Tag Archives: art

I’ve arrived

IMG_1574

First thoughts.

There’s no way to prepare for India. Friends who have traveled or lived here, attempted to paint a picture of what I might experience. People tried to describe it with words, but there’s no way to do that with words.  Words help us describe our emotions and our thoughts, but words are inadequate to describe India. You have to experience it. I don’t have a vocabulary that easily explains a hundred different things going on at the same time, matched with how I’m feeling about those exact things all at the same time. There’s so much visual and audible stimulation in every single little city block that after two weeks of traveling along the exact same roads, back and forth, every single day, I still cannot be fully sure of ever where I am. I’m very excited by it and so glad I made the decision to come. I’m very happy. But with that said, it is so chaotic, fast – and yet also, so very slow, and in every possible way my five senses are stimulated to the point I think my head is going to explode some days.

The globalization/modernization/commercialization that has happened in Chennai in the last 4 years is unbelievable according to those who have been here longer. There are modern, technology-driven, high-rise buildings going up everywhere, yet right next door people are sleeping on the dirt and cows are freely rummaging through the trash on the street. People that are disfigured, without limbs or with strange, curious skin afflictions, are left to beg. The highways, sidewalks and train tracks that are being constructed are primarily being built by hand with very little machinery. I’m trying to digest it all. God’s nature is dramatically beautiful through the tropical plants and flowers and the powerful, mighty ocean, yet I watch fishermen, from my 4th floor balcony, come into the grassy area that meets the sandy beach and poop. Right there. How do you prepare for this? I am observing life in the raw: human beings living and making their way. Surviving. It is absolutely incredible.

What does your part of the world look like?

 

 

 

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The invitation

1 in 101.

These last few weeks have been difficult. Many Americans who reside in this land we call the United States of America, don’t feel very united. My own heart and mind have been sad and confused. The USA feels unnatural to me; almost foreign. Some things are recognizable but many other things aren’t. Just when I thought I couldn’t bear to listen to one more disturbing news report, or read one more Facebook post about this nation and our government, I got a wonderful invitation that ended up being a perfect gift as I leave this country to live in another.

We met at work in 2016. Although he was originally from Mexico, he’d been living in Texas for more than a decade with a green card. He’d made his life here. His sons were born here, his career was here and his dreams of the future were here. As we grew to know each other better, I questioned this soft-spoken man about why he’d never gained his citizenship. I explained that his vote was needed. All the votes are needed to accurately represent the people of this country.

Over the next two years, with the help of our company and others, he hired an attorney and began this long process. There were meetings to attend, paperwork that had to be completed and so much WAITING. Every now and then I’d ask where he was in the process, and he’d respond that more time was needed. As time went by, and more changes were made with regard to immigrants, I was nervous that it might not materialize. I quit asking about it months ago.

I resigned from work in early June to spend time with family and friends on the west coast. I returned to Texas with only two weeks to sell my car, spend time with friends and finalize my international move. With a To-Do list a mile long, I received a text: “I have my ceremony for my naturalization of citizenship this July 19!!!!” and the text message included big, smiling emojis and a USA flag. I immediately responded to his text and quickly, within a few comments, I replied, “I would love to come.”

And so I did.

I’ve never been to a naturalization ceremony and was thrilled to be spending it with my friend and his sister. The room was filled, standing room only. Everyone was dressed so nice, many wearing the Stars and Stripes on their selected attire. Many others chose the simple colors of Red, White or Blue. Excitement was in the air. It was thrilling! Cameras were clicking non-stop.

After clearing security, he was separated from us, and was escorted into a large room with the other 100 qualified applicants. After waiting 45 minutes, the family and friends of each of the applicants, were released to take our seats in the same large room. Lucky us! We were seated across the aisle from him and were able to take photos from this vantage point.

The décor of the room, the videos, the songs and the speeches squeezed our hearts. After spending a month in beautiful California, my heart swelled at the physical beauty of this nation. Surrounded by a hundred eager faces, the visual images of our National Parks and the encouraging quotes of historical figures began to thaw my icy feelings about this country. One by one, each of the 35 country names were called out, and those from that country stood up.

