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advice from TES community on accepting or passing on offers

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Leaps7, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. Leaps7

    Leaps7 New commenter

    Looking for some advice from the Tes community. I've been applying to schools in SE asia and have gotten a couple interviews and offers. However, I'm not exactly sold on the schools I've gotten offers from. Mostly because It's not my top choice for location. I'd really like to be in either 1. Bangkok, 2. Ho Chi Minh, or 3. Hong Kong. This last offers location is Guangzhou which is somewhat close to my family in Hong Kong but would be my 4th choice. I know it's somewhat early in the international teaching recruitment process but will I be kicking myself later when I keep passing up these job opportunities? Will it be tough to get a job in one of these desired locations at a decent school? What do you suggest I do?

    My background- spouse will be traveling with me (she's not a teacher and will work remotely from her current employer), PE teacher, 12 years experience teaching in USA (no international experience), masters degree, search candidate (heading to job fair in cambridge), director of after school enrichment, soccer coach.

    Thanks for the help.
  2. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    OK, so HK is normally quite a competitive market, but right now might not be. I wonder if some schools which normally recruit early might be holding off a bit to see what happens with the security situation, though. Ho Chi Minh really has only one school I'd consider working for, personally.

    It really depends. PE teachers are generally sought - but if you were a Maths or Science teacher, I'd probably be suggesting you hold off for a bit. Will your wife be covered on your medical insurance as a spouse, or will her current employer be able to cover her? What will be her work situation in Guangzhou should you accept the job - who will apply for her visa, and what will it be? I don't know about the legality of working for an overseas employer while in China, and whether that will need a different visa to the normal spouse one.

    It is early in the process - more jobs might come up, but they might not. I wasn't looking last year but there was a bit of a dearth of jobs in my subject - one colleague, with plenty experience and flexibility, didn't get a job until March - so if it were me I would probably accept as I'm more of a bird in the hand person.

    Think about it this way. It's your first job abroad - could you accept two years in an OK school in a city you aren't particularly keen on, to gain experience and then move on? Is being near your family in HK important or is it more the school or location which matters?

    Sorry - a lot of questions! The thing is, it really comes down to your own personal preferences and views.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  3. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    Two very significant questions to ask yourself....
    You applied for jobs in your desired destination and didn't get any offers?
    You haven't applied for jobs in your desired destination?

    Your short but brutal profile review:
    You're a PE teacher with no international experience.

    In all honesty, you are up against cheaper teachers who have 3 - 6 year international experience with the same qualifications as you.

    You're entering a new set waves. If you are a gambling person then say "No." But the PE world is a saturated market.
  4. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Taiyeh is being a little harsh, but is essentially correct. Many good schools recruit for PE teachers, but many use local talent to save some cash, meaning that overall it is harder to get a good job as a PE teacher than it is for most other subject areas.
    Will you regret waiting? Only time will tell. My general rule is to ask myself "Do I want this job I've been offered", not "Is there something better out there?" Nothing is perfect, so take what seems like a good fit.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  5. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I would imagine that, being a PE teacher you are in to health and fitness. If you're an outdoors sort of person you might want to focus on places with less pollution (how sad, what have we done to this planet?). As I type Guangzhou has a pollution level (PM 2.5) of 122. Bangkok is 102 and Ho Chi Minh is 147. All are classed as being unhealthy (although Bangkok's is borderline).

    Maybe something to think about
    mermy likes this.
  6. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    Yes, agreed with golfgolf. It is harsh. I do apologize. But don't take it to heart OP. It's a reality many PE teachers face and not only in the international circuit.
  7. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    Hey, you got a job offer. Congratulations, enjoy Guangzhou.

    Oh, wait a minute, in your first international position, as a PE teacher - a position that can be sourced by local teachers in many schools I may add - you want to be choosy/fussy about the location, when it is only your fourth choice?

    What you need is some experience of the overseas world so you can then construct a future if you think it suits you. You are fortunate to have been offered an opportunity; go and take it.
  8. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    Hey... I see you're a PE teacher. I know a school on the island in SE Asia I'm living on that is looking for an Athletic Director / PE Teacher. Lovely place to live, decent package, good school. Not tier 1 but a good place to start and work from. Let me know if you're interested and I can send you the link to the job.
    Leaps7, lepak_paul and mermy like this.
  9. Leaps7

    Leaps7 New commenter

    @ejclibrarian Yes, I'm very interested. I'm new to this site and am trying to PM you but I'm having a tough time. If you could PM me, that'd be great. Thank you.

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