Ask the Expert: Meet Caroline

Continuing our series of Ask the Expert posts, we chat with members of the Teacherhorizons team who share their valuable insight into the world of International Teaching. Teacherhorizons staff are often teachers themselves, so they’ve been in your shoes. This week we chat with Caroline, our lead Recruitment Advisor, about her role, inspiration and journey to where she is now. 

fullsizeoutput_432What is your role at TH? 
I currently work as both a Senior Leadership Recruitment Advisor specialising in Executive Search, as well as a Lead Recruitment Advisor working closely with the schools, supporting them in their search for suitable teachers.
 
What does your role at TH involve?
It includes a whole range of things. Taking briefs from schools on roles, writing adverts for the TES, screening CVs, interviewing, reference checking, shortlisting for positions. Another part of my role is advising on available positions, it is such a great feeling when you can support a candidate in discovering a role they were not initially interested in, but who, having spoken to them  you feel would be a good fit. Seeing them decide to progress with the school, interview and get offered and accept the position makes it one of the best parts of the role.
There is plenty more to the role, too. Like staying in contact with schools and supporting them as required in their searches. I also visit schools if time or location allows.
 
How did you end up living where you are now?  Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
fullsizeoutput_aaafI am currently living just outside Amsterdam – where we have been for the last 5 years! I grew up in Kenya and went to an international school, so was always part of a very international environment. I spent a number of years in the UK for university and beyond, before moving to Sydney to set up a division for a recruitment practice, and subsequently back to the UK to re-train to be a teacher. I worked as the Head of Humanities at a school in central London, before spending 3 years in Abu Dhabi, working in the same capacity at Brighton College, and then moving to the Netherlands following my husband’s work. We have been here since & had 3 children, the eldest of whom was born in Abu Dhabi. I have worked for Teacherhorizons for about 3years.
Teacherhorizons was the perfect fit, combining my recruitment and HR background with my experience in schools. I enjoy the flexible nature of the work considering the family and the ability to combine life with work.
What inspires you?
1. Seeing people achieve more than they ever could, both academically (in a school setting) as well as more generally in life. Those who always follow their dreams, overcoming difficulties and being true to their beliefs are an inspiration.
2. I am amazed by people who can pull themselves out of more difficult situations, always finding the positive aspects!
3. Small children and their curiosity. They have ways of seeing the world in a non-judgmental, open-minded and straight forward way. They are truly wonderful!
4. The TH team – everyone is always super motivated, positive and really go the extra mile to help, even when super busy and tired.
What are the 3 key points you would share with candidates looking to start or continue a life abroad?
1. Be open-minded to people, places and opportunities.
2. Try new things – keep busy and take yourself out of your comfort zone.
3. Accept invitations – you never know who you might meet that could really change the experience you will have in your new home.
Could you share an experience of living abroad that has been transformative for you? 
I was living in Sydney (and loving it!) but was querying whether to stay, or whether to
go back to the UK fullsizeoutput_aaa9and re-train to be a teacher. I suppose I knew what my heart was telling me, but as I was content it was easy to be inclined to stay.  I was chatting to a taxi driver one night and he just said ‘it is a no brainer… an opportunity to go to Oxford or stay here… go!’, so that’s what I did!
 
What else do you like to do outside of work?
I love to run. currently averaging about 35 – 40km a week. I also love photography and to travel – always keen on a new adventure although I manage less now than I would like. My children take up most of my time.
 
What is a challenge facing the education sector and what is something that you see as promising in the sector? 
  • Salaries I suppose.
  • Too much paperwork
  • The lack of value that is put on the educational sector in many areas of the world, despite the fact it is one of the most important sectors to work in.
  • It is promising to see new opportunities for teachers to witness the impact of education and working with children globally.
Anything else you wish to share?Zebra 2
Always learn about, adapt to, and respect…
  • The people
  • The culture
  • The History
  • The environment
  • The weather (don’t go for a 10km run in 45-degree celcius!)
 Always remember that there is normally a reason for everything… always question, try to understand, but never judge.