Australia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Brazil

China

Burma (Myanmar)

Colombia

Cuba

Dominican Republic

Ecuador

El Salvador

Ghana

Honduras

India

Iraq

Ireland

Kenya

Liberia

Malaysia

Mexico

Nepal

Nicaragua

Nigeria

Philippines

Republic of South Korea

Russia

South Africa

Sweden

Syria

Taiwan

Thailand

Togo

Trinidad and Tobago

Uganda

United Kingdom

Vietnam

The joy of these 101 was contagious and it spread throughout the room as their names were called. There was clapping, yelling, tears and awe. The presenter mentioned that some of the 101 had been through much to get to this point, and as we all stood together, we were honored for them to join us as American citizens.

It was an amazing ceremony that left me changed. I am thankful to be an American. I did nothing to deserve it, but was simply born here and given rights and privileges that so many do not have. I feel a responsibility to teach and encourage others to dream of what is possible inside a broken world. When I arrive in my new “home” country, I will strive to be an ambassador of the United States of America, and set an example of love and truth. It will be my goal to develop empathy in my new students.

How many immigrants do you have as friends?

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Winding Down

Collection of memories.

I’ve been a founding member of the Nasher Sculpture Center Teacher Advisory Board since its inception in 2010. I fondly remember being asked to join months after my daughter moved to California to attend university, all those years ago. Because of her move out of state, I chose to delay moving overseas for another 4 years. When I joyfully accepted this position on the Board, it gave me a renewed interest in teaching, art and conceptual conversations around contemporary subjects of education.

 

 

The Nasher Sculpture website reads, “The Nasher Sculpture Center’s Teacher Advisory Board was formed in 2010 to help the education department better serve the needs of North Texas educators. Since then, teachers in this group have provided valuable feedback on programming and curriculum—from tours and workshops to online teaching materials and family days. The Advisory Board is comprised of educators who teach a variety of disciplines to students of all ages. The group has been instrumental in the creation of self-guided tour materials for school groups and new teaching resources focused on Materials and Process in sculpture.”

 

I suspended my Board membership when I moved to Istanbul (2013-2015), but when I returned to Dallas in 2016, the Nasher Education staff welcomed me back with open arms. I was grateful, as I’d been suffering from reverse culture shock and had found it difficult to make my way back into American culture. Since then, I’ve regularly participated in meetings and events with this strong team of art educator friends. I will miss this monthly gathering of friends as I venture away from Dallas on my next international educational experience this summer.

Our last meeting of the 2018 school year was held at The Warehouse, an exhibition, storage and library building in North Dallas, in which the Howard Rachofsky and the late Vernon Faulconer’s contemporary art collection is housed. What a delight! Thomas Feulmer, Director, gave us a private tour of the new exhibition and I was happy to see that many foreign artists were on display in this unimaginable private art collection.

I arrived early and upon entering the industrial type building, I needed to wash my hands. Stepping into the Women’s Restroom, just beside the uncluttered, white and pristine entryway, I was in for a shock! The black and white patterned markings of Japanese artist, Shuji Mukai, surrounded me in every direction. I felt as thought I had walked into a painting; I was a part of my surroundings in an unfamiliar way. It was magical to see myself reflected in the big mirror amid the powerful pictographic signs. After washing my hands, I lightly touched the paper, hand towel. I was careful because I wanted to take it with me! I couldn’t bear tossing it in the bin because it was also adorned with the artist’s markings. After photographing each of the stalls, and leaving the room, I knocked on the Men’s Restroom door and spoke, “Is anyone in here?” With no answer, I opened the Men’s door. Not feeling 100% I was alone, I chose to NOT walk into the space, but from the doorway I clicked my camera, focusing on one urinal.

