Choosing the Right Fair

September 22, 2016

choosing-a-fairThere’s lots to consider when it comes to choosing an International Teaching Recruiting Fair: Which schools will be attending? What positions are available? Could inclement weather prevent my arrival? Will I be able to take time off from my current job to attend? Can I afford it?

Once you’ve labored over your best plan of action you’re still not home-free. It’s actually possible that your application may be rejected. Why? Because candidates with the best chances of landing a job take priority. Let me explain:

Recruiting agencies make money when teachers get hired. In addition to the exorbitant fees you and schools pay to attend a recruiting event, schools pay an additional hefty fee for each teacher they hire. So, it stands to reason that candidates with the best chances of landing a job are ‘invited’ to recruit at the ‘prime-time’ fairs, leaving lesser-qualified candidates to recruit later in the season and at less desirable venues.

Even if you’ve done everything right and been accepted to recruit at a Fair, many candidates report that only after arriving at their Fair did they discover the positions they planned to recruit for were no longer available. It appears some schools/agencies think nothing of filling advertised positions well in advance of the Fairs. Imagine spending thousands of dollars to attend, only to discover that what you came for (in options for schools/subject/area of the world) no longer exists for you or your partner at the Fair.

Obviously, there’s some unforeseen obstacles to picking and attending the Recruiting Fair of your choice. If you’re new to International Education or an experienced overseas educator weary of the Fairs, you might consider skipping them altogether and going with one of the smaller agencies that delivers personalized service to both schools and teachers. Some candidates skip ‘outside’ assistance all together and rely on Skype or other venues to recruit directly with schools.

We invite you to scroll down and ask questions and/or share your experience with the recruiting process. How do you select a Fair? What do you look for in a recruiter? What’s your experience with being ‘invited’ to recruit at the Fair of your choice?

Directory of Recruiters & Fairs

Thanks for your input! International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed is what International Schools Review is ALL about!


Recruiting Fair Chronicles & Essentials

January 7, 2016

cronicles_91  Recruiting Fair Chronicles

To witness or contribute to first-hand accounts of various Recruiting Fairs, we direct your attention to the Recruiting Fair Chronicles in progress on the ISR Forum. Here you’ll find teachers entering day-by-day accounts of their Fair experience. As a community, teachers are additionally commenting, posing questions & offering solutions. Even if your Fair experience has already ended, here’s an opportunity to validate your interpretation of the event, celebrate a new position, or just vicariously attend the event in preparation for an upcoming Fair.

Links to Chronicles for January Fairs:

Search – Melbourne: Jan 3-6
ISSBangkok: Jan 4-7
Search – Bangkok: Jan 8-11
CIS – London: Jan 14-17
Search – Hong Kong: Jan 15-17
Search – London: Jan 21-24
Search – Cambridge: Jan 28-Feb 1
Queens University: Jan 29-31

Have something not Fair-specific to discuss or
share about recruiting? Please scroll down to post!

recruiting-fairs_update_58 Recruiting Fair Essentials

As a recruiting candidate, you need to know how to navigate a Recruiting Fair & walk out with a signed contract in hand. ISR can help! Our Articles & Info section hosts over 60 in-depth Articles & Blogs dedicated expressly to making a success of your recruiting experience. Here’s an opportunity to take advantage of the collective knowledge contributed by Fair-experienced colleagues from around the world.

Here’s a sample of Topics in ISR’s Articles & Info section:

10 Sure Fire Ways to Blow an Interview • What Should You Ask at an Interview? • Be Prepared for Tough Interview Questions • Do Buzz Words=Successful Recruiting? • Getting the Most from a Fair • 10 Questions to Ask a Director • When Recruiting Fairs Give You Lemons • ReConsidering Your Possibilities • Waiting to Hear Back • Here’s What Directors Want in a Teacher • Recruiting Fairs, A-Z • International Teaching Without a Credential? • Trailing Spouse Solutions • Going Overseas & Over 50 • There’s more! GO to ISR Articles & Information

Have something not Fair-specific to discuss or
share about recruiting? Please scroll down to post!


De-Stressing @ Your New School

August 27, 2015

Lazy time. Man in hat in a hammock on a summer day

For most of us, coming in as a new teacher at an international school means we have a lot of adapting to do. Culture, language, food, climate, students, the parents of students, a new house/apartment, city and currency of monetary exchange are just a handful of what makes up the “foreign” environment that awaits us.

