The ‘gap year’ myth

It’s a common myth that teaching abroad is seen as a gap year by some teachers. In my opinion, these teachers are narrow and lack an appreciation for their own education.

We’ve all worked with and been taught by teachers that spend their careers pottering, delivering satisfactory lessons and getting the promotions they need to retire (quite) comfortably. However, we’ve all met teachers whose careers, by contrast, are truly inspirational!

Now, I am not saying that to be an inspirational teacher you have to teach abroad but I am saying you have to do inspiring things to learn and become an inspirational teacher. You have to mix things up a bit – such as teach in a challenging school, introduce a unique club to a school, take on a new role, lead an exciting trip and challenge yourself (and your pupils) to do something outside your comfort zone.

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So what has this got to do with teaching overseas? Teaching overseas is just one of these things, and of course it’s not for everyone. But it certainly is not a ‘Gap Year’ as it’s a challenge both personally and professionally. Luckily more and more teachers worldwide are recognising the value of teaching abroad. You learn new ideas from your international co-workers. You get to travel to other schools in neighbouring countries for inspiring training courses on new curricula like the IB.  (How can teaching the world’s most rigorous curriculum be a gap year?!) But most of all you push yourself into new situations and challenges – whether you’re having to explain what ADHD is to a concerned Chinese mother or asking the price of a mango in Swahili in your local market.

This is exactly what forward thinking educational leaders are looking for in teachers – inspiring people who are open minded, have plenty of initiative and are up for a challenge. So if you are a teacher who’s concerned that by teaching abroad you will struggle to get a job back home one day, highlight the value of the experiences you’ve had and how they make you a great teacher. This applies as much to writing covering letters and application form as it does to face to face interviews – if you are proud of all the things you’ve done, the mistakes you’ve made and what you’ve learnt along the way, you’ll give yourself the best chance of getting the job (and being an inspiring teaching for the students!) And if they look at you like you’re mad, then you can breathe a sigh of relief  – and tell them you’re going to take another ‘Gap Year’…

Written by Alex Reynolds, founding partner and Director of Communications at Teacherhorizons.

The challenges Indian teachers face when seeking employment at international schools and how to overcome them

Teaching today is very demanding and very challenging. Unlike the past, teachers are expected to be all-rounders and technologically sound. Teaching has become more of a technique (yes of course teaching is an art as well) rather than just being a subject-expert delivering lectures.

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Though India has produced brilliant well known teachers in the past such as Dr. Radhakrishnan, Swami Vinekanada, Rabindranath Tagore etc, Indian teachers find it difficult to first get selected for international teaching jobs and if they get selected, it is very difficult to succeed as a teacher.

 

There are several reasons for this and are challenges which Indian teachers will need to overcome:

(1)  English Language – Most international schools prefer native speakers of English as English is their default language of communication. Indian teachers need to be more conversant and more fluent in English especially spoken English. One may be very good at written English but teaching is more about speaking rather than writing.

Accent (and Dialect) is something Indian teachers need to work on as well. One doesn’t have to have a typical British or American accent but at least there should be clarity in the sentences he/she speaks.

Students may find it difficult to hear and understand spoken English and often get confused.

Grammatical problems in writing are other problems Indian teachers typically face in teaching even in application letters too!

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(2)  Technology – Knowledge about IWBs, PPT lectures through a Projector, LMS, CMS, Moodle etc is a big boost your chances of selection. Computer Studies (or ICT) is not limited to just being a subject taught by the ICT teacher of the school. Today, every subject taught can be taught with the help of computers. In fact, it is more effective. But many Indian teachers are not trained with IT and are reluctant to use ICT as an aid to teaching. Their ignorance or reluctance towards technology becomes a hindrance in the selection process.

In fact, use of Internet, Social media such as Facebook, Twitter etc in education is catching up very quickly as the hottest trend in education. So Indian teachers also need to give up on their fears about technology and train themselves and be mentally prepared to accept technology as a friend.

(3)  Multitasking – Do you know how to dance? Can you sing? Have you played football in your school team? Do you love Art? Is there a Picasso hidden in you?

These are several questions which you will have to answer to. Most schools expect their teachers to be multi-talented. Multi-tasking, as I’ve put it, is what a BIG requirement these days is. How much a teacher can contribute towards the all-round development of a child is very important. Unfortunately, Indian teachers frequently do not focus on this and are more concerned about their subject knowledge.  International schools expect their teachers to help students in drama, debate, dance, music, art & craft and many other activities.  It is not possible to help develop well rounded students if you are not well rounded yourself.

