You can still find your dream teaching job during Covid-19

We are in challenging times. Some of you reading this are transitioning to remote teaching, while some of you are between jobs or thinking about your next job. When will it start? what will it be? Is it what I really want? This time can bring up anxiety about when and where your next position will be but it also offers some time to reflect on what you really want and enables you to gear all your resources towards creating that.

ali-yahya-y_0o9DeorYQ-unsplash5 steps to your dream international teaching job

Below are 5 steps you can take, all from the comfort of your home, to ensure your next job application really stands out. Use this time to your advantage. This week we have drawn on the expertise of our Operations Manager, Emily who sees many CVs and knows the job hunting process very well. We also share some valuable articles we have written on the job hunting process.

1.Update your international teacher CV

Oftentimes this is on our to do list but it falls to the wayside, usually under the category of being too busy. But now might just be the perfect time to revisit and update your CV.

Our operations manager, Emily who sees her fair share of CVs on a daily basis has the following advice for you:

‘If you find yourself with some free time on your hands and you are keen to secure an international teaching role soon then it’s worth investing some good time into your CV. As someone that looks at CVs on a daily basis there is nothing better than finding a CV that is clearly laid out, simple and not too wordy. Put yourself in the shoes of a Headteacher and imagine receiving a (digital) pile of CVs, what makes your CV stand out from everyone else in that pile? This doesn’t necessarily mean fancy designs or colours as this can sometimes make the CV more difficult to read” 

So keep in mind, simplicity, clarity and imagine the head-teacher. Thanks, Emily. To delve further into this, you can also look back to a great past post of ours by co-founder of Teacherhorizons, Alexis Toye, where he shares some essential hints and tips to help breathe new life into your CV and get you noticed by international schools.

We also have a CV template you can use to start working on your cv or resume straight away!

2. Hone your virtual interview skills for your next international teaching job

cytonn-photography-n95VMLxqM2I-unsplashIf you invest good time in your CV there is a high chance of receiving an interview so you better refine your interview skills, too. Mostly, in the international school world there is already a high chance that interviews are online, but given the current situation you can now pretty much guarantee that you will be conversing with a potential employer, virtually. Luckily, as we work remotely and are familiar with using online processes we have written about how to do well in a Skype interview, before. It’s likely that interviews over Skype or Zoom will be the new normal so make sure you stand out and have the skills in place to wow your potential employee even if it’s over a screen.

3. Research your dream international teaching job

While your CV and Interview skills are paramount, having something unique to share is pretty crucial! You might find yourself with sometime to reflect on what skills you want to develop. Are there some gaps in your cv or resume that you think could be complemented by an online course? Now’s a great time to look into professional development.

4. Develop your international teaching skills according to your goals

green-chameleon-s9CC2SKySJM-unsplashDo you want to boost your chances of securing an international teaching role in your dream location or school? How about using your spare time to take extra courses or to expand your knowledge. Think about your current practices and your specialism, are you progressive in what you offer? Are there some elements that might be a bit outdated? Emily has the following guidance:

“It’s worth also thinking about your specialism and current practises. Say you are an SEN teacher, are you up to date with the current guidelines and special educational need practises? Now is the perfect time to brush up your knowledge so that you can impress that dream school in your next interview.”

Perhaps you have been thinking of taking the leap from a UK curriculum to teaching IB? You could use this time to research what is included in this transition. Stay tuned with us too, as we have a post lined up dedicated to moving into IB teaching with teacher testimonials. In the meantime you can hop on over to our past article written by Alexis, teacherhorizons co-founder, and former IB school teacher where he explains the IB learner profile.

Safeguarding in international schools

Safeguarding and child protection is extremely important to us at Teacherhorizons. We build trusting relationships with new schools constantly, and of course schools and teachers want to feel secure that there are measures in place to ensure the effective safeguarding of children. All Teacherhorizons Advisers have completed safeguarding and safer recruitment practises from Educare (https://www.educare.co.uk/).

As Emily states:  In education in general, as well as international education, safeguarding is of integral importance so it could be worthwhile completing a course on child protection and safeguarding practises.

While you are at it, you can also familiarise yourself with the safeguarding policies we have in place.

5. Update your linkedIn to find your next international teaching job

We all know by now that “who you know” plays a significant part in professional growth and employment. LinkedIn is a great place to grow your network and communicate with others in the international teaching community.  While you are at it, you can also follow Teacherhorizons on linked in!  LinkedIn provides service to both those looking for jobs and for recruiters, as well as a place to read and share articles or find that professional development course you are looking for. There are many tools on their useful to teachers and there is space for this to be a whole other blog post but in this transition time and to support your job application we suggest:

Update your profile 

On LinkedIn there is an option to fill out your profile message. If you are currently searching for a job this is a good space to show yourself, tell the world what you are looking for in a short summary. You can make yourself visible to employers.

Follow relevant people 
Get connecting to your networks. It might be sometimes since you have added in your colleagues or followed some schools. Building your network of people will bring you more chances of finding international teaching opportunities.

Let us support you in the journey towards your dream job, Sign up to Teacherhorizons now! 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

FAQs asked by international teachers about Covid-19

FAQs asked by international teachers about Covid-19 + some insights from our CEO. 

thisisengineering-raeng-h6gCRTCxM7o-unsplashIt’s not surprising that in a time of great uncertainty comes a myriad of questions. This blog post shares some common questions being asked among the international teaching community right now and our CEO, Alex, has some answers to put your mind at rest during this difficult time. 

It is crucial to acknowledge that while Alex has answered these questions best he can on behalf of Teacherhorizons, it is a time of constant change with a lot of unknowns and situations vary from country to country. These answers are from our perspective. We hope they can offer some guidance and solace to all teachers at this challenging time. 

1. As global educators, what is crucial to remember in the time of Covid-19?

Perspective. With all the media frenzy going on at the moment, it’s important to keep perspective. Whilst most teachers will not have had to deal with this sort of situation before, we are trained and well equipped to think on our feet and to be creative in thinking of alternative ways of teaching. As this is now a global issue, it’s our duty, as international educators, to be good role models – wherever we are in the world.  

2. What words of encouragement do you have right now for the international teaching community? 

Whilst times are challenging and there will be a significant impact on the economy, we are fortunate that the education system is robust. Parents will always prioritise their kids’ education above any luxuries. So, while we should prepare for some turbulence we should also appreciate that our work will continue. We can do our work remotely in the meantime and the majority of the sector will remain strong in the face of this economic shift. 

3. Will it still be possible to teach internationally this year and are international schools still recruiting?

ian-schneider-TamMbr4okv4-unsplashYes, this is likely. Of course, this depends on the country and their current situation. It is possible that there will be some initial remote working, but when flights start to resume we will see teaching internationally start up again. For example, some schools in China are already open again and teachers are returning. We have just heard that some teachers have actually renewed contracts and will stay in China.  Of course, school openings will depend on the country’s approach and the government lock-down procedures. Some countries will be faster than others. 

Regarding school recruitment, we have had a lot of schools get in touch with us this week. It’s likely that recruitment might happen a bit later this year  in May or June. Some schools are waiting for this uncertain period to clear up a bit. I recommend using this time to actively speak to our Advisors and see what  opportunities are available. Many new schools have been approaching Teacherhorizons and they like our online recruitment approach.

4. What changes can international teachers expect when schools start back up?

There is going to be a ‘new normal’ which might be quite different to what would have been considered ‘normal’ a few months ago. We urge teachers to remain flexible during this process. Most international schools have been affected in some way; some have more government support than others so some might struggle for a while, some might offer online teaching to begin with before they fly teachers out but what is clear is that all schools will want to return to ‘normal’ as soon as possible!  

