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teaching couple with 3 kids

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by wilkins5512, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. My husband and I are a teaching couple and interested in teaching overseas (I have done this previously). We now have 3 kids though, and wondering how likely schools are to take us on and provide schooling, medical, flights etc for our 3 children? From what I've read it seems that 2 children is the number that schools normally prefer, but I thought (well, I hoped!) perhaps as we are a 'teaching couple' this number might increase. My logic being that if a school provides 2 free school places for dependants for a teacher, then for 2 teachers (ie teaching couple) it might provide more school places for dependants? Or am I just wishful thinking? Many thanks for any info/advice/experience of this!
     
  2. My husband and I are a teaching couple and interested in teaching overseas (I have done this previously). We now have 3 kids though, and wondering how likely schools are to take us on and provide schooling, medical, flights etc for our 3 children? From what I've read it seems that 2 children is the number that schools normally prefer, but I thought (well, I hoped!) perhaps as we are a 'teaching couple' this number might increase. My logic being that if a school provides 2 free school places for dependants for a teacher, then for 2 teachers (ie teaching couple) it might provide more school places for dependants? Or am I just wishful thinking? Many thanks for any info/advice/experience of this!
     
  3. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Yes, and it's written into our working agreement - first two gratis, others 'at SMT's discretion', which we've exercised in two cases. One of which was a teaching couple, so your logic (above) applied.
    For some years I've fought a successful delaying action against hawks on the board who think we're too generous to teachers and that they should make a contribution. At one time, now fortunately past, there was also a repellent 'confirmed bachelor' who constantly brought this to the staff association, claiming that he and other childless teachers should enjoy a similar benefit in cash or kind.
    When the school was absolutely full, with embarrassing waiting lists (2005-09) the pressure from both ends mounted - governors bleating that potential fee-payers were being excluded by free riders, staff wondering aloud if we were thereby losing income which could produce a pay rise.
    Today, thanks to the economic mess produced by all those wonderful alpha-males who did Maths HL, the school is still full but the waiting lists are gone and it could be argued that the staff babies no longer represent a 'real cost'.
    Nonetheless, if there's an absolute tie between Candidate 'x' with no dependents and Victim 'y' with three kids, you can guess who will get the contract.
    We also currently have a policy that teaching couples will not be employed in the same section of the school. I'm not sure that is very common on the circuit.
    Some pessimists would say that, the bigger the family, the more chance there is that one of them will be miserable, thus muddying the waters for everyone. Others will respond that if we want to blather on about the school being a big happy family, we shouldn't be hiring only singletons.
    It's always pleasant when families regard free tuition as a benefit which they repay with loyalty and commitment to the school. This usually happens, but occasionally the presence of the children becomes yet another reason to get strident about rights and entitlements. We are all Stoics or Christians here, but it is difficult to remain serene and kind when one or other of a teacher couple is constantly at home because Jason has a runny nose.
    My child has travelled from Reception to Year 11, her happiness and stability being one of the reasons for the unplanned length of our stay. We try to regard her free tuition as both an inalienable part of the salary package and a generous perk for which we're duly grateful.
    Sorry to drivel on in the first person, but most of this will be representative of many schools 'overseas'.
     
  4. Thank you very much for your very useful reply. Very helpful. Hope you don't mind if I pick your brain again - I've read differing views on whether you should mention straight away in your application how many children you have, or just say 'teaching couple with dependants', or even not mention your kids at all & wait until you wow them during your interview before mentioning that you have children (which to be honest I don't feel very uncomfortable with...). What do you think? I could imagine an interviewer might feel that you've mislead them or even wasted their time if you don't mention that you have 3 children before your interview, which wouldn't be a great start!
    Also, any views on what parts of the world might be the best places to try applying with 3 children (ie any regions/places that might be more likely to consider our application)? I'm imagining that perhaps the places that find it most difficult to recruit might be the ones that are most open to considering taking us on? I work in Primary and my husband in Secondary. Many thanks!
     
  5. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    You could not have asked a more difficult question.
    Can only answer personally - that we prefer to see candidates come clean - 'three dependents aged 8, 10 and 14'. Then we can do the sensible thing and spend some time at the end of the interview discussing - always in scrupulously conditional terms - how the kids and partner if any would fit in and flourish were you to be appointed.
    But then, I also like to see a clear photo on the CV to help me remember candidates - and we certainly couldn't dare make a requirement of that.
    In recent years several people have preferred to make their bid to impress during the interview before mentioning domestic circumstances - and even then, only after I've done some tactful prompting which no doubt borders on the illegal in the UK.
    But one thing is to hire someone for Nempnett Thrubwell Comp without needing to make the slightest enquiry about anything but his or her experience, competence and criminal record. Quite another is to fly a family half way across the world.
    You'd think it would be in the candidate's interest to say, "My partner Xavier is a monocyclist and paints Japanese watercolours, do you think he will find congenial company while I'm working?" or, "My oldest son David has been assessed and diagnosed with logorrhea, would he get specific support at your school?" But they don't always do it. Employ me first, and we'll sort the others out later, seems to be the hope.
    To conclude, I think 'confessing' to the kids may well see you into the rejection pile at a few schools. But it's the most honest and eventually the most practical thing to do. It's not just the interviewer who will suffer from wasted time and dashed hopes if interest is kindled only to be doused. You will feel the pain, too.
     
  6. miketribe

    miketribe Occasional commenter

    There are other considerations as well. In some places -- and Spain is one of them -- salary levels are painfully low. This means that even single teachers sometimes struggle to make ends meet on the salaries here. Teachers with non-working dependents are even worse off, to the extent that I think my school now operates a un-written rule against employing new teachers with dependents. I can only think of one off-hand who's been hired over the past few years and his wife already had a well-paid local job outside the school.
    As with SMTDude, there have been arguments at our school over the years about dependents taking up potentially fee-paying places, but these have been muted by the fact that free places for all employees are guaranteed by Spanish labour law. The school has generally been enriched by the presence of employees kids who -- more by luck than anything else, I suppose -- have always made a positive contribution. I suspect that this legal obligation may also have contributed to the unwillingness to even consider hiring teachers with kids...
     
  7. afterdark

    afterdark Occasional commenter

    I work in Qatar my school has employed several one teachers family with 3 school age children. Spouses often get non teaching jobs in the school. If you are happy to come to the Middle East then perhaps Qatar is for you.
     
  8. Thanks - that's great to know & gives me hope!
     
  9. An ex-colleague of mine works in a school in Romania where teachers are offered three places for up to three dependent children. Another works further afield where only one child per staff member receives schooling, and yet another tells me that no free child places are available to anyone at her place. The world of overseas education is a many varied thing.
     
  10. Very good point and I think provides me with my answer - that we'll probably have to just apply to lots of schools and find out their policy on child dependants, as it seems that it's too varied from school to school to find a 'rule' or even a pattern (though the 2 children rule does seem quite common from the schools I've had a look at). There are perhaps some countries where we are more likely find schools which will consider us with 3 children, but then again I guess it could vary widely even between schools in the same country...Hearing of the few schools that do take on teachers with 3 children has been encouraging though, and hopefully we'll find a school that will consider taking us on.
     

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