Sunday, November 08, 2015

A Silent Time During International School Recruiting

Image Credit: silence by Rebecca Barray via Flickr CC

I was going to try to document our recruiting process a bit better, but right now, while I have so much to say, there's nothing I want to say publicly.

There is a long period of waiting as jobs get posted and as we apply... but there's nothing to report, although there are many ups and downs to our days - checking the job postings, finding or not finding positions at schools you want to work at and waiting for replies.

To sum-up our last few weeks, we've felt both anxiety and excitement. We've lost sleep, our (well, mine more than John's) brains are often running in a million directions, we constantly research schools and countries, and we fantasize about many "what-if" scenarios.

We have been lucky enough to have a couple of interviews.  It's still early in the process and this is not necessarily the norm.  However, Skyping to try to sell yourself to a stranger in a 60 minute interview (after a full day of work and getting the kids settled in for the night) is HARD!

In our thoughts and conversations, we have gone from Prague to Bangkok to Johannesburg to Buenos Aires to Vientiane to Luanda to Singapore to Sao Paolo and back again many times.  This is both exciting and exhausting!

We have not been offered any contracts.  It is still early.  Most schools do not have all their "definite" job openings yet. We would like to try to sign contracts before the end of November and we'd really like to not have to attend the job fair in Bangkok in January, but we've made reservations to go there, just in case.

While we feel extremely lucky to be able to move to another country to another amazing school, it is stressful.

There are A LOT of teachers in the international circuit and teachers in their home countries trying to get into the international schools circuit.  Our small school alone gets many applications EVERY day. I can't imagine how many applicants some of the large big-name schools must get for their positions. There are many qualified applicants for the same jobs.

In my opinion, it really comes down to this:

1 - Who you know
 *** Extra perk if they have hiring power ***
Since administrators receive CVs from so many qualified applicants (and really anyone can look good on a CV these days), it is good if the administrator knows you/has worked with you before.  (Or someone who has some serious weight is a close connection to both you and the person hiring.) Beyond how great a teacher you are, schools are looking for teachers/families that fit in well with the culture and need at their school.

2 - The puzzle piece of the jobs that are open for that year at schools
Right now there are 35 positions open for me on SEARCH Associates. I could add another 15 looking at the Middle School English jobs open right now, too.  Now I would easily narrow that down to about 10 schools where we would actually work.  Next, you match up jobs that I want coupled with John's position as a Secondary Librarian....  drum roll please...  we are down to 4 - FOUR - schools!  Now, they are four FANTASTIC schools, that we'd love to work in, but eesh.

For me, the scariest part of this is that you may not be hired, even though you are the best person for the job! If there is another couple that fits better, for example a Physics teacher and a Librarian, because the Physics position is trickier to fill than say a middle school teacher position, then they'll get that Library job, and we.are.out! *sob*

3 - LUCK!

Luck and timing are everything. I realize this is true in all parts of life.

So, we continue to hustle.  We can't catch the fish if we don't put our line in the water.  We are applying, talking to friends all over the world and we continue to wait (and try to be patient).

So the silence for us will continue a bit longer.  We don't know where the cards will fall.  I'm always a little wary of "jinxing" something that seems good and exciting, because you never know.  Last time we recruiting, we made it through the second round of interviews at a school and then didn't get it.

Hopefully we'll have exciting news to share soon, but until then.  I'll try to sleep and keep my excessive email checking to a minimum.

2 comments: said...

Yeah, usually a process of looking for a job is long, exhausting and really disappointing. Without doubts, it needs from you to be lucky!

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