5. What changes can international teachers expect in regards to contract and salaries?

It really depends on the schools. Embassy schools etc shouldn’t have their contracts or salaries affected too greatly. Some schools we work with have even given their teachers a pay rise over this difficult time. New, private schools might struggle as parents might not be able to afford the fees as this continues. Of course, this is speculation at this time and it really depends on the place and the nature of the pandemic and economic situation in each country.

6. Will international teachers be able to get flights to their school?

Whilst many flights have currently stopped, it’s likely that flights will gradually re-open as countries pass the peak of the epidemic. Busy routes like London-New York for example, are likely to open up faster. Again, this will depend on the country, airline and government policies. It might take a while for flights to return to regular schedules but this doesn’t mean they won’t continue. The school will be able to support you with further information. 

7. Will international teachers have to quarantine when they move abroad?

Potentially. China trialled a two week hotel isolation for a while. The virus has been hugely curtailed in China and their biggest concern is re-importing it from abroad. So they were asking teachers to quarantine before entering the country. Whilst this makes traveling difficult, it means teachers there can live a more ‘normal’ existence post-quarantine than teachers in other parts of the world. Other countries are likely to follow suit depending on what stage they are at. 

hannah-olinger-NXiIVnzBwZ8-unsplash8. Will international teachers have to teach online?

It is likely that most teachers will be expected to teach online at some point this year.  Schools may reintroduce some face to face lessons gradually for some age groups whilst continuing to offer others online.  It might be that some teachers hired to start in August 2020 will be asked to teach remotely until the Covid-19 situation calms down in their counties. At this point, it’s hard to know which countries will follow this approach but it might be that, for example, you accept a position in Thailand, teach remotely from August until October when you can then fly out to Bangkok. If in doubt, ask your school or a school you interview with. 

 9. How do you think the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting recruitment? 

Recruitment has slowed a bit but there are already signs of it picking up again. Teachers are still looking to move but are being a bit cautious, of course.  We are very fortunate that we are a remote company and have been functioning as such for years. All our recruitment is done online anyway and we see now how more schools are appreciating this as it is fast and personable. Face to face recruitment ‘fairs’ won’t be happening for quite sometime now, and while we see some recruiters switching to remote fairs we will not be following suit. From our experience, schools want the best candidates as soon as possible and we can do this online and directly.

10. Who should international teachers be communicating with? 

If you are already placed in a school for 2020 you should keep in touch with them directly via the head or HR person. If you are still in the process of searching for a position, keep in touch regularly with your Advisor at Teacherhorizons. It’s important to be understanding and flexible at the moment and aware that things are constantly changing – what might be true one day is possibly different the next. Be patient. If you don’t have your next placement set up, get in touch with a Teacherhorizons’ adviser who can help you in the process. 

11. What useful resources do you have for International teachers?

We have written about ways to navigate remote teaching in uncertain times and more recently compiled some great resources for remote international teachers. In addition, the ISC has an updated list of international school closures by country, around the world. They have updates regularly so keep checking.  The Council of British International Schools (Cobis) has information regarding Covid-19 and the impact on schools.  For more general Covid-19 news the World Health Organization has daily updates. 

12. What else would you like to share with the Teacherhorizons community right now? 

On a personal note I would like to acknowledge, once again, the strength of the Teacherhorizons community right now. We have an incredible support system and I am sure that together we are  building a better world as educators in the long term. One thing that stands out from all the accounts that we have heard is that community is important. In a time when teachers feel under great emotional strain, it is our community and ability to share our experiences with each other that remains incredibly important and valuable. 

We will continue to update this as new questions and answers arise, so keep checking in. In the meantime, we would love to hear from you with your teaching stories!

Don’t let this uncertain time stop you from doing what you love, sign up to be part of our incredible community of international teachers. 

 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Top resources for remote teachers in the time of Covid-19

Feeling overwhelmed with all e-learning resources floating around the web right now? Not sure which is best for your students?  Last week, we gave you the lowdown on how to navigate online teaching in this challenging time Having sourced through the plethora of resources, here are the online resources for international teachers that stood out to us. We have grouped them by the type of resource to make it easier to navigate. 

Video conferencing platforms for virtual classrooms 

sharon-mccutcheon-_vkztdUDhvY-unsplashLooking at all the resources available, many require a use of a video conferencing platform for your class. So let’s cover that first. 

What’s the difference between Hangouts, Zoom or Skype for international teaching?

It’s really a matter of personal preference. They used to vary in terms of cost and accessibility but during this time, both Google and Zoom are offering free services for educators and schools. Skype remains a free service. 

Zoom a video conferencing platform is being used widely as a virtual classroom right now. It is known for it’s good connection and speed and enables a great gallery view, where you can see all your students on screen at once. There are options to chat and share resources, too.  Zoom conferencing has also lifted their 40minute time limit on Basic accounts for schools affected by the Coronavirus. 

Google Suite has stepped up in this time to support businesses and schools. Here, you can read about how they are helping schools during coronavirus.  They also offer free Meets in Google Hangout which enables Video calls integrated with other Google’s G-Suite tools, a good option as you can access all your google docs and use these with your students, too. 

annie-spratt-VLefW89NnAw-unsplashTools to support you in remote teaching 

There is so much out there right now but we have found these articles and blogs particularly supportive and interesting. They are centered around teaching remotely rather than the technology itself, but they also offer their own lists of platforms and apps you can use. 

Alison Yang’s blog where she offers support to remote teachers  is very useful. She has created the acronym O.R.E.O to guide teachers in online learning. The acronym stands for Objevtive, Responsibility, Expectation and Organization, and guides teachers to creating a structure when teaching online. This blog also includes a really useful downloadable handout with further resources.  

 Cambridge International offers a great support to teachers with information on engagement, collaboration and IT. It also has a list of further tools you can use, some of which we mention here.  Online Learning: Creating engaging digital content for online learning is visually pleasing and also goes into detail on further tools available for teaching remotely. 

As teachers, it’s critical to stay informed. This article about teaching remotely hurting or helping online education outlines some key considerations about the shift to online learning.  

Multimedia information sources

andrew-neel-QLqNalPe0RA-unsplash-2We have picked the sites below as they are well established, host a wealth of information and use a variety of media from worksheets, to videos to interactive ideas. 

Khan Academy. This non profit education resource is split into 3 sections: learners, parents and teachers. Khan Academy is working quickly in this uncertain time and has some great initiatives, like Khan Academy schedules for school closures. There are full timetable suggestions for remote schooling and a wealth of teacher tools. They suggest complementing the suggestions with other platforms like google Hangouts, Zoom and Skype.

TedEd allows you to create a lesson plan using a TED video. Here you can find a video, add in questions and discussion prompts and share it as a lesson with your students. It also allows you to track their progress. They have just launched TedEd @ Home  to support all those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

A great one for international educators, The Oneness Project covers and examines global topics and themes, addressing global issues from climate change to culture and migration. Right now they are offering support to teachers via Zoom meetings. They have an upcoming webinar  Teaching and Learning from the Heart in Troubled Times” and some others which you can find here. 

Engagement & discussion tools

Are you battling with keeping students engaged over the screen? Wondering about ways to get them discussing peer-to-peer or with you? There’s loads of apps and platforms, the most widely used being BrainPOP, SeeSaw and Padlet. 

BrainPOP offers animated videos to engage students. SeeSaw is a platform for student engagement that enables lots of collaboration and sharing using photos, drawings etc.  Padlet is a good resource for collaborative projects and you can create presentations, do “gallery walks” and share students’ work. 

Tools for mobile or limited access. 

Accessibility has been a big theme arising globally with the shift to remote teaching and learning. As an international school, teacher or student it is likely you have access to a laptop and internet. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes the internet connect in unstable. There are some education systems out there that have been purpose built for mobile phones. Ustadmobile  allows you to access and share content when you are offline and uploads to a cloud server when there is next a connection. This can be especially useful when you have an unstable connection.  

