Teaching Abroad

Expanding opportunities to work at international schools: prepare yourself to teach abroad!

Who wouldn’t like a life of world travel, acquiring new languages and learning firsthand about new cultures? Many teachers find the opportunity of working at an international school too hard to pass up!

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Over the past 14 years, there has been a 35% increase in the number of teachers employed at international schools. International teachers are mostly from the United States, Canada, U.K., and Australia, but not necessarily limited to these counties.

Currently, there are more than 8,000 international schools throughout the world with over 4.3 million students attending. The reason students attend international schools is varied. Some are children of embassy personnel, other families are business expats or work for international organizations. Like the children who attend them, international schools can be very different.

The majority of schools use English as the main language of instruction, although there can be a preference for British or American English. There are also bilingual schools or schools teaching in a foreign language such as German or French. Though many schools have a truly international student population (i.e. up to 40 or more languages and cultures represented in their student bodies), there are other schools where host ­country nationals make up the vast majority of students. Regardless of the differences, there is a growing demand for trained teachers to teach abroad at these international schools.

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Information provided by ISC Research: September 2014

Another one of the main differences is found in the type of curriculum international schools use. International schools typically offer one of the following curricula: USA, UK, or the internationally recognized IB programme (International Baccalaureate).

Need to get prepared: When researching international schools, find out what curriculum they use and what qualifications are necessary to teach it. Though not always a prerequisite, most international schools recruit teachers experienced in teaching their curriculum. The minimum requirement is often a valid teaching license, two years of teaching experience, and a Masters degree in Education.

The life of an international school teacher can be fascinating and exciting. There are so many reasons which make teaching abroad desirable, but it typically boils down to these five: money, love, travel, location and career. In general, international school teachers who want to live a successful, happy expat life need to be tolerant of diversity and uniqueness, flexible and adaptable as well as curious and open-­minded to try new things. They live abroad in order to explore more of the world.

Need to figure out: Your own reasons for wanting to move abroad and your flexibility with the location and type of school. At best, teaching abroad can enrich your career and change your life. At worst, it can be stressful, expensive, and sometimes dangerous. Thus, it requires independence, resilience, and a lot of question­asking. In other words, do your homework!

Teaching abroad has its perks, that is for sure. Some of those perks can include a housing allowing, a relocation package, and a flight to and from your home country at the beginning and the end of your contract to name a few. Another benefit that is often offered is an annual Professional Development (PD) allowance. To get school support to explore more of what you are personally interested in learning more about is a dream come true for most teachers.

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An international teacher exploring the local culture

Need to research: Because benefits and packages can vary enormously, it is important to do your research. Network with experienced international school teachers to gather all the information you can. The International School Community website also has numerous submitted comments about benefits that members can check out regarding hundreds of different schools.

You might have heard that one of the biggest perks to take a position at an international school is to earn lots of money! Many teachers want to earn more than they are currently making in their home countries. They also desire living in a location where there is a lower cost­of­living and where they can pay little to no taxes, thus providing them an excellent opportunity to save money. Even if you get a position at a top international school with an excellent salary and benefits, it is not so easy to actually save that money you were hoping for. You need to be smart with the money you are making abroad. It is important to research the cost­of­living for the location in your host country and then compare that to your take­home salary and benefits. Couples can live on one salary in some places, but in other areas of the world that can be problematic. Furthermore, if you move to a new international school every three to five years, have a plan for your pension and retirement accounts!

Need to know: Monthly take­home amount and in what currency, allowance amounts (housing, flight, baggage, etc.), savings potential and about the school’s pension plan or your private pension plan options. If you have figured out your goals, made a plan and gathered all the information about an international school, the next step is to get that interview! It is becoming increasingly more convenient to land a job at an international school. There are recruitment fairs that have been around for decades, like the UNI Overseas Recruiting Fair, but now an increasing number of schools are recruiting over Skype. It can be expensive for both parties involved to attend an international school recruitment fair, so the internet has become the way of the future for hiring.

