10 questions to ask schools during your interview

Imagine…You’ve prepped for days for an interview with your dream international school, the Skype call has gone well, no technical glitches, you’ve answered their questions exactly as planned, you’re feeling positive and you’re so close to the end. Then the interviewer says “Finally then, do you have any questions for me?”

*GULP* You had been so busy prepping your answers that you had forgotten to prepare questions to ask the school! Of course, you will have hundreds, as that’s what Skype interviews are about; you won’t actually experience the school first-hand until you arrive on day 1, so you need to get a jolly good feel for it by asking important questions at your interview.

Don’t panic though, we have whittled it down to ten key questions to ask your interviewer which we think should get you those vital bits of information in a succinct and diplomatic manner. So ask away, and make an informed decision.

 

question21) What is the average length of time teachers stay at your school?

This is a really important question, as it gives you clues to many different aspects in just one answer. For example how the school treats their staff, how good the staff accommodation is, how liveable the local area is, and how easy the students are to teach. If people are never staying beyond their contract or are even breaking contract, then you need to delve deeper before you make a decision.

 

2) Are you able to put me in touch with a member of staff who already works at the school?

The most valuable thing you can do to get information about what it’s like to work at the school, is to speak to someone who works at the school. It’s also best if that person has no involvement in recruiting so they have no reason to hide any ugly truths. The Head should be totally open to this and if they aren’t, it’s worth thinking twice about the school.

 

q3) What is are the main reasons that staff leave the school?

Again, a great question as it gives you an idea of what the school offers and what it lacks. For example, if most people leave because there is little progression in the school, you have to consider whether progression is important for you from your next position. If it’s due to pollution or other external factors, that suggests the school is probably meeting the needs of its staff, but you have to consider how those external factors could affect you too.

 

4) What expectations are there for teacher participation beyond the school day?

Schools are busy places. There will be after school sports, science, and drama clubs, weekend events such as Duke of Edinburgh, carnivals, trips and fundraising activities. It completely depends on the school as to how many extra hours are expected for no additional pay. How would you feel donating Saturday mornings to school? Or conducting boarding duties? Find out!

 

question 45) How will I be supported by Senior Leadership staff?

This is key because SLT creates the vision and the strategic direction of the school. This vision then has to be translated and actioned in the classroom and it’s your job to do that, but they need to support you to ensure you are doing it right. Do they conduct learning walks? Do they have an open door policy? Do they know staff by name and are they present in and around the school? These things are important to know before you embark on a journey with that leadership team, because you need to know that your hard work and dedication to that school is going to be noticed and appreciated.

 

6) What are the main ‘challenges’ that you think I should be aware of about the location of the school or the local area?

If the worst things about the area are the lack of English foods, or that sometimes there’s a rainy season, then you’re laughing! If it’s that women can’t walk around by themselves or that it’s very politically unstable, then you have to think twice about what you might be letting yourself in for. This is a question definitely worth delving into.

 

question6) How will I be supported should any students fail?

As teachers, we will do everything to prevent a student from failing – whether that’s having them back after lessons, calling home over and over, or having them redo exams.  This makes sense, to an extent, but support needs to be provided by the school as a whole too. Does the school do this, or is it just something you will be required to undertake as an individual? Find out.

 

8) What do teachers tend to do after school and at the weekend?

Most teachers that choose to teach internationally, do it because they want to explore the world and experience new cultures. However, some areas of the world can be culturally extinct and may offer very little in the way of fun activities outside of school. Of course, people can still enjoy their time in such a location, but some teachers would get through the entirety of Netflix in their 2 years there and feel unfulfilled. Ask this question and listen carefully to the answer. You might have to read between the lines!

 

questons69) What is the housing like that will be provided?

The accommodation in international schools always varies. It could range from nothing at all, to a room in a ‘block’ like halls of residence at uni, to a one bedroom apartment, to a three-bedroom house, or perhaps they fund you to find your own place. Find out. It shouldn’t be a deal breaker but it will give you a good idea of the importance that school places on looking after its staff.

 

10) What are the Professional Development opportunities at the school?

Finally. Continued Professional Development is a crucial issue for teachers who are new to international education, in particular the young and/or ambitious teacher.  Many candidates have the impression that CPD would be limited in international schools, if it exists at all.  The reality is that there are abundant opportunities at most schools, if you ask for them. Find out what your prospective school offers, and make sure it is in line with what you plan to achieve from your next position.

 

We hope this helps! Let us know if you have any questions to add to the list by emailing editor@teacherhorizons.com. Now you are fully prepared for your interview, sign up to Teacherhorizons here, and browse our jobs here. Good luck!

 

Written by Tiffany Kibblewhite, Teacherhorizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.

The importance of developing a community of international school educators

The number of international schools is growing every year. The demand for more international schools in Asia and the Middle East is surely increasing the fastest. With all of this demand and urgency from companies and parents, international schools will definitely be needing even more qualified teachers now and in the near future. But how do international schools find these qualified teachers and how do they communicate with them? How will the veteran teachers and teachers new to the field of international education hear and learn about these schools-in-need? Ron Rosenow, the owner and founder of the International School Community website, tells us more.

 

There is a proven necessity for international school educators to stay in touch and work together with each other, although their schools lay thousands of miles apart. Seasoned international school teachers (those teachers with experience working at multiple international schools) can bridge schools together by transferring their knowledge from school to school, but are there enough tools for the people new to the international school community to get “on board” as smoothly as possible?

Year after year, thousands of new teachers join the wonderful world of international school teaching. They range from experienced school teachers to those who are fresh out of university teaching training programs, from heads of schools to specialists in the arts, and from admissions coordinators to (let’s not forget) even parents and the students themselves. There is indeed a necessity for all stakeholders to share what they know and help each other gain precious information about every international school worldwide.