Thanks to Caroline for sharing her journey and the great advice! Do you have any comments or questions for Caroline? Or perhaps want to share your own journey in International Teaching?  Reach out to us at Editor@teacherhorizons.com

Written by Alexandra Plummer

8 Reasons to be an International School Teacher

kyle-glenn-598701-unsplashIt is a fascinating time for international education, as we engage more diversity and build truly global citizens in an increasingly connected and moving world. International teaching is an exciting prospect for blending a respected career alongside a global lifestyle.

Is it really a great time to take to international teaching? We think so, and here is why!

1. Live a global life

International teaching offers a number of opportunities to build a truly global lifestyle. Schools are more focused on what it really means to be a global citizen and you can be a the front and centre of enabling students to learn what this means to them, shaping a future of diverse and curious minds.

These days, most cities in almost every country have an international school, this number continues to grow. You have a lot of choice in a lot of places. You get to experience working abroad with teachers from around the world and teaching a truly international curriculum to pupils from a diverse range of countries.

2. Gain experience in renowned curricula like the International Baccalaureate.

IB is a fantastic prospect to enter into. We have written about IB in some of our past posts and it is certainly not without its challenges but it is a great track to be trained in and provides opportunities all around the world as schools continue to value it as a sought after curriculum.

International schools offer teachers generous training and professional development budgets, so they are great places to grow as a teacher in the area that interests you.

3. Embrace the new face of work

The way we think about work is changing. People are on the move. Entrepreneurship, freelancing and remote work are becoming commonplace. As an international teacher, you get to be at the centre of what this means for the next generation while having the security of a paid salary. You get to experience new cultures and share experiences with others from all over the world doing the same. Living abroad more often than not gives us a comfortable way of life. We don’t have to skimp and save in quite the same ways, and even if the monetary return doesn’t seem as great as “back home”, the lifestyle perks often exceed it.

4. Stay connected to loved ones

It has never been easier to travel than it is right now. There are cheap flights available from multiple airlines going all over the world, meaning not only adventure at your fingertips but also the ability to connect with loved ones more easily. No doubt your friends and family will be lined up to book the next flight to your new, exciting destination.

The technology, of course, plays a massive part in how we can stay connected now with Facetime, WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype etc used by almost everyone.

5. Gain new experiences

Moving abroad can be an extremely liberating experience. It’s exciting finding a new house, exploring the local market, making new friends, practising a new language and getting a much deeper insight into a new culture and way of life. And it is easier than before. There are so many resources and support for moving, like Expat Pages and teacher forums that you can start a new life without feeling isolated.

6. Value on return

If you do decide to return home and continue your career there, your time abroad will be valued highly.   Most schools appreciate the value of teachers who have gained experience abroad. Many schools are introducing curricula such as the International Baccalaureate themselves, making teachers with international experience an ever more sought after resource.

7. Adventure

If you’ve lived abroad before, you will appreciate how it offers a far greater insight into a country than a holiday or backpacking can. Living abroad also offers fantastic travel opportunities. Weekends can be spent exploring coastlines or mountain villages whilst long school holidays free you up to get to know an entirely new continent!

8. An easy process

Last but not least, it has never been so easy to get the process of finding a job started. At Teacherhorizons we offer much more detail to help you find the right school for you. Best of all, it’s completely FREE for teachers. Find out more about us here. 

 

Did you make the leap to becoming an international school teacher?  Share you story with us at: editor@teacherhorizons.com

 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

3 Mindfulness Activities for the Classroom

Forget lines or standing outside the principal’s office, detention has started to look a little different for a school in the US using meditation and mindfulness as an alternative to detention. You can read the full article here if you didn’t catch our recent Facebook post.

You don’t need to adopt a whole new program to reap some benefits of the mindful movement sweeping across the world. This week we give you some tips you can use for incorporating some mindful practices into the classroom. These can be used for students, for yourself before class or even at your next teacher’s meeting.