Need to do: Start researching prospective international schools in the spring or during the summer a year before you plan on moving. Have a good cover letter, update your CV, and setup an online teaching portfolio. Figure out if going to a recruitment fair is the right thing for you to do. Get prepared and read the Nine Lessons Learned Regarding International School Recruitment Fairs and spruce up an area in your home to potentially do some Skype interviews. Be careful not to get your hopes up too much when you are job searching for a position at an international school. It can be a challenge to stand out and be at the top of the list when you are first starting out in this community. Like many businesses, it is all about who you know. Many international schools value experience teaching abroad (especially at other international schools). The idea behind this is that it will be a better “gamble” on the school’s part to hire somebody who already has experience living abroad and working with an international student body; having worked with English as an Additional Language students will be to your advantage.

But do not worry if you are new to teaching, there are many international schools willing to hire candidates just starting out in their teaching career. Getting a position is basically all about luck and timing regardless of your background experience. When you finally land a job, you must prepare yourself for the big move and for the first few months after your arrival in your new host country.

Need to read: Take a look at the Ten Commandments to Relocating OverseasSome people just want a change in their life; they want a new and exciting challenge. International school teachers seek out this challenge. The catch is once you start in the international school community, it is hard to stop. The lifestyle you live is one that allows you many more opportunities than if you were teaching back in your home country. If the time is right for you to take a chance and make the move abroad, remember to do your research so that you are well­prepared. Finding a good fit for you and your goals is paramount. The international school community is waiting for you!

Teacherhorizons would like to say BIG THANKS to Ron Rosenow for writing this very helpful and informative article. Ron started his teaching career in the public school system in Minnesota, USA. After six years of teaching in his home country, he got an opportunity to teach abroad in 2006. Ron has since worked at international schools in Spain, China and Denmark. Ron Rosenow is also the owner and founder of the International School Community website.  

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 admin

From a student’s perspective

During our school year we encounter all sorts of inspiring people, teachers and students alike. Some we get to know better than others. Veasna is one such lady. Not only is she a 2015 JPA graduate,  she’s also Teacherhorizons’ very own Data Entry Administrator and a dynamic, fun part of the team.

Living and working in Siem Reap, she is also studying a BA in Education.

We’ve asked 22-year-old Veasna to share her views of what makes a great teacher from a student’s perspective. She also reveals her visions and dreams for the future.

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What do you enjoy about TH?

I enjoy the flexibility of working for TH and the team is really friendly and supportive. We have a lovely co-working office in Siem Reap and it’s a great place to be.

What’s the best thing about growing up in Siem Reap?

Small cities are great places to grow up.  My neighbours and friends all live close to my house which means we can share any fruit and veg that we grow in our garden.  It’s quiet and peaceful.  There are many temples that I visit with my family at the weekend, we usually have picnics and cook lots of food.  As SR is a tourist town, it’s great to meet people from different cultures and learn about their experiences. It’s also great because I am able to practise speaking English.

What do you think makes a great teacher?

A great teacher is someone who uses different strategies to engage students and they should also show respect to student’s ideas.

What’s special about JPA?

Students at JPA are all chosen from my local village.  It’s a great organisation because they can provide top quality education but also encourage us to complete our Cambodian national exams. Students are provided with opportunities to study abroad.  My friends are studying all over the world, some in Thailand and America.

It’s now one year since you graduated…what are your plans?

In an ideal world, I would like to save enough money to build a library in my local village in order for children to have access to good quality reading books that will open their minds and encourage them to attend school.  Once I complete my degree I would like to apply for a scholarship to complete my masters in Australia.

What remains to be said? Good luck, Veasna!

Written by Anna Bella Betts, Teacherhorizons blog manager by night and photographer by day.

Relocating back home

You may be away on your exotic teaching stint abroad for “only” a year or perhaps your adventures take you away from your home country for longer. Some of you may even stay on and let the roots take a deep hold in the foreign soil which you now call home anyway….For some of you the time might be around the corner when you have to starting thinking of relocating back home.