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Ron wrote another blog for us back in 2016. Have a read of his article: Teaching Abroad

 

For international schools to find the qualified teachers they need, the prospective teachers need to possess certain information about the international school, information you do not necessarily get from looking at a school’s own website. This important information changes from time to time and can get quickly outdated. But even with the old information, it is also good to know about that history and how the international school got to where it is today. Getting the correct and most recent information about international schools is truly a difficult and challenging task.

It does sound silly to move yourself halfway across the world to a country and city (and school) that maybe you haven’t even been to before. The more informed you are about a specific international school and about life in the city and country it is in, the better decision you will be able to make when considering a job there.

The influence of international school teachers (and other stakeholders) is important and increasingly necessary. The need to have transparency across the international school community is also vital.

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Teacherhorizons is also a community. Read about how our community helps disadvantage in Sri Lanka

 

Whenever and wherever possible, the people in the international school community should take opportunities to share their experiences about what they know related to working at international schools. For example, sharing about their journey to school each day could prove to be very informative to prospective teachers (and parents). Knowledge about getting to and from their new international school would be useful information to know before signing a contract. People could also discuss their secret tips about what things to consider when choosing an international school at which to work. We all have different tactics that we use, and the more tools we have, the better! And being willing to discuss the ins and outs of getting your foot into the wonderful world of working at international schools would also be quite helpful for the “newbies.”

Anyone can start working in the international school community. Educators working at international schools are indeed varied and come from a variety of backgrounds. Their diversity is celebrated in “true” international schools. With this diverse community sharing their stories and experiences, we can get a clearer picture of how they did it and get tips for our own selves as we venture to new opportunities around the world. These people in the international school community can strive to reach out to other educators to discuss related education topics in which they are interested. Many times international school teachers depend on each other in terms of program models and curricular issues.

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Read an experience from one of our teachers about living and working in Istanbul

 

The people working in the international school community should not be afraid to share what they know. It is now known that directors and principals are actually encouraging their staff to do just that. These administrators can see the importance of their teachers joining a community that supports them and keeps them informed. The school benefits too because their staff can help prospective teachers to their school find the better fit for their career and future in their lives. It is all about finding the right fit! Certainly, the more prospective teachers know, the better off the school will be when and if they accept of job offer to work there.

Schools are also interested in getting their school’s name out there more to attract more teachers to work at their school. Some international schools are tweeting messages about their school making sure to include the Twitter usernames of other international schools and various international school organizations, thus getting the attention of the wider international school community as well.

Creating a sense of community and belonging is truly vital for the international school community to thrive and grow. By having all the stakeholders communicating with each other and sharing what they know, the better off everyone will be. Being a member of this wonderful community of international educators can indeed be both a fulfilling and exciting experience. Let’s increase our engagement in the international school community by sharing what we know with each other. Surely, everyone will appreciate it and also greatly benefit from it as well.

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Access the International School Community website here.

 

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

Written by Ron Rosenow, the owner and founder of the International School Community website. International School Community's goal is to be the largest online community for international schools educators. The site provides a useful, informative and celebratory environment for networking with other international school stakeholders and learning about different international schools around the world.

Life at The Koç School in Istanbul.

Istanbul is a vibrant and energetic city famous for bridging the East and West. One of Europe’s most cosmopolitan and culturally rich cities, it’s a wonderful place to live and offers an excellent quality of life for teachers. Especially when you work at one of the top schools in the country! Daniel Blanco has just spent his first term there, as a Spanish teacher at The Koç School, and has written a blog to share his amazing experience so far.

 

images (2)Where are you teaching and what’s your school like?

This is my first year teaching in Istanbul and I am working in one of the most prestigious private school in the whole country. Last year I was teaching in the Middle East but when I saw this great opportunity in Istanbul I decided to apply for the job. My wife had been in the city before and she thought we would fit really well in Turkey. I think she was right. We love the city and the school meets all my expectations.

How did you get your job? What was the process like?

After the initial interview with Anisha Vadher from Teacherhorizons, I had Skype interviews with the former Headteacher and Counsellor of The Koç School, the General Director and the Head of MFL. Then, I was invited to visit the school and spent a few days on campus, teaching a couple of lessons, meeting staff and students and experiencing as much school life as possible in a five day visit. During my stay I also had interviews with the General Director and the High School Director and spent a day exploring Istanbul. A few days later, back in Doha, I got a job offer to join the school and the MFL department.

 

Another happy teacher, Michael Oosterhout, has taught at The Koc School too; read his story

 

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What is the city like? Is there an active expat scene? What do you do in your free time?

Istanbul is an amazing city. We are living on campus outside the city, but the school provides teachers with busses which go to the city on Saturday and Sunday. The campus is perfect for families since it is safe for the kids, the facilities are outstanding and the school takes great care of us. A lot of single teachers and couples with no children live in the city and commute every day. They enjoy all the city has to offer, as we do at the weekends, going to bars, restaurants, museums, markets and shops. Sometimes we stay in a little hotel on a Saturday night. We enjoy eating out, going for a walk, shopping… pretty much the same things we would do back home in Spain.

Which tourist sites or must-visit places are nearby?

Going to the city usually takes between 45 to 60 minutes depending on the traffic. Once there, on the Asian side, you can eat fish in the restaurants around the street market in Kadikoy, cross the Bosphorus by ferry, relax in a hammam in Cemberlitas, admire the impressive mosques in Sultanahmet, go shopping in the Grand Bazaar… On top of that, the campus is next to one of the airports, so you can always jump on a plane on a Friday night and fly to Bodrum, Cappadocia or Antalya… which is great.