Summary and key takeaways. annie-spratt-WVNgDFdb8eI-unsplash

It’s all fine and well having the resources but we are also aware that remote and virtual teaching is new to many. We suggest trying things out and using trial and error right now, till you find what works for you. Keep flexible, keep an open mind and keep checking in with other teachers, your students and parents. Just think of the tools you will have to support your face to face classroom teaching in the future. 

To not get overwhelmed, we suggest keeping it as simple as possible. Pick a platform, eg Skype, Zoom or Hangouts, and then add in a few of the tools we outlined.  You can tweak and change accordingly.  Making your own personalised work will also enable you to feel connected to students and for them to hear your voice. Some teachers are using Youtube to video record. 

How are you coping at this time? What resources have you found yourself depending on?

We will continue to keep you updated with relevant resources as times continue to change. In the meantime, we would love to hear from you. Don’t let this uncertain time stop you from doing what you love, sign up to be part of our incredible community of international teachers. 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Top 5 ways to navigate remote teaching in uncertain times

Plus plenty of resources, links and support for international teachers.
jeshoots-com--2vD8lIhdnw-unsplash

Has your school been closed or classes cancelled due to the Coronavirus? Is your mind riddled with questions about how to capture the power of face-to-face learning over virtual platforms?

Suspension of study in schools is increasing across the globe. UNESCO are keeping an up-to-date account of how schools are being affected. They stated last week that there were 14 countries with nationwide school closure, while other countries have localised closures. With the rise of students at home, international teachers are turning towards online virtual classrooms. It’s time to consider our modes of delivery.

Your International School might have a digital plan in place, or you might be considering yourself how to plan for the shift to remote teaching. Below we suggest ways to adapt from in-person instruction to a virtual one. To make it easier for you we have broken it down into 5 areas with some digestible suggestions from our knowledgeable advisers and teaching community.

Number 1: Harness the power of an International teaching community.

Community is everything to us at Teacherhorizons and with over a quarter million teachers as part of ours, we have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. While uncertainty can cause overwhelm, we can also look to the positive aspects of community in this trying time.  The key in this time is to find the right way for you and your students to get the most out of remote learning. It is not a one size fits all situation and online teaching will require some trial and error. Call on your fellow teachers and coworkers to find out how they are doing things and consider joining some support groups. Some of our teachers say they are using this Facebook group which supports educators in planning distance learning due to school closures.

Number 2: Choose the right platform among the myriad of remote learning apps.

Since the shift towards remote teaching and learning is growing, the number of apps and platforms also seems to be. It can be overwhelming to know which ones to use and what they are there for. Here are the common ones our community are using:

  •  Virtual classrooms

Google have different platforms that are being used. Google Suite for Education is the main one of which  Google Classroom and Google Hangouts Meet are a part of.  Google Classroom is a service that helps you assign and share work. Google Hangouts Meet is currently made free until July. There are lot of resources around using these tools. We find this Google blog useful.

Zoom a video conferencing platform is also being used as a virtual classroom right now. Zoom conferencing lifted their 40minute time limit on Basic accounts for schools affected by the Coronavirus.

  •  Engagement Tools

BrainPOP offers animated videos to engage students. SeeSaw  is a platform for student engagement. According to their website: “Teachers can empower students to create, reflect, share, and collaborate. Students how what they know using photos, videos, drawings, text, PDFs, and links. It’s simple to get student work in one place and share with families, and nothing is shared without teacher approval.”

Wanting a more comprehensive breakdown of Apps and platforms? UNESCO’s site have a really thorough list of educational applications and platforms  including ones for mobile phones and ones available in multiple languages.

Number 3: Keep students engaged while they’re at home.

andrew-neel-QLqNalPe0RA-unsplashVirtual learning can be challenging with potential for a high disengagement rate. How do you keep from students switching off or skipping lessons altogether?  To keep them engaged, use methods that keep them involved, curious and collaborative. We have some tips below:

Keep it simple when teaching remotely.

Especially when it comes to young learners, simplify the tools and apps so that both primary school students and parents are not overloaded with technical issues. One school we work with uploads the days work and videos to a blog on the school website, streamlining everything and then use the SeeSaw platform for the work itself.

Take your time when teaching remotely.

 Understand that the dynamics of a child working with a parent are not the same as a child working within a class-it can take much longer to achieve even the shortest of tasks- be patient and tolerant.

 Engage with parents when teaching remotely.

Be prepared to support parents emotionally when they are struggling with work resistant children in this new environment.

Number 4: Find the right method of teaching for you.

You can choose between Flipped learning-with pre-recording vids and being interactive with students when you are on Zoom/Google Meet.  Some teachers use flipped classrooms, where students watch videos at home and practice skills during class time. Here are some of our suggestions for different teaching methods:

  1.  Use Polls, chats & visuals

    You can use some icebreaker games using polls, emojis and group chats. Polls can be especially useful to measure engagement or to check in to know if your instruction has been received, especially if the group cannot see you.

  2.  Facilitate peer-to-peer learning

    Even though you are in a virtual environment you can still harness useful peer-to-peer learning. Why not use breakout rooms for pair work and small group discussion via chats. Some of the platforms we mention above allow opportunity to do this. Or you can use google docs where students can work together via a shared document and you can post the link in a group chat. Try using screen share to work on the document together, too.

  3. Establish rules

    Be clear on your method of instruction. When using Google Meet for example, you will need to be clear and consistent. Our adviser reports that “One successful tactic has been teacher or TA leading the Google Meet while the other acts as admin, typing invites to speak, monitoring the group etiquette and allowing the chats to go smoothly”

kelly-sikkema-ElF7K4IWcGQ-unsplashNumber 5: Last but not least—get organised!

Engaging students requires planning, management & creativity. It also requires great organisation, transparency and communication. What about these 3C’s for helping you organise your virtual teaching world?

Checklist

A checklist of daily and weekly tasks for both parents and students can really help all ages stay calm and for you to measure progress, accordingly.

Counsel

Look at videos/resources on motivating children so you feel confident. Also, explaining the situation and sharing resources can be really reassuring to parents.

Communicate

Be transparent and communicate as much as possible from the earliest date possible.

We will continue to update this article with relevant resources as times continue to change. In the meantime, We would love to hear from you. Don’t let this uncertain time stop you from doing what you love, sign up to be part of our incredible community of international teachers. 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

4 ways international schools promote equality

March 8th celebrates International Women’s Day. While this day offers a time to reflect and celebrate women it can also be used to call action to the gender disparities over the globe. International schools and teachers are therefore in a unique position where this call to action can be harnessed, and the push towards gender equality can reach far and wide.  According to UNESCO, “promoting gender equality to, in and through education ensures women and men, girls and boys equal access  to  learning  opportunities,  fair  treatment  in  the  learning process,  equitable outcomes  as  well  as  access  to  opportunities  in  all  spheres of life.” 

Why do we celebrate Women’s Day on March 8?

michelle-moody-WkY8KhEFXak-unsplashAround the world International Women’s day has a varying degree of weight and significance. It started over a century ago and isn’t linked to one organisation. International Women’s Day is a global movement that exists to recognise unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action.

Gender inequality varies over the globe—according to the stats, Iceland continues to have the most gender parity with Yemen and Pakistan the most disparity.  According to the World Economics Forum work on the Global Gender Gap, There are 72 countries where women are still barred from opening bank accounts or obtaining credit. There is no country where men spend the same amount of time on unpaid work as women. This day is therefore critical as an awareness tool all over the world

What is the theme for International Women’s Day 2020?

