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Job Adverts: Read Between The Lines

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by tjh102, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. tjh102

    tjh102 New commenter

    I have just seen an advert for a previous school of mine and it made me choke on my dinner. This school has been through multiple heads in 2.5 years, will have gone through 2 complete staff turnovers in 2 years (including office staff) and is... Ummm.... an interesting place to work.

    The thing is, the current job advert hasn't lied at all but, like all job adverts, is carefully worded. And international school adverts have a language all of their own.

    So to help out others currently job seeking, what are the international school red flags?
     
    agbak likes this.
  2. agbak

    agbak New commenter

    ..

    Business as usual tjh102
     
    Teachallover likes this.
  3. colacao17

    colacao17 New commenter

    There's a strange one on TES at the moment looking for science teachers and dept heads "in spain" for next Sept and the contact is "TES Global". No detail about these posts or their location so I assume that they don't actually exist at the moment (a bit early for Spain for Sept) and that TES global is hoping to operate as a kind of agency or 'finder'.

    Salary says 'competitive' which of course probably means anything but.
     
  4. colacao17

    colacao17 New commenter

    There's also one for a named school on TESat the moment which mentions the 'school role' and then the 'primary role' when talking about the number of students enlisted.
    Reading between the lines I'd say standards aren't high.
     
  5. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Established commenter

    This generally means "as little as we can possibly get away with paying you". Thats why they dont want to actually state what the rate is ;)
     
  6. february31st

    february31st Occasional commenter

    The word "competitive", translates as we know how much all the other schools pay and will not pay any more!
     
    jacks_wasted_life and SPC2 like this.
  7. makhnovite

    makhnovite Occasional commenter

    Par for the course!
     
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Established commenter Community helper

    Perhaps those who write the TES job adverts could have a wonderful future in estate agency. Or maybe they should sell second-hand cars.
     
    jacks_wasted_life and grdwdgrrrl like this.
  9. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    I think if the Job Description has many punctuation errors, because it's been cut and pasted together with the finesse of a 4 year old, then the school Managing Director has probably not given the Job Description much thought. Steer clear!!!!
     
    tjh102 likes this.
  10. tjh102

    tjh102 New commenter


    Anyone would think we had seen the same job advert!

    Another one that rings alarm bells: School is in the suburbs of... Please check how distant the suburbs are. I have seen schools that are technically in a different state / county /province claim to be in the capital city to make them sound attractive. A three hour Friday commute is not fun!

    And if the job also says that you are expected to live locally, I would be asking why. After all, it should be our choice and we should be trusted to do the commute if we want to do it, right? It sounds like, "Kiss goodbye to your personal life."
     
    ml02slc and jacks_wasted_life like this.
  11. february31st

    february31st Occasional commenter

    One school is claiming to be in Shanghai when its 60km away. Also claims the city center is 45min away, it is if travelling at 225km/h.
     
    ed717 likes this.
  12. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Free food for staff in cafeteria= You get what you pay for!
    Housing provided on campus= We own you, 24/7!
    Bring a sense of humor= Most days you won't know whether to laugh or cry!
     
  13. jacks_wasted_life

    jacks_wasted_life New commenter

    Love it, wrldtrvlr123!

    Another couple of zingers:

    "Previous experience of EAL learners is highly desirable." = You're going to teach English literature in the IB Diploma to students who can't string a cohesive sentence together.
    "You should be adaptable and flexible and have a positive approach to life!" = We are going to take advantage of you consistently and repeatedly, asking you to teach subjects that are not within your skill-set and expect you not to complain.
    "Experience the authentic China!" = You're going to be stuck in a place where using a squat toilet is considered the height of civilisation.
     
  14. tjh102

    tjh102 New commenter

    Gosh! All of these are looking /sounding familiar.

    One I have seen in a few adverts: Knowledge of xxx culture is desirable. That often translates as, "Money is king in this culture. The school owner is God and if you breathe otherwise, you will be fired. Know your place." I have also seen it translate as, "We give preference to young, blonde girls because they pull in the parents" and "Just because we are called an international school doesn't mean we will behave like it."

    Wow... I sound bitter tonight!

    I'm not actually bitter. I finished my contract at my previous place, got out and am very happy. But I am worried about the poor sucker that ends up getting the job!
     
    Alice K likes this.
  15. the hippo

    the hippo Established commenter Community helper

    Ah, those verbal fig leaves that one finds in TES job adverts! They are used to cover up all sorts of sins. As for being "flexible", that over-used word really means that you need to be the double-jointed Mr Elastic.
     
    ml02slc likes this.
  16. makhnovite

    makhnovite Occasional commenter

    Or it means you should have stayed at home and not ventured out into the big bad outside world!

    Caveat Emptor!
     
  17. charb74

    charb74 New commenter

    I think another alarm bell would be that a school posting several teaching positions, together with some admin positions like HoD, HoY, etc. (worse), all of which have the same (or 90% similar) text in the ad (worst)!!!
     
    ml02slc and tony110704797 like this.
  18. 576

    576 Occasional commenter

    Just read 'teachers who embrace a high degree of integration between their personal and professional lives'.

    Ie; in term-time your professional life will make it virtually impossible to have a personal one!
     
  19. Alice K

    Alice K Occasional commenter

    Really made me laugh!
     
  20. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    I served a sentence as High School Principal in a 'school' for Chilean upper-middle class spoiled brats who claimed the democratic right not to go to Maths (or any other) classes they didn't fancy and to do fun stuff such as smashing up the hotel hosting the junior prom. Cleansing this Augean stable required some drastic measures including the expulsion of more than 30 'students' and both the brats and their parents continually complained that as a Briton I was both cold and lacked cultural sensitivity. 'The next Principal must be Chilean,' they chorused. When I was eventually paroled the Board asked me to be involved in recruiting my successor. My (Chilean) vice principal and I enjoyed writing an unofficial job description which included the line: The ideal candidate will be Chilean, blind, deaf, daft and speak neither Spanish nor English.
     

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