 

 

What is the climate like? Is there any extreme weather? If so, how do you deal with it?

So far the weather has been great. It is a four season city, so we experienced a warm summer when we arrived in August and a mild autumn with little rain and lots of sunshine up to early December. Winter has just started and it feels colder and wetter. Some colleagues have told me about annual snow days when the school is even closed, but having also lived in Northern Scotland I think we will cope pretty well with the winter in Istanbul.

 What’s the cost of living like? Are you able to save money?

The cost of living is very low compared to Qatar or the UK. We are a family of three with two cats and we can save. The school provides teachers with very good accommodation. Grocery shopping is not expensive and you can find any clothes you can imagine in Istanbul’s street markets at a very good price. I also get a discount on public transport for being a teacher, so I jump on trams, buses, metro or ferries all the time.

 

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What is the food like? Is international food available? Have you tried any unusual local dishes?

Some people love it some people miss a more international cuisine scene in Istanbul. Turkish restaurants are spread all over the city and we really like the food they cook. Turkish people enjoy having a big breakfast, which is more like a brunch which comes with olives, tomatoes, green peppers, different types of bread, omelettes or boiled eggs, tahini, salads… and of course, plenty of Turkish tea. Fish is also very popular, as well as kebabs. For those with a sweet tooth, there are lots of bakeries and cafes to have baklava, macarons and other local specialities.

How is the culture different from your home culture? Have you experienced any culture shock?

Coming from a Mediterranean country like Spain, we feel really good here. Turkish people love children and enjoy life outdoors, so the transition after England, Scotland and Qatar has been really smooth. The size of the city and the heavy traffic have been a bit of a shock for us since we live on the Asian side outside the city and we were not used to it. People are very friendly and they appreciate your efforts to try to communicate in Turkish with them.

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

 

download What’s the best thing about living and teaching in your chosen city? What have been your highlights so far?

The school is a top school in this country and the organisation is very caring, professional and forward-thinking. I feel supported by colleagues and management, which is very important for me. The Human Resources team also make sure teachers and families are happy here helping us with any banking or health issues. Besides, the Campus Housing Coordinator and Assistant to the General Director does an amazing job taking care of our needs and organising events for teachers and families living on campus, from barbecues to Christmas celebrations.
Regarding the city, we only wish we had more time to keep exploring it because there is a lot to see and do for us.

 

 

Are there any drawbacks? What kind of person would not be suited to this location?

As per contract, you must live on campus for your first two years here, so some single colleagues may find it hard not to be in the city from Monday to Friday. Most international teachers have been teaching her for five years or more, which is a very good sign, don’t you think? Teachers and families really look happy here.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking of coming to live and work in your current location?

After four years teaching internationally I always recommend to visit the school and the city if possible before accepting a job offer. In the case of Istanbul, I think it is love at first sight for many people. There is so much history around here and so much to do.

The Koç School is one of our best schools in Turkey. To find out about others, sign up here and have a look at our schools in Turkey.

Written by Daniel Blanco, a fantastic MFL teacher from Spain. Daniel has taught in Spain, Australia, England, Scotland and Qatar. And now Turkey too!

Yew Chung interviews in London this January!

With this New Year we bring you hundreds of new opportunities at some incredible schools. The first school group we would like to introduce is Yew Chung Education Foundation (YCEF) because if you register your interest quickly you may be able to secure a spot in their London interviews in the next three weeks! Read on to find out more.

 

ycef
Who are they?

Yew Chung Education Foundation is a network of international kindergartens, schools, and college that provide quality education to over 10,000 students, spanning from infancy to tertiary, across 20 locations in Hong Kong and Mainland China. The organisation has a unique approach that blends Chinese and Western education and culture by having both Chinese and Western Headteachers for every school and teachers for every class. As each school is part of a larger group, opportunities to move internally or be promoted within the group are high.  The message from the co-principals gives a good insight into their school’s vision and ethos.

                                                                                             Click here to read a blog written by a teacher recently placed at YCIS Qingdao!

 

kidsThe curriculum

The curriculum is based on the National Curriculum for England and modified to meet the needs of the international student population. With this in mind, most of the schools run the UK curriculum up to IGCSE and then culminate in the IB Diploma Programme. The curriculum is further enhanced through a wide range of co-curricular activities and enrichment programmes, such as World Classroom and China Classroom, and students are encouraged to participate in a variety of clubs, sports and athletic competitions. Most importantly, students gain a deep understanding of and respect for cultural diversity, keen awareness of global issues, and develop a lifelong commitment to meeting the challenges of their generation.

Click here to read a blog written by a teacher recently placed at YCIS, Chongqing!

 

classroomWhat is it like to work there?

Over the past four years, we have placed over 100 happy teachers in YCEF schools in Hong Kong and China and their feedback has been resoundingly positive. The schools look after their staff very well from start to finish, and they all provide a competitive salary, private healthcare, accommodation and a yearly flight allowance. What’s not to love? One of our candidates who started this year at Yew Wah School of TongXiang has written a blog on her first few weeks and how she settled in. Have a read here.

Click here to read a blog written by a teacher recently placed at YCIS, Beijing. Or click here to watch a brief video about the school.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 12.06.04Where are the schools?

The variety of cities you can go to with The Yew Chung group are one of the reasons many people choose these schools. Of course, some are in the major cities like Shanghai and Beijing. (Here is a blog written by one of our teachers about being in bustling Beijing and we’ve written an insightful blog about teaching and living in Shanghai too.) However there is also a school, for example, in the city of Qingdao, which is different than many cities in China, it’s on the coast and will challenge any stereotype about a “city in China” you have. This video shows some of the different experiences you would have living here.