International Women’s day 2020  theme is #eachforequal. The International Women’s Day website describes the theme as “An equal world is an enabled world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world. Let’s all be #EachforEqual.” 

What does #EachforEqual mean?

According to our operations manager, Emily #EachforEqual means “not only standing up to prejudice against myself but challenging thoughts and behaviours that I feel are discriminatory or unfair against others. We are all equal and should be encouraging that amongst our peers.” 

This theme has prompted us to delve deeper into the role that international schools and teachers take in promoting equality. Firstly, it is important to recognise the positioning of international schools and the responsibility international educators have to challenge the status quo. Just look at our budding community here at teacherhorizons – there is no denying that the international teaching community is here to stay. International schools continue to grow, in the ISC Global report they state how there are nearly 10,000 international schools around the world, increasing around 6% each year. 

What does #EachforEqual mean in international schools?

International schools used to primarily educate the children of expats and diplomats seeking a curriculum familiar to home country education. Since then the model of international schools has changed with the times. With increased migration globally, a new phase of international schools is here and it’s growing. Nationals who have been dissatisfied with the quality of school in-country turn towards international education, too. We are in a time of a global vision towards education where the school isn’t tied to a specific place. On some levels this is exciting as it can challenge cultural norms and expectations, but it also has potential to lose or dilute cultural identity. However, monitoring bodies and inspection organisations across international schools do mean that high standards reflecting current societal expectations have to be met. 

There is no denying that teachers are the shapers of future generations. Chief Executive of The Chartered College of Teaching, in a recent report for Lifting Limits states: “The Early Years and Primary phases are of crucial importance developmentally and the influence of teachers and other trusted adults within school should never be underestimated.” So with the mass of international schools and the deep responsibility of being a teacher…what does it mean for the subject of equality in 2020? 

How do international schools celebrate International Women’s day?

dulcey-lima-LmFHUuyTYr8-unsplashThere are many resources available on classroom activities teachers can use to bring awareness to the day itself, for all levels. Access to resources for International Women’s Day in schools can be found here.  Celebrating renowned female figures through reading or watching films is one way. Getting students to imagine a different future of gender equality through activities is another. Here’s a couple of ideas from us:

  1. Role models for equality in international schools 

Using role models is always a great way to introduce students to International Women’s Day and influential characters they can inspire too. Think, women’s rights movements in history or more currently Greta Thunburg and Malala Yousafzai. Today,  a portrait of the teen activist Greta Thunberg has been revealed in West Yorkshire, UK to mark her as a pioneer for a global movement on climate change. Read more about how students of a school in the area chose the 17 year old, Greta, as a woman who inspired them. 

 

  1. Fiction for Equality in International Schools 

Fiction is also a great way for students to imagine a future where equality exists. Especially for younger years, it’s a beautiful way to harness the power of the imagination while tackling issues that women and girls face. There’s a great list of fiction for international women’s day here. 

4 ways international schools can promote equality beyond International Women’s day 

Gender equality can be addressed beyond themed activities by enabling an environment that promotes equal opportunities and access. We celebrate schools that are building students that are socially conscious and breaking the status quo.

  1. Enable access to career opportunities for all genders in international schools 

Inequality in access to pursuing the career you want still exists. International schools can have a great impact here, by enabling access to all subjects for all genders. Promoting women in STEM and STEAM subjects is also a great way to bridge gender disparities. In Asia particularly, women’s access to research position and particularly in the fields of STEM remains low.  If International schools enable more access to these subjects from an early age we could see an improvement overtime but it requires girls and women having the opportunities within the STEM disciplines. According to The Diplomat, women in Asia “hold only 18.5 percent of the research positions in South and West Asia and 23.4 percent in East Asia and the Pacific. These low numbers of female researchers reflect the reality of gender inequalities within education, and in particular the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).”   

  1. Celebrating female leaders in international schools.

One way to recognise progress in gender parity is to celebrate female leaders. Dulwich College Beijing was presented with a prestigious ACAMIS Learning Service Grant, thanks to the initiative of their Head Girl, Yi Wen. Her proposal to help those less fortunate through the medium of a charity debate earned her a grant.  Not only does it demonstrate a female leader it also shows her in a service role, promoting service to those that don’t have the opportunity to be at an international school. This is exactly the kind of momentum that is exciting, creating socially conscious students to improve their own societies for generations ahead. Which leads us nicely on to the third point…

  1. Supporting students to be socially conscious and geared towards service in international schools.

Zooming out slightly, when we create and model behaviours to students that promote a fully rounded socially responsible ethos, then gender disparity will also be addressed. It is not a stand alone issue. We are partnered with many schools that are leading in terms of implementing change towards a future we want to see, whether this be in environmental or social business. A great example is The Green School, Bali. Moving beyond SAT scores and traditional classrooms, The Green School pushes the limits creating a new generation of progressive education institutes. As the New York Times described, it offers “a wider set of tools, ranging from adaptability to teamwork to the sort of problem-solving that flourishes under conditions of constraint, which will prove useful in a world whose resources will only continue to diminish. It is a prep school meant to do more than merely prepare students for college, but also equip them with survival skills for an unknown new world, in which proficiency with alternative fuels and sustainable building practices — and the experience of living in a nontraditional, unpredictable environment — might be more useful benchmarks than SAT scores.”  With progression like this it gives hope to know that we are building the lives of students who will be equipped to solve the fundamental issues we have today, like gender disparity.

 

  1. Use gender responsive pedagogy in international schools. 

megan-escobosa-photography-_FMi4LTEe6g-unsplashWhat is it? Gender responsive pedagogy refers to educative processes that acknowledge learning needs of all genders, this means that teaching and learning materials are not gender scrutinised or stereotyped as much as possible. An example of the opportunities that GRP can result in is in the wonderful story of Tigist, an female Ethiopian teacher who dreams of going back to her village and provide GRP informed education there. Tigist believes that gender equality is relevant regardless of the context, after being trained in GRP she uses the skills in her teaching and says “I have learned how to be sensitive of gender stereotypes and ensure gender equality and equity principles are applied in school.” You can read more about gender responsive pedagogy in schools through this story.

 

Do you have an inspiring story about equality in schools? If so, we would love to hear from you! Contact us and share your knowledge and views with our community of readers.

We are lucky to work with leading and progressive international schools around the world, sign up now to be part of an inspired future!

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Coronavirus: 7 Important questions for international teachers to consider


Coronavirus ( COVID-19) and the subsequent media frenzy continues to spread around the globe. International schools have been closed in Hong Kong and mainland China for sometime now, while Italy, Iran and other countries have joined in on the closures. While international schools either begin to close or remain so, international teachers and students are left wondering “what now?”  we have put together some considerations for international teachers in this time of uncertainty.

Teacherhorizons is a reputable source of information for international teachers all around the world and we are lucky to be able to reach out to our international teachers, schools and recruitment advisers for first hand accounts and insights into key concerns and questions that have arisen among our community of international educators. 

What is Coronavirus? 

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Coronavirus in the media

Firstly, getting information from a reputable source is critical amongst the midst of multiple accounts making news in the media. According to World Health Organization (WHO), Coronaviruses (CoV):

“ are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS- CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in Humans. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.” 

While there is fear circulating about the spread of this new virus, especially as standardisation and policy vary all over the world, the standard recommendations of prevention according to the World Health Organization includes “regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.”  With the closing of schools, many international teachers have returned to their home countries and are working remotely. So what does this mean for both schools and educators, home and abroad?  

How does Coronavirus impact both schools and educators in China?

