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Is it just me or is it tough this year?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by finkazoid, May 12, 2012.

  1. Well it is May 12th, 2012 now and with the School year fast approaching its end (The last of the 3 way parent/student consultations completed....*I still cannot believe how I managed 28 back to back 20 minute consultations without a single break...7:40am to 5:00pm*) My wife and I still find ourselves without a job for next year.
    It was all looking so different in December 2011. At that time I?d just flown back from an interview in Dubai and having been told the package, I had verbally agreed a contract.

    Then the wait.

    2 and a half months later, and after my wife now having had an interview with the same British School in Dubai, the contract finally arrived.

    Totally different package.

    Giving them a call to tell them about the mix up, we were told that the Head teacher had made a mistake in the interviews, and that she had been talking about the package in her old school.

    The new contract was unacceptable, as was the attitude that it was our fault that we were not flexible!

    So with most of the Search Fairs now finished or booked up and it being the end of February 2012, we began the search again.

    So here we are in May 12th 2012. We have applied for loads of schools (must be nearly 30 now); we have heard back from a pitiful 2?.we didn?t get those because of a lack of PYP experience.

    Now at this point you may be thinking??Ohh poor young?not long ago NQT!?

    Well let?s fill in some blanks.

    Me

    13 years as a teacher.

    2 international stints (Spain and current my current school being a very prestigious Bangkok School)

    I have been AHOY

    I have been head of a 5 form entry Art and DT department (Middle School)

    7 Super references on Search Associates

    PGCE, BA Hons, BTEC HND to name a few

    Bang up to date professional development

    I have worked with every age range from Reception to Year 8

    I?m currently in Year 5 *last 2 years, and prior to that worked in Year 6 for 2 years at my current Bangkok School.

    Hardly a day off in 7 years.

    The Search Associates rep has said that my CV is great.

    Experience with IB, IPC, British National Curriculum

    My wife similarly qualified.

    9 Years teaching.

    Headed up Humanities in her last Primary school.

    Is a SMART board certified trainer.

    Has taught in most year groups as well.

    So we keep sending off applications and we still keep getting ignored.

    My colleagues can?t believe it, my students parents can?t believe it?. and I just don?t know what else we need to do.

    Some things to remember.

    1) We are looking on multiple sites (Tes, Search etc)

    2) I?m 38 so far from past it?and with most schools entry level cut off for pay, my 13 years teaching often puts me on par with those people with just 6!

    3) Our initial picky school requirements have been shelved?.we are applying all over the world (with some dangerous country exceptions)

    4) No children for me and the wife, so no dependents.

    5) We are British.

    Sorry for the rant?but it?s nice to just get it off your chest now and again!
     
  2. Well it is May 12th, 2012 now and with the School year fast approaching its end (The last of the 3 way parent/student consultations completed....*I still cannot believe how I managed 28 back to back 20 minute consultations without a single break...7:40am to 5:00pm*) My wife and I still find ourselves without a job for next year.
    It was all looking so different in December 2011. At that time I?d just flown back from an interview in Dubai and having been told the package, I had verbally agreed a contract.

    Then the wait.

    2 and a half months later, and after my wife now having had an interview with the same British School in Dubai, the contract finally arrived.

    Totally different package.

    Giving them a call to tell them about the mix up, we were told that the Head teacher had made a mistake in the interviews, and that she had been talking about the package in her old school.

    The new contract was unacceptable, as was the attitude that it was our fault that we were not flexible!

    So with most of the Search Fairs now finished or booked up and it being the end of February 2012, we began the search again.

    So here we are in May 12th 2012. We have applied for loads of schools (must be nearly 30 now); we have heard back from a pitiful 2?.we didn?t get those because of a lack of PYP experience.

    Now at this point you may be thinking??Ohh poor young?not long ago NQT!?

    Well let?s fill in some blanks.

    Me

    13 years as a teacher.

    2 international stints (Spain and current my current school being a very prestigious Bangkok School)

    I have been AHOY

    I have been head of a 5 form entry Art and DT department (Middle School)

    7 Super references on Search Associates

    PGCE, BA Hons, BTEC HND to name a few

    Bang up to date professional development

    I have worked with every age range from Reception to Year 8

    I?m currently in Year 5 *last 2 years, and prior to that worked in Year 6 for 2 years at my current Bangkok School.

    Hardly a day off in 7 years.

    The Search Associates rep has said that my CV is great.

    Experience with IB, IPC, British National Curriculum

    My wife similarly qualified.