Afterward, I drove home and crawled into bed feeling grateful for the Nasher Sculpture Center and Warehouse staff and my NTAB friends. Each of them have deepened my understanding of contemporary art. The relationships that have grown out of this connection cannot be duplicated. I will miss all of you. I reflected upon how it felt to be surrounded in an environment so different from what I was used to. I will soon experience this feeling again as I take my new job in Chennai, India this summer.

What new experience, or environment, will you put yourself in this week?

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Playing The Game

img_5973Bam. Dot. Crak.

One of the things I miss the most about living overseas is having global friends from many countries. I’ve searched to find international connections in Dallas but it has been difficult. Although Dallas is a large city with a multinational population, many live in the suburban areas surrounding the metroplex and I live near downtown. I’ve found that these populations segregate themselves together in neighborhoods of people like themselves. This is so different from Istanbul. Every kind of person lived together, in close proximity, inside the crowded city. It was common to walk everywhere, so you saw, and heard, foreign people constantly on the sidewalk beside you. Here in Dallas, there are many miles between us – in more ways than one. I’ve participated in several Meetup groups hoping to find friends who have lived overseas but for one reason or another, I haven’t made the connections I’ve hoped for.

When I moved back to Dallas earlier this year, I moved to an area of town I was unfamiliar with. Hoping to find new friends close to home, an out-of-state friend mentioned that I might like to learn how to play American MahJong. This popular game has a Chinese history and is played worldwide. I searched in my area but had no luck in finding an established group. I posted a humble notification on the Next Door app to members of my new local community, and to my surprise I had 30 responses from strangers who also wanted to learn how to play. I set up a meeting place at a local restaurant and the rest is history.

In the months that followed, others jumped in to help organize and smaller groups formed based on weekday, weeknight or weekend play date availability. New friendships formed between the members and this week we celebrated our new friendships by having a holiday progressive dinner party, between three homes, right here in my neighborhood. As I looked around and observed the laughter and enjoyed the delicious food and drink, I felt so proud to have started this group and brought so many people together.

I also attended my first Internations Meetup this past week and it was so enjoyable. I sat with four women from Ukraine, Jamaica, Ireland and India. They all encouraged me to attend the upcoming holiday party. Sometimes I get discouraged because it is more difficult to find global friends here but I’ll press onward. A person can never have too many friends.

Do you live in a new place and are you lonely? What might you do to bring people together? You will be delighted at the results.

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Things I Learned

nov2016imageRemembering.

During the past few weeks, I’ve been writing schools and checking out websites of potential employers. As of this morning, there are 58 Art Teacher openings posted on the Search Associates website. As I contemplate the possibility of moving to a new country, I am reminded of all the learning that one goes through upon immersion into a new culture. I am both excited by it and unnerved by it. The adrenalin rush that an expat feels upon arrival in a new country is not easily forgotten. Cleaning out some old documents, I came across this list I made of a few of the things I learned in Turkey:

 

  1. How to pee in a hole. I will never forget a sweet, female Turkish friend bending over in laughter when I asked her how to do this. Through gulps of laughter, she shut my art room door and acted out some important strategies that all Turkish girls are taught. This knowledge forever changed my life in Turkey.
  1. How to say, “Kas lira?” (How many lira does this cost?). Then learning how to count to 30, and finally how to negotiate/haggle. I became a confident buyer before too many months.
  1. How to tolerate the smokers. Smokers are everywhere. Smoking is what people do. Both young and old people smoke. I remember thinking, “Well maybe smoking won’t actually give you cancer like we’re taught to believe in USA. There are tons of old people here and they all smoke!” I still wonder about this…
  1. How to be a calm passenger in the backseat of a taxi, with a crazy driver, and not wear a seat belt. Seat belts exist in taxis, but they are all “adjusted” so that they don’t work. Now imagine this, staying calm, with loud Turkish music playing on the radio, and slipping and sliding down very steep hills covered with snow. It was during these rides that the carefree taxi drivers would ask me, in broken English, “Where from?” When I said, “Dallas, Texas”, they would often say, “Ah, Dallas!! JR!!” I learned that people in Turkey love the show, “Dallas”.
  1. I learned who Ataturk was and why he is important to the nation of Turkey. I now know more about Ataturk than I do George Washington, and I love him too! Ataturk’s picture hangs in every classroom and in many homes. His picture hangs on street-side banners and permanent signage all over the city.
  1. How planning ahead is of no use in many countries outside the USA. The ability to organize my time, that I’ve become so good at, didn’t work in Turkey. Things change. Their cultural understanding of every thought, every decision is, “Inshallah”: If Allah wills it. I learned better how to roll with the punches and live in the moment. I’m not an expert at it, but I’m better at it now than I used to be.

