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experience needed for management posts abroad

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by justgettingthere, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. I have 20 years primary teaching/managing experience in a number of schools. I have taught across KS1 and KS2. I was deputy for a total of 7 years in 2 schools and worked for the MOD for a short time abroad. I am now a head having been acting head for 1 year in my last school and in my second year of headship in my corrent school. Is this enough experience to be looking at a headship abroad? I feel I am ready but will they agree?
  2. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    What's up, old soul? Didn't Mephistopheles make you an offer?
  3. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    Justgettingthere. In my opinion, you clearly have the requisite experience to be a successful Head. The question, again in my opinion (indeed, you did not ask it), is do you have the temperament. Frankly, only you can answer this question and I would encourage you to spend time reflecting on it. Teaching in an international school, as opposed to a MOD school, requires significant flexibility (dealing with students, parents, teachers, and Board members from distinctly different cultures) and an ability to cope with chaos (particularly useful when working in Nigeria, but also useful in Latin America). It is also quite lonely at the top when you are the only, Head of an international school in a city. You cannot really share some of your concerns and worries with your staff.
    I would suggest that you read the International Schools Review (with due care) and look for a position through a good agency (Search springs to mind). An agency can help you find a school that fits your temperament: the cultural mix, the composition of the Board (private owners, parents, or corporations), and the amount of chaos in a country. Contributors to this forum have had experiences with Heads who simply were not suited for international education, with Heads who were not suited to specific schools and nations (the culture, the Board), and Heads who thrived. Indeed, we could bore you to tears with our stories.
    I wish you success.

  4. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    It was just meant as a word of warning to the OP. Interviews are more like pyschological warfare these days rather than a straightforward attempt to elicit the relevant information pertaining to whetherthey can do the job. Well, here anyway. I have been on a few selection panels recently that really shocked me. The irrelevant **** that some of these people were picking up on was just unbelievable. Merit selection my foot! It seems that everyone has to second guess their every word.

  5. No it has never made any difference to me . I am no walk over!
    BUT in the international schools markt where the schools are often run as businesses by busines MEN I just wondered. Believe me I firmly believe that behind every good man there is an even better woman.
  6. One of my younger, more impressionable colleagues came back from one of the job fairs with a story about some old boy who was turned down for a particular job despite being an expert in his field - written books etc etc, HoD etc etc. It turned out the person who got the job had been in the bar with the Head the previous evening...
    Nope - not irrelevant. Just the new buzzword this week.
    Or perhaps attempts by the interviewer to show off to his/her boss/other panel members how many buzz words he knows.
  7. The middle east isn't somewhere I would consider. As I said I am no walk over and would probably end up in trouble in certain places. It just seems to me that many heads are men in the international arena and this usually is quite the oposite in UK schools.