 

Mindfulness and meditation are no longer restricted to practising Buddhists or hippies out in a forest. In fact, Mindfulness is part of a growing industry worth millions. It is used in workplaces to boost productivity and morale and reduce societal stress. It is now used across all sectors in an attempt to combat rising stress levels and mental health issues.  With its mainstream adoption it is no wonder it has spilt over into the education sector, and with research proving ultimate health and wellbeing benefits, why would it not?  

But as with trends and buzzwords, we start to see it so much that we might wonder: what does Mindfulness even mean?

According to Harvard, it is “a quality of alert, open awareness. In contrast to a multitasking mind, mindfulness is a state of mind that has the ability to pay attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment.”  
Here are some simple activities to work towards that present moment feeling. If the idea of getting a group of students sitting cross-legged in silence seems impossible, these are good starting activities. Mindfulness doesn’t have to mean siting in meditation for a 50minute class! Without having to use the jargon, activities that allow students to focus and shift perspectives can be a good start.
Activity 1: Mindful Eating

I have done this with raisins or mandarin oranges—but some use chocolate, too. Whatever works. First, get the group to hold the item in their fingers bringing the attention to it. Start to observe it carefully, guiding the students to bring their full attention:

How does it look? (Shapes, colours, texture)

How does it feel? (Close your eyes for extra support in feeling the texture and size etc.)

Lift it up to your nose, how does it smell?

Bring awareness to sensations in the body.

How does it taste? (don’t chew immediately, but explore and notice)

Notice how your body as a whole is feeling after completing this exercise. Encourage feedback.

jyotirmoy-gupta-bpz9WOYalWk-unsplash Activity  2: Triangle Breathe

Did you know that many of us only breathe from our chest up?  Deep breathing can help calm the nervous system. Get students to sit in a comfortable sitting position, any which allows the spine to be nice and long. Start simply with practising inhaling into the belly through the nose, noticing the belly rise and chest expand. Having a hand placed on your belly can usefulful to focus. Pause. Then exhale as the belly pulls in towards the spine and the shoulders relax. Encourage students to continue in their own breathe pace. Once this feels more natural you can introduce Triangle Breathe. This is the same as before but you add a count of 4 on the inhale, hold your breathe for 4, and then exhale for 4. Repeat.

Activity 3: Body Scan

Start by bringing the awareness to the body in a game of shaking each body part, make it fun-dance around and shake it all out! Then ask the students to lie down and bring attention to their body on the floor. Ask them to close their eyes, it might take a while to get them from giggling, but start to guide them through. First, get them to take some breathes like in the previous activity but notice the difference when lying down. As they inhale ask them to notice the tensing of the body parts and on the exhale notice more relaxation. Guide them to notice their feet on the floor, the sensations of the air around and the heat/ temperature. Notice the weight, where feels heavy or light. Guide them through each part of the body until each part has made up the whole. Get them to lie here a while and then when you’re ready, you can ask them to open their eyes. You can find body scan guides online, too so that can help you guide the students.

Extra tip:  Start with your own practice before teaching mindfulness in the classroom even if it is just 5mins of silence at the start of your day or your own.

Have you implemented any mindful practices in your classroom?  Tell us about it!  Let us know if you try any of these activities out at editor@teacherhorizons.com

Written by Alexandra Plummer

4 tips for finding a teaching job over 60

The age-old question around teaching opportunities over 60 continues to ring through to our advisors at Teacherhorizons. What better way to navigate these murky waters than a blog about it?

This blog is a starting point for those considering teaching abroad over 60 but unsure of their options.

 

kenny-luo-vMtd0SC79ts-unsplash
Teaching abroad may be commonly seen as something that young people do, but there are many reasons why teachers in the later stages of their career might want to head overseas. However, the options for finding an international school job start to narrow once you’re approaching your 60s. The good news is, getting the job is certainly not impossible if you’re prepared to be a little flexible. Read on for our pro tips!