As I venture onward into this recruiting season, I am faced with another season of transition. I know the excitement of moving and the hardships of immersion. Finding the right “fit” of a country, and a school, is of upmost importance. Decisions should be made carefully and wisely, and for me, with a lot of prayer.

What questions do you ask yourself to know if a big change in your future is a step in the right direction?

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London It Is

Banksey in London

Banksey in London

Plans.

In February of 2013, I attended the Search Associates Cambridge Job Fair for international teachers and administrators. It was a stressful and depressing weekend, further intensified by a “nor’easter” hitting the Boston area. I wrote about it in an article called Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

My weekend experience was competitive, emotional and jarring based on the number of stressful decisions that needed to be made in a short amount of time. I walked away from that fair without getting a job. Either the jobs I wanted were not offered to me, or the ones that were offered to me I did not have interest in. Many will agree that these fair weekends are not for the faint of heart, but you can learn a lot by attending them. For example, many schools in attendance give interesting presentations about their school and the country that their school resides in. It is always a great idea to network and introduce oneself when attending these presentations. Once you break into the international world of teaching, it is “a small world”. Before long, you will know many people who live all over the world.

Wanting a different experience this year, I have made a decision to attend two job fairs in London, each hosted by different agencies. These two fairs are being held one week apart in January 2017. The Search Associates London Job Fair is Search’s largest fair.  Approximately 650 candidates and 160 schools will be in attendance. The following weekend is the Council of International Schools Job Fair (CIS) . Many competitive job fairs are held on back-to-back weekends, in January and February, as the schools move around the globe, sweeping up teachers and administrators.

 

 

I’ve just become a member of CIS, which will give me even more access to potential employment. This non-profit organization provides services and accreditation to primary, secondary and higher education institutions, as well as to individuals. They provide professional development as well, including Child Protection and Intercultural Learning workshops. The CIS community includes 711 schools and 512 colleges and universities representing 112 countries. To become an individual member, online paperwork must be completed and three confidential references must be obtained. Additional criminal background-check paperwork must also be uploaded.

This week, Search Associates released the list of schools that will be in attendance at the 2017 London Job Fair. These varied schools represent many kinds of experiences, both in regard to locations in the world and in the kind of curriculum offered. Some schools are big; some are small. Some are in cities; others are in rural areas. Although the list is long today, I know that some of the available jobs will be gone by the time these administrators arrive at the conference hotel in January. Jobs are already being posted and schools have already started their hiring process. But some schools actually prefer a face-to-face interview. From this provided list, I will make a list of my favorite schools and regularly check on their websites for positions that appeal to me. Many schools don’t require their current teachers to give notice until mid-December, so many jobs may not show up until then. Just to give you an idea of the great variety of schools that will be present in London, I put together this quick-glance list for you.