With so much energy focused on the actual move, how can you truly comprehend what you’re committing to? Here’s a short list of some changes to expect and suggestions from teachers who have been there/done that, and have some unique strategies for adapting to their new environment. (1st published 8/’11)

What’s New When We Change Schools?
Culture, language, food, climate, students, parents of students, your house/ apartment, the city, currency of exchange, your classroom, internet availability, administration, colleagues and committee work, school procedures, transportation, shopping, entertainment, medical care, bill paying, banking, and well… just about everything. Even your name may seem to change and sound new in terms of the local accent.

So, what de-stressing strategies work when all your familiar reference points are gone? Over the years I’ve stuck with 3 strategies that help me get a good start at a new school.

My Top 3 de-Stressing Strategies:
1. I get to know the school secretaries, the head of tech and the head of maintenance. I want them as allies. I even make some effort to get to “know them” before coming and try to bring some small gifts to sweeten the deal upon our first meeting. At one school, the tech guy desperately wanted US backpacks for his children. By bringing them along as a gift, I insured his gracious help with my many requests in the first weeks of school. I was nearly always put at the top of the list. Beyond just a colleague, he became a friend.

2. Make your apartment/house your home and refuge. I bring familiar things that make me feel at home. My music, a few pictures, books, a board game, special soap, and any other easily portable knickknack that makes me warm and fuzzy. I also bring a good supply of my favorite comfort foods. There’s nothing like a few favorite things from a known environment to help make the transition into the unknown a lot smoother. At the end of the school day you’ll want a welcoming home refuge from the crush of newness.

3. I’m careful not to be overzealous in volunteering for more committees and duties than I am comfortable with. At a new school, with my attentions being bounced around like a ping pong ball between school and personal needs, the last thing I want is more to focus my attention on. The temptation is to jump right in and make huge contributions to staff and school, but in the end if I take care of “number one” first I’m a lot more effective when it comes to contributing to the team.

Now it’s your turn. Many of us are starting off the new academic year at international schools that are new to us. What techniques work for you? Sharing our personal strategies is a great way to support each other and help make the upcoming academic year a success, in and out of school!


Recruiting Fair Timing for Best Results

March 6, 2014

best-time44088211Undeniably, ISS & Search Associates are the two big players in the International Teacher recruiting industry. From November 2013 through March 2014, these two agencies, combined, sponsored no less than 20 Recruiting Fairs. Interestingly, some of these venues took place on the heels of the competitor’s Fair. For example, the Search/Bangkok Fair began the day following the conclusion of the ISS/Bangkok Fair. Search/San Francisco & ISS/San Francisco followed the same protocol.

Along with piggybacking each other, Search & ISS do the same with some minor, but well-known, players in the industry. For example, the AASSA (Association of American Schools in South America) Fair took place in Atlanta on December 5-8 & was immediately followed by ISS/Atlanta on December 8-10. The Search/Toronto & Queens University/Ontario Fairs were on the exact same dates, January 24-26.

Business is business & just as McDonald’s opens a ‘restaurant’ right across the street from Jack-In-the-Box, recruiting agencies appear to follow the same business model. The question is, with recruiters so strongly competing for your dollar, how do YOU choose a Fair that’s right for YOU? If you’re new to International Teacher recruiting, you might opt to attend the event closest to you.  But isn’t this a bit like buying a Chevrolet instead of a Ford based solely on a dealership’s proximity to your home? Recruiting Fairs, like automobiles & dealerships, each have their individual characteristics & shopping around before you commit may well be the smartest option for your overseas teaching career.

ISR asks: With a multitude of Fairs to choose from, how do you pick the Fair that’s right for YOU? If you participated in a Recruiting Fair this season, what criteria did you use to select a fair to attend? Was your decision based on a list of schools slated to attend? Flying distance? Or, the reputation of the particular Fair to hire predominantly couples, or singles or newbies, experienced educators, families with kids, etc? For example, the Bangkok Fairs have a reputation for hiring experienced overseas educators while some Fairs are known for hiring mostly seasoned couples.

Tell us about YOUR experiences this recruiting season. Why did you select one Recruiting Fair over another? Did your instincts prove valid? Did you sign a contract? This information will greatly help colleagues recruiting in 2015!

Thank you!


Tell Recruiters + Colleagues About YOUR Recruiting Experience

February 20, 2014

whathaveyourlearned43140067  ….Here’s an opportunity to share your recruiting experiences with colleagues and recruiters alike.  Yes, administration, represented by ALL the major recruiting agencies are also ISR members. We are certain they will see your comments. So, in the spirit of helping recruiters meet the needs of educators and schools AND keeping colleagues informed, we invite you to share YOUR recruiting experiences along with your thoughts and comments.