Pro tip 1: Know your visa and country limitations

Eligibility for a visa is the main hurdle for people getting teaching jobs overseas. If you have the experience and skill set then age shouldn’t be an issue. The issue, however, lies in visa restrictions for specific countries for people over 60.  This is a good resource.

Unfortunately, a lot of non-English speaking countries have restrictions on age limit. Europe, Africa and Latin America seem to be less concerned about age whilst it is tricky for older teachers in Asia. Our advisors at Teacherhorizons have experienced first-hand that countries within Africa are most likely to hire teachers over 60 and countries in Asia, the least.

We recently wrote about reasons why you may not be landing that teaching job, have a look if you are curious, here.

Pro tip 2: Own your experience

Those with years of international teaching experience in their life are often open-minded and dynamic-with an ability for taking on innovative ideas in the classroom.  We can break free from this idea that older teachers are going to be more rigid in their style and tradition. So use this to your advantage by demonstrating your dynamism through your CV and interview. Getting tech savvy will also help reassure the school that you are not stuck in the past.

Pro tip 3: Be flexible

As the visa restrictions may rule out some of your first options don’t rule out the opportunities completely.  You may just need to be a bit more flexible about location. If you are already in a specific country you can go and visit a school of interest directly and get to know them, this way they can see your aptitude without the pre-judgement of age.

If you are unable to find a job in an international school in your subject, you could look at ESL teaching as an option as they are likely to be more open. In some parts of Asia, universities and public institutions tend to be more flexible on age than private ones. The age for school administrators in China is also older, so that could be another option.

There are also online options where you could teach through an online platform from anywhere. It is likely the same restrictions to age will not apply and you get to bypass the visa conundrum.

Pro tip 4: Weigh the pros and cons but highlight the pros!

Be realistic. Finding a job over 60 is no walk in the park, but with age comes experience so use this to your advantage. Highlight the wide variety of schools you have worked with, your experience with examinations, best practice, advice on careers. etc.  You can work to destroy the myths around concerns in relation to age. For example, schools sometimes assume that the use of technology in the classroom or being unable to adapt are commonplace, so set about proving them wrong. Get savvy with your application and give concrete examples on your innovative and adaptable ways. It is also worth showing how you respect and fit into the culture. Focus on your excellent subject knowledge and your rapport with students, parents and colleagues.

firdaus-roslan-BJVp39S3TrA-unsplashTo sum up: If you’re in your mid-50s or older, you have the best chance of finding an international school job in Latin America, Europe or Africa. Asia will be a bit harder but be flexible and look at the alternatives!

Demonstrate you are tech savvy with a great up-to-date CV, and covering letter, brush up your Skype interview skills and be prepared to sell your strengths and wealth of experience.

Written by Alexandra Plummer

School Visits in South Africa

 We continue to share our valuable school visits in this week’s blog. Our team at Teacherhorizons have a thorough understanding of what makes a school desirable from a teacher’s perspective. We travel to our schools and check in with the quality and environment of the place often so that we can share this wealth of information with you. We know how useful it is for teachers in making a decision about whether they would like to work there.

Jo has recently been visiting a couple of schools in South Africa and has kindly shared her experiences with us.

 

School name:  International School of Cape Town
Country and city: Cape Town, South Africa
Curriculum/s: British
Who visited?: Jo

 

 

 

You can look back on some of our past school visits here.

How did you get to the school? 

Flew from Papua New Guinea to Cape Town, had a night’s rest out near Hermanus, and drove 2 hours to get to the school through beautiful, mountainous, coastal scenery!

20190617_121106 - Joanna de Beer-2Where is it located? How big was the school? What were the buildings and facilities like? 

Beautiful Cape Dutch style buildings (since 1949). The school is nestled in the foothills of Table Mountain in an affluent and country suburb of Cape Town. It is a new ECD site with a warm atmosphere.

Did you speak to any staff members? If so, how were they finding it? 
I only spoke with the Principal.
What was the best thing about the school in your opinion?