(4)  Teaching Methodology – Most Indian teachers still strongly believe in writing notes on the board and let the students copy notes from the board. This happens right from the time they enter their class until the bell rings. What a big sigh of relief this bell is for students!!!

Gone are the days when ‘Chalk & Board’ was the only thing teachers were expected to do in the class. Teachers should be prepared to tell stories to their students. For example, If you are teaching the topic ‘Viruses’ in ICT, come prepared with stories related to computer viruses (especially ‘I Love You’ virus and the story of the Trojan-Horse). It keeps students spell-bound in the class. Take them to the field sometimes and take your lecture there. Be creative, Keep innovating.  Be the facilitator to their learning, rather than forcing them to take in facts.   Show that you have engage students in research, risk taking and inquisition.

(5)  Single / Couple – Sir! Can I bring my wife (or Husband) and my children with me when I am joining?

 

I think a very common question many married teachers ask. Married Teachers quite often want their families to get shifted with them at the expense of school that is appointing them. This may not be a good idea if the school has a preference for single applicants.  Consider accepting the offer and wait for the right time to discuss bringing your family over with the school management.  It will help if they are happy with your performance and contribution to the school.

If Indian teachers can integrate these qualities, I am sure their chances of getting offers from international schools across the globe will be brighter.

 

ashish-aim

Ashish is an MBA with Majors in IT with 15 years of teaching experience. He has taught International Curricula such as IGCSE, O Level, A Level and IB since 2001.

He has taught in Saudi Arabia, India, Malawi and has worked as the Principal of International school in India. Currently, he is heading the ICT division of an International school as the Technical Administrator.

Apart from teaching ICT and Applied ICT, he specialises in Curriclum development, time-tabling, handling external and internal examination related work for the whole school.

Written by Ashish Bhatnagar

How to stop your application ending up in the bin

80 percent of applications are thrown in the bin or ignored at first glance.  Why?  The covering letter is either a generic one, regurgitates what is on the profile / CV or is poorly put together.  We want your application to be part of that 20 percent!  One of Head’s biggest concerns with online applications is that candidates aren’t serious applicants.  Here’s some hints on how to ensure you are part of the 20% and get you onto that interview shortlist.

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You have 50-300 words to use in your covering email to an application.  Use them wisely as 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.

The following tips will help:

DO:

  • Carry out your research.  Make sure you meet the candidate criteria on the Teacherhorizons profile.  Look at the school Mission Statement and Vision to ensure they match those of your own.  You have to demonstrate you want to be part of the school’s aspirations and can help them get there.
  • Explain why you want this position in this school and this country.  Explain what you aim to achieve.
  • Write the application in Word first and ensure all grammar and spelling are 100% correct.  Grammatical errors are so common and are very off-putting.
  • Tailor each application to each school.  Schools HATE generic one size fits all applications.  Schools are so different so every covering note should recognise this.
  • Expand on your profile identifying how your experiences have developed you making you an ideal candidate for this specific role.
  • Make the statement personal and unique to you – think about what makes you different to other applicants.
  • Make reference to your teaching philosophy / style but don’t elaborate here, this is the purpose of your ‘Teaching Philosophy statement’.
  • Demonstrate you are well suited to the role.  Most Heads only glance at covering applications, make sure the key points stand out.

DON’T:

  • Send a standard covering email to all schools you apply to.
  • Regurgitate information in your CV/ Profile.  Explain the impact of these experiences on your ability to fulfil the role instead.
  • Use email grammar or abbreviations.  Stick to formal writing techniques.
  • Apply to jobs which you are clearly not qualified for or suited to.  This merely wastes everyone’s time and is disheartening when you are rejected.

Whilst CV’s/resumes and covering letters are almost extinct in state education, they still form an important part of the process of application for international schools.  We have built the application system to incorporate the best of both worlds and save everybody time.  Your profile forms the bulk of the application form and is relevant to all schools.  Meanwhile, the teaching philosophy, video interview and covering email give you an opportunity to give a personal touch to your application and make it really stand out.

We hope this helps to turn those figures around.  We’d love to see the day where only 20 percent of applications end up in the bin (and so would many Heads!).