    Can I be necky....Why not I usually am and ask about pay??
  8. Can I ask where is here? and is it the general opinion that international interviews are very different?
  9. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    Justgettingthere. I agree with Mr. Maker that depending on the national culture and make up of the Board, being a female might be an issue. My wife was told to her face that because she was female, she would not be a suitable candidate. We were at a job fair, so we did not waste more than 5 minutes of our time on this school. She moved on and is now the Head of another international school. The key here, I think, is not to waste time and effort on a bootless application/interview process. There are some schools who will lead a female through the process without any real intention of hiring her. It is simply for show. One can find out about these misogynistic institutions prior to applying, through agencies, the ***, and through attending job fairs.
    I continue to recommendthat hanging out in bars during job fairs is ideal place for gathering relevant information. They can also be a useful place, as Mainwaring has pointed out, to engage in informal conversations with candidates. This is, in my experience, an additional way to evaluate the merit of candidates. Not all merit can be judged solely on the basis of degrees and books published: having the reputation of being an effective team member (will they fit in to the culture of the school and the country), a leader of extra-curricular activities, and even, having a teaching spouse in a hard to fill subject are all factors that weigh in the selection of a candidate. It is easy to find out this information and evaluate the candidate over a few drinks.
  10. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Here doesn't really affect you as I am in Australia.
    Old Git, what to do is the question. The rot starts right from the top here. Empty words and lip service. Today is a perfect example, the Education Minister has scheduled some 'very important' talks today about where our education system is heading and how it is funded. He invites, urges everyone eve, to have their say and contribute. It is at 10 am. Yes, right Minister, we won't all be a tad busy at 10am!
  12. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Anywhere from a few brass farthngs and a button to near mega riches.
    A fellow head I was speaking to recently told me of a post he was recently offerered in the ME: £150,000 tax free.
    On the otherhand, if you have the 'skills' and desire to work in an Academy, I have seen those offering £150Gs in the UK nowadays.
    Pay on the international circuit, however, should not be compared on like for like figures. £50,000 is peanuts in places like HK, but will go a long way in some parts of the world.
  13. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    I don't think it is anymore worrying than anywhere else in the world. Education is full of people covering their *** and justifying their jobs. I still love being with the kids so I stay.
  14. I am not willing to 'sell my soul' to get rich. I am simply someone who loves her job, hates the political !!*** here and wants to manage a school well somewhere else. I am not willing to treat staff badly, but will also not put up with staff who are looking for a short term jolly in the sun! I have a family and need enough money to live on with possibly a little to spare.Maybe I am a dreamer but this must actually be a genuine possibility somewhere!!!!!!
  15. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    I feel nauseous saying this; but the oldgit
    has a point. He says it with his anti-management stance, but there are rings of
    truth in his statement. If you don't like the political tendencies of the UK,
    you won't like the shenanigans that go on in many overseas venues.
    It isn't a case of treating staff badly, but you have to make some harsh decsions as an expat head; sometimes forced by the will of ownership, in some places you have to go along with an order or go against the person that pays you your salary. I've seen it happen many times. One of the mistakes some newbies make is getting too close to the other staff socially. It can seem they're the only people to spend time with out of school. I recommend a healthy distance - outside school linked end of term celebrations.
  16. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    I also agree with Old Git. As much as I moan about the stagnant state of the education system here and the quality (or lack thereof) of the people who are getting the top jobs, at least I know I can voice an honest opinion and take a stance without getting thrown out on my backside.
    When I was overseas, bums on seats was the only thing that mattered. I had one looney who used to pick on one of my teachers but couldn't crack her so she started on another one with whom she really had no beef; just for the sport really.
    One day this poor girl (one of the best teachers in the school) was in my office, a quivering, sobbing mess. I sent this woman an email saying the next time she came to school would she please come and see me in the office before proceeding any further. She wouldn't and it was then a cat and mouse game trying to catch her before she picked up the kids and exited the grounds. Quite comical really if it hadn't been so pathetic.
    I eventually cornered her andtold her that bullying of my staff was an OHS issue and that she wasn't to approach them without being accompanied by me. So then I got a phone call from one of the trustees. Went something like, "I was on the bus going to rugby and was talking to Fred (the poor husband of this nutcase), he is talking about removing the children from the school. That is three children we would be losing and you know our priority is retaining student numbers!"
    I told him that in the long term, the school would never flourish if we allowed such toxic elements to dictate terms. He wasn't a happy camper to say the least but I won that particular battle and I would have resigned over it and had to put that on the table to win the battle. I got no support from any of the other SMT at the school and it was a really horrible situation that was much worse and dragged on forever. Another issue cropped up with camp and who would accompany the children. We needed a male and one of the board members said he would go for a couple of hours and then his wife would take over. As we already had enough mums going and a waiting list of mums who wanted to go way before his wife, I said no, we would try to get another father or a male teacher.
    This draggedon for three weeks before camp and resulted in my daughter being bullied by their sons. Sucked big time but he was a big important man (more important than your mum, so my daughter was told). Yeah, so you need balls to put up with it and a full metal jacket to remain unscathed.
  17. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    ......and that is OK as you know what you are in for taking on a management position but when your children are affected, then it takes on a whole different complexion!
  18. I knew you'd come round to my way of thinking. I might even find a place for you on my SLT, next time I'm hiring.

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