Here are some examples of what you might want to share: Was the recruiting fair you attended what you anticipated? Please elaborate: What worked? What did not work? Were you impressed with the organization of the event? Would you attend a fair sponsored by the same group again? Is there anything you would suggest be done differently to improve the experience for candidates? If you’re school administration, how would you improve the recruiting fair experience for schools seeking teachers? Would you recommend this venue to colleagues? Why? Why not?

To get started, use your mouse to select and copy the green text, below.  Then scroll down and paste the text into the ‘Leave a Reply’ box.  Supply answers to points 1-4 and add comments. Include as much information as you like. Please keep comments constructive in nature! Avoid rants which may mysteriously disappear!

Select + Copy green text:

1) Recruiting Agency:
2) Event Location:
3) Event Date:
4) Number of previous fairs attended:
COMMENTS:

Now scroll down.
Paste copied text into ‘Leave a Reply’ box + begin. Thank you!


136 Countries Where U.S. Teachers Have Their Human Rights Violated

April 11, 2013

gary_sanford by Gary Sanford

More than 7,000 U.S. citizens teach in 195 schools in 136 countries. Many, if not most, of these schools are accredited by U.S. accrediting agencies, private organizations that are legitimized by the U.S. Department of Education and receive financial assistance from the Department of State’s Office of Overseas Schools.

I taught abroad for 13 years in four different countries and I can testify that teachers are treated in ways that would not be tolerated in stateside schools: Administrators routinely bully and lie to teachers, fire teachers without due process, violate contracts, withhold salaries, and engage in many forms of discrimination. Obviously, my experiences alone cannot adequately support my claims; however, I have crossed paths with many teachers in the milieu of international education and I can say…..read more

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Is Teaching Abroad Right for ME as a New Teacher? by: Dr. Barbara Spilchuk, ISR On line Teacher Consultant

March 28, 2013

choice41516506Each year more and more university students are choosing to go abroad after they’ve finished their Education degree. Many come to me asking the question: “Is international teaching the right choice for me?” This is not a question I can easily answer for young people choosing to make their first teaching experience an international one. All I can do is tell the students to consider the following three questions:

Have you traveled abroad before? The answer to this question may seem unimportant; however, young teachers who have international experiences, even travel experiences with their families, have a greater understanding of the cultural differences they might experience when they go abroad. This greater understanding will set them up for a better chance of success in a country where the life experience is significantly different from what they are used to.

Are you LEAVING or GOING? The answer to this question is pretty critical. If a young teacher simply cannot find work in his/her own country, and s/he feels that an international teaching experience is the only option left to begin a teaching career, this is not the best reason for going abroad. Why do I say this? I say this because when you make a decision about your career, you should make the decision to GO to someplace, not LEAVE some place, for whatever reason. Every time I’ve made a decision to LEAVE some place, it has not been as productive for me as when I have made a decision to GO to a specific place. It is all in the mind-set. Let me explain:

If I am leaving some place for a reason that is not positive (i.e.: I cannot get a job, I’ve had an argument with my family or friend, I’m trying to escape an existing poor work situation), then my mind is not on the future….It is on the past because I have not reconciled myself with whatever the issue was that has prompted me to LEAVE. I have learned that it is better for me to be at peace with whatever situation is at ‘home’ before I decide to GO to a new place. This way my mind is fully situated in the future and I have a better chance of success with no regrets for my past. An exception to this rule is if    the situation ‘at home’ is a dangerous one that you need to remove yourself    from.

Do you have a specific place in mind where you would like to GO?  Have you done your homework on the host country’s people, customs, environment, politics? Not every international teaching location is good for every young teacher…or for every seasoned teacher, for that matter! Knowing something about the country you may be going to BEFORE you accept a contract can help you stay out of difficulty. Customs, traditions, religious beliefs, gender or racial issues or biases, economic demographics, attitude towards foreigners, health and safety issues, just to name a few considerations, should be explored BEFORE you sign a contract!

I shake my head when I get a letter from a young teacher that says s/he feels isolated or unwelcome within their community and they want to break contract. Did you check to see what the situation was in that community BEFORE you agreed to sign the contract? How did you check? Did you ask to speak to teachers already there? Did you talk to someone from your embassy? Did you research online? Did you read the ISR reviews of the school you would be going to BEFORE you signed your contract? Better yet, did you try to find a travel partner to go with? I always recommend that new international teachers go in pairs, either with their spouse or with another ‘newbie’. That way there is a built-in support system in the new location to help with the cultural and isolation transition.

There are so many things to consider when choosing International Education as your first choice when moving into your education career after completing university. I encourage you to think things over carefully and if you have questions or comments, just scroll down and post your thoughts. I’ll be keeping an eye on this Blog and will be more than happy to help you with your decision-making!