The setting and location are really great. Additionally, the principal is very friendly. As there are just 510 students, it has a homely and close-knit community feel.                                                                                    

 School name: International School of Helderberg20190618_114853 - Joanna de Beer
Country and city: Cape Town, South Africa
Curriculum/s: British
Who visited?: Jo
How did you get to the school? Where is it located?
A one-hour scenic drive through the stunning wine lands of Cape Town. The school is located in a gated community complex in the affluent suburb of Somerset West.
How big was the school? What were the buildings and facilities like?
The school has been operating for over 20 years but they have continued to upgrade and it is well resourced. They are in the process of selling a plot of land which they were originally going to relocate to, and instead, they will stay in the same location and use the money for a big upgrade.
Did you speak to any staff members? If so, how were they finding it?
The Admin lady, Briggette, gave me a tour of the school. Both her and the principal, Andre, were incredibly warm and accommodating. I enjoyed speaking with them both. Briggette gave me lots of tourism tips for the area, too! A student from Germany who had been on an exchange program with the school for a year came in to say goodbye to the principal. There were lots of hugs and shaking hands and the students spoke very highly of his experiences with the school.
20190618_115036 - Joanna de BeerWhat was the best thing about the school in your opinion?
The warm and friendly demeanour of the principal and the school’s location.
Were there any downsides that teachers should be aware of?
They feel they are best suited to those with the right to live and work in South Africa, preferably those with Cambridge curriculum experience.

Have a read of our Happy Teacher Archives, for more happy teachers in Europe and other locations.

We have over 2000 schools in over 160 countries, so it might take us a while to get around them all, but we endeavour to! We visit new schools every month, so keep an eye out for more blogs like this one in the future.

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Are first impressions everything?

First impressions might not be everything but they certainly set the bar. The saying goes that 80% of a decision is mostly made within 5minutes of meeting. Both parties will have a set of preconceptions from the lead up to the interview itself, which is why it is crucial to not risk all the hard work in the lead up due to unnecessary mishaps.

A couple of weeks back we chatted about the all-important Skype interview. This included tips and tricks to make sure the screen isn’t going to get in the way of you and your next dream job.  This week we are talking about first impressions! The thing about first impressions is that it goes beyond what you say it is how you show up and how you make the other person feel.

We have got you covered with 3 simple check-ins to ensure you are prepared to make those first impressions really count.

william-iven-19843-unsplashThe precursor

So what is happening before the interview?  The interviewer is thinking about a multitude of factors – if the candidate can deliver in the classroom, if values match, flexibility, how they would represent the school, interact with teachers and an entire story based from your CV data! They want to assess how you match these requisites so behaviour that goes against any of there preconceptions in a negative way can influence the situation negatively.  So what to do about it?

Preparation is key. These are the three most crucial first impression factors to consider. Let us know if you have any of your own!

Be on time.

brooke-lark-194253-unsplashPerhaps the biggest of all fail-safe preps is just to be on time. Actually, not just on time, but early.  Picture this, the interviewer finished up a little early with the person before you, they glance outside to call the next interviewee. That is you, but you are not there. First impressions are starting on a negative. If it is something beyond your control make sure you call and explain or leave a polite message to salvage any pre-damage.

Be well presented.

So, you have reached the interview on time; fully prepared, but with an unironed shirt or dress.   The interviewer is trying to picture you as a future colleague, and if you are scruffy they will imagine that is how you will present yourself in front of parents, board members, at conferences etc. It seems like a simple request, but turn up smart, clean and organized.

Be Authentic.

ian-schneider-66374-unsplashThe advice ‘be relaxed’ is easier said than done, but it is useful to try to do something about controlling your nerves without being too laid back to give the impression of indifference. If you are nervous, it is ok. It shows you are human. It is better to acknowledge the nerves than put on a complete show-they will see through it instantly. If you try to put on a show for the interview, you may be a great actor and get away with it and be offered the job, but it could end badly and you will end up delivering something different from what was promised at the interview, stressing out both parties.

Do you have any stories about first impressions? Any interviews that have gone wrong? Ones that have gone well? Reach out to us at editor@teacherhorizons.com

 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Getting IB experience – a Catch 22?