I was away from my home turf for more than 16 years – edging onto being about half of my life, give or take,  but being precise would be telling you far too much about my age. The winding path of my wonderings lead me through tourism, random jobs of manual description, back to tourism, through the fruitful fields of photography finally into the realms of teaching English. Leaving the beer soaked home land behind in 2004 I roamed for years through Asia, settled temporarily in Australia and New Zealand and then finally lived 8 long years in the Kingdom of Wonder – Cambodia. When the expiry date on the can of my sanity was up I retraced my steps back to the land of beer and dumplings earlier this year. A big and bold move as judged by many, but I found this resettlement smooth enough, perhaps oiled up and eased off by the said beer, but there are challenges when it comes to finding the path back to the place you once called home.
I am by no means a returning expert, more an amateur really – the fact that during those 16 years I visited my parents maybe 5 times should speak for itself. Nonetheless, here are just some aspects you should consider if you happen to find yourself in similar shoes (or worn out sandals if you must).
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The view of Zizkov TV Tower, Prague, Czech Republic

Weather
Let’s face it: weather is one of the main driving factors for people to seek jobs abroad; follow the sun, drive into the sunset, living the dream life… so if the time has come for you to come back home, think about the season that your fellow countrymen are enduring at the time of your planned return. If you’ve just spent the best summer near amazing beaches and you are about to hit the home turf in the middle of  post Christmas depression of the northern hemisphere, then maybe think again and see if you can plan things better and take care of acclimatisation properly. And if your home happens to be one of those sunny places? Well, lucky you. I am coming with you. From the hot dust bowl of the Cambodian dry season I found myself right in the middle of blossoming cherry orchards and soft spring breeze, fluffily white clouds and long sunny days – the perfect way of a grand re-entry to land of my origins. Few months later, with autumn now clinging to the windows trying desperately to get in, I am sitting here fully wrapped in a thick fluffy dressing gown and a pair of honest woollen socks. Winter is on its way and I don’t know how to process this fact.
Family and friends
If you’ve been away for a considerable amount of time it’s likely that your parents will still include you in the their will and may even recognise you, but your friends may have moved on. In fact, we all move on at all times so prepare yourself for little disappointments here and there, where those with family commitments may not always want to dash out for coffee/beer/wine just like you’re used to or their priority may not be listening to your endless stories of carefree life in a far-flung country which they would struggle to find on the map. You’ve changed and lived an amazing life, they’ve changed too and lived their own amazing lives, so no hard feelings. You are now the master of making new friends and may as well apply all the learned tricks to create a new, fresh circle of friends around you. If you’ve move to another city like I did, then you really have no other option than to go out and see who’s out there and what mischief you can get up to together.  And those good old ones who stay? Thank god for them!
Job and paperwork
Hopefully you are less slack than I am and have all your paperwork in good working order. Make sure you are up to date with your insurance and social security commitments, there is nothing like the red tape after all.  I am currently facing a mini nightmare of my own which I am not going to get you involved in because I am nice. It includes paperwork and you have just fallen asleep. Oh, and have you found a job in your home country yet? I hope so, because I have! I am teaching English to adults and photography is resting somewhere, waiting for my Muse to return, fully recharged. I think she went on holiday somewhere warm and sunny.
Domesticity
After long years of living out of backpacks and suitcases, in tents, in vans and caravans, in motel and hotel rooms and other accommodation of questionable quality I am now settled, ever so grateful for my own spoons, cups and fluffy bed sheets (among other things of course) which I lovingly wash and hang myself and I appreciate the fact that I no longer have to deal with the “Karma Laundry” of Cambodia – you get what you deserve. Often other peoples’ items would find their way to my laundry bag washed by the little lady downstairs. I believe many (or most) of you have rather civilised experiences of living and working abroad, however there is no place like home. Home is where you can fit more than one pair of boots. Five to be precise.
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The panorama of Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

You must have realised by now that I am not to be taken seriously and the above is just some rambling of a crazy woman who’s euphoric that she’s back where she feels she belongs. During my times away on the road I found no effort in settling anywhere for long or short period of time and immediately felt like home wherever there was a bed waiting for me at the end of the day. Adaptable is my second name.
I trust you are all nicely settled in your new jobs and locations now that September is almost over and the new school year is running like a well oiled machine.

