How ‘Fair’ are Recruiting Fairs for Expat Teachers?

needajob15470498For educators currently living/teaching overseas, recruiting fairs are risky business. First off, you must resign your current teaching position. Then, shell out thousands of dollars to attend a recruiting venue you think offers the best chance to land a job. There are no guarantees!

Should your recruiting efforts yield anything less than a contract in hand, you’re potentially facing upcoming unemployment, and without the necessities of life in place to return to in your own country. Just the thought of such consequences is stressful.

   Looming unemployment was my situation after resigning a position in Guatemala & failing to find a position at the ISS Fair. Each & every school which had expressed interest earlier in the season had filled all the positions I was qualified to teach by the time they got to the venue. I did then scramble to find schools I thought might be a good fit & managed to secure 2 interviews. I left the fair with a firm handshake & a promise of a contract, which 2 loooong months later turned out to be empty words, leaving me with no job, no home, no car, no insurance, no school for our children…..disaster!

  When you’re currently living in your own country & decide to attend an international teaching recruiting fair, it’s simpler. You go to the fair & if you find a job, just inform your current boss you’re leaving. But for teachers currently overseas who risk financial/emotional security to attend a recruiting event, the stakes seem unreasonably high. Especially so since no one seems to care enough about educators’ well being to send an email saying, “Oh, by the way, we filled the position you were interested in.”

    Is there a solution to this dilemma? Or, as some international educators have suggested, are we really just disposable commodities to be traded with little regard for our well-being? ISR suggests international schools at least have the ethical decency to update candidates as to the continued availability (or not) of advertised openings & do so on a continual, daily basis. Something as simple as posting to a web page would accomplish this & spare many educators costly, often devastating surprises. What do YOU think?

Comments &/or Solutions Are Invited