1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

getting into administration

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by BocaJrs, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. <font size="2">I'm new to the forum and feeling a bit like a fish out of water, being used to american speak and all, but I've noticed that there are many knowledgable folks around here... so I thought you'd be the right people to ask for some advice. </font>
    <font size="2">So my husband has a dream you see; he wants to work in administration. He has his Masters in Admin. and several years teaching experience but unfortunately, as for most jobs, schools prefer experience and he has yet to catch a break.
    We are seriously considering going overseas to teach and although he is excited about the prospect, fears that it will be even less likely that he'll get an administrative position.

    Based on your experience/knowledge, how realistic is it to think that he might be able to get a job?
    Should he start off by applying to assistant ppal. jobs or first get a few years overseas experience and then try to make the switch?
    Do you know of anyone who was in this situation and been successful?
    </font>
    <font size="2">Any suggestions/anecdotes would be very helpful and appreciated...</font>

     
  2. <font size="2">I'm new to the forum and feeling a bit like a fish out of water, being used to american speak and all, but I've noticed that there are many knowledgable folks around here... so I thought you'd be the right people to ask for some advice. </font>
    <font size="2">So my husband has a dream you see; he wants to work in administration. He has his Masters in Admin. and several years teaching experience but unfortunately, as for most jobs, schools prefer experience and he has yet to catch a break.
    We are seriously considering going overseas to teach and although he is excited about the prospect, fears that it will be even less likely that he'll get an administrative position.

    Based on your experience/knowledge, how realistic is it to think that he might be able to get a job?
    Should he start off by applying to assistant ppal. jobs or first get a few years overseas experience and then try to make the switch?
    Do you know of anyone who was in this situation and been successful?
    </font>
    <font size="2">Any suggestions/anecdotes would be very helpful and appreciated...</font>

     
  3. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    The international school option is certainly a proven way to advance to administration. There is usually a continual turnover of staff many international schools and it is often easier for a school to replace an administrator with a known quantity rather than take the chance on someone who might not suit. This was my entre into administration and that of many of my friends and acquaintances.

    In general, it is easier to make the move if you are in a smaller school in less well known locations. There is more movement of staff in, let us say, Caracas, than in Paris and thus, more of a chance to replace an outgoing administrator. Many of us began as teachers and proved ourselves. Demonstrating your abilities in an international environment is critical as it is far less traumatic for the school to hire an unsatisfactory teacher than a poor administrator. Since your husband has an MA in Administration, he might be able to short cut this process. It would help if he could demonstrate that he is a good teacher (able to mentor and train other faculty), a good manager, and that he possesses flexibility, cultural sensitivity, and a sense of humor (vital for international living). I would advise you to check out the Search-Associates web site under administrative positions, subscribe to The International Educator which lists positions (usually in American International Schools), subscribe to the International Schools Review which gives teacher insights into schools (take the comments with a considerable grain of salt) and finally, search through this website for comments on countries and schools in which you are interested (again, take with the proverbial grain of salt). Good luck.

     
  4. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    If I'm understanding your Americanisms clearly, I think you're talking about becoming a head or deputy head / Principal / Vice Principal. First point if you're looking for posts in British international is to get the terminology correct; administration in Brit speak is secretary level posts.
    First port of call is usually a deputy position. Few schools would consider someone moving directly into a lead role without experience. Furthermore, experience of the curriculum is also expected. Few Americans work as heads in British internationals. There are American internationals, but TES doesn't advertise them. search the international educator for a website that advertises those schools.
    It's also a bit odd that a spouse is asking on behalf of an 'experienced educator / teacher'.
     
  5. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Arepa is on great form just now and I second everything he says. (He? I've always assumed this is a male, named after a Colombian comestible).
    MisterM is also correct - 'administration' to a Brit. is the Purser's cabin, not the Captain's quarterdeck. We use the equally vile term 'management', though there's been a half-hearted move to replace that with 'leadership', a word which at best conjures up some earnest public school OTC type scaling Kilimanjaro and at worst smacks of Il Duce. I suppose there's no really 'hygienic' term for the nasty stuff we do.
    I'm sure the Masters will have provided a great deal of insight into the job but it cannot by itself have made your husband into a person to whom colleagues will listen and whom students will trust. You are born with these qualties, and training and experience hone them. Or burn them out, in the case of us older dogs.
    Anyway as he's 'your man' I'm sure you are confident that he has the wherewithal. Try the TIE for US-type schools. It is sad but true that most Brit-curriculum schools will look to hire UK-trained teachers of whom there is just now a plentiful supply. Personally I like to have Americans around, for they often exude a positive energy and a 'can-do' attitude which something in the British diet leeches away.
    American presence in the staff room can also serve as an antidote, here in Europe, to the crass hypocritical ignorance of certain anti-american eurotrash who will strut around proclaiming that the yanks have no culture and history unless someone is around to remind them that they don't know their O Henry from their Henry James.
    Alas, the EU also makes it difficult to employ northamericans. Our tottering economies may extend a helping hand and a crust of bread to any number of westward-travelling escapees from the ruins of Socialism, we can take on board a certain number of those who fly from cleptomaniac tyrants and mysogynist mullahs in Africa (nothing against any of these immigrants by the way) but immigration laws are hard on potential visitors from Obama's New Jerusalem.
    Just a year ago I heard the head of an excellent US school bemoaning teacher shortages and a recruitment 'crisis' in his market. Have a look at the TIE as starting point to see if this is still the case. Consider an interesting location even if the job is not, in the first instance, a post of responsibility.
    Finally - lose that nickname. What is a refined literate American woman doing wearing the shirt of any soccer team at all, but most especially the blue-and-yellow horror of that nasty scuzzy sleazy outfit from down by the putrid Riachuelo?
     
