Wednesday, February 6, 2008

International Teaching Jobs

International Teaching Job Fairs can be stressful but they are one of the most efficient ways to land yourself a teaching job abroad.

Find out more about how to successfully land your own teaching job abroad by attending an International Teaching Job Fair here...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Recruiting Timeline for International Teachers and International Schools

This is a report I published in 2006 about the international school recruiting timeline. It's a timeless article with great information for any first-time teacher looking for a teaching job abroad. Download your copy of this two page report now!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Cover Letters for International Teaching Couples

Recently Ilja posted a comment on one of my blogposts asking a question about applying for overseas teaching jobs as a teaching couple. Here's the comment:

Hi Kelly,
Thanks for all your information.
A question about teaching couples: when we send our application in, would you recommend we send TWO separate cover letters, or do we combine it into one letter with two resumes attached?
My husband and I are divided on this one so I am very curious about what you think.(Ps, have downloaded your book, it is great!)

I thought I'd answer this question for everyone...

When you are applying to international schools as a teaching couple you send one cover letter to the recruiter - but you may have several versions of your cover letter prepared ready to send.

Even applying as a single teacher I usually have a couple of cover letters prepared because I like to hedge my bets and apply for any position that looks interesting in either of my teaching subjects.

My recommendation for teaching couples is that you prepare at least two cover letters. One should emphasise the teaching qualifications of one member of the couple, and the other will emphasise the other member's. You may have a third that places equal emphasis on both.

The reality is that you may not find an international school advertising suitable positions for both of you. So you can use your first two cover letters to apply to these schools. You should always apply to these schools because you don't know what kind of internal openings they may have that your partner could be suitable for! Or what may come up later...

If you do come across a school that has suitable vacancies for both of you, you send a cover letter that covers both of you equally.

Sending two cover letters is an invitation to the recruiter to read neither, it is too much like work!

Sending a single cover letter shows that you are a duo who can work together well.

Check out the detailed advice for what to include in your cover letter on pages 48 through 50 of The Complete Guide to Securing a Job at an International School

5 Top Tips for Your Overseas Teaching Contract

Here’s how to make the right choices to protect yourself when signing an employment contract for a teaching job abroad.

* Make sure that you receive a contract which states in writing all the employment conditions and benefits you and the recruiter agreed upon during the interview. Do not accept a verbal assurance because there is no come-back if the recruiter does not deliver. If the contract you receive misses out some part of the conditions and benefits you thought you had agreed upon, send it back to have them added.

* Make sure that you have a copy of your overseas teaching contract that it is signed by both yourself and the school’s representative.

* Keep a copy of your contract handy so that you can refer to the conditions written down whenever you have a question about your rights.

* Talk to people at the international teaching job fair (if you are attending one), to establish the school’s reputation as an employer. While you are checking out the international school’s reputation, check out the administration staff’s reputation too. Sometimes a great school can be destroyed by a bad administrator.

* Find out about employment laws in the school’s host country and how they affect your employment contract. When you sign an overseas teaching contract you are not signing away your rights for the duration of the contract and it is important to remember this. You do not become an indentured servant. Most countries have employment laws covering how many days notice you must give your employer in order to leave legally.

Overseas Teaching Contracts

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Is An Overseas Teacher An Indentured Servant?

You may be holding back form seriously seeking an overseas teaching contract because you are afraid of getting trapped abroad. This rarely happens. When teaching abroad you will be expected to sign an employment contract covering 1-2 years and in return you will receive a plethora of benefits and the unique experiences the come with working abroad. But this does not mean you are powerless to end the contract early if some unexpected catastrophe should occur.

Breaking your contract (leaving the school before the contractual period runs out) should only be done as a last resort because it can seriously hinder your efforts to land another teaching job abroad. The community of international teachers is a very small one and word will spread if you break your contract without a good reason.

Most international school directors are reasonable people who are experienced international teachers and recognise that there are occasionally circumstances that force you to break contract.

Such circumstances may include:

* A critical change in the political situation in the host country which changes the level of safety for foreign workers.

* The health status of a close relative at home or one of your dependents changes and you need to go home.

In these circumstances your best course of action is to approach the school’s director and discuss your options. By approaching the director and negotiating a timeline for your departure you will preserve your reputation as a good employee and receive a good reference. Most likely you will be expected to work out a period of notice in line with the country’s employment laws and you are likely to lose your bonus and repatriation benefits.