Written by Alexis Toye, Director of Operation and Finance at Teacherhorizons. Former IB school teacher and IB Coordinator at Oporto British School and Westminster Academy.

Adventures and personal development

brenna-mcneil

Time flies, doesn’t it? I first left Australia way back in March 2005 to take up a teaching position in Japan. Well, I use the term ‘teaching’ generously- my job was to make sure my class of ten Japanese three-year- olds sat still on their chairs while they sang English songs and recited nursery rhymes. Ugh…

After that, I learned about the wonderful world of accredited, established international schools. I was fortunate enough to secure a teaching position- a real one!- at a K-12 international school in Tokyo. I made life-long friends, consolidated my teaching skills, and started to get the hang of the whole living overseas thing.

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The next few years saw me working in international schools in Singapore, Germany, and now the USA. When I reflect on my experiences over the past seven years (Wait, what? Seven years? It feels like yesterday!), I smile, then cringe, then smile again. It has certainly been a roller coaster ride, but I wholeheartedly believe the positives far outweighed the negatives, in many respects. However, the number one, best of the best, top of the list benefit for me has to be personal development:

Patience – diving into an unknown and, at times, completely foreign culture is an exercise in patience. It takes a long time to recognise and understand the nuances of different societies, and an even longer time to accept them yourself without getting frustrated. Living in different communities around the world has helped me become more open-minded and patient about things I don’t initially understand or comprehend. However, I must admit, the practice of repeatedly sniffing rather than blowing one’s nose (this is regarded as being extremely rude in Japan) tested my patience constantly- especially during the winter months on a packed-to-the-rafters train ride to work on a Monday morning

Adaptation – it really is amazing what you can get used to! Things that at first seem unbearable- like the long, cold, sunless days of a German winter- begin to grow on you. You slowly find your ‘comfort zone’, and work out ways to deal with new situations. In fact, you might experience a kind of ‘reverse culture shock’ when you leave the situations you have finally adapted to and return to something more familiar. But take comfort in the fact that you will no doubt adapt again, and again, and again……..

Organisation – you bet I’m organised! Uprooting your life, packing up your entire apartment into little boxes, and having it arrive on the opposite side of the world on a specific day at a specific time at another apartment that you’ve managed to secure takes a great deal of organisation- and, to be honest, luck!

Appreciation – I led quite a sheltered life back in Australia. I had not been overseas before my first job in Japan, and I had no interest in culture, politics, or world events- boring! However, the more I travelled, the more I was exposed to these things. I started to appreciate the far-reaching effects of political events in various countries around the world, I started to appreciate the different celebrations of various cultures and the joy they bring, I started to appreciate the environment and its value. You could say I started to appreciate humankind- cheesy, I know, but it’s true.

In addition to tremendous personal growth, I wholeheartedly believe that, thanks to my experiences living and working internationally, I have developed a unique perspective on life and living: we all have the same goal- to be happy- though our individual journeys to this destination may be very different. And that’s okay. Actually, it’s not just okay, it’s fantastic! We should treasure and preserve our differences, whilst at the same time respecting basic human needs and rights. And I believe the best way to do this is to travel, immerse oneself in different cultures, ‘walk a mile in their shoes’ so to speak. Only then will we come to truly understand one another.

I’m looking forward to the next seven years, and can’t wait to see what they bring. I just hope they don’t fly by as quickly as the past seven years have!

Brenna is an Australian elementary and PE/Health teacher who asked to blog for us. She has worked in many international schools around the world over the past seven years, and enjoys experiencing the music, food and celebrations of various cultures around the world.

If you would like to write a guest blog, please email info@teacherhorizons.com

Written by Brenna McNeil

The reference issue – adding credibility to your application

Gone are the days when references were used as the main criteria for judging the quality of a teacher.  This is a shame, as references actually add a lot of value to an application; they reinforce a candidate’s achievements and add value to their credentials.

In the UK, many schools are so distrusting of references that they only use references as a final check once they have decided to employ a candidate.  This is not the case for international schools where references still carry a lot of weight, provided they are from quality sources.

Provided you are a good teacher, solid and confidential references will actually help you secure great jobs.   Choosing your referees is critical to this process.  We have had a number of teachers who have selected their friends who then go on to provide outstanding references.  This does not help your cause as it easy to spot and asks all sorts of questions about why a teacher has chosen their referees this way.