This week we are lucky to hear from a guest writer, Jane Barnett, who gives us the low- down on all things International Baccalaureate (IB) related. Teaching and training in IB are sought after by schools and teachers. This week’s blog is incredibly useful for those wanting to get advice and better acquainted with all things IB-acronyms included!

image2Jane is an IB superstar, celebrating  21years of teaching the IB diploma this summer. Talk about an accomplishment: “I might even bake a cake to celebrate!” she states. Jane started out as a British trained teacher in Key stages, GCSEs and A Levels. Now in addition to the IBDP she teaches a careers related programme and examines Visual Arts, amongst others from TOK, MYP and PYP (it’s all acronyms in this world).  “The way I see it, I got lucky” she claims, but Jane is being modest as clearly, this path has been full of hard work and dedication. Read on to hear her journey and advice…

Where it all began…

My first overseas posting was a brilliant one, at a growing and now very reputable British International School in Bangkok, who deliver a fundamentally British secondary school curriculum with IGCSEs, but topped off with the IBDP in the senior years. After a year of teaching there, they decided they could let me loose on their post-16s, sent me on an IBDP workshop to Singapore and I never looked back. Of course, I’m a very different teacher now from the one I was 21 years ago – there’d be something really wrong if I wasn’t! I’m not saying that’s all down to the IBO, of course not, however it has played a significant role in my pedagogy, practice and development as an educator. I’m not saying it’s perfect either but then nothing ever is. There’s no denying the continual rise of the IBO in the last few decades though; that it’s these programmes that many growing international schools aspire to deliver as well as seek educators with experience of.

So, how do you get that experience today, when so many ads pointedly ask that you already have it?

image1

I became more aware of this dilemma a year ago when an ex-student of mine (not from an IB school) who is teaching in Asia asked me. She’s done things the hard way – took the jobs, then did an online PGCE and was then trying to get into an IB school. She’d baulked at the cost of self-funding even an online IBDP Category 1 Biology workshop, and confused by all the terminology and acronyms was feeling looped out

I still have the message I wrote to her with the following advice:

you can either do like me and get to a school which offers all or part of the IB programme, then at least you’re in the right environment to learn more until the opportunity presents itself, or alternatively self-learn and network like crazy!

I put her in touch with a friend of mine, now retired, who taught and examined DP Biology for years and who is a workshop leader and accrediting visitor for the CP. We also talked about the DP programme structure, I threw the Learner Profile and ATLs at her, got her familiar and helped her to decide whether all this really did match her personal pedagogy. I encouraged her to get involved in whatever her current school did with other schools in the region. For example, her partner (another ex-student of mine – you’ve got to love international kids for sticking together) was already involved in MUN and had opportunities to network with teachers in IB schools. I told her to try to arrange a visit to an IB school in her city, tutor an IBDP Biology student, also to look into joining Biology teaching forums online and locally. My friend shared and discussed the DP Biology handbook with her too, keeping her informed for when that opportunity does arise. I like to think the mentoring will help. I’ve recently heard that she’s moving on, not yet to an IB School (the teaching couple mix didn’t work this time) but to one that does offer A levels, and is certainly better connected geographically with many schools offering the IB nearby. She’s also enrolled in an online Masters after a friend of her’s landed an MYP Coordinator role with her MA.

Much like grammar, there are always exceptions to the rules

logan-isbell-672551-unsplashThere is, of course, also always the exception to the catch 22 scenario – those schools who for whatever reason, want someone without the experience. Earlier this year, I saw a job at a school in one of my favourite cities, one of the places I could see myself living long-term, despite harsh winters. They are launching the IBDP in 2020, perfect I thought. Only they actively wanted to hire someone without IB experience, and I read into this, somebody younger. Anyway, I’ve noticed this a few times since, schools who really would love to hire someone, usually with experience post-16, could be A levels or AP, but not necessarily IBDP. Some schools want everyone to grow together, admin and teachers alike. Experience is not always everything, but in the case of the IB, I think mindset probably is, along with a little perseverance.

