Teaching can be demanding and some teachers are leaving their vocation for tutoring or online work. If you are also considering making a change of some sort, you may be interested in learning how to get a job as an international school teacher. Teaching overseas might be just what you need to keep your enthusiasm and joy alive!
Having said that, finding a job as an international school teacher can be a tough process. The right agency can make a world of difference in getting you noticed. Some of the stress of the job hunt can be minimized when you know that you have the best tools and advice at your disposal.
International schools are often inundated with applications for each position. Successful candidates know that patience, persistence, and resilience are key when applying.
What are international schools looking for? Consensus suggests that international schools are searching for someone who:
- Is skilled and experienced in their field, and can hit the ground running. Someone who shares their love of learning, PD, and curriculum knowledge with other staff members.
- Can offer a variety of after-school activities to enhance staff or student learning.
- Has the right personality and attitude to complement the school community and go the extra mile in terms of being fully involved. A team player!
- Has the best interests of children in mind and an enthusiasm for helping each child grow and learn at their own pace.
- Can articulate why they want to work at a particular school. What is it about the school, its curriculum, or its philosophy that is attractive?
- Can adapt to living in that particular location and who can work with staff, students, and families from that culture (and many other cultures).
- Is flexible and able to adapt well to change, with a great sense of humour and a positive outlook that can help lift others.
- Can stay past their first contract and commit to the long-term cohesion of the school.
Search Associates’ founder, John Magagna, summarises the main attributes that schools are seeking out:
“Aside from loving to work with children of all ages, successful international teachers are risk takers, highly adaptable to completely new environments, and highly accepting of the diverse cultural norms and language of the students.
“They are role-models of good citizenship, in addition to possessing an enthusiasm about their subject and an open mindedness to new learning. What sets thriving international educators apart is the spirit of adventure and commitment to student learning.”
How to apply to schools
There are a number of ways to apply to schools, and teachers generally have the option of either applying through an agency or directly through a school’s website. Search Associates takes some of the guesswork out of choosing which schools to apply to. Because their database is so detailed, you know pretty much what to expect from a school in terms of class sizes, benefits, salaries, and just about anything else. Likewise, schools know what to expect from you based on your Search Associates profile, which can lend you credence as an applicant.
I had already invested time and effort into researching international schools and contracts but really had just touched on the tip of the iceberg. Nick is a wealth of information about all the little things that add up and he fills in many of the blanks. Brendan (Search Associates candidate).
We take the guesswork out
Search Associates helps thousands of teachers find jobs as international school teachers each year. At last count, there were over 700 schools registered with Search Associates in 132 countries. Teachers come to Search Associates not because they want a job in just any international school. They want a school that is accredited and thoroughly vetted. All international schools which apply to join Search’s approved list are carefully investigated so that only the best are invited to register.
Search Associates is operated by a worldwide network of experienced international educators and between them, they will be able to answer your questions. Teachers have the advice and backup of an associate to help them navigate through the hiring process. This gives peace of mind when embarking on a journey to becoming an international educator and to make a lifestyle change while staying in the same profession.