 

We strongly recommend that teachers make their current Head of School one of their three referees.  Most good international schools will demand this and want to hear an assessment from the top.  We would also suggest that you use a former Head of School for your second reference.  The third can be more flexible but chose someone who has been your superior, a Head of Department, Deputy Head or line manager would be the most obvious choice.

Worried about a bad reference?  In the vast majority of cases, you shouldn’t be.  If your school have been particularly unreliable or unfair, you may choose to use your line manager rather than a Head of School as a referee.  However, please be aware that you may need to justify your decision and most schools will call your current head to discuss the issue if they are suspicious in any way.  You are often better off being completely honest, using the current Head and then explaining your situation.  Heads of School know there are rogue schools or that personality clashes happen sometimes provided you come across well at interview and are completely open about your situation.  If you are worried about this, a video interview can really help your cause as it may reduce any doubts a school may have regarding your applications.

The great news is that good teachers have nothing to worry about.  A strong profile that is backed up by strong references is a winning formula and you are likely to be in pole position for that next job!

Relaxed senior leaders, friendly students and new teaching strategies – one teacher’s experience of teaching in Dubai

Daryl Sims spent three years teaching in inner city London before making the leap to teach abroad. He arrived at The English Collage, Dubai, UAE in September and documents his experience to date for us below.

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1. Why did you choose to teach abroad?

I choose to teach abroad as I wanted to do something a bit different, one may even say “a bit wild”. I hadn’t left Europe before in my life and I felt at the age of 25 it was the right time to broaden my horizons. Teaching in the UK was great and I liked the school I was working at, but I felt if I didn’t do it now, I would become tied into the school and end up with a mortgage.

2. How did you go about finding a job?

I used the TES. It seemed simple to use, I searched to find a job in a country I was interested in. I had done a bit of research online about where I might like to go. I was required to send my CV and the head teacher came to London to interview me in a hotel bar. I did not have to teach, just a long conversation/interview.

3. What have you enjoyed teaching in an international school?

So far it has been a lot of fun, it is very different from what I experienced in London, but from what I hear this greatly differs from school to school and country to country. The students are very relaxed and friendly and this allows the staff and senior leaders to also have a laid back and happy approach to the day. In a UK school, an hour after the final bell the car park is still full, here, the school is a ghost town.

4. What have been the main drawbacks of teaching and living abroad?

Being away from family and friends of course. With regards to teaching I guess I am wary that the ease of teaching here may make it harder to readjust to a faster pace, higher geared and more challenging school if I chose to go back, such as those I had experienced in the UK.

5. In what ways, if any, have you developed as a teacher at your current school?

As behaviour is not an issue and without the stressed senior leader’s eye looking through the window of the classroom, I take a lot more risks in the classroom. So, with things like role play, moving around the school to do lessons elsewhere etc. This allows a lot more innovation into the lesson. I’ve also been able to learn from teachers with very different teaching styles

6. Was it the right decision?  Why?

Yes but this is probably based more on personal reasons than on any professional reasons. So far it has been a lot of fun to live here, I’ve met a lot of good people and have had a couple of enjoyable stress free terms of teaching. I would thoroughly recommend teaching abroad to anyone looking for something different.

Thanks for sharing Daryl! We hope for this to be the first of several similar teacher insights and are looking for anyone else who is keen to share their experiences of teaching internationally just email is at info@teacherhorizons.com.

Written by Daryl Sims

The first 60 seconds of an interview – getting it right!

john-regan-pink-backgroundThe first impressions are most important, as 80% of the final outcome are made (on both sides!) within 5 minutes of the start.  It is taken as read that the interviewer has spent as much time in preparing and research as the interviewee.  Both sides are evaluating whether their preconceptions are valid.  The interviewer is assessing whether the candidate could deliver the goods in the classroom, but also whether he/she would fit in with the school’s mission and if they could fit into what will probably be a totally different from what has been experienced so far. So, preparation is all important.

If the time for the interview is 11.00am, it is obvious that the candidate should report ‘suited and booted’ at the venue at 10.45am at the very latest.  The interview schedule may not necessarily be running to exact timings.  If the preceding interviews are running slightly over the schedule, you are just going to have to grin and bear it, but if a previous candidate has failed to report, the interviewer will welcome the chance to start your interview slightly earlier.  Naturally, if you are not there for an 11.00 o’clock start, there had better be good reason for this and it is always worthwhile ringing up to explain why you have been delayed.