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Precautions for Coronavirus

Mainland China was one of the first places where cases developed and for schools to close. We hear first hand from Adika, an international educator living in Shanghai, China who gives her insight into the current situation: 

“When the epidemic started in early February, it took everyone by surprise. Many were holidaying abroad or in other cities in China for the Chinese New Year holidays, when information about this Coronavirus came trickling in. Since then, schools have been closed until further notice to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Hence, we have been creative in delivering continuing education until we return back to campus. This has led to a lot of brainstorming, collaboration, reflection and supporting each other as educators within our school and with others externally; which helps us cope better, knowing that we are doing our best in a time like this, as we continue to show that we care and support our families and communities through consistent communication and improvising on our delivery of virtual learning to serve the different needs required on the go.” 

Adika goes on to express how it also affects herself as an educator, the power of community and the importance of being aware of the sources of information you obtain:

“As an international educator living here in Shanghai during this epidemic time, it made me realize how important it is to be proactive and open to changes wherever I am in the world. Life in itself is unpredictable so we should try to adapt our minds to accept and respond to situations as positively as we can because fear and anxiety do not help in any situation, regardless of its form. The best ways for myself and my family to do during this time, is to follow the guidelines in protecting ourselves and keeping up with the news. However, being aware of fake news and social media as there have been many exaggerated or falsely broadcasted about the Coronavirus. Life in Shanghai and many other cities are unlike Wuhan, who suffered the most, though situations are improving. We are getting normal supply of food and water, with a few setbacks such as many restaurants and business are still closed, and many people abroad are still unable to enter China due to the travel bans imposed recently. While all these issues and more impact on our daily lives today, I have faith that the Coronavirus epidemic will end soon. A positive outcome from this experience is surviving through it by embracing all the learning, sharing, risk-taking and caring for one another as a community.” 

How does Coronavirus impact international teachers who have been sent back to their home countries?

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Remote schooling due to Coronavirus

Most teachers in our community have reported to be currently teaching online, remotely. Many left for their home country and continue to match regular teaching hours there. This often means they have to take on irregular teaching times to fit in with the time differences.  This is especially challenging when having to uphold other regular daily tasks or when taking care of their family.

What does the rise of remote schooling look like? 

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Remote schooling due to Coronavirus

The COVID-19 Breakout has seen many schools move entirely to an online learning environment. While it is extremely
challenging to move into a digital environment it is also a reflection of our time and is possible it can bring a rich learning experience.  The
Dulwich school group is a prime example. The school group stated to us that they brought “Dulwhich learning principles online in order to deliver a compelling learning experience online as we did offline.” 

Dehong International School, which is part of the Dulwich Group is a  great example of how a large group of schools in China is handling the online learning process/system. They reached out to us at Teacherhorizons with the following: 

“If any of your candidates are interested in online learning that is currently happening in our schools, please feel free to send the following school link to them. This is a brand new section we’ve put on the School Webpage.” 

What are the challenges of remote learning in International Schools?

Let’s get familiar with the challenges that are arising with remote learning so that we can face them together. 

Teaching Arts subjects online in remote international schools

Teaching remotely is especially challenging for teachers of the Arts and practical subjects like Drama and Music. They are having to think creatively to set activities for students that can be guided online.

Emotional toil for international students and teachers

Our Operations Manager at Teacherhorizons, Emily, said that she feels teachers are finding it challenging from an education perspective as well as an emotional perspective:

“Lots of students are finding the quarantine hard and the teachers don’t feel like they can support them properly. Teachers are also sharing that they have lots of guilt for leaving China on the last
flights while their students had to stay. They sort of feel like they have abandoned their students.” 

Uncertainty around the time frame in remote international schools

No one is really sure what is going to happen as the school start dates continue to be pushed further back. As we noted above the time frames of classes are also ambiguous. Flexibility is key at the moment. 

Exam preparation in remote international schools

One community member says that their son has been enrolled in UK exam centres just in case the exams don’t go ahead but the current aim is that if schools are all resumed by May exams can run as usual. 

How is the IB Curriculum affected under Coronavirus?

If you are an IB school that has been closed due to the Coronavirus you will likely be functioning remotely now. According to IB online, deadline extensions have been granted to schools that have  closed. The IB  website is incredibly useful for keeping upto date with details on extension dates and online oral assessments. Many schools are working on creating policies around remote work and assessments.

What can International teachers and students do to stay calm amidst the uncertainty?

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Stay calm among the media frenzy of Coronavirus

 

As our CEO, Alex said earlier this week, “With all the media frenzy going on at the moment, it’s important to keep perspective. Arguably the hysteria surrounding the virus could be much more damaging than the virus itself. Whilst most teachers will not have had to deal with this sort of situation before, we are trained and well equipped to think on our feet and to be creative in thinking of alternative ways of teaching. As this increasingly becomes a global issue, it’s our duty, as international educators, to be good role models for our students – wherever we are in the world”.

One thing that stands out from all the accounts that we have heard is that community is important. In a time when teachers feel under great emotional strain, as well as looming academic pressures, it is our community and ability to share our experiences among each other that remains incredibly important and valuable. A massive thank you to Adika for helping craft this post and to all of the team and teachers sharing their current experiences. 

 

We also urge you to keep using reputable sources like the World Health Organization, and to check in with school websites, or sources such as the IB website. You can also reach out to us at Teacherhorizons.  We will try and keep this article updated for teachers as the situation develops. If you are a teacher affected by Coronavirus, please share your story by sending it to editor@teacherhorizons.com

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Teachers overseas answer questions about homework

Ditching homework, Random Acts of Kindness and lively Facebook debates. Welcome to the new decade of being an International school teacher! Gone are the days of assigning homework just for the sake of it. A compelling number of debates around assigning homework have risen. Take, for example, our recent Facebook post with the discussion topic “how regularly do you think students should receive homework?  The lively and diverse responses prompted us to look into this further.   Drawing on the expertise of our budding community of over a quarter million teachers we present you with the latest consensus regarding homework in International Schools. Read on to get to the bottom of such questions like, is homework a waste of time?

Should teachers overseas give homework?

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should homework be banned in schools?

In March of last year The Atlanta delved into the debate around homework in schools, kicking it off with the statement that “the practice stems in part from the fact that it’s what today’s parents and teachers grew up with themselves”. What may have worked in the past isn’t necessarily going to work now or for future generations so what better than a new decade to challenge existing norms. According to ACS International schools, who wrote a compelling post on the subject, A Stanford University study found that among 4,300 students 56 percent considered homework to be a primary source of stress. Which begs the question…is homework doing more harm than good?

Which countries spend the most time doing homework?

As overseas teachers you have probably seen your fair share of different approaches to homework. From infamous no homework Finland to  notoriously hardworking China, attitudes towards homework vary according to country. In a study conducted by the OECD, looking at the amount of homework among 15 year olds, the results concluded that in Shanghai, China the students were given an average  14 hours of homework per week. Russia pulled in a close second with just under ten hours of homework per week. The rumours remain true in regard to Finland which had the least amount of homework hours with around two and a half hours per week. Surprisingly though was South Korea with around three hours. Although it goes to show that the measurements can be misleading.  In South Korea, while traditional homework in public schools might not be allocated, students as young as seven or eight stay up late frequenting after school “hagwons” (for profit education institutes)  and practicing their skills in a variety of subjects from English to music.  The average global homework time falls at five hours a week, but international teachers overseas are questioning if this amount is reaps any benefits.

 

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Should overseas teachers ban homework?

It is possible that assigning homework could have a negative impact on students, but according to the feedback from our community, and while traditional homework was frowned upon , the general view was that we should not disregard homework in international schools altogether. Instead, teachers overseas should consider the following factors when deciding on the relevance of homework: the age of the students, the time spent on homework tasks and the type of homework itself.

Is homework a waste of time?

