Can I Really Live on that Salary?

November 8, 2012

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An ISR Member has proposed the development of a useful tool for recruiting candidates. We invite you to participate in its development:
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“Dear ISR,
As recruiting season approaches, I thought it would be useful for us, as a community of international educators, to pool our knowledge regarding net salaries paid by individual schools throughout the International School circuit.

To clarify: I want to establish a ballpark figure per individual country/school regarding what is an acceptable net salary as compared to cost-of-living expenses for that area. The figure I’m looking for is exclusive of benefits (Let’s assume all the usual benefits apply) such as housing/flights/medical/etc. For ease, let’s consider a teacher with 5-10 years’ experience and the salary value in U.S. dollars (as used by most recruiting agencies).

For example: If I were looking at an International School in Thailand and the usual benefits were covered, then I would consider anything less than net 70,000 Baht per month ($2282 US) very low and possibly unacceptable. An acceptable salary range in Thailand might be something more like 70,000 – 120,000 Baht.

So, in summary, I’m proposing we ALL pool our knowledge of the countries where we’ve lived and post what we feel is an acceptable net salary on which a teacher can live comfortably and save some, too. I understand this will not provide perfectly sound salary advice to everyone, but it may help us as we set off on our quest to dance with the good, the bad, and the downright ugly! Who wants to play?”

Scroll down to share what YOU know about acceptable net salaries in relation to cost-of-living standards in various countries/schools around the world. It will benefit us ALL!


Recruiting Fairs: A-Z Strategies that WORK!

December 15, 2011

Recruiting Fairs are pressure cookers. Educators currently teaching in schools around the world will have invested thousands of dollars to fly to, and attend recruiting fairs. These teachers have resigned their current positions, making them highly motivated with a proven track record. Does this make them the most desirable candidates?

For those new to recruiting fairs, you quickly learn that competition is intense. If you arrive unprepared, chances are you’ll be leaving empty-handed! Our Tips to Make Recruiting Season a Success is specifically designed to help you navigate your recruiting fair experience and potentially walk out with a contract in hand! Seasoned overseas educators will find plenty here to refresh the memory and some new ideas as well.

Ever wonder what Directors are looking for in a candidate? Wouldn’t it be nice to know in advance of finding yourself engaged in an interview? To keep you informed, ISR asked School Directors to tell us what they look for in an international teaching candidate and then posted the top 3 responses. The bar is much higher than you might suspect! What Directors Look for in International Teaching Candidates.

Do you have a personal favorite approach to the recruiting process we would all benefit from knowing about? Or, do you have a question about the recruiting process? This is the place!


Turn Your Idea into a New ISR Web Site Feature!

September 22, 2011

It’s the continued support  of the International Teaching community that makes ISR possible & helps the ISR web site continually evolve into an ever more useful recruiting tool.

Do YOU have something in mind that would make a strong addition to the ISR web site? We hope you’ll take a few minutes to share your idea with us and we invite you to post your ideas anonymously on this blog. If you prefer, you can contact us directly with the option to include your email address. Teachers Keeping Each Other Informed is what International Schools Review is All About. Your support is much appreciated.


How the Principal Affects YOUR International Experience

September 1, 2011

One of the most common comments ISR hears from teachers in International Schools is how Karma is hopefully going to rain down (hard!) upon their administrators. We all agree some  truly awful administrators are out there who treat students, parents, and teachers with complete disregard. But, do Principals of International Schools also deserve some of the blame? Read the rest of this entry »


Laid-Off Public School Teachers May Flood the Fairs

August 11, 2011

It’s no secret the world is in an economic downturn. But did you know as result the US, UK and Canada have been laying off public school teachers at an alarming rate? These cuts even include science and math teachers. A Chicago-based educator reports his school opened up a position (due to increased enrollment) and had 170 applicants in two hours.

An option for unemployed public school teachers may be to turn to international education in search of employment. If this happens, will the job market become saturated? Will recruiting fairs become flooded with available educators? More importantly, will schools feeling the effects of countless poor reviews suddenly have their pick of previously “out of reach” educators now in dire need of a paycheck?

Not many years ago organizations such as the American Academy of School Heads expressed concern over the dwindling pool of international teaching candidates. At a New York recruiting fair it was noted that there were 3 to 4 available jobs per each applicant. In response, a task force was formed to solve the problem. It appears the problem may have solved itself but, through no one’s fault, to the detriment of current international educators.

What is your take on the situation? Will fired public school teachers go international or will they stay home to gut it out? If they go international, will schools scoop them up at a reduced rate? Or will schools continue to give priority to seasoned overseas educators? We invite you to weigh in on this topic.


School Salaries Revealed

June 16, 2011

International schools often advertise that they offer a “competitive salary” or pay “on par with other international schools.” We’ve all seen the ads. Actual figures are rarely posted, and this is often because the salary scale (if there even is one) is so low it’s laughable and no experienced teacher would ever take it.

Recruiting fairs also tend to keep pay scales secret, often right up until the night before interviews begin. I remember anxiously awaiting my hot-off-the-press salary and benefits information for schools attending a fair slated to begin early the next morning. Why it took until 11pm the night before interviews made no sense…or maybe it did for schools paying so poorly that they’d prefer to keep it a secret!

To help resolve the problem of concealed pay scales, ISR has added a Salary Range field to our 16-point evaluation rubric that accompanies each school review. Beginning today, all new reviews will display this Salary Range entry:

Yearly salary range for teachers in US dollars

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Can You Negotiate a Higher Salary?

April 9, 2010

Transplanted from the ISR forum
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Forum poster – Is a salary offer a take-it or leave-it proposition?  I want to come back to the school with a number at least 5k higher.  Will schools shut the door if you just ask for it? Other benefits seem fine.
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Reply – if you’re looking to wheel and deal with a for-profit school for a higher salary or extra benefits, don’t be surprised if, after you’ve signed on the dotted line, they nickle and dime you to death and perhaps aren’t so willing to approve your request for a PD trip or new materials for your classroom.  So maybe your negotiation skills would be better served to meet the educational needs of your students rather than your pocketbook.  Just a thought.
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Forum poster – If you think that I am going sacrifice my own fiscal well-being so that the school can save money, you are naive.  I am not a missionary and I am not interested in working to enrich the owners of a school.  I am a professional, who can help students learn with experience and expertise. I will participate in a fair exchange: my knowledge and work  for money.  I’m going to get paid every single dime I am in a position to earn…
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What’s your opinion and feelings on this topic?