  6. That's what we are hoping for. Openings in our area (rural) are few and far between. It appears that the international teacher community is much more mobile.
    That's great advice. We'll probably have to do a lot of research on the specific schools since we have financial commitments AND children to take into account. Hopefully there are more than just a handful of smaller schools that not only pay a decent salary but also have a fairly international student body that would help our children have an easier time fitting in. We really are open to location, so that should help.
    I have been to these sites and will probably suscribe to them once we get ready to apply for 2012-2013 positions.
    Thanks for the feedback!!
     
  7. Yes, thanks for the translation. I didn't want to muddle my post by trying to use terms I wasn't completely sure of.
    Not really looking to get into British schools. I just noticed that there were several users of this forum with experience/knowledge to give some pertinent advice. (You were one of them... so thank you for responding!!)
    I guess you can think it's odd. I just enjoy perusing forums regarding teaching overseas (I call it "research") and my husband prefers to engage in activities that require some form of movement (at this exact moment that happens to be shoveling snow- so you won't hear me complain). You can call it odd, I call it division of labor.
    Thanks for your input!

     
  8. Oh dear, I wasn't aware that doing the "nasty" was a job requirement. I might need to keep a closer eye on this new found vocation of his.
    I imagined that much. We will be focusing more on American schools. If the terminology itself is sometimes beyond comprehension, I don't even want to imagine the ways curriculum, testing, PD,etc differ.
    Why, thank you. I knew we were useful for something...
    Let's hope that's true. An encouraging little tidbit of info.
    Oh. I gather that you've been personally "burned" by the red-hot awesomeness of that dear team from down south. My condolences to you and whichever sad soccer/football team you misguidedly support. Remember... somos la mitad mas uno...
    On a different note: thanks for the feedback- it'll be put to good use (except that last bit, of course).
     
  9. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Yes, almost literally, Ma'am.
    Twice I have feared for my life at a stadium.
    Once in the 70s at a Bristol Rovers/Bristol City game among a mere 12,000 fellow spectators when I made the beginner's mistake of thinking that on home turf nothing could happen.
    Then about ten years later at the much better attended Boca/River clash (feeble word, that) played at the hideous vertiginous damp crumbling mafia-infested pee-soaked bloodstained corruption-fouled psycopath-haunted mud-moated barbed-wire-enclosed den of moral and physical putrefaction which the locals have the cara dura to call La Bombonera.
    (Fanatics in the NW of England have painstakingly constructed an exact replica and called it 'Old Trafford'.)
    There, I made the beginner's mistake of imagining I could enjoy the game as an amused neutral.
    'Burning' might have been the least of it. At least after that evening I felt I could look my war-veteran uncle in the eye.
    If, as we hear so often, the bosteros are really 'la mitad del pa&iacute;s m&aacute;s uno' then that dismal plurality rings the final death knell for Argentine democracy and civilisation.
    But back to topic - if Buenos Aires is your spiritual home, then congratulations and check out vacancies at he Colegio Lincoln:
    http://www.lincoln.edu.ar/
    A very good school, and not more than five minutes by colectivo from the Estadio Monumental, home of Club Atl&eacute;tico River Plate.

     
  10. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    BocaJrs. I would strongly advise you to take an International Baccalaureate workshop, if you are not yet familiar with the program. Many American International Schools have adopted the IB. Check out the IB website for more info. I believe that it would greatly increase your chances of being employed.
     
  11. All true I'm afraid, but don't you think that's part of the charm?
    You should be thankful- consider it training for dealing with irate parents, demanding schoolboards, unruly students etc.
    Thanks for the lead. I will keep an eye on their openings, although being in such close proximity to los Millionarios might be a dealbreaker...


     
  12. We've been thinking about this topic (IB) quite a bit. We've noticed that many of the schools that we would really like to work for require IB experience. We are more than willing to take an online course, but my fear is that we'll still come up short and not have any real advantage other than being able to "talk the talk".
    I would appreciate any further thoughts about this.
    Thanks again.
     
