Anyone else getting concerned…?

Adapted from ISR Member FORUM

An ISR Member Writes:

Is it too early to start panicking? ‘Cause I’m kinda starting to feel a little panicky. A few nibbles so far, but no bites.

What ISR Members are Saying:

The interviews I have had were for Tier 2/3 schools in Thailand, Ukraine, Mozambique and Bolivia but I have blanketed the planet with my resume so I’m surprised at the lack of interest. One job offer from Thailand but at a wage that just covers my expenses.

Crickets. — I’ve also had the experience of seeing some of these schools I’ve applied to keep posting and re-posting their vacancy ads. I’M RIGHT HERE, PEOPLE…

You are not alone. I am also feeling worried, concerned, frustrated, disappointed.

I thought we were strong candidates – teaching couple, IB experience, international experience, etc. – and we’re at almost 30 applications out. A couple of one-way interviews, one zoom interview, which was refreshing, and a few friendly rejections. But mostly silence.

Same feelings going on in our household, too. We keep holding on to those well-wishers’ words of “it’s still early”, but yeah – definitely beginning to get a bit nervous. 

Omg, I’m also trying not to panic. 18 years teaching, 14 overseas, 9 in the PYP, and no one even wants to TALK with me! Is it that I’m not married? Is it so, so, so important to be married??!?

Comments? Please scroll down to participate in this ISR Discussion

56 thoughts on “Anyone else getting concerned…?

  1. I have been applying domestically, and have been very successful getting job interviews but I CANNOT GET A JOB! The last school sent me an automated message, and thanked me for applying but moved to other candidates, blah, blah , blah. The funny thing is they reached out to me first and interviewed me for over an hour. Tired of the BS

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  2. I have heard from a few schools in November, however, I really have not heard anything this month at all. I would go against the idea that there are no jobs available, because if you look on Search Associates or anywhere else there are tons of jobs posted. Maybe schools are just taking their time to reach out and set up interviews, that is what I am hoping at least. It is hard to be hopeful, but that is all we can do at the moment. If it comes to the end of January and there are still no bites, then I myself might worry a ton. It is earlier in the process, so we will have to see.

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  3. ageism, ageism, ageism, ageism, ageism, ageism and ageism. It’s apparently the last respectable ism. Funny thing is most older teachers I know miss FAR fewer work/school days sick than young female teachers in their 20’s and early 30’s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Do you have actual ‘real’ statistics to back this statement. Or have you considered you are prejudicing women with children? A vital hire in most Directors tool kit.
      BTW I would hate to be a middle aged woman working in your school.

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    2. @midddle aged female. No., I was referring to CHILDLESS young female teachers, especially North American or British. At every single int’l school I’ve worked in they are easily the ones taking the most sick days over every other demographic. . They’re either always actually sick..(like allergies, colds or sometimes being hung over) yet they’re often the most desirable hires for “publiclity” reasons.

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    3. Still think this is your ‘perception’ with no real evidence. I think we know what your ‘ism’ is.

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    4. There is quite a bit of evidence in Harvard Business Review of studies of work habits on age cohorts. Evidence generally supports the assertion that older workers and married workers (older = 40 and above) as being more reliable and steadfast than those who are single and in their 20s and 30s. Gender plays little into the factor beyond women typically working less hours (due to family obligations) over the spans of their career.

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    5. yes, middle aged female, my perception with my lying eyes. Would love to examine a cross section of absent records with demographic profile. Think anyone would ever release it? I’d place a sizable bet on my lying eyes, especially fairly recently minted out of college. Never seen such a cascade of never ending allergies, colds, etc. and yes my ism is realism, and practicalism, thank you.

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    6. There’s homesickness, too. The younger the teacher, the greater probability they won’t complete their contract or even give proper notice. During my EFL career abroad, I had to fill in and teach extra classes for young adult teachers who decided to bolt on a weekend or during a week break. This happened three times at different schools.

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  4. Oh wow! Soooooo glad it’s not just me because this has been adding to my depression in a big way. I thought this hiring period and the last one would be the easiest on record with most teachers choosing to stay in their home countries due to Covid, but I’ve never gotten this few responses before in over a decade of international teaching. Maybe instead it’s been the opposite and people have stayed put? Or maybe schools can no longer afford to hire teachers of the highest caliber due to losing so many students. At least this post can reassure us that it’s not us. It’s the schools. It’s Covid. It’s just a weird time to be looking for international work.

