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Is this "Usual" in International Education?

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Mainwaring, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    Yes. The availability of many posts depends on the decision of the current incumbents to renew or not renew their contracts. This decision may well take place after the interviews. A recruiter handling several schools cannot ensure that he is always interviewing for 'firm' vacancies.
    or possibly 'firm' would be a better word because you were a tyro and he knew what he was talking about.
    Possibly a bit strong but it would apply in many cases.
    I hope that doesn't mean you will be put off applying because the professionals decline to do it your way. It is a VERY competitive market so why create unnecessary obstacles to your success?
     
  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I have never heard of a school interviewing somebody on the possibility of there being a post in the future. It seems quite shortsighted to me. If someone is willing to be interviewed then it means that they are looking for a position. It seems a pretty large assumption that they will still be without a position in a few months time.
    Edit: The Captain thinks otherwise and his experience is much greater than mine. I stand corrected.

     
  3. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I can see both sides.
    To me, it's normal in the sense that it happens regularly. Schools often strongly suspect that a position will come open (sometimes the current occupant is swanning around school singing "I'm out of here, I'm out of here"), but they can do nothing official until notice is officially given.
    In another sense of normal, the sense in which something is true more often that it's not, well, no. I'd say that usually recruiters are working with firm vacancies, and in a handful of cases are working on spec.
    If the interview is going to cost you little other than time, why not attend? It's good practice and you might learn more about the international school world. On the other hand, if they are asking you to take time off work and travel far afield with no expenses paid, you have to decide if it's worth it.
     
  4. Syria1

    Syria1 New commenter

    I would not have put it in such strong terms myself. A number of schools have already passed the deadline for resigning for the coming School Year and contract renewals have already been completed. There is a case for interviewing potential candidates (e.g. for a start-up school) and creating a pool from which you may be selected; equally there may be a case where the School is interviewing ahead of the resignation date to make sure they have a pre-selected pool of candidates for possible vacancies. We may interview for a possible position which then subsequently is not available due to reorganisation or restructuring. Schools equally may need additional staff at short notice because of a rising roll.Vacancies in large and well-established schools are often fairly certain; but staffing changes are more frequent that in the domestic setting. We are not in Kansas anymore.
    Your refusal to move forward to the second interview will not rule you out of most good international posts - but to turn down a chance to develop your interview skills and to receive feedback on your performance seems not to be the ideal approach.
    The other point to consider is that the recruiter will also be recruiting for other posts and positions in other Schools; if you come across as inflexible you might not go to the top of the list of people he or she calls if another similar position elsewhere comes up.
    And you can always refuse if they did offer you a position in the end.
     
  5. That's exactly why I thought it was so funny.
     
  6. Syria1

    Syria1 New commenter

    Actually not par for the course with us. We only interview for vacancies which are budgeted and confirmed. We pay expenses for all candidates invited to interview up to a reasonable amount. We try to make the process as clear as possible and we are happy to provide feedback. And still this year I had a candidate accept by phone and by email and then withdraw providing a spurious excuse 6 weeks later. His loss, our gain in the end. We are not all the same.
     
  7. There are the very very few exceptions in my experiences. In the main the middle east schools are riddled with excellence at one end and absolute shambles at the other extreme. These organisations are usually headed by selfish, power hungry, narrow minded individuals hell bent on wielding their power and making lifes of the honest, decent, hard working true professionals miserable. I see it as a sickness in certain individuals Ive come across. Sadly many newcomers suffer. In answer to the poster there is no usual state of affairs. The international circuit is a totally mixed bag with few guarantees. Expectations most have or are are accustomed to in the west are seldom apparent. There is no norm. Nothing surprises me anymore and I count my lucky stars if things do go as I expect - with each passing day. This week Ive had a Head contact me with an interview time and date only to cancel today and seek a time next week when Im away for easter. Another Head promised to email me today and nothing in my mail box all day. Thats usual for me.
     
  8. Good for you - and the rest of the profession. There have been any number of threads on here recently with F&t a*rsed pompus Heads telling the poor recipients of jobseekers allowance how they like their websites researched, personalised applications, online applications etc etc in order to winnow out the inadequate - which to them means those who are not prepared to pencil sharpen their tongues to the exact shape of their future employers a&seholes - and then we find the same people advertise jobs which don't exist.
    Disgusting. I can't decide whether this practice is lower than a limbo dancer's shoulders or a snakes belly.
     
  9. A lot of great points made here. The only one I didn't see mentioned was the possibility that the recruiter anticipated a given number of runners at his/her school. It would all depend on the school in question. A school with a poor environment might well need to have the recruiter aggressively on a perpetual hiring binge. I can see being open minded and rolling with a second interview (why not?) but I would question the aggressiveness and insistence.
    I am also, by nature, suspicious of anyone claiming to know what "all" of any group of people are like and that would have put me off as well. Too much of a sales job. I would question why, that's all.
    Having said all that, I think even an interview for a mess of a school could still be very educational and possibly even entertaining.
     