We have more articles on gaining IB experience, either search for IB using the blog search function or get started with this article .

Do you have your own IB story to tell? We would love to hear from you!

Thanks, Jane, for the insightful information and advice.  If you want to know further or are unsure of some of the acronyms used, please reach out to us at editor@teacherhorizons.com

 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Business from the waist up! How to ace that Skype interview

 

sebastian-herrmann-1431244-unsplashThe majority of Teacherhorizons jobs have been secured via a Skype interview. Schools around the world adopt Skype or some form of video conferencing as their interview mode of choice, therefore knowing how to navigate it is crucial to securing that job.

That Skype ring tone doesn’t need to conjure up dreaded memories for you. With these tips, you can ensure that your confidence radiates across time zones. Read our Skype interview tips below to get the best chance of leaving a good impression on the interviewer.

Gone are days of hefty flight costs and unnecessary admin duties in flying out potential candidates. Schools have figured out that a video call can yield a good understanding of a candidates potential at the fraction of a cost. While nothing can substitute standing face-to-face, Skype interviews are now treated with the exact same level of importance.  Skype interviews still require the same level of planning and competence expected in a regular interview.

Check your time zones, and then check them again! Bearing in mind any daylight savings that have occurred, too. This might seem a bit of a no-brainer but if you don’t get this part right, there is no Skype interview going ahead. Additionally, make sure the email lead up has been well communicated and you are both on the same page.

 

You can never be too prepared. Have you even looked at the school profile on Teacherhorizons? Just like in a face-to-face interview, make sure you have fully researched them, from the staff to the curriculum they teach being well versed in their world will keep you in the game. Knowing some quick statistics or highlights about the school that set them apart, is also a good way to show you know why you want to teach there. 

Take a look at some of our other articles around job hunting here. 

Make sure you look professional  – at least from the waist up. And if you do desire to be clad in just your underwear below, just don’t stand up!  Adopt the same professionalism as you would for a  face to face interview even if you are literally sitting in your bedroom it should create the illusion that you are in the office with them.

Be Calm. Technological issues might happen but freaking out about them only makes it worse. All you can do is be as prepared as possible to reduce the likelihood. Test your equipment by making a test call beforehand.  Call a friend or family member prior so they can point out any errors, or at least check that you don’t have something embarrassing making an appearance in the background.

Read some tips for testing Skype here.

icons8-team-1221956-unsplashLights, Camera, Action.  Have you checked your wifi? Is it secure and working well? A good connection is important, it will help you and the interviewer to connect, especially if you can see each other properly.  Ideally, have the camera on your computer pointing at you so that you can see your face clearly and top of your shoulders.  Don’t look at the screen, you need to ensure you have eye contact wither your interviewer.

Politeness. It doesn’t matter how many timezones apart you are, politeness and courtesy travel. Make sure you are respectful of their time, are online at least 5mins prior to the alloted time and have already shared your Skype ID. Have a smile at the ready, take some deep breathes and sit nice and tall.

Follow-up. Next steps function in the same way as face-to-face interviews, too. You can ask them while still connected what the next steps are and when you expect to hear from them. That way you can chase them up if you don’t hear from them by that date.  Following up with the school after the interview is also a good idea, just a quick note to confirm your interest will keep you in their mind.

And last, but most certainly not least, be yourself! Allow your personality to shine through, demonstrate your skills, show you have done your research and ask questions. Treat a Skype interview as you would a face-to-face interview and it will certainly help you in securing a great job teaching in an international school.

Have you got any stories or advice about Skype interviews that you want to share with us? reach out to me at editor@teacherhorizons.com

Written by Alexandra Plummer

How to write for Teacherhorizons

Have you been reading our blogs? Do you find it useful seeing blogs written by fellow teachers around the world? As we are a community of international teachers all over the world, the perspectives of teachers themselves are paramount to Teacherhorizons. We want you to read the information that is real, up-to-date and from the source. Therefore, we love having blog contributions from you!kyle-glenn-598701-unsplash

The great news is that many people tell us that they want to write a blog. However, sometimes people are unsure how to go about it. In this post we have you covered and on the way to being our next guest writer!