ACS Egham no longer assigns traditional homework for their younger students, below aged 12, and instead opts for a personalised and tailored approach to homework. This seems to be a consensus among our Teacherhorizons community, too. In a recent chat with one of our teachers and guest writer, Jane Barnett, she shares that homework in the traditional manner doesn’t work anymore:

“I have some fairly strong opinions on homework these days. I do not believe in setting it for homework’s sake, or just because it happens to be written on a schedule for a certain day. As an art educator, I go out of my way to open up art rooms or studios for students when they need to access the facilities.” 

How much time should students spend on homework?

jonathan-kemper-_BfG3aGhKmI-unsplashIn many countries, students are becoming as busy as their parents, with homework accounting for a large part of their time outside of school. Not only does this considerably add to stress but it can also take away valuable time for family, play and factors such as character building. In The Atlantic article they mention the “the 10-minute rule” of  homework which suggests that 10 minutes of homework is to be given per night, according to your grade level. This works up to about two hours a night for those in high school.

Some of our members didn’t focus on the time but did acknowledge that they found value in giving homework, especially when it comes to building a student’s understanding. If it is relevant it is necessary:

I give some short exercises on a regular basis. When we check the homework in class, I tell my students that completing homework is a good tool to self assess their understanding. I take notes during the class and I can then adjust for the next lesson plan.”

How old should students be to receive homework?

Much like ACS’s tailored approach, our community mainly said that homework for students under 12 shouldn’t be for many hours or fixed into the schedule. One community member stated that it depends on the age and the course; “we encourage students to practice reading – is that homework?”  Another commented that for those in Middle School and IB there should be homework but set according to age. The amount of homework and expectations are different for different grades.  One person suggested that students should also be rewarded for working harder at school – “if they get their work done at school, they should have the opportunity to not take work home.”  It seems like the general consensus was that it is okay to give assignments for middle and high school students (and not hours of assignments) but not for elementary students, and certainly not for kindergarteners or preschoolers.

“For High School, I absolutely expect students to be putting in time out of school hours, and I do give them an indication, depending on their course and grade level, of how long this might take, so that they can plan their time accordingly. Often tasks are specific to the student or open-ended enough to be of value.  Frequently they involve development or completion of work started in class, or preparation for something that will be commenced in class. This could include ‘thinking’ and mind-mapping, getting out and about to take photographs, visiting a gallery or collecting visual source material. I might do this with Middle Schoolers, too.”

Should international teachers assign homework during vacation time?

aaron-burden-Pxm-TUd61vY-unsplashMany might agree that assigning homework over the holidays is just cruel, and often times teachers will return from vacation to hear a plethora of excuses, anyway. Sound familiar?  A recent article on the topic states that “Rather than assigning homework, create a true interest in learning. They will often pursue learning about topics they like on their own.  After all, this is the way of the 21st century and information is everywhere.”  

What are some alternatives to Homework?

While a large number of our community didn’t believe in traditional homework they did believe in time being spent outside of the classroom in relation to learning. Some teachers will also go out of their way to allow for extra work, especially in the lead up to exams…  “At this time of the year, I also go in on Sundays for my IGCSE and IB  students should they need and request it. The admin in my school doesn’t always understand why, but I think you’ll find there are others, particularly in my subject, in other schools who do that too. We simply do not have enough time scheduled within the school day to be able to meet the requirements of coursework, examinations and final exhibitions. Such is life!”

In summary, while homework was not deemed as popular in the traditional sense, there was still a praise towards some extra curricular activity, be it catching up on reading or practicing some problems. The difference seems to lie in the intention. No more giving homework just for the sake of it!   Another community member of Teacherhorizons said they encourage their students to practice language or undergo and interesting activity. One school went viral recently when it declared it was ditching homework and instead replacing it with Random Acts of Kindness in school. A Teacherhorizons’ partner school celebrated RAK last year, too.  So, it looks like we are finally starting to put emphasis on character building activities rather than just test preparation.

We are fortunate to have many innovative and forward thinking schools partnered with Teacherhorizons. Make your profile today to access more info on all our schools.

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Questions about teaching abroad with your family, answered.

 

When it comes to international teaching abroad it seems like the world is your oyster right now. We recently wrote about finding international teaching jobs overseas and praised the numerous options, exiting locations and the hardest part; choosing which part of paradise to call home!  However, for those searching for international teaching jobs with dependents it can feel like a different story completely. We are here to show you —It doesn’t have to be! 

Can you teach in international schools overseas with a family?

The short answer is yes. Teaching overseas can be wonderful with your family, widened horizons, diverse experience and cultures to name a couple of perks, but making sure you have carefully considered all options when it comes to your children is of utmost importance.  Afterall, there’s another human to think about! 

You can check out this first hand account from one of our teachers currently teaching abroad with a family here. 

So you are thinking of teaching abroad with your family but you don’t know where to start?

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Catherine & her daughter in China.

Fun fact: most of our Teacherhorizons staff are teachers themselves! Not only that, they have also embarked on teaching overseas with family in toe. Who better to inform us than those that have walked the path already? We also speak to some of our teachers in our current partnered schools.

Meet Catherine, a single mom from South Africa. Almost 3 years ago she had the feeling things needed to change, then she took a deep breath, packed her bags and headed overseas with her eight-year-old daughter’s hand clasped in hers.  She, with the help of Teacherhorizons, found an international teaching job in China. She was lucky to find a place that was family-friendly.

 

 

What constitutes family-friendly? We have decided on the following factors that can make or break a place being categorised as family-friendly:

  • Safety
  • Salary & Benefits
  • Culture, language & lifestyle

Family friendly International Teaching Jobs—questions answered.

Is teaching abroad with family safe?

Of course, issues of safety are always subjective but there are probably some places that immediately ring the alarm bells. According to the Global Peace Index  the most dangerous countries in the world right now are Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq. It’s not all doom and gloom, the safest countries according to the global peace index are Iceland, New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark.  Europe being the safest continent. Take these into consideration when deciding where you want to move abroad with your family.  

Here are our top 3 places to teach overseas with family:  

Portugal 

liam-mckay-VHWyqXsWHg0-unsplashPortugal made the list in the Global Peace Index, Top 5 in the world!  Beyond that, Portugal is a wonderful country to teach as an international teacher abroad.  Located on the Western fringe of Europe, it is a country with a rich history and culture. Most visitors gravitate to the Algarve region in the South where a number of small international schools have sprung up. Lisbon, the capital, hosts the most international schools including an American school, a few British primary and secondary schools. Portugal really mixes tradition with modern. Porto has two international schools and is becoming increasingly popular as a place to live.

Our CEO, Alex recommends St Julian’s in Lisbon “it’s a well established school with strong leadership and Lisbon’s the best city to live in the world and sunniest capital in Europe. It’s also by Carcavelos beach so some students can learn to surf in PE.”  What’s not to like about that?

China 

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Check out one of our previous posts about teaching in China.

China is a fascinating place to live and work. As the world’s most populous country, and the second-largest country in Asia, it’s no surprise that China is enormously diverse in climate and culture. The North tends to be cooler and drier, while the South has a warm, tropical climate. The ‘Big Three’ cities, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, claim the largest expat communities and boast cosmopolitan eating and shopping options. In smaller towns, the regional diversity is more obvious and the rich cultural heritage shines through.

 

 

UAE 

The UAE is an attractive place to work due to its high potential for earning and tax-free salaries. The cost of living can be high since accommodation is relatively expensive; however, some international schools will provide or subsidise this. On the oth
er hand, groceries and petrol are reasonably priced. The UAE is the most cosmopolitan of the Middle Eastern countries and has a lively expat community, but it’s important to remember that it’s a conservative Muslim country with strict laws. Expats must respect the local culture or face penalties.

What Salary and benefits can I expect when teaching overseas with dependents?