Whether you find yourself returning home soon, later or only for visits to your mother’s great despair, may these visits and returns be smooth and stimulating for you. Teacherhorizons wish you many happy returns and if you do decide to ditch your cups and spoons and fluffy bed sheets for the great unknown, then please contact our team who will be happy to reveal which destination would be the best fit for you and your qualifications and requirements.

Written by Anna Bella Betts, Teacherhorizons blog manager by night and photographer by day.

Why Join Teacherhorizons?

Are you looking for a great international teaching position? The number of overseas teaching opportunities grows year-on-year but schools can vary enormously.  So how do you find the right position for you? Here are ten ways Teacherhorizons will help…

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1/ Access the best opportunities worldwide

Every year we list thousands of teaching opportunities all over the world. Last year we placed happy teachers in 107 cities in 53 countries – from Bangkok to Buenos Aires, Switzerland to Singapore. As more and more schools are posting their vacancies on Teacherhorizons, we are the fastest-growing platform for exploring international teaching opportunities.

2/ It’s free

Teacherhorizons is free for teachers and we are committed to keeping it free. We strongly believe that talented teachers should not have to pay to find jobs or go to expensive recruitment fairs. Every year more international schools open across the globe, and competition for teachers is increasingly fierce. For this reason, we don’t charge any teachers ‘membership fees’. 

3/ Get personal support

fasttracked1We have specialist advisers in each subject area. They know the schools we work with and will provide advice and support. If you find a suitable opportunity, they will provide guidance on your profile
 and CV and advise you on your application.

4/ Get fast-tracked

The schools we work with have asked us to recommend Teacherhorizons teachers. If your adviser agrees, s/he will recommend you directly to the school Principal’s inbox. This ensures your application is fast-tracked and doesn’t get lost in the pile of hundreds of unsolicited CVs. For more details read how Teacherhorizons works.

5/ Join a growing community

We are a team of teachers – Teacherhorizons is a platform created by teachers for teachers. We are developing this resource so we can all benefit from transparent information about schools and honest advice from other teachers. Thanks to everyone for contributing and spreading the word, we now have over 100,000 teachers in this community – with about a hundred more joining every day. Both teachers and schools contribute content and update the website and we check and verify it. Please help develop this resource by contributing info, sharing stories or spreading the word. Or add details to an international school’s profile that you have taught in yourself.

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6/ Explore trusted schools

We visit the schools we work with and have visited hundreds of schools across the world in the last few years. We speak to the teachers working there, get to know the Principal and find out about the types of teachers s/he is looking for. We also check they’re decent places to work and get a sense of the lifestyle teachers lead based on the package they offer.

7/ Save money, energy and time

We don’t do recruitment fairs. ‘Fairs’ are costly for teachers, take up valuable time and many leave without securing a position. Online recruitment is growing year-on-year as good schools are opting to recruit as early as October to sign the best teachers before others do. More about fairs.

8/ Get endorsed

We are inclusive and believe in meritocracy. Each year we endorse around 15% of our teachers – based on their qualifications and experience. Progressive international schools are looking to hire a new generation of dynamic teachers with lots of energy and creativity and excellent tech skills. If you get endorsed, you increase your chances.

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9/ Access salary details and more

Our teacher members gain access to lots of additional information such as the salary scale, the package and benefits the school offers (eg free education for your own children) tax and healthcare information and more.

10/ Support educational charities

We are committed to supporting the education of the less privileged, and each year we donate 10% of our profits to education charities in developing countries. Why we donate

Try it for yourself! Click here to join our community and gain free access to salaries info, packages details and how to apply.

Not sure yet? Find out more about the process of searching for jobs on Teacherhorizons right here.

 

 

Written by admin

Tips for moving abroad

Got a new teaching job and moving abroad? Here at Teacherhorizons we’ve chatted to our friends at Self Move Hire who have helped us compile a list of important things to consider when making the big move.

Moving abroad is a life changing decision for both you and your family. When moving abroad, there’s a lot of things to prepare and arrange in order for the move to be a successful one. If you’ve got your plane tickets and visa organised, but are unsure as to what to do next, then here’s a few of the top tips to prepare yourself when moving abroad. Let’s take a look now at what you should be preparing.