    9 Years teaching.

    Headed up Humanities in her last Primary school.

    Is a SMART board certified trainer.

    Has taught in most year groups as well.

    So we keep sending off applications and we still keep getting ignored.

    My colleagues can?t believe it, my students parents can?t believe it?. and I just don?t know what else we need to do.

    Some things to remember.

    1) We are looking on multiple sites (Tes, Search etc)

    2) I?m 38 so far from past it?and with most schools entry level cut off for pay, my 13 years teaching often puts me on par with those people with just 6!

    3) Our initial picky school requirements have been shelved?.we are applying all over the world (with some dangerous country exceptions)

    4) No children for me and the wife, so no dependents.

    5) We are British.

    Sorry for the rant?but it?s nice to just get it off your chest now and again!
     
  3. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Firstly, you have been incredibly unlucky to have been treated so badly by the school in Dubai. Unfortunately the legal situation is such that you cannot do much about it.
    Your CV does look imppressive, but at this point it probably boils down to the fact that, at this point in the year, there aren't many jobs around, plus the fact that you may be more expensive as an experienced teacher.
    There are a lot more people applying for jobs this year, particularly from UK which adds to the amount of competition you are facing.
    A frustrating situation, but one which you have to accept and keep on working at.
     
  4. Please - name and shame. This won't be the first or last time this b%stard has done this. Keep it cryptic and we'll work it out for ourselves.

    Good luck with your search.
     
  5. Let's just say a queen would be married to one!
     
  6. It is most definitely becoming more and more fierce. I dont mind the best person getting the job but the middle east and with my recent experiences in a so called oil school there is so much nepotism, favouritism and down right corruption. Honesty, integrity and basic values many have never been introdued to, understand or totally disregard. Anything goes out here. Having said that, I still think there are many good schools with great people and management who remain supportive, kind, considerate. Trouble is I dont know where they are and at my age nearing the big 50 I would say keep persevering as I am and cream always rises. The jobs will keep coming up as some may not turn up come september when your ready to go. new posts are being created as the populations rise especialy in places such as Qatar, new schools are being set up by profiteers. I wish us well. Remain positive and it can and will change suddenly.
     
  7. What I don't get is how the **** teachers manage to find jobs, surely they should be weedled out with all the competition. For the last few years I've known brilliant teachers struggle to find new posts and the skivers have picked up jobs at good schools.

    Keep applying, hopefully something will come up soon.
     
  8. I often wonder this myself, but I've started to think that many interviews are more "personality" tests than job interviews. I believe I was very lucky to get my post at next year's school as I was an American applying to a British branded school. I also have 13 years of international school teaching experience, though, and I believe I am a good find for any school (if I do say so myself!), but in the end, I believe I got the job because I knew people at the school. Is this "fair"? Probably not. Was I the best qualified person for the job? Possibly at the time of interview.
    I've seen many teachers that I believe to be "average" teachers, but they have great personalities and know how to talk to interviewers. Again, is it fair? No. Does it happen all around the world? Probably.
    Just my two cents. Or is that pence?
     
  9. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I think an awful lot is down to personality. And, to some degree this does seem to make some sense. The reason I say this is that the culture in schools can vary enormously, among both the staff and the students. So, in one school you might be treated like a superstar, while in another you may be regarded as mediocre.

    Horses for courses.
     
  10. And you really do need to know that it's going to be a good match with
    you and the people you have to work for. That's one reason I think
    dealing with an HR department is kind of like going double-blind, if you
    can't meet who you will need to work with at interview. Usually you can't meet your colleagues ahead of accepting an offer, but it does give an important insight to know whether the head has a sense of humor or is completely disinterested and walks away during a panel interview.
     
  11. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Sometimes it's just down to the colour of the wind. I've had years where I applied to a load of top notch (in my view) schools and got offered a place at the lot and could choose my poison. Other years, nobody is interested and it's a choice of two or three half decent outfits. And everything in between. And no job 'til late on.

    They way I wrote my CV? An over/under-confident attitude in my letters of application? There were stronger candidates all moving on that year? The schools all found teaching couples who could offer them more even if I was a better pick as an individual? I was jaded? My latest referee didn't like me as much as I thought he or she did and my reference(s) was/were lousy or not that great? I was the wrong "fit" for the schools I applied to?

    Don't give up! It will work out, it always does. And wherever you go, it will give you an experience that anywhere else wouldn't.
     