“They would say…You are so brave! while I would just quietly be thinking to myself how I am simply desperate for an international teaching salary that can sustain my family. That’s not bravery.”  

Catherine’s leading decision for choosing China was the fact she would be able to sustain her family and send some money to support her other son back home. Of course having a higher quality of life is also important, there are other considerations. 

Schooling for your dependents 

Probably the biggest benefit and perk of moving overseas-provided schooling! As an international school teacher you might want to opt for your kids going to your school. Check in and see if the international school you have applied for a job in supports your dependents schooling. If this is the case it is a huge burden lifted! A lot of international schools offer free education for dependents or at least a discount 50%-90% fees waived. Amazing.  “My daughter’s education was fully sponsored and I could focus on sending money home to my son” said Catherine.  Are you toying with the question of international or local schooling? If the latter find out if the country of choice allows you to enrol your kids in the local school system. Some places don’t allow this and therefore International school is the only option. 

Accommodation 

“My school Yew Chung International school of Chongqing was amazing. I was given a beautiful 2 bedroomed apartment overlooking a golf course and the city.”  Catherine’s school provided accommodation which is a huge perk if you are searching for an international job with dependants. This is not always the case so be sure to ask clearly in the application process what is provided. Our post on salaries & benefits in international schools  can help you further.

What will the lifestyle be like teaching overseas with a family?

It is true that embarking on an overseas lifestyle will be a unique journey. There is no escaping, however, that expat life is transient if you are an international teacher or otherwise. People come and go. You might find that this becomes common place-great connections and a close knit support network, only for it to change every couple of yearss. Catherine offers her experience of balancing support when living overseas: 

Families join international schools all the time but they also leave…it’s part of the gig. My daughter befriended a small group of children and we formed a group of teachers who all had children of our own. We became each other’s extended families. We also saw many families leave, while I decided to sign another contract.” 

Where can I find advice & support on teaching overseas with family? 

mathew-schwartz-PgNE82MUHAY-unsplashOf course, having a support system is also crucial. There is plenty of support available you just need to know where to look.  We say, contact your overseas embassy (You can register your details with the UK Embassy here) so that they know you are in the country and can inform you if there is an emergency. Their websites often also offer a plethora of useful information and advice on being an expatriate. Your employee on the ground will no doubt be used to supporting teachers in transition so make a list of questions for them. You can also use facebook pages and expat groups, these exist all over and will help you build a community with other teachers teaching overseas with dependents. You can find answers to practical questions like where to find baby food in the supermarket or best areas to live. As Catherine says:

“Some of my international students’ parents also took me under their wing. They answered all my immediate questions such as where on earth do I find bread, cheese and milk in a city where Western foods are nowhere to be found in a local supermarket. Even though I must say, Chongqing has developed so incredibly fast in the past 3 years that it’s been mind-blowing to witness how many shops and western influences are now being welcomed in this colossal city.” 

What if I have a non teaching spouse?

Many teachers come to us with questions about their “trailing spouses”.  Having a non-teaching partner is not a reason to stay home, and our Teacherhorizons team have experienced this first hand.  Maybe you are wondering, what if they feel unsatisfied, or perhaps you have visa concerns. One option is a non-teaching role in the same international school. If this isn’t a viable option consider what your spouse is qualified in, maybe the country has a shortage of the profession and would happily sponsor them. Start doing your research. Catherine shares her observations on support for dependents when teaching overseas:

“For married couples who teach abroad, there is always a spouse at home that can keep the home fires burning. Babysitting and sick children often fall on the shoulders of such kind angels who might offer their help. Another option is also the scenario when a teacher takes a position with a school but their spouse and child stays at home and they choose to homeschool their children. Some married teachers with children even bring an Au Pair with them. Every family is different and you will have to know what your needs are but also prepare yourself to be adaptable and consider the prospects that your plan A might have to change.” 

If you are not married some places may oppose you living together and this becomes a problem in regards to visa. Some schools might offer a spousal visa but not for non marriage partnerships. This will be contigent on the country itself. For example, in the UAE, this is not viable. Once you decide which countries are of interest you can research this. 

What if I am a single parent teaching overseas? 

 It is not always going to be easy teaching abroad with dependents, as Catherine tells us with the highest degree of honesty and authenticity: “I had to resort to my plan B. My daughter is now back home with my ex-husband and my extended family. She is surrounded by nature, animals, familiar friends and a school that can cater for her educational needs. I remain an international working mom and I’m part of the rapidly changing Global citizen existence. I am the bread winner and I have come to embrace the fact that it takes a village to raise a child. My daughter gained such wisdom and became so mature and independent from the 2 ½ years she spent in China. That is not something that can ever be measured or taken away from her” .  What she does attest to is that it is about being brave and finding the right international teaching job overseas for you. A new amazing adventure is awaiting you. 

Let’s end this article with wise and inspiring words from Catherine. Thank you so much for supporting us in this article: 

“Whatever your family structure is, my ultimate advice would be…Be Brave! Just do it… and be prepared to change your game plan. International teaching is an amazing adventure and offers a much higher standard of living than a teaching salary in most home countries. In the end we regret the things we didn’t do. So, Be brave!” 

Our  community of teachers get access to hundreds of teaching opportunities in some of the best schools and most exciting countries around the world. We understand balancing your regular life while finding your next job can be hard.  Teacherhorizons can help take the chore out of the international school job search by making it simple, transparent, exciting and importantly so… you can Join free!

Written by Alexandra Plummer

The best locations for International teaching jobs in 2020.

The world is your oyster when it comes to international teaching jobs, nowadays. Relocation is easier than it’s ever been and international schools are not going anywhere soon, meaning the demand for teachers in a growing number of countries around the world is constantly increasing. Despite the opportunity, it can be a challenge sorting through the endless options and possibilities.

Searching for international teaching jobs by location

We have done the hard work for you, and selected the three best locations for international teaching jobs in 2020. We have decided on countries that offer a combination of great schools and those which offer a good quality of life. Deciding on location is just one part of the job search process, so we have also shared with you specific reputable international schools Teacherhorizons are partnered with, too. 

According to our large community of teachers some criteria remains popular in choosing where to live and work as an international teacher:

  • Salary
  • Experience and professional progression as a teacher
  • Types of teaching opportunities 
  • Safety 
  • Interesting culture

International teaching jobs by country

Our top 3 locations for international school teaching jobs. 

All of the following places enable you to have good options to save, enable you to grow as a teacher, offer an exciting new culture and have various options in terms of type of opportunities and experience needed.

China

Why has China made our list for top international teaching jobs? 

annie-spratt-rdVLN3UFmpU-unsplashThere are international schools in every major city in China.  First and foremost it is a fascinating country, it boasts a wealth of diversity and a rich history. The most known and major cities, known as the “big three” are Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. These cities also have the largest expat communities and enable teachers to find familiar comforts they would at home in terms of international food and shopping options. Don’t be put off from the smaller towns though-this is where you will really get to dive into regional diversity more and learn about their rich cultural heritage. If you opt for the South of China you will be greeted with a pleasant, tropical climate. If colder climes are more your thing head north for some cool and dry. 

Read about International teaching jobs in China from a teacher of ours!

Salary packages for international teaching jobs in China

Your saving potential is great in China.  There is a vast range of salary offered depending on your experience and the type of school. The average pay is about 2,200 USD per month at the low end for an international teacher. What qualifications and experience you have definitely determine how much this ranges in China. 

Expectations & Requirements for international teaching jobs in China. 

A common question is “Do I need a Teaching Licence for international teaching in China?” and for international teaching jobs this is the case. A Bachelor’s degree in the subject you will teach is required and a teaching certification like a PGCE, licence or equivalent depending on where you studied. Teaching experience relevant to the subject will teach is expected. Due to the visa regulations 2 years prior experience is required.

