How employable is an international teacher with a non-teaching partner?

International teachers and non-teaching partners Search Associates ANZ young girl riding her skateboard in the park We place teachers at all different stages of their personal lives. Teaching couples with children and those without, single teachers, teachers with non-teaching partners, relatively inexperienced teachers, and extremely experienced teachers have all found positions using our services. Schools seek to employ the best teacher for the position.

School recruiters seek great teachers who are a good match for their school. In general, because school families are paying high tuition, schools are looking for bright, skilled, and enthusiastic teachers and administrators who will contribute positively to the school and community. They search for adventurous, independent, and flexible staff who can easily adjust to a new country. They need to be able to focus on the students in their class from day one. It is important to have passion and energy in working with children and to have a mindset for teamwork and continual professional growth.

One of the things that affect the cost of hiring a teacher is their dependents (children and non-teaching partners). Schools usually pay for some (or all) of the dependents’ flights there and back, accommodation, health insurance, tuition, and other benefits. International schools look for this information early in their perusal of a teacher’s profile information. They may factor in the costs of helping relocate either a single teacher or teacher and dependent partner/children.

At Search Associates we often have teachers register with us who have a non-teaching partner, with or without children.

Employment options

International teachers and non-teaching partners Search Associates ANZ woman busily working away on her laptop surrounded by booksPerhaps your non-teaching partner doesn’t have their own job but is hoping to work at the same school. There are a variety of non-teaching positions offered. Or just look up a school online and see the titles of the staff they employ. There are almost as many support staff in some schools as there are teachers!

It is not uncommon for partners of teachers to transfer their experience from the business world into a position at the school. Roles include marketing, operations, finance, or admissions. If the school is in a part of the world where skills are in short supply the skills of the non-teaching partner may improve a teacher’s candidacy.

If there is nothing that suits your partner, at the very least list any skills they have that could be contributed to a school in their spare time eg. volunteering, sports coaching for students, dance, yoga etc. In some of the more remote schools, some teachers and partners offer classes for other faculty as an after-school community activity.

Make this information easy to find!

The best way to present your information is to ask yourself what an employer needs to know. On your profile, there is a box that asks – ‘Other information related to partner or spouse’ on the Personal tab of your profile. Please answer the following-

  • Will your parInternational teachers and non-teaching partners Search Associates ANZ people have diverse skillsetstner be travelling with you? This is not always the case as some couples choose to live apart.
  • Will they be looking for work in a non-teaching role? Or perhaps they are a qualified teacher, who has taken time out to help the family settle in with a view to going back into the classroom at a later stage. Please make note of this!
  • Include a brief summary of your spouse’s name, experience or qualifications. It may not necessarily be in teaching, but a future employer may be keen to see this.
  • Are they looking to volunteer or get involved in the community?

Other important information

It’s also important for a school to know the partner’s nationality in terms of securing a visa to live in the country. Schools will not usually sponsor non-working partners for a work visa. There have been some instances when the dependent spouse can find work within the host country and an employer is willing to sponsor a work permit. Alternatively, some dependent spouses have actually trained to become teachers, too. Obviously, this takes time but often the practical aspect can be accommodated by the school where the spouse works.

Sometimes a school will have difficulties sponsoring a non-teaching partner if you’re not married. To save time, we advise your marital status is mentioned on your profile or your possible plans to marry.

In the case of dependant children please list their ages eg. 12/25/2019, 11/1/2021, only if they will be travelling with you.

The more dependents a teacher has, the more expensive the teacher becomes because of the benefits offered. This is not to say that it is impossible to find an international school position, but it may take longer depending on your subject areas and the needs of the school.

Being a non-working partner can be tough! Schools are looking for partners who can adjust to a new environment and support the teaching partner. Having work of some description and/or hobbies can make this easier. In the excitement of a new adventure in a different country, many people say they will be fine as the dependent spouse, but the reality of a completely different cultural environment can lead to dissatisfaction and a source of tension.

It very much depends on what your personal circumstances are and what you both want to get out of the experience. Do your homework and search out the possibilities before deciding to go.

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