  10. Isn't it a crying shame that these establishments (which deserve professional standards) have sunk to gutter levels thanks to inept, incompetent, unprofesssional individuals who bring disgrace to the noble profession. Worse still is that these creatures continue to label themselves as SMT and Headteachers. Not counting the very few decent ones around. I wonder when and if one day the music will stop and reality will sink for the host governments/owners to put an end to their 'a$@' licking of such individuals and do what must be the best for their clients - the children.
     
  11. Some greatresponses which for me have been informative. Clearly they come from either side of the recruitment fence which is great as it's always good to hear from both sides.
    I am starting to warm to the sentiments of those with a good deal of experience such as mainwaring although I would not like to single them out but use them as an example. "cannot ensure that he is always interviewing for 'firm' vacancies " was the part that got me thinking along with others who might suggest that it is ok to interview without a "firm" vacancy.
    I was just thinking about this last night and it suddenly struck me.
    Maybe teachers should start to make applications for posts for the experience of doing so even if they don't want the job advertised. Several replies have indicated that having a second interview and then turning down an offer could be useful and I can see that. Maybe teachers should apply and go through the interview process on the basis that although they don't want the job now, they might want one similar in the future. One or two interviews a week would certainly be good professional development and stand one in good stead if the need for a new post ever did arise. If an offer was forthcoming then the individual could think about it for a few days while they haggle over the salary etc (more practice can't do any harm) and the, when pushed, go quiet for a while before sending an email declining after most of the other excellent candidates have found posts elsewhere. Once you had 6 or 8 decent applications, some standard supporting statements that you could tweak and some spurious references that would respond in a suitable way you could probably get an application sent off in 15 minutes or so. It might turn mainwaring's competetive market into a more level playing field and surely if it is ok to interview even if there is no firm post then it would also be ok to interview if you had no intention of taking the job. Would be the most useful PD you ever did probably.





     
  12. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    But of course.
    I do realise that you are ironising, bt0558, but yes, the 'reverse process' does occur, just as infrequently as the management machinations which opened this thread and caused so much unnecessary wrath.
    Just as we may have a colleague who is dithering, obliging us to see who else might be out there, so a candidate may be merely keeping 'match-fit' or 'testing the waters' or fancy a look at the Ruritanians just out of curiosity. I'm pretty sure it happened to us recently. So it goes.
    This one definitely happened to us, damagingly, during the current recruiting period which is testing even my steely nerves.
    But we had no reason to doubt the candidate's sincerity or honesty, much less to imagine that she acted out of anti-SMT spite, or that Lord's or Twickenham had hired her to 'level the playing field'. She just thought long and hard and then gave us a "no, thanks, sorry", as she had every right to do.
    Not sure why so much bile has been flowing over this one.
    In particular after his furious spate of ejaculations yesterday I fear for the health of the oldgit, and fervently hope that this morning sees him suffering from nothing more serious than a hangover.
     
  13. SMT
    As you suggest, very tongue in cheek. Having said that I am gutted that I might not have been the first to come up with the idea. Won't pop to the patent office after all.
    Sorry to hear about your recent experience. I guess that just as there are tier 1, 2 and 3 schools there are also tier 1,2 and 3 applicants and there will be some fighting over the best.
    I hope you manage to sort your predicament if it still exists SMT.



     
  14. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Thank you!
    I guess "it will get done" as my daughter says of her homework, but right now things don't look great. Still considering starting a new thread to have a good whinge - that should draw some fire...
     
  15. Nah...'that's not cricket'.
     
  16. Gut

    Gut

    After interview I was called and told that there wasn't a position they could fit me into but that they wanted me so they offered a job to start as soon as a vacancy opens, be that September 2013 or earlier (but not later). They admitted that not only was this unusual but it wasn't something they'd done before and that they wouldn't ask me to commit until the vacancy actually occurred. I've had emails and letters confirming the offer as well. They explained many times that this was not a "we'll consider you when we look again" but a "the next teacher in your KS that hands in their notice, that's your job".

    I know that no offer is close to be set in stone until you sign a contract (and in the world of International teaching sometimes not even then) and that I'm in a pretty unusual and uncertain position but it's a very good school and I consider myself insanely lucky to have had an interview let alone a sort of offer. There doesn't seem to be a lot of schools of that quality still looking for this year so I am likely to wait it out. If I haven't heard anything by the time recruiting season for 2013 starts then I'll consider my options.

    I wonder if anyone else has been in a similar situation or if it really is as rare a situation as the school admitted it was.
     

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