked overseas. I am married to a non-teaching spouse and we have a 4 year old daughter. Any chance at a school counseling job?


  3. I am interested in some feedback here.

    I have taught a bit of everything. Math, English, History, Humanities, and Economics. 3 years in the US, 4 years international (2 years each in 2 places), 2 years AP, 2 years DP. My math teaching level goes up to Grade 10 and DP Studies, I don’t do DPSL or HL. I’ve had low level coordinator positions at both of the international schools I’ve worked in (both low tier schools). I’ve done a little of everything, but I’m an expert at nothing. Is this valued?

    I would like to go somewhere and stay for a while (even though my CV doesn’t really say that). I’m just making very low salary (22k/year) where we are and took it to get my wife IB experience (Chinese teacher, Masters in CSL, and 3 years MYP/DP experience).

    How high should I be shooting for my next position? I think that I’d rather teach in a better school than pursue admin at a lower level school.


    1. If you are still having issues with this, I’d say just center your professional path. The broad spectrum is good, but make a decision about how you want to develop (AP or IB? Math or English or something else?). Then make the steps down that path (professional development workshops, for example).


  4. Hey All,

    I’m an American secondary English teacher with an Indian wife who is completing her American licensure in Computer Science. We plan on recruiting next year and are looking for a 4-5 year school where we can solidify our careers, complete our graduate degrees, and save some money before considering starting a family.

    Briefly, here are my selling points:
    – DP/MYP Cat 1 workshops with 3 years DP/1 year MYP experience in an international IB school in India
    – Google Certified Educator Level 2
    – IB examiner for coming year
    – Leading PLC on PBL next year
    – Piloted programs, trained teachers on gamification and writing assessment with digital tools
    – Initiated and coached school whitewater kayaking club

    Any ideas on how we can market ourselves? Since my wife is a new teacher, I feel like it will come down to how badly the school wants me. I figured she could apply on search for both regular and intern teaching positions. Any help would be appreciated! *bows to masters*


  5. I would hire you if I didn’t have any better candidates, i.e. AP/IB teaching experience and longer stints at each school. For teachers, it’s not uncommon to have records like yours, 2-2-2, but certainly for administrators that is a red flag. I’m a teacher turned administrator, and my 2-2-2 record has prevented me from getting hired in a straight admin position for this upcoming year, so I’ll be sticking around my next school for 3-4 in order to be able to get an admin position in upcoming hiring cycles. Also, even for teachers, 2-2-2 is a bit undesirable because schools invest in you, so they’d rather you stick around longer. You can get away with that when you are young, but as you get a bit older, they expect more stability. I’m at the point now in age where I have to settle a bit, just one more reason my next school needs to be 3-4 years!

    That being said, I think your reasons for wanting to leave are good ones. You could say how much you had wanted to teach IB and AP, and yet you weren’t assigned those classes. So in your next school, make it clear that that’s what you are looking for, and also acknowledge that you want to stay longer than 2 years if you are given IB or AP. That would be desirable from an admin perspective.


    1. Anyone who claims to be a rock star generally isn’t, particularly the part about teaching in an IB school and not teaching IB classes.

      That means “no IB experience” to me and coupled with delusions of grandeur means you wouldn’t get past the table at a job fair from me.



  6. I have a question. I do have a DUI from 6 years ago. I was leaving a dinner party after no more than a few glasses of wine. I got pulled over for a tail light being out. The cop spelled wine on my breath and gave me a breathalyzer test. I was a fraction over the limit. I was arrested and taken to jail. The entire episode was a farce but now I have a DUI on my record. Should I keep it to myself or just tell the truth with an explanation. The school’s application form asks if “you’ve ever been arrested?” I could use some advice from someone in the know about this things


    1. GMFC……………while honesty and transparency are usually the best policies, since this DUI is not ,in any way teaching related (unless your are a driving instructor) then bringing this up is ,imho, pointless and irrelevant. IF your were a recorded pedophile or a convicted rapist or whatever, then you wouldn’t likely be in teaching anyway, or if you were, then it be at a very disreputable school.
      Unless you are directly ASKED by a potential employer to tell all, then keep this to yourself….stick to promoting your skills and abilities, forget the peccadillos that have no relation to education.


    2. Failure to disclose may mean you have other things in your past you may also not wish to disclose. Honesty is the best answer here. DUI is not a peccadillo, not is lying on the application form.


    3. Many schools are asking for a police check/authorization from you country of origin and from where you are currently living/working. If the police check comes back clear then don’t mention it. If not, you’d better.


  7. What a shame that you spent those years in those environments and yet never had the chance to teach the program. I have taught at IB schools and would do so again. As for AP, not so much. I just finished a year at one and the students were not dedicated at all. They know their parents’ money pays for the certificate. The teachers were amazing but frustrated that behaviour and attitude got in the way of learning. Quality of work from students for the most part was sub par. They will struggle immensely in university.