Schools from these countries will be in attendance in London:

Angola – 1

Austria – 3

Azerbaijan – 1

The Bahamas – 1

Bangladesh – 1

Barbados – 1

Belgium – 3

Brazil – 1

Bulgaria – 1

Cambodia – 1

China – 19

China/Hong Kong – 6

Colombia – 1

Cote d’Ivoire – 1

Croatia – 1

Denmark – 2

Egypt – 5

Finland – 1

France – 1

Germany – 8

Ghana – 1

Hungary – 1

India – 5

Indonesia – 3

Italy – 7

Japan – 4

Jordan – 2

Korea – 4

Latvia – 2

Luxembourg – 1

Malawi – 1

Malaysia – 3

Malta – 1

Mongolia – 1

Morocco – 1

Netherlands – 1

Nigeria – 1

Oman – 3

Philippines – 2

Poland – 1

Portugal – 2

Qatar – 1

Russia – 1

Saudi Arabia – 3

Serbia – 1

Singapore – 3

South Africa – 1

Spain – 2

Sudan – 1

Switzerland – 7

Tanzania – 2

Thailand – 3

Turkey – 7

Uganda – 1

UK – 1

Ukraine – 2

United Arab Emirates – 7

USA – 7

 

It never ceases to amaze me at the opportunities that certified teachers have to teach and travel all over the world!

Which regions of the world pique your interest? Remember to keep an open mind. You don’t know what you don’t know.

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Bozo in the White House

bozoupclosePresidential.

Working among many international teachers, administrators, staff and families I was surprised that everyone seemed to know what was happening in American politics-sometimes more than I did. I learned that the world pays very close attention to the USA. I think it is safe to say that most people hold on to the hope that the USA will make the “right” decision on all kinds of issues. The United States provides a beacon of hope for freedom for many in the world.

While in Turkey, I thought of myself as an American ambassador: diplomatic, hardworking, respectful and honest. I was always aware of this and it caused me to be more careful in my actions and in my speech. I wanted to represent my country well. But sometimes I became upset and embarrassed about the news coming out of the USA. My Colombian friend used to laugh when I’d ask her to explain, once again, why I shouldn’t be angry over some of my country’s decisions. Time and time again she told me that she loved the USA. She explained that because of the USA, her country had made great strides over many years and was finally doing well. From her perspective, her native country was beginning to be recognized and respected around the world. She owed it all to the USA. This friend helped me see the USA from a different vantage point than my own. Because many of my global friends kept current with American politics, I became aware of the USA through their eyes, whether they saw “us” as the good, the bad or the ugly.

bozowallWith all this in mind, I recently attended an artist talk at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas. American artist, Kathryn Andrews, currently has an exhibition there called “Kathryn Andrews: Run for President“. Since my repatriation I’ve been stunned at the political arena surrounding this Presidential election. I’ve also been surprised to learn that my foreign friends are watching and wondering, with keen interest, who will be the next President of the United States. For me, I’ve been somewhat embarrassed as I try to answer their questions. When I walked into Andrews’ exhibition, I saw symbols that perfectly explained what I’d been thinking about this election season. Andrews investigates relationships between popular culture and power structures. There is a direct connection between politics, race and celebrity. The reality of this election season specifically comes to life through her artwork.

How might the results of this Presidential election affect you, as a teacher, in an international school? I hope you are paying attention because you will be asked questions from your soon-to-be- foreign friends.

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Yes. No. Maybe.

Yoyo.

You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go, go, go, oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello

Have lyrics ever been so perfect for job seeking? In the last week, I turned down an opportunity from an interested school administrator. And then, I was keeping my fingers and toes crossed for another posted opportunity, and today they said goodbye. Back and forth, like a yoyo and this rollercoaster has just started chugging down the tracks. Prepare your hearts, my friends, for battle. The scar tissue is beginning to thicken. People sometimes ask me, “Anita, where do you want to go?” Are you kidding? Once you choose this path, there is just no telling where you will end up. You have to embrace this great unknown as a blessing and cast it off to the universe to decide.

The world is a big place and there are many schools in it! These schools are filled with people: administrators, teachers, support staff, students and their families. What are they like? What is the facility like? What is the principal’s reputation like? It’s nerve-wracking when you try to imagine. How do you know what it’s like if you’ve never been there and don’t know anyone who ever has?

Obviously, the first place you go to find out information is the school website. Most reputable schools have beautiful sites with tons of information and photographs for you to look through. These colorful, well designed sites make schools look fantastic with pictures of happy students, computer labs, fun and activities, but what do the teachers really think?