Click here to read a blog written by a teacher recently placed at YWIS, Yantai.

 

How do I apply?

Click on the links below to have a look at each of the Yew Chung and Yew Wah schools recruiting through Teacherhorizons this year. If you find a vacancy you are interested in, make sure you get in touch immediately with the Recruitment Adviser detailed on the advert! Interviews are being held in London on 13th January, 14th January, 20th January and 21st January. You can also interview via Skype if you cannot get to London, but priority will be given to face to face candidates.

YCIS Shanghai
YCIS Chongqing
YCIS Hong Kong

YWIS Beijing
YWIS Guangzhou
YWIS TongXiang
YWIS Yantai
YWIS Shanghai
YWIS Chongqing

Best of luck to all who have applied so far. If you are interested but have not yet set up an account with Teacherhorizons, start by clicking here and creating a free profile. Once your account has been activated you will be able to see who to email for your chosen school and position. For any queries email info@teacherhorizons.com.

Written by Tiffany Kibblewhite, Teacherhorizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.

The 12 jobs of Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas one and all! And as our gift to you, we bring you 12 of our favourite jobs for 2018. Have a look at what this brand new year has to offer you.

 

1) MYP Science Teacher International School of Nanshan Shenzhen, China

This position involves teaching Chemistry, Biology and Physics to middle school students, as well as teaching some interdisciplinary science units that explore concepts, skills and processes from two or more science disciplines. The school is in the process of becoming and IB world school, and is state of the art, with a brand new campus in the heart of Shenzhen. The location is fantastic,  it is a true East meets West melting pot with endless entertainment options such as popping to Hong Kong at the weekend!

Screen Shot 2017-12-23 at 22.13.442) Head of Science (Chemistry specialist) St Julian’s School, Portugal  **JANUARY START!**

This is an amazing opportunity to lead a growing team of Chemists at a very renowned school just outside Lisbon. They are keen for someone with IB,  IGCSE and A level experience. The school is in an idyllic location, the grounds that lead on down to a beautiful surfing beach. They are very academic with a fantastic track record of results, and they offer an excellent package. What’s not to like? This school need a teacher for January so get in there quickly!

3) Various jobsYew Chung International School of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

There are many jobs going at this Yew Chung school. Yew Chung is part of the YCEF Foundation. The organisation has a unique approach that blends Chinese and Western education and culture. As the school is part of a larger group, opportunities to move internally / get promotions in China and Hong Kong are high. It’s also an IB school and a good stepping stone to gain IB experience which will open doors in the future. The school is a little different to the other branches of YCIS because they admit local students and have a lower number of expat students.

4)  IBDP Psychology Teacher – Australian International School Saigon, Vietnam

This job is in the Senior School (Years 12 – 13) at AIS; part of the ACG group of schools who offer a first class, academic education within a forward-looking and enriched curriculum to pupils aged from 3 months to 18. The senior school teaches the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.  We visited the school last year and noticed how progressive the school is.  The Head is employing many new ideas which makes AIS an exciting place to teach.

5) Year 3 or 4 Leader The British School in Colombo, Sri Lanka

This is a middle leadership position at The British School in Colombo; one of the most established schools in Sri Lanka. The school bases its curriculum around the British National Curriculum for students from the ages of 2.5 to 18 and offers IGCSE and A Level exams. The school is housed in modern, purpose-built accommodation with dedicated facilities for science, ICT, art, music and sport.  To get a better idea of teaching in this school watch this video.

our-campus-image-26) Early Childhood Teacher Ludum School, Italy **JANAURY START!**

Ludum is a well known and established Early Childhood Centre and Primary School located in the city of Milan. The school is committed to providing quality child care and interactive, memorable learning experiences via a highly innovative curriculum based on the design approach. This vacancy is for an experienced and highly motivated teacher to inspire and be part of a close knit teaching team while being responsible for the growth and development of 3 and 4 year old students.

7) College and Careers Adviser – Jay Pritzker Academy, Cambodia

This is a truly ‘feel good’ job. Jay Pritzker Academy is dedicated to overcoming educational disadvantage in rural Cambodia.  The school have a unique and inspiring model, their aim is to make an impact on the future of Cambodia.  JPA is looking for dynamic and inspiring teachers to push forward the school’s vision, and by providing advice about the student’s bright future, you would be doing just this.

8) Nursery Teacher (2-3 Year olds) – United World College Thailand, Thailand **JANUARY START!**

United World College Thailand is part of one of the most prestigious groups of schools in the world. UWC is an education movement comprised of 16 schools, colleges and national committees worldwide that offer scholarships and bursary schemes as well as accepting fee-paying students. This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a growing school that has a genuine focus on the social and emotional learning of each student.

9) Head of DramaDulwich College Shanghai Pudong, China

This is a fantastic middle leadership position, leading the drama department at one of the Dulwich schools. The school, which caters to the local expatriate community, is set in an attractive, leafy suburb which contrasts nicely with the liveliness of the city centre which is about 25 minutes away (depending on the traffic!).  It is fully accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), WASC and the International Baccalaureate. Candidates must be able to demonstrate a passion for their subject in order to stretch the ablest of students.

madinaty10) Head of Mathematics The British International School Madinaty – Egypt

A perfect step into HOD for someone who has experience in the UK curriculum. The British International School Madinaty is a growing, not for profit school located in the Capital of Egypt, Cairo, only a short distance from the ancient Pyramids. The school has a safe, community feel and is set in a large gated compound. BIS Madinaty has excellent facilities that include tennis and handball courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool and an excellent SEN department.