Organize Your Personal Items

Whether you’re taking your items with you or not, it’s important to organise what’s going to happen to them before you go. If you’re planning to move abroad and take your valuables with you, you will need to hire a professional moving company that’s used to transporting items internationally. It’s important to remember however that this can be an expensive endeavour depending on where you’re shipping your items to and which company you use.

If you’re not planning to take your items with you, then you have two choices. One is to sell everything you own and get as much money for your things as possible. Another is to place your items into storage in the hopes that you will one day collect them at a later date. If you’re planning to move and never to return, then the selling option may be the best solution for you.

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Get A Medical Check-up

Before moving abroad it’s important that you see your doctor and have a medical check-up. Depending on where you’re moving to, you may need to have specific vaccines to help combat any viruses that the country may be prone to. This will need to be done in the months leading up to the move as some vaccines take time to incubate for protection to occur. Your check-up should also cover whether you’re fit to fly, if you need to organise new medication in the new country, and whether your medical records can be transferred to the new doctor. By being medically prepared and having all your vaccines before the moving date comes around, you have a higher chance of being healthy and ready when moving abroad.

Get Travel Insurance

When traveling always have travel insurance. Travel insurance can save you money if an incident occurs. Make sure the travel insurance covers accidents, injury, and any other expenses that may incur such as emergency accommodation, medical bills, or if your items become stolen. Travel insurance can be a life saver in some bad travelling scenarios. 

Apply For An International Drivers Permit

Before you move you will need to get an international drivers permit if you’re planning to drive in your new country. The international driver’s license will allow you to drive abroad without any further testing. In most countries it’s a requirement if you’re planning to rent a vehicle. Driving abroad can be different to where you’re living now. It’s advisable that you read up about the driving laws and how people drive on the road. For example, in Australia people drive on the left hand side of the road, while in the USA people drive on the right hand side. Always keep up to date with the road rules to reduce the risk of penalties and fines.

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Get Your Finances In Order

Last but not least, it’s important to get your finances in order and have your cash assigned to your time abroad transferred over into the new currency. While it’s important not to carry too much cash with you, it’s still important to have it transferred into the new currency before leaving. This will help to make the transition a lot easier and less stressful. Many banks will convert it for you, however there may be a fee associated with it.

Conclusion

Preparing for a move abroad doesn’t have to be as hard as some may believe. When you have everything in order you can then work on saying your final farewells. So are you moving abroad soon? Are you are prepared as you thought you were?

Contact us to discuss your options of teaching abroad, the world is your oyster!

Written by Steve Marshall, Steve is businessman, author, adventurer, Land Rover enthusiast, educator and public speaker. He is also the owner of Self Move Hire. a leading ute and van hire company in Australia.

The German side of Brazil

With teachers placed all over the world we love to hear interesting stories and accounts of daily lives in far flung places. The excitement of the Olympic Games will soon fade away but we’ll keep Brazil in the spotlight for a little longer through the eyes of our friend and teacher Rodolfo, who shares with us his observations of how international Brazil is and how history of human settlement shaped and formed the country we see today. One of his students reveals the German side of Brazil which you may not have known about.

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Brazil is widely known as the country of football, samba, beautiful nature and whatever you may have heard about it. It is a Portuguese-speaking country located in South America, lost among 9 Spanish-speaking countries, not to mention the countries where Dutch, French and English are the official languages.

Because Spanish is the first language in most South American countries, it is not quite a surprise that foreigners take for granted that we speak Spanish, but no! We were a Portuguese colony for 422 years.

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But there is a side of Brazil that not many people are acquainted with: we also speak German. Well, not officially and not all over the country, but we do, and this is due to a massive immigration of German and Italian families who settled down in the south of Brazil in the middle of the 19th century and in the first decades of the 20th century, in search of better life conditions. These families were scattered through the southern states, but the Italians stretched their journey up to São Paulo (southeast), which accounts for a very important part of the cultural diversity of Brazil.