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    1. Let’s also consider that it’s December and most schools are just getting info back from their teachers saying if they’ll be back or not. Then winter break is coming up so no interviews during that time. Let’s just be patient and wait until after Winter break. I have to have hope….. it’s all I have left.

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    2. The reason could be, because of COVID, more teachers aren’t quitting their jobs or changing schools.

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  5. I’ve heard from staff at recruiting agencies that they predict this will be a poor year for getting new jobs, with things perhaps improving the next hiring season. I’ve been coming up with a Plan B which so far looks pretty good, but am also thinking that the recruiting season will extend well into the spring due to changing conditions and unpredictability. Since recruiting season could extend with little time to plan next steps, I think coming up with a Plan B sooner rather than later is a good idea. Better to have something in the works than to feel completely empty handed.

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  6. Glad this isn’t just me. This is my first time of applying for an international job, although I have seen friends go through this experience. So many jobs in China which just doesn’t interest me but a severe lack of jobs anywhere else! I also have found that schools are just not replying. I had a 45 minute Skype interview with one school in Malaysia and they didn’t even get back in contact to say whether it was a yes or a no! Despite me emailing on 3 separate occasions asking for feedback! Surely that’s not a normal practice for schools? Starting to feel deflated and haven’t even started the journey yet.

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    1. I waited three weeks for a no after interview, this is after me emailing politely after 2 weeks only to be met with a defensive ‘we’ve had many applicants’ response. Schools are advertising and recruiting so early and they have so many applicants, there’s really no incentive for professional courtesy.

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    2. If you haven’t been overseas before, this is going to be a tough year to land a job. It can be hard breaking in to “the circuit” at the best of times. It’s also pretty standard practice not to hear back from a school until they’ve made their final hires and have received acceptances. Good luck with the hunt.

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  7. Had an interview at one school last month, first they were late so I was sat watching a scrolling wheel wondering if I was on the wrong zoom link for 10 minutes. Secondly the head (there were two in the panel) would mute herself when I was answering a question while clearly having a conversation with someone else in the room at the same time and flicking through emails on her PC screen.

    I appreciate that my answers to their generic list of T and L questions may not have been particularly inspired, but the whole thing left me wondering what the hell I was doing especially as this was supposedly a ‘tier 1’ non profit school. I’ve already told myself if this kind of thing happens again I’ll just ask to leave the interview.

    Not sure whether the number of applicants is lowering standards?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, ok, I guess I thought it was just me – I’m with Search Associates, and while they’ve posted TONS of jobs in China, I have already worked in China and would like to stay in Europe but nothing has come up yet and 2 of 3 schools I’ve applied to turned me down – I have 23 years experience most in PYP and a Masters and I am a Visible Thinking Coach online and currently completing my Instructional Leadership Certificate with Harvard – really surprised at the lack of interest. I know its peak recruiting time between now and January, so I am getting nervous….

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    1. Considering the number of years you’ve been teaching, your age could be the deciding factor. A former colleague of mine who’s 45 years old was told by a recruiter not to bother applying for a teaching job in South Korea because almost all schools prefer their candidates to be young adults. The recruiter pointed out that the average age of EFL teachers on the peninsula, according to his/her records is 27. I taught English in S Korea for 15 years, having started when I was 39. But once I hit 55 in 2010 I could no longer secure another job, neither in the public nor private sector despite my experience and excellent job references. It’s been 12 years, and now the age of 40 is apparently considered too “old”.

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    2. This thread is giving me major anxiety. I’m 45 and applying for jobs. So far, I’ve had 4 interviews set up and one interview that ive turned down. I’d like to believe there is hope out there… I have to believe it because I’m going through this at the moment. Are there any GOOD stories out there? I feel like this thread needs a little bit of positivity, at least, just to keep pur hopes alive

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    3. Read my comment to ‘Frustrated Teacher’. I have 33 years’ experience, and have submitted over 4000 (four THOUSAND) applications directly to schools, PLUS I’ve signed on with recruiting agencies. For all that, I’ve had only one interview that lasted 5 minutes.

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  9. I am getting a bit disheartened. I have over 20 years experience teaching and have been passed over several times. Only 3 interviews and no offers. I’ve taught AP social studies classes for almost 20 years. I have taken the IB training for DP History Cat 1 on my own since I’ve not been at an IB school. Still, nothing. I know it’s still early, but it just seems that schools are dragging their feet on this. .

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  10. Since Brexit there is a problem for British teachers trying to find jobs within the EU. Schools are choosing teachers with Irish passports to avoid having issues with work and residency permits.