11) LibrarianThe Koc School, Turkey

This role will involve teaching, inspiring and challenging bright Turkish students studying the prestigious International Baccalaureate in addition to the Turkish national curriculum. You must be a qualified teacher and have library experience to apply. The school is one of the top 2 in Turkey and is looking for an experienced Librarian who can take their substantial library into the 21st century.

12) IGCSE and A level Physics Teacher JKFZ Cambridge International School, China

An excellent opportunity to be part of a new school that can offer you the opportunity to make a major contribution to its development into a mature and successful establishment. JKFZ Cambridge International School has excellent facilities within a beautiful campus. It has wonderful, highly motivated, high achieving and aspirational Chinese students who are looking to attend some of the best universities around the world. JKFZ follows an English curriculum,  IGCSE  and A-Levels.

 

If you are keen for any of these positions, email your Recruitment Adviser. Their name will be at the bottom of the advert for the job you are interested in! Want a job but haven’t signed up to Teacherhorizons yet? Create a free profile here.

Written by Tiffany Kibblewhite, Teacherhorizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.

Encouraging your students to apply for international scholarships

For many students, half the battle of going to college is trying to find a way to pay tuition. Fortunately, there are thousands of various scholarship opportunities out there that students can apply for, or enter to win. Jason Mueller from the USA has written a guest blog for us this week, with some tips for teachers on encouraging your students to apply for international scholarships and study abroad.

 

As a teacher, you want to see your students challenge themselves and not only set goals, but smash them! Whether this means you introduce them to new books to read, a new way to complete a math problem or you challenge them to think outside the box when it comes to submitting those college applications, students listen to what their teachers say, even when you may think otherwise. So the best way to help guide them in their educational decisions is by encouraging them to take calculated risks to advance to a higher level of education.

For some students, the thought of traveling overseas can be a little scary but studying abroad can be a very beneficial time in a student’s life. Heading overseas for school allows a person to take in a whole new outlook on life by experiencing new cultures, language skills and even opportunities for employment that they would otherwise know nothing about. Best of all, studying abroad lets a student learn with new or different teaching styles than they may have experienced before. This lets a person really soak up the culture and learn more about the people around them, their traditions and even the way the society works.

So encourage your students to go overseas to college, and to start applying for international scholarships to help offset the cost of tuition overseas. You can encourage your students by guiding them in the right direction and this includes helping them determine whether the school of choice is a good school and helping them research a little about the local area near the school and the customs and traditions they might experience while in the new country. You can also use the following checklist to help them as they consider jetting across the ocean to attend school.

globe travel

Start early

Students who start looking for scholarships early have a better chance of securing the funds they need in time to start school on time. If you have candidates for international study in your classroom, talk to them as soon as possible to get them started on the hunt for as many international scholarships as possible.

Encourage extracurricular activities

Many schools enjoy knowing that students participate in activities outside of school. This could be foreign language classes on their own time, cooking, dance or other classes. It could really help if the activities they enjoy coincide with things the overseas school offers. Extracurricular activities show a well-rounded lifestyle and that always looks good on a college resume.

Help them develop their writing skills

Work with your students to advance their writing skills if they need a little help. Many scholarships offer entry based on writing an essay, and students need to be able to write well to enter and win.

Search online

You may be surprised at the number of scholarships that a person can apply for online, and even more surprising is that some are super easy to get with little to no effort at all. A quick search on Google is a great way to begin searching for the scholarships your students need for studying abroad. Below are some examples of scholarships you could recommend to your students.

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A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. $1000 Scholarship

Entry Deadline: March 10, 2018

Students must write a 1000 word or more essay with a focus on auto transport. Essays will be judged, and a winner chosen by the end of March 2018. Students must be enrolled in, or be enrolled by the 2018 school year a fully accredited two or four-year college, university or trade school.

 

Coupon Birds $1000 Help to Save Scholarship

Entry Deadline: October 18, 2018

To enter to win this scholarship, students must fill out a simple form, write an essay showing how they have been able to save money in their daily life from using coupons for discounts and then submit the essay via the Coupon Birds website. Students must be enrolled in an accredited college or university in the U.S., UK, Canada or Hong Kong to enter.

 

Ugly Sweater Scholarship

Entry Deadline: December 31, 2017

This is a fun scholarship entry which requires students to write an essay of no more than 250 words detailing how they obtained their ugly Christmas sweater. Essays must accompany a photo of the student wearing the sweater. All entries require a $1 fee which will be donated to the Salvation Army’s Brighten the Holidays program. Winners will be notified by January 31, 2018 and award will be sent directly to the college or university the student is enrolled in.

 

To find more great scholarships, be sure to set aside a little time with your students and spend a few minutes online. It doesn’t take long to find some great, as well as fun and creative ways to earn those scholarships to be able to study internationally.

Written by Jason Mueller, who works for A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. One of the largest U.S.-based worldwide auto shippers in the industry. They have just begun offering scholarships to help inspiring students reach their potential.

Moving with young ones: Five ways to ease the transition and keep your sanity!

Moving is one of the most stressful events in life, right up there with the death of a loved one and divorce. For children ages 2 to 6, it’s as if their entire world is being disrupted. The good news is that this age group is very resilient and adapts quickly. Here are five strategies that will help your little one embrace their new “world” with open arms.

 

1) It all begins with your attitude

When parents are stressed and upset, their parenting suffers. Your positive attitude goes a long way in transforming fear and anxiety into excitement. As the founder of Gold Parent Coaching says, “Your kids look to you for cues, so if you’re positive, they’ll have a sense that everything will be okay.”


teddy2) Involve your child with the move
.

Read books about moving with your child to help them understand the process. A winner for this age group is The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day by Stan and Jan Berenstain.