The German influence in the south does not only appear culturally through traditional parties, folklore, food and in the way people look like, it is also in the language. Three years ago, I moved to Lajeado, a small town in Southern Brazil with an estimated population of 70,000 people, and I was amazed to find out that lots of people can speak German in my town and in the nearby towns, too. Moreover, they speak German at home, with their families. I was even more impressed when I heard German was the first language some people were taught when they were kids. Like what?! How come they do not learn Portuguese as a first language? It is important to say that what is spoken here is not “official German”, but a dialect, a variant of German that has remained untouched from its original form, but has also been “adapted” by time and local cultural influences.

Deise Beckel, one of my English students, from a German family, tells us what it was like to grow up in this context.

Where did you learn German?

German was the first language I was taught, from my parents and grandparents. Ever since I was a baby, that was the language they’d speak to me.”

Can you read, speak and understand German naturally?

I can speak and understand the German “dialect”, but due to my interest, I can also understand official German well. I’ve always been keen on listening to songs in German to help me improve it. I still find it hard to read in German, though.

Can you give us an example of the differences between official German and the dialect you speak?

The language has changed a lot since the Germans moved to Brazil, so some words have been adapted, for example: make an effort in German is bemühen, however, very frequently people say esforciren (esforçar /esfɔːrsɑr/ in Portuguese). Besides, lots of things have been invented after the Germans came, so people had to make up their own words for them, such as the word fridge, which in German is Kühlschrank. Here, people have combined the words schrank (wardrobe) and eis (ice) = Eisschrank or Aisschrank (an ice wardrobe).

When and how did you learn Portuguese?

I learnt it when I was about 5 or 6 years old, watching the telly. We had a neighbour from an Italian family who would frequently visit my father and I remember one day dad called me and said: “Come on, sweetheart! Show him you can speak Brazilian!” – he’d get so proud of me.

I went to school when I was 6, so speaking Portuguese was something natural to me, but beyond the school walls and at home, I continued to speak German, so this helped me not to forget the dialect.

It is sort of weird for me to reflect upon this because I transferred my knowledge of German to Portuguese as I considered German my first language. I learnt Portuguese naturally, so it eventually became my first language.

If you’d like to see where your next teaching job could take you, contact our dedicated team of advisers to discuss your options. Who knows, maybe it’s Brazil!

Written by Rodolfo Roger, an English teacher from Brazil, a Languages graduate and Translation postgraduate. He is currently working to develop a set of methodologies to implement the Audio-Lingual Method (based on the Communicative Approach) in English classes.

Women’s Safety Abroad

“Is it safe there?” This must be one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to discussing travelling or moving abroad. It is something we get asked fairly frequently when dealing with newly signed up teachers who are taking off to live in new exciting locations.

We’ve connected with several teachers who live and in various countries and asked them to elaborate on the topic of women’s safety abroad. In this article Annie Surdi tells us some of her stories and gives hints and tips on how to be smart and vigilant.

This is a topic which has been quite close to my heart as I am a woman who has  successfully lived abroad in 4 different countries. I have often been asked that how I managed to survive both living and working in four different countries and cultures.

My first traveling and working experience abroad was in Honduras, Latin America, I feel that this was the experience that completely shaped and transformed me into the  individual I am today. I still till this day vividly remember arriving to the airport and feeling utterly  repulsed with the male eyes glaring at me, I wasn’t prepared for this sort of welcome, it did raise a few red flags for me quite early on; that I would need to be guarded at all times and it appeared to be an extremely male dominated society which I later uncovered when working in the media out there, as I received the same treatment on a daily basis from male colleagues whom at times were very persuasive in their actions, which made me feel inadequate about traveling with them for work assignments.

When I decided to move to Italy and lived in a small city which at first sight seemed delightful, peaceful and serene;  little did I expect to witness such an incident which changed my perception about my safety. I was waiting one evening outside my school for a friend and it was just after 8pm which in reality is not too late to be waiting patiently outside , but in fact it was dark, pitch black and nobody was in sight, I didn’t question anything at that moment as it seemed like a lovely well respected neighbourhood. But, just at that poignant moment an onlooker walked up towards me and tried to engage in an conversation that I didn’t want to be part of and when I refused  he insisted that I accompanied him. I rushed to my defence and rang the school bell to seek some help which I got immediately. I reported the incident to my school who were not so reluctant to do anything about it.