Things to consider when searching for international teaching jobs in China 

Public healthcare is available in China, although the quality is variable. Most expats choose to use private health insurance. Many international schools offer private health insurance as part of their benefits package. There can be heavy pollution in some cities but do your research. Our advisors know China well and will be able chat to you about this and help you find the best placeome locations might not be as bad as we tend to think as outsiders.

Teacherhorizons endorsed and visited n China:

The British School Guangzhou

Beijing International School

The United Arab Emirates – Dubai.

Why has Dubai made our list for top international teaching jobs? 

Dubai is an illustrious city that remains in our list of top locations to teach in.  Teachers in our community choose Dubai time and time again for many reasons. The modern lifestyle, no tax on teacher salaries and a wealth of activities outside of the classroom are leading reasons that set it apart from other places.

Dubai is a melting pot of diverse food, culture and people.  While the architecture is state-of-the-art, so are other aspects of the city.  Known as a bfredrik-ohlander-fCW1hWq2nq0-unsplashusiness Mecca, it is innovative across domains including its schools and curriculum. Outside of school, teachers can head to the beach, do plenty of the outdoor activities, if that’s your thing, or even head out for some desert activities like camel riding.

Salary packages for international teaching jobs in Dubai

Dubai offers lucrative salary packages to match their high quality international schools. They pay well for good teachers and put value in offering exceptional services in their schools.  Of course, like anywhere, quality can vary but Dubai has many in of a high rank. The salary is around $2,400-$4,000 per month.

Expectations & requirements for international teaching jobs in Dubai. 

Whatever curriculum you are trained in you will be able to find in Dubai. American, British and IB curriculum are widely taught.  All teachers need a teaching qualification and must teach in the subject they are trained in. Usually two years experience is required.

Things to consider when searching for international teaching jobs in Dubai 

It is considered illegal to live together unmarried in Dubai, so take this into consideration if you are making the move with your partner. Our advisors will also be able to share their experiences in this matter with you.

Teacherhorizons endorsed and visited schools in Dubai:

Universal American School

Uptown school

Japan

Why has Japan made our list for top international teaching jobs? 

tianshu-liu-SBK40fdKbAg-unsplashJapan is on many people’s bucket list. It is the kind of country that is so unique that going there and experiencing it for yourself is the only way to fully know it, and even then it takes time to get below the surface.   Living and working there allows you to immerse yourself in the country, in ways that you cannot do on a short trip. You will discover Japan’s rich history, beautiful scenery and of course, it’s delectable food. 

Salary packages for international teaching jobs in Japan

Salary packages for international teaching jobs in Japan start at around 2, 400USD per month in international schools. Benefits are usually pretty good though and many offer housing and cover your relocation costs.

Expectations & Requirements for international teaching jobs in Japan 

Most international schools in Japan require two years of teaching experience on top of a Bachelors degree and a teaching licence / PGCE.  An additional requirement is the Japanese Alien Registration card along which you get alongside your working visa.  The curriculum used is usually either American, British or the International Baccalaureate

Things to consider when searching for international teaching jobs in Japan

As the culture is very unique and might be far from what you are used to, research etiquette and cultural norms before going to get an idea of some of their customs. The rest you will pick up as you go along, be patient and practice respect first and foremost. The language is incredibly complex with three different alphabets. To scratch the surface you could practice some Katakana before you arrive which is used for foreign words so you can spell your name, and read simple English words on menus.  Kanji will take you significantly longer with 2’000 characters!

Teacherhorizons endorsed schools in Japan:

Nagoya International School

Montessori School of Tokyo

Why teacher horizons is the best place to start finding  international school teaching jobs. 

Our  community of teachers get access to hundreds of teaching opportunities in some of the best schools and most exciting countries around the world. We understand balancing your regular life while finding your next job can be hard.  Teacherhorizons can help take the chore out of the international school job search by making it simple, transparent, exciting and importantly so… you can Join free!

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Are you ready to teach abroad in 2020?

Are you ready to teach abroad?

A new year often calls for change. And what screams change more than moving country and putting your teaching experience to the test in a new environment?  Change can be daunting though, provoking those deep fears and doubts. We are here to turn those fears into excitement.  Drawing on the wealth of knowledge our community has, we know what you need to feel confident and prepared for teaching overseas as an international teacher. 

 

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There is more to international teaching abroad than just picking the country alone. Maybe you are asking yourself “what qualifications do I need to teach abroad?” or questioning pay scales & benefits that schools can offer you depending on your experience. 

We post opportunities ranging from new teachers to experienced teachers. Whether it is your first foray into international teaching or you are a true veteran, we have you covered. Sign up here. 

Why teach abroad? 

From country to quality, International schools can be very different from one another so getting clear on what you want in terms of your international teaching career is crucial.

Read some stories from our happy teachers placed around the world

1. There is a high demand for international teachers

jason-leung-wQBCIJJgeJI-unsplashAs the number of international schools continues to grow so does the need for international school teachers, and thus international school teaching jobs.  This growth doesn’t look to change anytime soon and research suggests that it won’t stagnate anytime soon. According to research from ISC Research there are over 10,000 english medium international schools globally, with 5.6 million students enrolled and 503,000 full time staff employed!  *2019 figures 

 

2. There is a growing need for quality teachers with relevant experience 

Chances are if you are an international teacher you have put in the hard work to get here. Now’s your chance to reap the benefits. Moving abroad is a way to use your valuable experience that you spent great energy retaining and follow the demand! There is a high demand for teachings overseas, especially qualified ones.  Do you have experience in a specific curriculum, like IB experience? even better! 

 

3. Teaching abroad is a rewarding job 

Whilst the teaching community will all agree that being a teacher is hard work, it can also be incredibly rewarding. While you may have your patience tested, or have to give up some home comforts you are also faced with new experiences, diversity and the opportunity to shape stharley-davidson-56R8TzG7Lzc-unsplashudents lives.

There is a general air of motivation among teachers to live a successful and happy expat life and while this can look different from person to person, career progression, salary, travel and culture all contribute to a well rounded teaching life.  Tolerance and curiosity is required, but expanding your horizons is the reward.

 

 

 

I have the qualifications and the will to relocate, now what? 

Research International teaching opportunities.

Find out the curriculum and necessary qualifications. 

Be aware that some schools require you to teach in the subject your trained in. Also some international schools require teachers to be experienced in their specific curriculum. Overall minimum requirements for teaching internationally is usually:

  • 2 years + experience,
  • A teaching Licence
  • Masters in Education. 

There are exceptions though which is why doing specific research by school is advised. 

Find out the perks and benefits of teaching overseas. 

babyTeaching internationally is full of perks. They may include practical elements such as housing allowing, a relocation package, and a flight to and from your home country at the beginning and the end of your contract to name a few. Another benefit is the opportunity to explore a new country.  Maybe your school also enables you to thrive in your career by offering Personal Development. This one is definitely a perk for dedicated teachers with a thrist for continueal learning. Some schools offer a Professional Development (PD) allowance so that you can continue to grow in an area that is of personal  interest to you. 

Align your motivations with your research.

What has your yearning for pastures new? What do you require in building a career as an international teacher? Having this worked out will help you when navigating the vast seas of international teaching jobs. You will have to gain a good idea of what you are willing to be flexible on and what you absolutely won’t budge on. Consider what countries are of interest and reflect on why you have ruled some out. Preparing for teaching abroad requires a lot of question asking and bravery but will enrich your career and your life.

Put it all into action.

 

Are you an international teacher? Do you have hints and tips on teaching abroad?  If so, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us and share your knowledge and views with the community of our readers!

If you are inspired to teach overseas, we have made it really simple for you. Just sign up here and you are on your way to your new job! 

Written by Alexandra Plummer