When Recruiting Fairs Give You Lemons

Lemon1241697The window of opportunity for finding an overseas teaching position this recruiting season has just about closed. Unfortunately, some of us who are currently overseas haven’t landed a job for the upcoming academic year. If you’re in this unnerving position and facing a return to your home country potentially jobless, homeless and/or car-less, you’re not alone. Many an experienced overseas educator walked away empty-handed this recruiting season.

Most International Schools require teachers resign their current position well in advance of attending a Recruiting Fair. So what do you do when you resign your international teaching job, fly off to recruit at a Fair or two, and still fail to land a new position? You could try to extend your present contract for the upcoming school year. But chances are your school has already filled your position, and maybe even at the exact same Fair you attended….

One International Educator we spoke with said she and her husband (also a teacher) were forced to return to the States after they failed to find a school with positions for them both and tells us they made their own proverbial lemonade: They rented an apartment (near family) in what they considered a good school district for their two kids, bought a “funky” old car, applied for substitute teaching credentials and simply rode out year. They easily found positions the next recruiting season and have been overseas ever since.

Another teacher reports his unique lemonade recipe: He rented a house near an International School he wanted to teach at and worked there as a substitute teacher. The school, being familiar with his work, hired him for the following year and gave him the foreign-hire status he required.

There ARE creative ways to work around not finding a job at a Recruiting Fair. Have you been in this position? How did you deal with it? Or, are you facing the prospect of finding yourself in this very position? Here’s the place to share your ideas.

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Survey Results: What If You Got a Better Offer?

what-would-you-d0-poll-smallBased on the data from our survey, What If You Got a Better Offer?, it’s safe to say there’s a profound message to be gleaned. We’ll leave that part to you and you’ll get your chance to comment. Here’s the results: 

Scenario #1: You signed a contract at a Fair & later got a “dream” school offer
Results: Of the 1000+ educators who responded to this scenario, 57% said they would break a contract they signed at a Recruiting Fair if their “dream” school later made them an offer. 45% percent of this group said they would wait to have the “dream” school contract in hand before notifying the other school they were breaking contract.

Scenario #2: You verbally accepted a position & later got a “dream” school offer
Results: 873 educators responded to this scenario. 89% of this group said they would accept an offer from their “dream” school even though they had already verbally accepted a position at a Recruiting Fair (contract forthcoming). Of this group, 63.5% said they would wait to have a “dream” school contract in hand before telling the other school they were no longer interested.

Clearly, the majority of survey respondents were ready and willing to do what was most beneficial for them, which was to accept a position at their “dream” school with little or no regard for the school that originally offered them a position. There’s obviously a message here for schools, recruiters and candidates. Based on your overseas experience, what’s your interpretation of this data as it pertains to the changing perspective of international education?

Click here for original survey & teachers’ comments

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Choosing the Right Recruiting Agency and Fair

q-and-aChoosing the right Recruiting Agency and Job Fair can, and will, make all the difference between landing the perfect International teaching job or spending another year stuck in a rut you may deplore. If you’re new to International teacher recruiting, the chances are good that you have questions and/or concerns. You most likely are also looking for someone knowledgeable to ask.

Questions such as the difference between big Recruiting Agencies and how they compare to smaller Agencies, or the best Fair for a newbie, or which Fair to find a specific position (i.e. in Spanish-speaking countries) are inquires ISR receives on a regular basis. Many teachers are also looking for insight into the support they can expect to receive from a recruiter after they plunk down their money.

Choosing the Right Recruiting Agency and Fair is our newest ISR Blog venue, created in response to readers’ requests for a place to ask questions and get answers about Recruiting Agencies, their representatives and their Fairs. Teachers Keeping Each Informed is what ISR is All About! Your participation will be well appreciated by colleagues around the world.

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Note: Do you have a question about your chances of finding a job based on your own very unique qualifications & circumstances? If so, this is not the right Blog for you. Please post such questions to the ISR Forum where the number of responses has been impressive. (Example: “I have two kids, a degree in art & a husband who works from home….” ISR Forum)