To conclude, the incident made me realize that a regardless of how strong –willed and feisty you are it doesn’t matter as you are seen as vulnerable and an easy target,  despite where you choose to  live and some  certain precautions need to be addressed, here are some tips:

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Culture:

It’s a good idea to research a little before you move abroad whether there are any restrictions towards women and how society in general views women to avoid sexual discrimination .

Working Culture:

Undeniably teaching hours abroad may differ and you may have to work late, so if this is the case make sure that you not traveling alone, or raise this issue with your employer.

Public Transport:

Traveling by bike or car may be much safer in some countries as opposed to traveling on foot alone.

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Documents:

Make a copy of your passport and try not to carry important documents when traveling alone.

Travel Insurance:

This is worth investing in, as a friend of mine was working for a company who had helped with her relocation and involved moving her baggage, tragically they lost her baggage which had her valuables in; the company refused to take any liability. Atleast with travel insurance  you can be reimbursed. Also consider health insurance.

Networking:

Ideally this helps as it’s best to not feel isolated, so maybe with networking and building rapport, making friends can be a huge help. If unforeseen circumstances arise you have someone to fall back on, somebody to call.

Do you have your own hints and tips on how to keep safe abroad? We’d love to hear from you – share your thoughts on our Facebook page with our audience worldwide!

Written by Annie Surdi, an international teacher who has lived and worked in Honduras, Australia, and Italy.

Job references

In this blog piece Teacherhorizons Director, John Regan, provides extensive amount of information concerning job references. You may well find all answers to your questions in this informative piece but of course, if we omitted anything – feel free to get in touch with us and ask the team directly.

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Who do I choose to be my referees?

Ideally, your referees should have seen you teach recently and are able to assess your professional performance.  They should be line managers (Heads of School, Deputy Heads, Heads of Section, Heads of Departments or, in the case of senior leaders, members of Boards or owners) not colleagues, friends, parents, students or someone outside the teaching profession.  You must assess whether the referee will be supportive.  If you feel that your relationship with a Head of School is less than satisfactory, you should choose a Deputy Head instead.

Why do my references need submitting before I’ve even been offered a position?

Unlike in the world of commerce, schools need references before they can proceed to offer the position.  This is partly due to being confident that the candidate has the ability and experience to teach, but it is also partly due to child protection issues.

My Head has never seen me teach – can I not ask my HOD for a reference instead?

It is conceivable (particularly in very large schools) that the Head may not have direct experience of observing teachers in the classroom.  I such cases, it is likely that they receive reports and assessments from Heads of Section, Deputy Heads or Heads of Department.  Thus they are able to complete confidential references.  It is wise to ask the Head of Section, Deputy Head or Head of Department to be a referee in addition to the Head of School.

The Teacherhorizons reference proforma for teachers consists mainly of a tick-box exercise where the referee gives an assessment of the candidate’s performance on a number of professional parameters such as planning & preparation, use of ICT, relationships with students, colleagues and parents, as well as personal qualities, such as communication skills and flexibility.  There is also room for a comment.

The proforma for middle and senior leaders uses the same format, but focusses on leadership skills and experience.

Can all schools see my references?

Only schools that are approved by Teacherhorizons may see the profiles, which includes references, of teachers.

What if I don’t want to tell my current school I’m thinking of leaving?

That’s not a problem, but don’t insert the details of referees at your current school onto your profile just yet.  As soon as you insert the details, a reference request will automatically be sent to them!  When you make a definite decision to apply for a new post, and certainly if you are called for interview, it is only polite and professional that you approach your Head of School to tell them of your intention and ask that they be a referee for you.

How many references do I need?

You will need at least two references (one from a Head of School submitted using a school’s email address – ie not gmail, Hotmail etc) and preferably three.

Can I see my references?

No.  They are strictly confidential.  Only the Heads of School and Teacherhorizons staff will have access to your references.

Will my referee be sent a copy of the reference?

When the referee completes and submits the reference, they may keep a copy.

