Tuesday, September 29, 2015

So What DO we want?

Image Credit: www.meets.com

Searching for the perfect school and finding the perfect match is tricky.  We have decided this is our year to recruit... there is no going back. We have put our notice in.  But, now we are at the mercy of what positions open up at schools that we want to work at.  John and I have pretty specialized jobs, so that right there narrows down our opportunities.

There are so many factors that go into choosing the right place.  These are our thoughts...

First and for most, we want to be safe, happy and we want our kids to flourish.
No place is perfect.  BUT, there are a lot of great places out there that we would be very happy moving to.  When positions pop up, it's definitely a conversation of positions, school and country.

If we were going to make a criteria of what we are looking for kind of in order, this is what it look like:

1. Bigger school (like 850-1500 Pre-K - 12)
2. Strong, established school with vibrant curriculum and programs
3. Library position for John
4. Safe country
5. Interesting city/country
6. Warm climate

Extra perks:

  • Being able to communicate better (either a language we already speak =: English or Spanish OR I language easier to learn than Japanese, preferably with a phonetic writing system).
  • Cool living space with a bit more room.  Extras:  an outdoor area, grill, pool?

We have been talking about moving a lot with the kids, so they aren't freaked out about it.  Luckily they have seen a lot of friends come and go, so it isn't as foreign as it would have been to me as a child.  When we asking them things about moving, some really funny conversations come up.  This is what the kids want in our next home:

Maximo's Wishes
1. Two bathrooms in our home
2. To be near a beach
3. A pet

Lola's Wishes
1. To move to Legoland
2. A pet

Part 1 of Our Process of Recruiting as International Teachers

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Recruiting Season as an International School Teacher

Photo Credit: Travel by Moyan Brenn via FlickrCC

Most of our family and close friends know that we are leaving Japan at the end of the school year. This is our seventh year at Canadian Academy and it's been a good run:
Our family of babies has transformed into a family of funny, independent elementary schoolers...

John and I both changed our jobs within teaching with more courses, certifications and determination.

We have enjoyed our time in Japan... but it is time.

We got into international teaching to travel and see the world as we got to work at some of the best schools in the world. We are ready for new adventures, new jobs, a new culture, a new home.

The international recruiting thing is quite a process.  Let me share our past few months with you... and where we are now.

First, it takes a LONG time to revise a resume, get recommendations, writing a bio and/or education philosophy statement. It's really hard to sell yourself on one piece of paper for one database. This is what John and I both worked on over the summer.

Next, we paid for SEARCH Associates to represent us in our recruiting and add us to their database. We also signed up for the Bangkok job fair in January, but we hope that we will already have a job by January and not have to go. *fingers crossed*

Third, we contacted administrators that we know and want to work with again and are at schools that we want to work at. We have some criteria and have narrowed down our "top" schools... I'll share that in another post.

And now, we wait.

The crazy thing about recruiting as an international teacher is you pretty much have to give up your job to get a new one.  We have sent in our resignation letters for June 2016! [I still feel like this is so crazy] It actually felt really REAL when we saw our own jobs posted on the database... there's no turning back now.

Every morning we get an email from the database of new jobs posted that day and the database allows us to search schools and jobs.  It also allows us to see the profile/packages of the schools which varies immensely.  Most schools have early decisions bonuses in October, so more will be posted then, but many schools have to receive contracts by December, so that is more the definite date.  This date is even later in Europe.

So now, we dream ...  We are enjoying the daily job notifications over our morning coffee.  John and I have gotten really specialized over the past few years (Librarian and Tech Coordinator/Coach), so it's tricky to find a perfect match.

But even with this, our conversations have ebbed from Africa to South America to Asia to Europe... It's fun to imagine ourselves somewhere new next year. It's fun to research more about the school and living in that country. Hopefully we'll have a contract in the next two months. For now, it's fun to dream and think about how lucky we are to have the opportunity to be somewhere else in the world in 10 months.  But for now we wait...
Image Credit: Travel Journal by Kasaa via FlickrCC