  13. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    Taking a course online is not the only option for gaining knowledge about the IB if you are in the states. The North American IB offers short courses and there are several places where weeklong workshops take place: New Mexico, Atlanta, and New York City spring immediately to mind. I prefer NM because of its wonderful summer weather. Even having only a theoretical familiarity with the IB, would, in my opinion, help you in your job search. Firstly, you would have more options in your choice of schools. Secondly, it would give you another track to administration. Many of us have gone from IB teacher, to IB Coordinator, to administration. Finally, I think it would appeal to schools as it would demonstrate considerable initiative on your part. The latter point , I believe, rather important. In this regard, permit me to digress and rant for a bit. You will note that, occasionally (ha!), the more experienced international teachers and, particularly, the Heads, seem quite exasperated and irascible in their responses to some queries on this site. This, I believe, is because many of these queries reek of ethnocentrism and naivet&eacute; (No. Virginia, Nigeria does not follow US/UK law regarding sex discrimination). More irritating are those who ask for non-specific advice without doing a search on the topic first. Some excellent advice has been given once and then twice or even three times on a topic, but afterwards the contributors grow tired of repeating the same information (e.g. job in the USA). This obviously does not apply to your topic, otherwise, several of us would simply have not responded to your query. The laziness and lack of initiative on the part of some teachers clearly demonstrates, in my opinion, that they would not be suitable for an overseas appointment, particularly in a developing nation. I have written before about the importance of flexibility and initiative : being able to cope with and adjust to new situations. The last thing a Head wants is to have to hold the hand of a teacher for two years! An acquaintance of mind had to do this. His teacher told me: "Mr. xxxx was so nice. I went over to his apartment almost every evening to discuss my problems." Arrgh! My sympathies to that poor Head . I am definitely not that nice. Anyway, to finally, get back to your query. I think that if you gather knowledge, on your own, about the IB, this will demonstrate your initiative to prospective schools and will serve to separate you from others who have not done so. It is very expensive to bring teachers overseas (transportation, housing, medical care in addition to salaries). Schools are, consequently, somewhat loathe to hire untried teachers and administrators. You need to clearly demonstrate to the schools that their gamble on you as a first time overseas hire will not be misplaced. In this regard, it would help if you had worked or lived abroad (Peace Corps, CUSO or VSO). Good luck and thanks for putting up with my rant.
     
  14. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Dear Arepa,
    I was enjoying your long paragraph until I came to the last sentence. Rant? This piece of poor grammar[​IMG] was no rant; believe me, I know what a rant is.
    I suggest you review current training schedule and see if there are any possibilities of attending some CPD on ranting. Until then, please do not suggest you are ranting when you are merely advising. [​IMG]
    Yours,
    MM
     
  15. (Talk about digging up an old thread...)
    I'm back for some new advice since our situation has changed.
    Brief recap of original question: My husband wanted to work as a principal and although he has a graduate degree and pertinent certification he didn't have any experience in that type of role. Our dilemma- would he have even less chances overseas?
    Well, scrap that question now because he is the newly appointed assistant principal for our high school, starting next year! Awesome, right? Well, not so fast... although this is indeed a great thing and he's very happy (as am I), it has put a wrench in our plans to teach abroad. We'll definitely need to postpone leaving for a while, but, and here's my question, for how long??? Will two years of leadership experience suffice? Or is 3 years much better?
    I was really set on leaving sooner rather than later and would rather not have to wait more than is necessary. So, what do you think? What's the minimum amount of experience required that would still allow him to be a competitive candidate for a decent school (remember we have school-aged children to think about)?
    What a problem to have, huh?
    Thanks for your input!
     
  16. msnessy

    msnessy New commenter

    I work in an American school in a developing country. The admin people here seem to think that admin have to do 3 years to be taken seriously especially in the first appointment.
     
  17. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I'll second that.
    In international terms, for teachers and principals, two years in a post is minimal and tends to make the recruiters question your staying power. Three years sounds much better. Not to mention that the learning curve for a principal position is steep. You'll want to be doing it for longer so that you can grow into it.
     
  18. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Boca, I would do the IB online course anyway. It may well be interesting and stimulating in itself, especially if you share the experience - you're both obviously serious educators in spite of your soccer preferences - and potential employers would surely recognise that although you have no direct experience, you have taken the trouble to learn in detail about the IB.
    One thing is to 'talk the talk' after a superficial reading of some IB websites and a few words with friends - quite another is to do so after having completed an online course.
    I'd certainly be favourably impressed - as long as neither of you turned up for interview wearing one of those blue-and-yellow horrors.
     
  19. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Sorry, the above seemed to have ignored recent posts somehow, but I stick by the view that the IB online course is well worth doing, and second the advice that three years in the leadership position (congratularions) somehow look better than two.
     
  20. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    Congratulations on the appointment. I concur with the opinion that 3 years as a Assist. Principal is the best way to build up a good reputation. You may use this period to better prepare yourselves for the international market by taking some IB workshops as Don Dude suggests.
    In addition, I would also recommend that you subscribe to "The International Educator" which is an excellent guide to positions in American International Schools. It will give you a good idea of the job market.
    Finally, for a last piece of unsolicited advice, your husband should take some of the workshops offered by the Principal's Training Center. All the administrators I have met have found them very valuable (even as a US administrator, I believe that your husband would find it useful). Moreover, and even more importantly I believe, the workshops are an excellent place to gather information about various schools and make contacts that might be useful in the future.
    With such a background, you husband might, in three years, be able to secure an administrative position in one of the leading American International Schools (thereby resolving your concerns about your children) rather than having to work his way up the ladder from less desirable schools or countries.

     

Share This Page