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    1. EFL teachers who don’t hold a passport from an EU member state should forget about teaching in Europe. There’s practically no chance of being hired, if any.

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  11. Last time I was out there searching, my age/years of experience and being Canadian worked against me, as it meant I was at the top end of the pay scale for most schools, I had an expensive visa and flight home, and I don’t teach higher level STEM subjects. One recruiter who took the time to interview me for 45 minutes, said that honestly, he could hire 2 third-year teachers as local hires for the cost it would take to hire only me. I guess he was filling his quota. Now covid has entered the equation and many schools are just trying to stay afloat with several families leaving.

    I prefer to think of the quality of offers – I was offered ‘only’ three jobs out of about 50 overseas applications, but they were all fantastic schools (for me) and they were prepared to pay me according to my experience. I remember it being towards the spring. Patience, I guess, and a lot of research. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin, I didn’t want to believe that to be true but I can imagine it is. I’m a 21 year teacher from the States and I teach Music. I’m sure they could hire someone way cheaper than me and that’s so sad, for me. I can only hope that jobs will start opening up or at least replying to any applications saying yay or neigh. Right now, it’s just silence (minus the one or 2 schools).

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    2. I can totally relate to that, being Canadian myself but am also wondering if my age (I am 55) is another strike against me. I have worked in 5 countries, have extensive DP and MYP experience and am fluent in English and French with intermediate German. I have principals qualifications as well but no bites. Have applied to many schools and received rejection letters already for most applications. With the Omicron virus now in play it is that much more difficult.

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    3. The reality of age is that many, many countries are restricting new hires at earlier and earlier ages, and requiring “forced” retirement at 65 or younger. I was job hunting last year (at 63, because I wasn’t going to be able to renew my “old age” visa), which was actually a good year for the type of position I wanted. I look great on paper, but had very few nibbles; I couldn’t apply for most positions due to age factor, and one that originally said there was “no age limit” changed the limit to 55 after I applied!! Even in Europe, where I thought it wouldn’t be an issue, a school where the DP Coordinator ASKED me to apply, said I was too old and several others had a 55 or 60 age limit–it even varied among schools within the same country, so you know that’s a school thing and not a law. Fortunately, I landed at a good school (in Korea–so the above post isn’t always true) and plan to retire out of here. But, yes, definitely find your school and stay before you hit 55. iI only gets harder.

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  12. Ukraine? Don’t you know the country is about to be in an all out war with Russia? This is a good year to stay put, unless you are in China or UKRAINE… then it’s a great year to leave.

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    1. Ukraine was an excellent posting for me. A great place from which to see all of Europe. My Ukrainian friends are very blasé about the threat in the East. Putin has done this several times since 2014. I’d say go if you’re offered a position.

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    2. Curious why you think it’s a great year to leave a place with one of the lowest Covid rates on the planet. Unless being homesick is worse than respiratory illness, I guess. Or are you thinking of the changing climate for teachers? It doesn’t matter if you already have a position.

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  13. My age of 63 is a huge barrier even though I have loads of experience. We had to turn in our notice of intent at the end of November. I know many at my school who sent in a notice that they are staying, even though they are planning on leaving. They are playing it safe. But it means that the school can not post an opening. I wonder if this is playing out in other places? Also, I have noticed that schools are becoming very picky. It hurts to see good teachers overlooked because of age, or because they are single, have children, etc. I wonder if we could have administrators or schools respond to why so many qualified teachers are being turned away?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a buyers market. You need to be willing to go anywhere.

      I have an old colleague that worked at IS Manila for 6 years and is getting turned away from lesser schools, nobody has ever heard of.

      Don’t take it personally and keep applying.

      Look at some of the people who work in administration. I’m at AAS Moscow where the secondary middle management is so incompetent you wonder how they even got their feet in the door, but did. It’s life. Most of it is random. Keep at it. Keep playing the game.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Teresa – you and I are in the same ‘boat’. I’m 61, with 33 years of experience, and I can’t even get a nibble. I’ve submitted 4006 applications in countries all over the world. So far, I’ve had ONE interview, and that lasted 5 minutes. Here’s a PARTIAL list of where I’ve applied:

      1. United States ALL 50 states – New York, Wyoming, Arizona, California, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, Texas, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, Michigan, Missouri, Louisiana, Delaware, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Indiana, Michigan, Kansas, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Oregon, Illinois, Virginia, Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Washington D.C., Arkansas, Kansas, South Dakota, Georgia, Alaska, Maine, Arkansas
      2. Canada – British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick
      3. United Arab Emirates
      4. Egypt
      5. Bahrain
      6. Kuwait
      7. China
      8. Malaysia
      9. Myanmar
      10. England
      11. Brazil
      12. Germany
      13. Dubai
      14. United Arab Emirates
      15. Oman
      16. Costa Rica
      17. Switzerland
      18. China
      19. Taiwan
      20. Myanmar
      21. Switzerland
      22. Guatemala
      23. Australia
      24. Bolivia
      25. Korea
      26. Mexico
      27. Thailand
      28. Iran
      29. Brazil
      30. Qatar
      31. South Korea
      32. Saudi Arabia
      33. Qatar
      34. Thailand (Bangkok Prep Academy)
      35. Singapore
      36. Nepal
      37. Chile
      38. Poland
      39. Vietnam
      40. Columbia
      41. Bali
      42. Philippines
      43. Mongolia
      44. Cambodia
      45. South America – various countries (through recruiter)
      46. England
      47. Mexico
      48. Czech Republic
      49. West Indies
      50. Portugal
      51. Peru

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You are DEFINITELY not alone! I have been applying to schools (all over the world) for almost a year now and have only received rejections except for one school… very, very disappointed and deflated teacher right here.

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  15. From a current Head of School, we are very concerned about projected enrollments next year. Especially in Asia. I would say that some of what you are experiencing is just hesitancy to commit to new hires when schools are not sure of need. Things should become clearer in the coming months leading up to re enrollment deadlines for 2022-23. Good luck everyone. I did not get my current position that I have been in for 9 years now until June for an August start!

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    1. One thing I’ve noticed is that my age is playing against me. And my 20+ years of experience makes me expensive. I understand the cost cutting but schools should realize that you get what you pay for. Just because I’ve been teaching for years doesn’t mean I’m set in my ways. I am constantly trying out new methods and tech for my students. I have done so much in my career that I’d think admin would want the experience to help train and mentor newer or younger teachers.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Phew! Glad I am not alone. Got recruited months ago by a school in China, gave up other opportunities, and was dropped after 6 weeks and told they could not get a visa and were reneging on my contract. I then got hired by the now notorious Mount Kelly in Hong Kong. I worked for a few weeks online before myself and six other international hires who all taught online, were dumped without salary and told that our visas were no longer being processed. What a scam. Later found that they had never been processing them in the first place. I wasted hundreds of dollars on mailing documents etc. and ended up cheated. Applied for another bunch of jobs and finally got one in a location I would not normally consider at a lower salary than usual but…… bird in the hand.

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    1. Mount Kelly is notorious and teachers from last year are still suing for salaries. Beware of scams that these lower-tier schools will try to pull during a downturn such as online teaching for a few weeks and then being dropped without pay.

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  17. My experience of Teacher Horizons has been fantastic. I got my last three jobs through them – all at good schools. They took time to listen to me and understand what I was looking for. They have lots of jobs on their website and don’t charge teachers which is also why I recommend them.

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  18. I’m in the same boat. Sent out dozens of interest letters, CV’s, etc. And not even a courtesy of saying that they have received it. I’m getting quite nervous but I just try to tell myself that it’s only December…. perhaps in January it will start to pick up pace?

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  19. I’ve been overseas since 1999 in international schools. This recruiting season has definitely been the most complicated, competitive, frustrating and mysterious (upsets) I have experienced.

    There’s no doubt that VISAs are a big part of the issues at play -especially in China. However, recruiting schools should also be sensitive toward candidates.

    Schools (HR/Admin) might want to think about adjusting how they are treating candidates in the process. A little recalibration will hold them in good stead.

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  20. When do most schools in Western EU require staff to notify? For my last school it was end of November but I know for some schools in Germany and Sweden they don’t even know if staff are leaving until March or April. I would say that visas, especially for Asia right now, are probably a big big concern. I would love to see a thread here about when your school requires notice because Search is not always accurate on that timeframe.

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    1. Our school in Central Europe just asked staff to post their intent by January, but people can still leave 3 months before school starts.

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  21. As someone that is part of the recruitment team, the visas are the biggest issue. The expenses have risen for all schools and many countries are making it harder for foreigners to get a work visa. Most schools I know have dropped their memberships for ISS-Schrole, SearchAssociates, etc…

    I would say try the free recruiters like TeacherHorizons and expand your search.

    Like

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