Not sure what to write about? Stuck for time?Worried about your writing style?

If any of these stand out as concerns for you we have an easy way! You can fill in this direct form of questions and we will do the rest. It’s true that it can be intimidating to look at a blank page, and that’s why we’ve come up with an easy and efficient way.

Here is a recent teacher blog using the form method

Perhaps the concerns above don’t relate to you, and you really want to share your talent of writing in your andrew-neel-308138-unsplashown way. That’s encouraged, too.  If you are not sure if your content is relevant, or you can’t choose a particular topic go ahead and reach out to us, we are a judgement free zone.

Tips to write for us:

  1. Be confident. Send us an idea you have and we will support you bringing it to life.
  2. Don’t be concerned about the theme or the style we are open to sharing a range of them.
  3. Remember what you have to share is probably more helpful to others than you think!
  4. Don’t hesitate or put it off just email us at editor@teacherhorizons.com

Get inspired by looking at some of our past posts, here and here. We are excited to hear from you soon. Happy writing!

 

 

 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

5 Reasons you are not landing that teaching job…

and what to do about it. There is no doubt the overseas teaching market is competitive, but have you ever thought about what could be preventing you from setting sail? This week we cover 5 common reasons why you are not be getting a look in and tips to overcoming them.

1. Your cover letter

monika-kozub-1284133-unsplashAre you sending out a generic covering letter to the school? You have 50-300 words to use in your covering
email on an application so make sure they count. This is an opportunity to make a connection between you and the school. Read up on the school and think about how your
experiences, qualifications and beliefs fit with the school’s requirements and vision. Make sure you are applying to schools that you have the qualifications for and that you clearly emphasise them.

2. Gaps in your application

ben-white-998822-unsplashThis is more important than you may think. Often schools will not give your application a second glance if there are gaps missing between your teaching gigs. Even if you have spaces between jobs you must make sure these are accounted for. In fact, the extracurricular activities or that time you spent volunteering or honing a new skill is especially useful in creating a good character reference of yourself and highlighting your passions and purpose.

 

So you made the interview but now you must get equipped with the right questions to ask. Read this post, here.

3. Limited experience
jordan-rowland-1127671-unsplashCertain countries require at least 3-5 years teaching experience so you won’t make the cut if you haven’t got this yet. Countries in the Middle East and Asia, such as those in the UAE and Indonesia or China require more teaching years than others like South Korea. so apply for jobs that are in line with the experience you have and work your way up
4. Irrelevant curriculum
If the school is requiring IB experience and you don’t have it you will just be wasting time for both parties. Do your research to find out what curriculum the school is using. Is it a UK, US or IB school and how does your experience match up? Naturally, the schools will want teachers who are familiar with their system.  Building your way up and taking some positions as a stepping stone in your career is a good attitude to have. First, you can work on gaining experience in the curriculum you want, maybe in a place less desirable  than your dream location and over time you can start to put together all the pieces and be hired in the perfect place, in that popular school teaching the curriculum you know and love–but it won’t happen overnight. Remain strategic.

 

Interested in how to gain IB experience? Find out more here

yousef-alfuhigi-357033-unsplash5. Age

This can be an incredibly frustrating scenario—you have years of experience and feel like you could offer a lot
to the school but they have age restrictions in place. Or even more frustrating, you already complete the application only to find out afterwards this is the reason. Many countries in Asia and the Middle East keep age limitations for over 60 which are often in connection with the visa, so it is hard to budge. The best thing to do in this case is to look beyond these places and explore more liberal options in Africa and Europe. Furthermore, do the research and ask beforehand about the age limit so that you don’t waste your time on the lengthy application process.

Have you had experience with any other factors preventing you from a job? Let us know your stories at editor@teacherhorizons.com

 

 

 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer