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Search London Fair (&other issues)

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by doctorofgenetics, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. I know this topic has been discussed before but I was after a more up-to-date view. I am an experienced biology & ICT teacher (head of subject) from an outstanding (judged) school. On the negative side I have a non-teaching spouse (who is keen to be involved in teaching) and three school-aged children. I am also a British Pakistani so do not have the white face that some schools may require.
    I have applied for a few jobs but not been shortlisted. Now I have been invited to the search fair in London and looking at some blogs it seems like a bit of a stressful experience. Will I be wasting my time? Has anyone succeeded in getting a job at a decent school in my situation? Any comments gratefully received.
  2. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    If by 'search' you mean Search Associates, in addition to being one of the biggest in the business, they are a pukka outfit who will treat you like a professional and a human being and give you a truthful appraisal of your prospects.
    Certainly there are schools which, for marketing purposes, will prefer a white face but there are others which will always go for the best candidate irrespective of shade. Some even have a 'rainbow' policy and pride themselves on the multi-ethnicity of their staff.
    Other posters will be able to comment better on your family situation. Some schools (but you probably wouldn't want to work there) will consider an unqualified graduate as a teacher. Others might consider her as a Teaching Assistant. The host country's employment laws can also be a factor.
    If I were you I'd keep on applying. I find much of life fairly stressful but I remind myself that the only completely un-stressed entity is a corpse. All the best!
  3. Thanks to the Sage of W on Sea and the hippo for their responses. I will go to the Search Fair later this month. If anybody has some kindly words of wisdom, or failing that some practical nuggets please let me know
  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Not so long ago a friendly soul on this forum mentioned something called www.is-jobs.com and I would recommend the OP to take a take a look at it.
    It was also not so long ago that some foolish and irresponsible individual started a thread about the International Schools' Review. Is it worth joining the ISR? Is it really a scurriulous ragbag of bile, exaggeration, half-truth and petty bitterness? Or is it a useful and reasonably reliable source of information about international schools around the world? Well, the jury is still out on that one, I am afraid, but I have to be honest and say that I would join the ISR, if indeed I were looking for a new job in an international school.
    The very best of British (and international) luck to you, doctorofgenetics, and I hope that it all works out well for you.
  5. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    There have been entire threads devoted to debating the pros and cons of the ISR. Mr. Hippo, however, has concisely summed up the arguments in a few trenchant sentences. There is, however, another way to gather information about schools. I have written on another thread about the penchant of Heads to hobnob, preferably in low, dimly lit bars during recruitment fairs and conferences. Teachers, believe or not, often do the same, although they are probably drinking beer rather than swilling champagne and single malt. Gossip and sound advice are to be easily found in such environments. The astute job seeker is, thus, in a much better position to judge the veracity of the gossip/advice because they have met the source and can more easily evaluate his/her integrity, sanity, and sobriety. To my mind, this opportunity to hobnob is the second most appealing aspect of a recruitment fair (getting a position is, obviously, the first). On second thought, for those at an exploratory stage, or those who are exceptionally frugal, one could test the waters without even paying to register for the fair. Simply hang out at the bar of choice for the teachers to listen and ask questions.
    Indeed, I recently tested this out at an IB regional conference. While my wife attended the meetings, I (now being retired) found a suitably dark and dingy bar, one, however, as I informed my wife, with a suitable historical tradition, and hung out with some very interesting folks. A considerable amount of knowledge, information and beer flowed over the bar. Others could do the same. They might come away with the knowledge that Don Dude's school in Ruritania would be a wonderful place to work whereas most schools in Nigeria should be avoided at all costs.

  6. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Bl00dy hell! Almost twenty years as a Head and I never found out about those places where they were
    largely I suppose because I was with the plebs in the public bar. Still, Mainwaring Major (a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers) assures me that a quality blend is always superior to the astringency of a single malt.
    It is some time since I looked at ISR. While there was a fair amount of bile (none of it, alas, directed at me so I must obviously be a disappointingly bland sort of chap) I certainly recognised some sizeable nuggets of truth and some posters who were clearly not SMT stooges went out of their way to refute opinions with which they disagreed. A useful resouce but one to be approached with healthy scepticism.
  7. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    doctorofgenetics, go bravely into battle.
    Do not be deterred by tales of racism - cases do exist, usually down to the host country's culture rather than school policy, but certainly not to the degree that should put you off attending a fair.
    For the three kids question, see my reply to wilkins 5512 above.
    As for your lady, I agree that good schools may well try to find room for her as an assistant but not as teacher.
    As a scientist you will require harder evidence than anything you'll read on ISR.
    good luck.

  8. Training_2_Teach

    Training_2_Teach New commenter

    Messaged you.

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