    I am learning that if an international school has American leadership, the standards are low and they bow to the council and board. Giving students A’s and B’s make the school look qualified and attracts money.


    1. In response to mautio1:
      I currently work at an “International” school that has Arab leadership and the standards are far lower than anything I have ever seen before in my 15 years of teaching. I am constantly told to make my exams easy enough for a child to pass, when I teach High School. Even when I make the exams so easy, the students complain that the test was too hard for them and it wasn’t fair. Most of them fail, because they will not put in any effort whatsoever. Instead, they leave the test questions blank. They will not make any attempt to use their brains to think and answer them. The only questions the students are willing to answer are the multiple choice and even those they do poorly on. So when the kids complain and I tell them to get off their lazy backsides and try studying for once, they run home to their parents and tell them the test was too hard. Then the parents come to the school and complain it was unfair. If the admin won’t accommodate them by curving the test or fluffing up the grades, those parents will threaten to file a complaint against the school with the government authorities. This what they do every time, and the administration buckles to them. The parents say “jump” and the admin says, “how high?”. And the kids know it, so they will never study or make any attempt to actually learn. It gets worse every year. In addition, we have many teachers from other middle eastern countries, most of whom are afraid of the students and will give them whatever they want. They will threaten these teachers all the time, and those teachers have good reason to be afraid. These kids can get them fired easily. In my case, it’s harder for them to do this to me, because I’m a western expat. So I can tell the students to go away and am not afraid of them. Still, if they really push the issue, they can cause problems for me. The admin will pressure me to change grades or make exams even easier. So don’t think it’s only American Administrators. In reality, it’s a business, the students are really “customers” and the owner of the school wants to keep them happy so he can keep getting those tuition checks. It’s actually the owners that pressure the administrators to lower their standards. In the end, it’s the kids who get screwed, because if or when they go to university, they find out what real academic standards, courses and exams are like. This has been going on and getting worse & worse for the last 20 years. The scariest part? These poorly-educated, unmotivated and entitled young people are the future bankers, businessmen, politicians & civil engineers that will build the highways & bridges we will be living in and driving on in the years ahead. Be afraid. Be very afraid.


    2. “In the end, it’s the kids who get screwed, because if or when they go to university, they find out what real academic standards, courses and exams are like.”

      Exactly. Well said.


    3. Unless they go to a university in their own or other GCC country where they still get degrees which are bogus. Then its off to a meaningless but high paid position in an government or oil company while all the time they are too idle to even wipe their own ass without the aid of a maid. So they hire westerners (or cheaper asian who can be abused easier) to do the jobs for them while they sit around drinking coffee.
      Then the cycle repeats.


    4. Re: “if an international school has American leadership, the standards are low….” Seriously – you are an international educator? And you are using as your basis for judgement “a year” at one such school?
      Using over 30 years experience in both IB and American curriculum schools as my credentials, I call foul on this response. Please don’t generalise based on a few experiences. I’ve been at AWESOME schools where IB was the only option, and other schools that depended on the very generous pass ratios of the IB. It wasn’t the program – it was the schools’ way of implementing it.

      As for schools using AP, the beauty of it is, the AP assessment is completely external. There’s no way to bullshit it – the tests are sent out and assessed by volunteer AP and university teachers who spend considerable time and expertise establishing common criteria. While it’s true a student may get a passing – or even an exceptional – mark within the AP classroom, and that might be influenced by parents’ money, status, or schools kowtowing to same, there is absolutely no way to influence those external assessment results. Students either meet the standards or they don’t.
      In my IB classroom, 30% of the assessment is marked by me, and I can directly influence how students do on at least 20% of the rest by coaching them on their written tasks (I don’t – but I could). Furthermore, students pass (3 out of 7) who have accumulated 28 of the final 100 points. How is that superior to AP?
      As for the original poster, if you wish to teach internationally, the reality is you need IB experience to be a viable candidate (unfortunately, too many schools have drunk that kool-aid and so have embraced IB without consideration of alternatives), so look for positions that give you that, plus training. Good luck.


    5. There are reasons why most dodgy schools in oil rich countries run the “American model” curriculum. i worked in one the infamous ADNOC schools. There are no external exams so grades are made up depending on wasta, The teachers are frequently under duress, got rid off or simply ignored. Sometimes they are culpable in fixing grades.
      With AP IB IGCSE unless you get to the papers early and the school invigilates properly you can’t cheat. ( that does not happen……)
      In the USA of course teachers are not under duress to fix grades so there are not the same fixing issues. There is a strong argument that the “American” style is fairer to assess thorougout the year rather than just an exam(s). Its Achilles heel of course its open to abuse which is fully exploited as explained above.


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