When it’s time to start packing, ask your child to help you pack up her room. Not only will this help her feel included, but she’ll be comforted seeing that all her beloved treasures are going to your new house. Let her “label” her boxes and put them with the things to unpack first. Better yet, let her decorate her boxes with crayons, stickers, etc. Not only will this help your movers easily identify where these boxes go, but it will keep her busy so you can attend to one of the other 457 things on your moving checklist!

Have your child accompany you to look at new houses. Including them in this way builds excitement and greatly reduces the fear and anxiety of the unknown. If they can’t join you, take photos to share with them later. Once you’ve chosen the home, let your child visit before moving day and take a tour of the new neighborhood and anything in the area that they’d like. Ice cream, anyone?

Have a look here to read a first-hand experience from one of our teachers about moving with a family.

 

3) Make your child’s well-being your priority.

Take plenty of breaks from packing to spend time with your child. After the move, try to take some time off from work to help your child settle into his new home. Some other things to consider include:

  • On moving day, set up his room first so he will be surrounded by familiar things. If you do this, he’ll have a sanctuary to go to if he feels overwhelmed.
  • Stick to your old routines; if your bedtime routine has always been a story and a kiss before bed, continue this tradition in your new house.
  • If your child expresses anxiety about leaving friends, come up with ways they can stay in touch. If possible, plan a trip back to the old hometown to visit.

 

kid soft toy4) Acknowledge your child’s feelings.

Instead of judging or downplaying what your child tells you, acknowledge what she’s saying. For example, if your child says she is scared to go to her new school, rather than telling her there’s nothing to be scared of or that she’s being silly, acknowledge her feelings and say something like, “I know you’re scared, but I’m going to come with you. We’ll meet your new teachers and your classmates together, and I’ll stay with you until you’re not scared anymore.” Help your child work through the feelings rather than downplay or deny them.

Click here to read another teacher’s story about moving to Thailand with a family.

 

5) Transition to the new school in steps

Sometimes a few extra steps can be the perfect recipe for helping your child transition more easily to their new school:

  • Ask your child’s former teacher or caregiver to jot down some notes for the new teacher/caregiver.
  • Make sure your child “says goodbye” to their old daycare or school. You might even want to bring special treats for your child to hand out on his last day.
  • Visit the new daycare or school facilities with your child before the first day. Meet the new teacher and say hello to the children.

 

At times, you’ll feel like your sanity is being challenged. But by looking for ways to help your child feel more comfortable with the move, you might even help yourself. With the strategies above, you’ve got this. Pretty soon you’ll be moved and settled into your new life and everything will fall into place. Leaving the stress of moving a distant memory.

 

Written by Noah Smith, a voyager and writer for Wellness Voyager. Noah and his three friends travel the world, writing about their experiences on http://wellnessvoyager.com/.

A new golden age for children’s literature

Do you believe in the power of reading for children? Have you noticed how the shelves of children’s sections of bookshops are now bursting with fantastic new titles all beautifully designed for every level and interest of a child? This has been widely regarded as a new golden age of children’s literature and for Clementine Macmillan-Scott and her team at Scoop Magazine, it’s a truly exciting thing to be part of.

 

3Reading in print

As well as the fact that more stories, both fiction and non-fiction are being created, the printed book market is also booming. As adults we may all have worries about the pervasiveness of the screen in children’s lives. Of course we know that the online world provides an incredible gateway to knowledge but it also brings some worries with it.

The children’s book market

What we are finding however is that children still love reading in print! In the UK nearly £1 in every £4 spent on print titles is on a children’s book, a market share of 24%. According to The Bookseller: “Children are now reading more and want to read print.” This is confirmed by the Publishers Association, which recently reported that book sales for the previous year had jumped 7% to £4.8bn, and data suggests that this has been driven by that whopping 16% jump in revenues from children’s publishing.

 

The Children's Newspaper (1)Magazines

In the midst of all this growth in printed books we are also seeing other types of publications such as magazines becoming more and more popular in the UK and abroad. In the UK there are of course many plastic-coated, TV-branded magazines that line the shelves of supermarkets. But there are also some wonderful magazines and newspapers for children today, all independently run and beautifully put together and designed. All our readers are often also fans of Aquila, Anorak, Okido, The Week Junior, and they often read First News at school. Each of these magazines has its own angle and age group, they might be design led, or based on current affairs or educational.

The original

The idea for Scoop magazine came about as I was researching for a book about childhood in the 1930’s. There was a wonderful UK newspaper called The Children’s Newspaper which ran from 1919 to 1965, when it merged with Look and Learn. The founder and editor of the paper, Arthur Mee, had a clear objective, to inform children through narrative. One story in particular caught my eye, which was about children who lived on canal boats in London and how they went to school. He was telling a story and also giving his readers a sense of the wider world. I wondered if anything like this existed today and I began to do a different sort of research.

 

2Scoop Magazine

The last year since launching the story of our success at Scoop has illustrated the resilience of print and paper in the face of the digital revolution. We publish the best story telling we can get our hands on and have included establishment heavyweights such as the playwright Tom Stoppard, plus children’s writers such as Raymond Briggs, author of Fungus The Bogeyman and the Children’s laureate Chris Riddell. And our readers are growing by the hundreds each month.

The importance of stories

This is a truly exciting time for children’s literature and a time for children from all over the world to see themselves in books and stories as well as to read stories in which children who they consider different from themselves feature in starring roles. As Sarah Odedina, the editor of Scoop says:

“Today’s child in today’s world wants choice, wants the freedom to choose, wants to see their world reflected in the words that they read and wants to hear from their peers and friends about what is good. If we as publishers, writers, librarians and teachers don’t recognise this we will not be able to ensure that the love of reading that we so want to share is indeed passed on. I think we are all getting much better, even if there is still some way to go.”