So, you have reached the interview on time; fully prepared; and well-presented.  Even though it is a slightly artificial situation, start as you mean to go on – be your real self and be relaxed!  The interviewer is trying to picture you as a future colleague.  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 be disastrous.  A couple of times this has happened to me and it ended in tears as within the first year I had to dismiss the teacher for not delivering what was promised at the interview.

The 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.  The most vivid and amusing experience, I can recall, was when a candidate who could not control his nerves was seated in an office swivel chair.  He continually turned the chair from side to side but then, unfortunately, he leaned back and tipped the chair over.  He went over backwards amid a flurry of arms and legs and as he picked himself and the chair up, he explained that had never happened to him before and he hoped it would not affect his chances of getting the job!  It was the final nail in the coffin that he had climbed into in the first 60 seconds of the interview!!

Written by John Regan, Chief Executive of Teacherhorizons and former International School Head in the UK, Portugal and Egypt.

PS, the same rules apply to our video interviews hosted on your Teacherhorizons profile, see here for advice on producing these.  Number one rule, be yourself!  For further info watch this:

Written by John Regan, former International School Head and CEO of Teacherhorizons

A new era for international schools

The changing international school landscape

The changing international school landscape

The international education sector is changing fast. Gone are the days of backward, expat institutions harking back to the ‘good old’ colonial times.

The 21st century has spawned a new breed of international schools – modern, high tech, forward looking institutions providing cutting edge international education. These schools no longer cater solely for expat populations but instead are growing from the needs of local communities who are realising the value of their children being educated in English. In fact, the Chairman of Goldman Sachs commented in 2011 the export of English language services will be one of the UK’s biggest growth areas in the UK over the next decade.

What does this mean for us teachers?

It’s a very exciting time. If you’re a good teacher who enjoys an adventure, there’s never been a better time to explore international teaching opportunities. As hundreds of new schools spring up across Asia and Latin American seeking well qualified English speaking teachers every year, demand for our skills is ever increasing.  With privatisation rife in China, we are witnessing international schools filling the gap where there would otherwise be local private schools. We are also observing a shift in the balance of influence between teachers and international schools. In decades past, schools have been in the driving seat when it’s come to recruitment – able to demand more from teachers for less. It has been in the interests of some less progressive schools to stifle the transparency that has swept across other sectors. Why, for example, has it been so hard to find out a salary before you apply for an international teaching job?

The changes we are witnessing are empowering us all, as teachers, to expect to access more information both from schools and recruiters.

Teacherhorizons – leading the way forward

Teacherhorizons has grown from teachers and international schools recognising a need to the recruitment fairer and stop big companies taking money out of the system.  Our aim is to provide in depth details of schools all over the world so that teachers can make sound decisions about where we choose to teach abroad. Equally, we want to help schools find out more about us to enable them to find the most suitable teachers to recruit. We believe that, as our community of forward looking schools and teachers grows, so we can increase transparency across the sector move toward truly internationalising the teaching profession.

Written by Alex Reynolds, founding partner and Director of Communications at Teacherhorizons.

More than just a holiday?

How often have you walked into the staffroom on the day back and a colleague who thinks they are rather funny comments that there are only 49 days working days until the next holiday?  Whilst there is much, much more to teaching, I have no doubt that holidays are probably are the biggest perk of the profession.

However, you will have faced two major problems.  Flights are now expensive, especially to get out of the winter gloom and during the school holidays.  Appealing destinations are packed pushing up hotel prices and you will most likely surrounded by the specimens you are trying to avoid: school children!

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Teaching overseas improves your travel opportunities no end for the following reasons:

  • Reduce costs by travelling locally.
  • Longer holidays which often don’t coincide to such a great degree with peak holiday season and prices.
  • A greater disposable income in most international schools.
  • Local knowledge from your colleagues.

Stuck for ideas – the following may give you some ideas:

Late October break: take advantage of the last of the Northern Hemisphere sun with a break in the South of Spain or Portugal.  Stay in a lovely Pousada and sip away at Sangria in the evenings with a few tapas to keep your stomach happy too.

Christmas break: fly to Marrakech for souks, open air markets and riads combined with either a visit to the High Atlas mountains for spectacular trekking and village stays.  An alternative is the fabulous beach town of Essaouira.  Celebrate Christmas with a tagine in the mountains, then head down to the beach for a sun downer!  Alternatively, organise a family holiday in Australia or Cape Town in South Africa – it doesn’t get any better than that!

