List of school recruitment agencies and websites
All of the schools in international teaching are fee-paying, but some, which includes all of the best, are run on a not-for-profit basis and below are the most famous sites:
TES Jobs (Times Educational Supplement) – The industry standard. All serious schools will in addition to whatever other places they recruit from, also advertise here. If they don't advertise through the TES it's worth thinking about why not.
- ACSI- Association of Christian Schools (85 Secondary school jobs worldwide, including USA)
- Association Montessori Internationale – (about 50 jobs worldwide)
- English Schools Foundation - Hong Kong schools organisation that’s been around for years
- Linked In - Apparently some reputable jobs not on TES are available through here, worth
- Educators overseas – Some odd jobs advertise here (like traveling homeschooling tutor), salaries though seem to be a little on the low side for some jobs
- International School’s Review (if you are looking for an international job an account for this site is invaluable, also, looking at how bad people working at other schools have it can put your problems into perspective)
- Teaching Abroad Direct – (130 secondary school places worldwide), some jobs advertised here are not advertised on the school’s website it seems or TES
- Teaching Jobs (Australian) - A lot like TES, and by the same company, but includes Australian jobs
- United World College Schools
When to apply for September Start
Typically, schools will have a clause in the contract which gives a deadline for when a teacher must decide if they are going to renew their contract (standard is 2 years, more rarely 3 years)
(Taken from this site) Some countries impose limits on age by restricting work visas, China seems to vary from around 55 to 60, but mainly seems to be 60. I’ve known a teacher working there who was over 65, I think the rule is if you start before the age limit you can sometimes work past it.
Other routes to employment
This list is from job applications forms “How did you hear about us?” questions:
Some of these websites were checked at the start of November 2016
12333.com – Chinese website, possibly like yahoo, in Chinese
51Job – Chinese Employment Agency, in Chinese
Apply to education
CIS (Council for International Schools)
Early Childhood Australia Inc (AJEC Media Kit)
Early Childhood Teachers’ Association (ECTA)
Workopolis (606 Canadian jobs)
Gobal Links Tutors
Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union
Inform Advertising Company Limited
International Schools Directory
International Schools Service
Jiu Jik Online
Jobs in Education
Live Teacher Recruiting
Ming Pao – Jump
Montessori Association of [country you are interested in]
New Zealand Herald
Nursery World Jobs
Prospects.ac.uk (27 UK jobs, 11 International jobs, mostly voluntary)
SCMP – Classified Post
Teachers on Net
The International Educator
Teachers Recruitment International
General advice on teaching abroad
PGCEi - Apparently not accepted everywhere. Here's what a Hong Kong school said of it: "The Education Bureau of Hong Kong does NOT recognize the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (International) (PGCEi) from the University of Nottingham as applicable Teaching Qualifications to apply for Teaching Registration."
The Golden Rules as taught to me by a veteran of international teaching:
- Business and education don't mix well, be aware of this if teaching for a company. Most of the best and oldest schools are charities, trusts or not-for profit organisations.
- The school ought to be established, 30+ years old or older
- Your take home salary should be higher than what you could earn in your home country
International School's Review.
Make sure you don't read only one review, because usually it's a great place to be disgruntled after you have left a place. Good schools (and good reports) are very rarely found in here unless the management have written it themselves suggesting that everything is, in fact just peachy, and the earlier reviews are unfair because the employee was bitter, or the school has now fundamentally changed. This is where you can get a much better idea of what might be happening at your prospective new school. Obviously, the best way to find out about a place is to talk to someone you trust who is already working there, so it is vital that you value and maintain your personal contacts once you get into this line of work and is why experienced and employable international teachers and especially management are not too often found in the worst schools.
To get into teaching and be able to get employment in the best schools you should have:
- PGCE, QTS, a completed induction period, as well as 2 years working full time in a UK school (if coming from the UK, other systems obviously have other requirements).
- Your degree needs to be a closely related subject to your PGCE. Sometimes this is a mandatory requirement by the immigration chaps; regardless of what your future employer might like, this is something that can be impossible to get around.
- Everything apostilled by the country that issued the documents (increasingly necessary even in countries that did not once require this; have a read of the "Getting a Brazilian Work Visa" advice below for why this is a good idea before you leave your home country just for your future work life).
Other helpful bits of advice, because there are rather a lot of new schools, especially in China:
- Don't pay for rent, that should be organised by your school if you are qualified (except in very expensive places like Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan)
- Be prepared, and resourced, to pay for unexpected costs and bills. A common one is sometimes called "rates' where you have to pay for the people on the front gate, possibly maintenance of communal areas and other things you might not have had to think about before. It can be sometimes more than council tax and things like that.
- Moving country can be a lot like moving within a country, except more of your stuff gets binned or put into storage, everything costs more than you expected and there is a degree of pain to it all that words cannot express. You're probably going to be making your first move in suitcases, if it can't fit in there its not going with you. I ended throwing away most of the things that were put into storage eventually, after a great deal of stress for all concerned. I wish I had sorted it out before I had moved rather than 2 to 5 years later.
- If you're paying for a mortgage or hope to pay off student loans, look at the currency you're going to be paid in, how has it performed against your home currency in the last 6 months, year and 5 years. If it's changed a lot over the years, it might carry on doing that. Losing 50% or more of the value of your anual salary is not so good.
- Be careful about where your school is, new ones can often be in God-forsaken backwaters where misery and inconvenience are the only things locally available.
- Think about what kind of colleagues you will get. New school's are unlikely to attract the best teachers, and certainly will be at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting experienced and competent leadership that understands the international teaching scene. Exciting places will often attract exciting people, this can be good, but not always. Schools with high salaries can be pretty neat, but they are not necessarily going to attract the most devoted educationalists. School's with very low salaries might have people who are working for the sheer love of their profession, but often though, will only be able to recruit everyone who cannot get work elsewhere.
- Think about what kind of students you will get. What is the local culture's attitude to learning; do the students actually need any qualifications? Will it be an international school (i.e. lots of students from different backgrounds) or, increasingly likely, a mono culture, where most students share a common nationality (and do you care about this)?
- What is the country like? Is it a war zone? Is it likely to end up that way? What about the politics? If it is a totalitarian dictatorship, or very close to being one, than what kind of conditions do you think you should expect?
- Be prepared to have little or no access to employment law or unionized protection. It is essentially impossible to sue a former employer once you have been deported because your work visa is attached to your employer, once your job goes, so do you. Even harder if everything is in a foreign language. Your only protection is the reputation of the school. If it is a new one, or management is wacky, it can mean this is not something they are very interested in protecting.
For advice on Getting a Brazilian Work Visa see below. This is an extreme example of what can be involved, getting a Chinese work visa and a Korean work visa were both substantially easier.