Along with masses of publishers, teachers and parents out there we are committed to giving children as many ways into as many different stories as possible and to inspire them with a love of reading. May the golden age live on!

 

Thanks Clementine! To get hold of a copy of Scoop, go to the website to subscribe, buy a back issue, or have a look for a local stockist. Or you can always email hello@scoopthemag.co.uk for more information.

 

Written by Clementine Macmillan-Scott, publisher and founder of Scoop. Clementine grew up in New York reading and playing baseball. She has worked as a festival coordinator and an entrepreneur. She has founded Scoop with the goal that as many children as possible can find their way into stories.

Enhancing your international teaching experience

This week we hear from a guest blogger, Fiona, who was a UK teacher and took the leap into outreach projects in India, Vietnam and Kenya. Read her story, and learn about why taking trips overseas can enhance your international experience.

 

When I first volunteered abroad I wondered what I could do to help. I questioned whether you need to be rich to make a difference or if I had any skills to offer. I’ll never be rich, and nor do I aspire to be. But I know I can make people smile (sometimes!) and I know I have the drive to make a change. So 7 years ago, I ventured away from my classroom at a local college and took a group of 15 very nervous but extremely excited students to Kenya! My job role was to organise events, activities and trips that enriched the lives of young people. I couldn’t have found anywhere more perfect than Melon Mission, a school in Nakuru who support 500 destitute children and run solely on charitable contributions and volunteers. This experience was unlike any other, and I began to run trips like this many times a year. I am writing this blog to inspire other teachers to take their students away like I did. Not only is it great for the students, but for you as a teacher too. Here are a few reasons why you should branch away from your school for a week or two.

 

Students Teaching AbroadShow your students what life is like on the other side of the world  

Despite the extreme poverty and in some cases, the unimaginable lives some children lead, when they are at school surrounded by people who genuinely love and care for them, they can feel like they are in the happiest place in the world. Hundreds of smiles but hundreds of stories behind them all. My students had never experienced anything outside of their own learning environment and for them to see the reality of the world around them and know that not everyone is fortunate enough to receive a good education, or even have a school to go to, was a real eye-opener for them. It brings them outside of their comfort zone and from personal experience you really see your students grow as young people and start to appreciate what they have back at home!

 

 

Inspire Your Students YTA

 

Inspire your students to make a difference

Something that really stood out to me was seeing how students from the UK thrived whilst being at these underprivileged schools. They grew in confidence and developed an understanding of what the world is really like outside of their own lives. So many people that have taken part in these trips have since gone above and beyond to make a difference. I’m extremely proud to see how my trips to Kenya, India and Vietnam have ignited a passion in the students that go on them, leading to career paths in teaching, charity work and world development.

 

 

sophie pLUMMERA case study: 

Sophie Plummer, a student from the University of Winchester, is an example of how these trips can have a huge impact on your life.

“After coming back from Kenya, I realised my true passion was teaching. I found it so rewarding seeing the children learning things I had taught them, and seeing their huge smiles from the enjoyment my lessons brought to them. I realised I want to be able to provide children with an education and give them this tool to change the world. I made the brave decision to transfer courses at university. I am now studying primary education and have just completed my first year. I am thoroughly enjoying it.”

There are many inspirational cases like Sophie’s that come out of charity work. For me, it was very clear after my first visit with a group of students that these experiences were truly life affirming for everyone involved.

 

 

Improve own teachingImprove your own teaching

The projects I’ve been to are completely charity run and do not receive any government funding. The schools are worlds apart from those here in the UK. I’ve learned a great deal about teaching in a totally different environment and culture. With no electricity or technology, it’s a new way of teaching. It has made me realise how much I took for granted when teaching students at home. My lessons became much more active and practical and were not reliant on PowerPoint presentations!

I have recently realised that the experiences I have had working with young people in the UK and abroad, along with my training and qualifications, can be shared with the schools and projects abroad. I am now offering teacher training to the volunteer teachers based at the projects.

 

 

The power of travel

The power of travel!

After many years of taking groups of students abroad and visiting projects myself I realised the power of travel, culture and community engagement and how important it is to have these experiences and learn from others. I now run Younique Travel Adventures and organise for groups of students and adults to visit Kenya, India and Vietnam.

Our core aim is supporting community projects within the areas we visit and as well as this we wanted to give people the opportunity to explore the countries they visit with a range of cultural and adventure based activities that enhance the overall experience for everyone that takes part.

It’s safe to say these types of trips are not your average day in a classroom! They take you outside of your comfort zone and challenge you in ways you never thought possible. They make you realise what life is like in other countries and you see everything through the eyes of those who live there. They ignite a spark that will last for years to come. Whether you take a week or two out of your school holidays or you decide to take a group of students for an experience of a lifetime you will learn so much and make memories that will last forever.

 

My favourite saying is this. “We might not be able to change the world, but we can change someone’s world”

 

If you are interested in joining Fiona on one of Younique’s trips in 2018 or 2019 then please get in touch. If you would like to request a trip pack for Kenya, India or Vietnam then you can email them, at info@yoproject.co.uk, call on 01793 680545 or go to www.ytauk.com

 

Written by Fiona Simpson, Director at Younique Travel Adventures.

Teacherhorizons Explorer service: FAQ for teachers

Are you tired of sending endless application forms to international schools? Would you like good schools to contact you about suitable opportunities instead? Our new Explorer service is designed to enable exactly this – schools can connect directly with candidates they are interested in.

We launched this service in October 2017 and twenty international schools signed up in our first week. It is great for them as it saves time and money recruiting. It’s good for us teachers too as it means a broader range of schools using Teacherhorizons – so more job opportunities posted and more chance of finding that perfect position!