How will I know when my references have been submitted?

When the reference is received by Teacherhorizons, an email will be sent to you.

Can I update old references?  What happens to old ones?

When you would like to update, get in touch with your Teacherhorizons adviser.  They will offer you advice on what to do.  They will copy the reference that you wish to remove and file it and delete the reference from your profile.  This will leave space for you to insert the details of a new referee.

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Did we cover everything? If you are requiring any additional information, please contact our friendly team directly and they will be happy to assist with any job reference query you may have and of course any other questions regarding your potential placement abroad.

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

Last Minute Placements

The new school year is around the corner. Whether it’s only fairly recently that you’ve begun to think about a career change or it’s been on the cards for ages, there’s still time to find some amazing teaching opportunities abroad – starting now!

With these last minute placements it’s essential that you get in touch with our team ASAP and be led through the application and placement process in a speedy and professional manner. Please also be advised that you need to be an endorsed teacher to see the full details of all listed vacancies. Each page provides a link to get endorsed. 

Image © Anna Bella Betts

The Teacherhorizons team in Cambodia

International School of Havana

Cuba! Do we need to say more???

The British School of Brasilia

This school is a part of the British Schools Foundation, a wider group of international schools. It’s the perfect place for your career and professional development. And if living your life to the max is your thing, you could arrive in time to celebrate the Olympics!

International School in Genoa

An amazing opportunity to be living near the sea in this beautiful European destination. Culture, pizza, pasta, wine…!

Vienna International School

This school has top reputation and Vienna? Simply stunning, in the heart of Europe, well connected. Tempting, isn’t it?

CfBT Education Services in Brunei

Placement here offers numerous opportunities; not all teaching – some as trainers too.  Brunei is a quiet location, good for young families and overall offering good packages too. Eternal summer and jungles – anyone?

As you can see, there’s quite the spread of goodness all across our beautiful planet. If you haven’t yet done so, become an endorsed teacher to see full details of all listed vacancies. We’re already excited on your behalf and can’t wait to help you with your new placement. Get in touch and the rest is easy!

Written by Anna Bella Betts, Teacherhorizons blog manager by night and photographer by day.

Field Day at Santa Monica

Here at Teacherhorizons we are proud to present another guest blog piece, this time written by Haley Johnson of BECA. You may well identify yourself in this account of the inner fight between the professional teacher in you and your other, more human and more fun side where you let go off controlling every situation.

Dia Deportivo: Field Day at Santa Monica

“Miss, are you going to come to the stadium on Friday?”

“Yes, we are all going. It is going to be so much fun!”

“Aw man.” *Pounds fist on desk.*

“Oh, you don’t want me to go?”

“No because you are always telling us what to do.”

This is the conversation I had with Marvin, a very smart, very cool 5th grader, just a few days before Santa Monica’s first ever Dia Deportivo. All of the 5th graders at SMBS can attest to the fact that I run a tight ship in the classroom and hold all of them to sky high expectations. Naturally, Marvin was afraid that there was absolutely no fun to be had when we all arrived at the stadium in Cofradía on Friday morning.

When the special day was upon us teachers, students, families, and friends all came together for a day filled with foot races, soccer games, great food, amazing company, and of course, a ton of fun. Now after talking with Marvin, I decided to try my best to step out of my role as teacher and disciplinary or rather step back and not let my want to control everything get in the way of simply enjoying the day. Marvin reminded me that they’re all just kids and they definitely deserve to have fun!

We ran around all day with smiles on our faces until we could not run anymore. Dia Deportivo was altogether an awesome day and a total success. One of the beauties of life is being able to be a part of growth and special moments in the lives of others. It has been a privilege to experience not only the growth in the students’ lives but the growth in my own life and to share so many special moments such as Dia Deportivo with all of these amazing kids.

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Contact us to discuss with our team your options of teaching abroad, we’ll be happy to guide you through the application process and help you figure out which destination would be your best match.

Written by Haley Johnson, Bilingual Education for Central America (BECA) is a small non-profit which partners with Honduran community-run low-cost bilingual schools to provide the English-taught expertise through volunteer teachers, teacher training and curriculum development.