  12. Don't object to that. You have to have one. In my experience teachers without a personality aren't very good. No use interviewing well and being cr4p, though. Even schools that fly a teacher out, have them teach some lessons under observation, get it wrong. Maybe it is only when they have got the job that you can see if they are any good or not!
    Nothing wrong with that. Reputation counts for much; especially overseas, the playng field doesn't have to be level.

     
  13. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    The personality of the teacher, and how the interviewer thinks he or she will "get on" with the location, people and colleagues is often the only thing that is really important. If you know your subject, and can teach a bit, and the host nation's students are going to be delightfully keen and welcoming anyway even if your pedagogical know how (if there is such a thing!) is not top notch (or "best practice" lol) then your track record can count for little. These schools are gems, hard to find but they do exist.
     
  14. I understand what everyone means about personality tests for interviews...over the last 13 years teaching I've noticed a shift in interview techniques....my very first interview back in 1999 was totally different to anything I've had since....I was sat down in the middle of a room with the following surrounding me: Head. Dep Head, Head of Finance, Head of Year and sat (specifically) behind me with a notebook and pen was a Psychiatrist the school had hired to assess all interviewees.HARROWING!.....but I got the job...he he
    Onto my current plight, its not interviews that are the problem this year, its the lack of actually getting one.
    If we were missing out at interview then you can at least look at it in a positive light. However, we are not even getting a sniff at interviews this year....and based on a purely CV case, its hard to see why!
    I do think more and more...maybe down to purely to the amount of applications schools get, Teachers are not actually looking at initial applicants. I know my current school has an admin person go through the first round of filtering. This is fine, but in one school I applied to, I got an interview while my wife didn't. It was only when I got to interview and they asked me what my wife did, and I said "Teacher" that the head looked at me shocked and said "Why hasn't she applied too?"....a little bit embarrassing to then have to say, "well actually she has applied twice, with the second time stating clearly that she was with me, and she still didn't get past who ever does the application filtering"
    On a side note, another strange thing this year is the amount of times me and my wife have applied to schools with personal recommendations to heads and dep heads from previous employees at their schools (at least 5 Schools)....and then still failed to get even an interview...(well not exactly true, the Job that never was, came from a recommendation....but lets not go there!)
    Anyway...ho hum...we'll keep on applying...mind you its getting late to actually organise where all our stuff in Thailand will be shipped to, so that's a worry!
     
  15. arewethereyet

    arewethereyet New commenter

    I know what you mean about the difficulties in getting the interview, although I now know where I was going wrong, I was being too honest. Others I've spoken to write a load of bs on their applications. So no matter how good yours really is, the creative/delusional out there will be outdoing you.
     
  16. I suppose I can see what you mean about being too honest if you see creative applications as also being delusional.
    Finding it very difficult to BS, I don't say anything I don't believe in those documents, and I absolutely don't expect to be hired if they do not stand out from the rest. Since everybody else applying is also a teacher, that must necessarily be through the strength of the writing and its creativity. If you had to read 500 or a 1,000 teaching philosophies, what would you choose? One with obvious BS? One that was creative and delusional? Or one that was creative and still addressed what it needed to? How can you demonstrate that you are an interesting teacher who can approach topics in an engaging and innovative way if you have a completely forgettable cv, cover and philosophy? And why should they believe you to be any different than you have presented yourself? If you expect middling to stand out in a crowd, you need to reexamine that. It doesn't. If your honesty got you ruled out, then you weren't a good fit but at least you represented yourself. What happens when people who BSed on the cv and cover actually get into the school?

    Having said that, I have also seen that some HoSs don't open everything sent to them and it is disheartening to put a lot of work into the cv and cover, to have researched the school for ways to highlight how you'd be a good match and then to know it wasn't so much as opened.
     
  17. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    If it helps, there are a few schools in Beijing still recruiting. I have just read 'STAR' (an IS magazine) and they have some the in classifieds. A certain boater wearing school with a new campus are hiring. I'm guessing expansion but I'm not sure. Might be worth checking out their website.
     
  18. arewethereyet

    arewethereyet New commenter

    Yes, this is very annoying too. I think it's sometimes something of a lucky dip. And as for the people that get jobs on embellished/made up cvs, they seem to do ok as in my experience once you've got a job you have to do something pretty bad to lose it. I was just surprised at how many people seem to be at it, some seemed to believe what they were writing others accepted that they had made half of it up.
     
  19. Finkazoid, me old northern mucker.
    The word is 'sitting'...
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Is that you computer man!
     

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