However, as with any new and exciting feature, we are aware you might have few questions, so we put together these FAQs which we hope will answer some of them…

 

What is Teacherhorizons’ Explorer service?

We have developed a candidate search and filter function that allows schools to search and filter teachers profiles and access attachments such as CVs and supporting documents. It allows schools to contact candidates directly saving everyone time and money.

What does this mean for me?

Schools that have signed up for this service are able to search our database and find your profile if you fit their criteria for new staff. They will then be able to contact you directly to ask you if you are interested in interviewing for their vacancies.

Will I still have contact with Recruitment Advisers at Teacherhorizons?

Very much so – the number of ‘supported positions’ on Teacherhorizons is increasing all the time. These are the positions that our Recruitment Advisers (RAs) can support with and, if you are the right fit, they can fast-track your application. Your RA will be in touch about vacancies that suit you, and will still be available for Skype conversations about suitable positions. However, with this new service, schools may be in touch with you directly as well – meaning you will get more attention.

Find out more about who our Recruitment Advisers are: Read their stories here.

Who will be my main point of contact?

As before, the Recruitment Adviser in charge of your subject area should be your first point of contact for ‘supported’ positions. If in doubt, have a look at the job adverts (for ‘supported positions’) in your subject and your RA’s email will appear at the bottom.

Will I get lots of emails?

You may do if you are a strong candidate. However, to avoid too many emails, schools do have a maximum number of candidates they can contact in a day, so you will only receive an email from a school if they are particularly interested in you. If you are getting too many emails, you can switch your profile to ‘yellow’ in your settings.

Will my current school see I am on Teacherhorizons?

If your profile is set to ‘green’ (available) and your current school uses Teacherhorizons’ Explorer service, then yes, your profile could be visible to them. So if you are looking, we always recommend informing your school early – even if you are just seeing what’s out there. Most schools recognise that teachers like to keep an idea of what’s out there.

If you would rather your school didn’t know, then switch your profile to ‘yellow’ and you will be invisible to schools but still be able to view job opportunities. Then you can speak to one of our Recruitment Advisers who can recommend you to the particular school that you want to apply for.

Please note, we believe it’s best to inform your school if you are looking for positions – be completely transparent, they really appreciate it.

Here is some info about how to obtain references from your current school – it’s really important!

I like Teacherhorizons because of the personal touch. Will Recruitment Advisers still get to know me?

Yes – the contact that you have with schools will be additional to the contact with us, rather than ‘instead of’. As we grow, we are hiring more Recruitment Advisers so that we can keep our personal touch which we know is what both schools and teachers like about our services.

Will this give me many more opportunities?

Yes – we will now have schools using Teacherhorizons to actively search for candidates as well as schools using our recruitment service. This means we have time and space for more schools to sign up and lots more job opportunities being posted.

What if a school contacts me but I am not interested?

Feel absolutely free to say ‘thanks but no thanks’ but please always be polite and professional in your communication with schools. Remember – the international school community is still a small one. If you can, try to give an honest reason as to why you are not interested – schools will appreciate the feedback (as we all do!).

Will schools contact me from locations I am not interested in?

Perhaps occasionally. Schools can filter candidates based on ‘locations of interest’ which you have put on your profile (so make sure it is accurate). A school from Africa won’t contact you if they can see you are only interested in Asia, as it would be a waste of their time. We appreciate that Asia is a big and varied continent, so it might happen that sometimes schools in countries you are not interested in contact you from time-to-time. If it gets too much, you can easily switch your profile to ‘yellow’.

What background checks are there?

Before candidates’ profiles are activated, our team check candidates’ profiles, CVs, supporting documentation and confidential references. Our team are experienced recruiters who have been trained in safer recruitment and safeguarding children and young people. You may be asked to do a Skype interview if you are applying for a ‘supported position’. Schools should also be doing their own thorough background checks. If your profile is ‘green’, schools will be able to access your documents and references directly themselves. For this reason, it is important that you have your profile complete and documentation up-to-date as early as possible.

Key tip: When you request your references, we strongly recommend using your referees’ school email addresses as this gives recruiters initial confidence in your profile. If a reference is written from a Hotmail or Gmail account, the reference is usually treated with more caution which immediately reduces your chances of success.

You can read our full Safeguarding policy here.

Does it help if I login to Teacherhorizons regularly?

We always recommend having a look at the latest job opportunities on the Teacherhorizons website at least once a week. Not only will this ensure you see the latest vacancies, it will also increase your chances of being seen by a school: Teachers who are recently active will appear higher on the candidate listings.

What happens if I sign a contract and then withdraw before it is completed?

This is very costly and damaging to both the school and Teacherhorizons. For this reason, we charge candidates £500 if they break a contract they have signed. This is because finding a suitable alternative at a late stage is extremely expensive and time-consuming for both Teacherhorizons and the school. You can read more our T&Cs for teachers here.

What if I want to be ‘green’ (actively looking) but not to be contacted directly by schools?

That’s not possible, but you can switch to ‘yellow’ (invisible), which means you can still see job opportunities, but your profile is not accessible to schools. Speak to your Recruitment Adviser to let them know you have done this.

If my status is set to ‘yellow’, can any of my details be seen by schools?

When a candidate is set to ‘yellow’ schools using the Explorer service are not able to see that candidate’s profile. ‘Red’ candidates are also invisible. Only ‘green’ teachers will appear when schools search and filter candidates.

We hope this answers everything, but please get in touch at info@teacherhorizons.com if you would like to know anything else, or if we have missed something. Feedback is always welcome as we are constantly looking to improve our services for teachers and schools. 

Written by admin