Late February break: head to the ski resorts of Vancouver and debate why it tops most tables for offering the best quality of life in the world.  Don’t like the cold – make your colleagues green with envy and head down to Rio for the Carnival.

Easter holiday: time to arrange a visit to South East Asia.  Combine a visit to Thailand’s wonderful beaches with a spot of culture in Angkor Wat (Cambodia) or visit the ruined temples of Bagan in Burma.  It could be a fascinating time to visit!  Alternatively, it is prime time to arrange a 2 week trek with a bit of white water rafting in Nepal.  It’s also festival time in Spain, Seville has amongst the best!

June break: you will probably be saving for the summer break (if you are in the northern hemisphere) so keep it low key.  Offer to run a pre exams revision camp, go on a camping holiday locally or discover a nearby city for the weekend.  Feeling flush?  Mozambique is begging to be discovered, try the Northern coast for a holiday you’ll never forget.

Summer holiday: Where to start?  You’ll probably have two months off.  Time to travel properly!  Explore the gems of the Middle East with bags of culture thrown in – Syria and Jordan are two of our favourites.  China is on the verge of becoming the world’s largest economy and is now much easier to visit.  With much of Asia hit by monsoon, do an overland trip taking in Beijing, Shanghai and Tibet.  Be sure to try Szechuan food for those with a taste for spicy food.  Finally, visit the surrounding jungles, magnificent city of Cartagena in Colombia and you’ll probably never come back.

Inspired?  Please contribute your ideas here!

Did we tell you there are also great professional development opportunities too?

Written by Alexis Toye, Director of Operation and Finance at Teacherhorizons. Former IB school teacher and IB Coordinator at Oporto British School and Westminster Academy.

Ten reasons to teach in an international school

There has never been a better time to enter the exciting world of international teaching.  We have put together ten reasons why now is the time to get proactive and make 2012 the year you made it happen!

1. Professional development

It is a common misconception that international schools are places where you get into bad teaching habits. On the contrary, many international schools offer teachers generous training and professional development budgets. Curricula like the International Baccalaureate offer exceptional training courses all over the world offering teachers the chance to train in other international destinations.

2. New international schools

Forget the army or diplomatic service, teaching is by a long way the profession offering the best opportunities to work abroad. These days, most major cities in almost every country have an international school and the number of schools is growing rapidly providing an ever larger variety of schools to choose from.

3. The economic climate

We’re all aware that over the next few years we’re going to feel ‘the pinch’ and have to ‘tighten our belts’. Funding is being cut, wages are being frozen and resources cupboards are looking emptier. So when better to head to distant shores (many of which are less affected by the economic situation) to teach, learn and explore for a couple of years?

4. Technological developments

Living abroad no longer means a life away from friends and loved ones. Technological developments such as Facebook, Skype, video conferencing, and instant messaging means that it’s much easier to stay in touch with friends and family than ever before. And cheaper flights make it easy for them to come and visit your new home!

5. The global perspective

There has recently been a far greater emphasis on teaching young people to be global citizens and many countries are incorporating this ‘global dimension’ as a core part of their curriculum. Experience working abroad with teachers from around the world and teaching a truly international curriculum to pupils from a diverse range of countries is a fantastic way to bring this to life but at abroad and when you return home.

6. Start afresh

Moving abroad can be an extremely liberating experience. Its 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.

7. Returning home

It used to be that teaching abroad wasn’t taken seriously by some schools back home and viewed as a bit of a ‘gap year’. Fortunately, most Headteachers and Principals are now more forward looking and 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.

8. Travel

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 entire new continent!

9. The information age

Until recently, it was difficult to find out everything you wanted to about an international school before taking a job. Today most schools have websites providing some information and we offer much more detail to help you find the right school for you. Best of all, it’s completely FREE for teachers. Click here to view an example of a school profile.

10. No regrets

Research indicates that over half of all teachers in the UK have at some point ‘considered’ teaching abroad at some point but the majority never get round to it. It’s easy for years to start to pass by, situations to change and roots to deepen. If you’re seriously considering teaching abroad, we strongly encourage you to be proactive in your search, to complete your profile in detail and make 2012 a year you’ll never forget!

Click here to sign up to Teacherhorizons (it takes just 60 seconds but may change your life!)