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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by adrixargentina, Sep 5, 2019.
How did you secure your first post overseas?
Not sure this is relevant. My first post was obtained over 25 years ago, and modern child protection practices have changed the landscape significantly, for the better of course. I couldn’t have sent a speculative email even if I wanted to, as the school didn’t yet have an email address. Nor were agencies the same, not even close. There were just one or maybe two agencies even addressing international schools.
In other words, this survey may not yield the data that could tell you about today’s best strategies.
Old Times Educational Supplement. Can't quite remember if it was the original version, inscribed on stone tablets, or the later one, written on vellum by teams of monks.
The only agency I remember from those days was Gabbitas, whose head honcho was the renowned Peter Gummer. The first job I was offered, at a salary quite beyond the dreams of avarice, was at a certain Day School in Argentina. I phoned PG:
MW: Peter, if I mention a name will you please give me your reaction?
PG: Of course, dear boy.
MW: Mr BG of XXX School, Buenos Aires.
PG: Devious, smooth-talking bar steward.
He went on to add that the job I had been offered was 'probably OK' and that the salary would allow my family of four to dine out in good restaurants 365 days of the year. I turned it down because it would have been a reprise of the job I'd been doing all of ten years previously.
Mostly the old-fashioned way: through the TES (online though; not the print version) and I've been approached by schools a few times through my membership of Search Associates. I haven't had much success applying to schools on-spec (I did this a few years ago for Germany and received a few nice 'thank you' emails but they didn't amount to anything - and I tailored each speculative letter/CV).
First post was through the TES.
Subsequent posts have been through Search.
My experience was almost a carbon copy of the Captain's, except the school was different (the sainted Thatcher school in BA) and I actally met Peter Gummer (ex Head of St. Andrews) at the Gabbitas, Truman and Thring (as it was then) HQ in Picadilly. As gulfers rightly says, for some of us, jobs pre-date the internet and most recruitment agencies.
Mostly TES, but also a few from Search Associates.
Voted 'agency that doesn't require references' but was contacted by a recruiter via LinkedIn and offered an interview based on my experience and where I'd worked before and was offered the job.
My route to my first two jobs. Next, just the TES and direct application. This time, the agency that gets mentioned here a lot that I wanted to try. I wasn't personally impressed tbh - seemed a lot of fuss, and in my case a bit of money, for not much more than some peremptory emails and sight of a vacancy that then came on the TES anyway.
I met PG on a number of occasions. The last was at Markham College where I was staying with Bill Baker, one of my predecessors as Head of St Andrew's, Blantyre. I doubt that the 'circuit' is quite so intimate these days. Peter was Head of St Andrew's at the time of the Falklands War. He spoke of the friendliness of ordinary Argentines even then. My thirteen-year-old son played rugby in B.A. a generation later and teased his hostess (a BDS mama) about Malvinas being British. I promised to kill him when he got home but she just laughed.
That war was allegedly the route to accelerated promotion from Head of PE for my first overseas Head, the defrocked copper with the famously short fuse, as apparently many expats left fearing the worst.
I saw an advert online on TES and I emailed the school. So it was a bit of a mix of TES/speculative email.
If you are referrring to Search SPC2, I would say it was better when it was run by the original Associates; particularly Harry Deelman (also an old Argentina hand) and David Cope, but the new ones are a mixed bunch and I would only use it for its excellent database of information these days.
I got my first job abroad through the British Council. The second I got after we had to leave Tehran. My wife had already got a job at a school in Madrid so I phoned all the schools in the city and my current school was the one that offered the most money...
Quite happy to believe that. Comparing notes with others, my experience not unique and similar experiences not confined to just one current Associate. Some there seem to think they're part of an executive tier for the international school sector rather than, effectively, a service provider.
First job was in a school I did my last block teaching practice to cover long term sickness and maternity cover. Part of the deal was the employment had to be long enough to obtain my NQT.
Search Associates, got a job within a week after signing up and going through the rather tedious process of obtaining 4 references. Was contacted by a school, checked it out and things seemed legit. Still at the same school in my third year, worked out well for the most part. Search is worth trying I think especially as people with a UK address can sign up for free due to our labour laws.
I voted TES for the first overseas job I actually accepted, but I had previously Searched used the well known agency (I decided to stay in the UK that year).
In my case that agency actually made things more time consuming. Every post I applied for via them still directed me to fill out their own application form. The schools also approached all of my referees again (despite the fact Search makes you add 3-5 references before accepting you). I will admit I was approached by several schools but none of them seemed very good. I had previously been under the impression there was some sort of quality control for schools to be able to use these agency. The next year I just used TES and got offered a job at the first school I applied for.
"I had previously been under the impression there was some sort of quality control for schools to be able to use these agency."
In the past maybe wanderlust, but the lure of the yankee dollar will seduce even the most highminded, just look at some of the characters on here, who are only in it for the money!
dont forget the holidays.... its just money and the holidays.
you must be terribly tired from polishing your educational halo...have a rest now