On the International Schools Review (ISR) website you will quickly see their tagline, “International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed”. This website hosts an online community of educators and administrators that provide personal, anonymous opinions about many schools in the world.

The ISR website has much to offer that is free, but they also offer a $29/annual membership which allows further inquiry into the approximately 160 schools that have been reviewed. The website is free to browse until you want to post comments or look up specific school reviews. The fee is well worth it when you are researching various schools around the world.

On the home page of the ISR website is a tab called, “Forums”. These open forums are offered by ISR and they have great information. Simply by reading what others have posted you can learn a lot. When you click the Forums tab you will see two open forums. One is free; one is not. When you click the free, non-member forum, and after reading and agreeing to the Terms of Conduct and Posting Rules, you will see two FREE forums that you may read:

  • Questions About International Schools Services (ISS) and Search Associates (SA) to Anything and Everything About International Teaching
  • Ask Recruiting Questions, Share Information. What’s on Your Mind?

Both of these FREE forums have valuable information. In 2012-13, when I was searching for my first international teaching job, I read almost every entry, in both forums, from 2010-2013! This took months to do! I am currently reading all entries from 2015 and 2016.

The advantage of paying the $29 membership fee is that you are allowed to look up specific schools and read reviews. Approximately 160 schools are listed. Furthermore, you can also look up Director and Principal Reports. Even if you cannot find reviews on the specific school you are looking for, you can read and educate yourself about the city and the country that a potential school is in. Not only do people comment about a specific schools and administrators, they comment on how currency works, VISAs, taxes, cost of living expenses, recruiting job fairs and everything you can imagine!

One very important thing to consider is that many reviewers have been angry about something or someone at their school when they’ve written. There are often many more negative reviews than positive. Although this is important to take note of, it is also important to understand that when things are going well, people usually don’t write. People, in general, like to complain.

Another important tab on the ISR website is the Articles/Info tab. This will lead you to the International Teachers’ Bill of Rights. This is good to review before signing any contracts.

What are you curious about? Who else has used the ISR website?

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Resume Redefined

keeping-trackKeeping track.

A Canadian friend of mine shared a funny Facebook post from a British friend of hers, James Smart. James wrote about every job he’d had since the age of 16. Although it was not presented in a resume format, it was a comedic glance of his life before becoming a teacher. James’ entries are many, but here are a few examples of what he wrote:

• My first job at 16 after school was cleaning offices for 2.56 pounds an hour. My boss cheerfully told me that I had only been given the job because nobody else in town would work for such a paltry wage. I mostly stared out of the window, when the boss came upstairs I would quickly pretend I was in the middle of cleaning them.

• I had a job for the summer painting walls and doors, which was lovely. They also had me break up concrete with a breaking machine, which by the way is miserable and dusty, and can give you arthritis over the long-term. At the end of the week they would dish out the wages in a local pub, which was a terrible idea.

• Then I became a door to door salesman selling aerial photographs of peoples’ houses from the sky. This was a very depressing job which saw me though my teacher training course. No wonder I wanted to leave the country, this was a horrible job which paid the bills at least. To be honest I was a bit traumatized by this job even months after I’d left. People in England are bombarded with salespeople and they get a bit sick of you.

Although humorous, this is not an example of how to write your international teacher resume! Overseas schools are only interested in jobs that pertain to teaching. Through experience, I’ve learned there is a specific formatting that schools prefer.

Always keep a copy of your resume saved in both USA Letter Size and the common non-American size of A4. Both are necessary for your files. Always send the A4 size when applying to overseas jobs. Also, be sure your resume is organized well. Each section should be titled, providing ease of reading. If you create your resume in Word, be sure to save each size both as a docx and a pdf document. Only send your pdf document so nothing can be edited.

Your resume should include a smiling headshot of yourself, plainly dressed, on a white background. This photo should be placed at the top of the paper. Also list these items:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your phone number (with international code)
  • Your Skype name. You MUST have a Skype account. If you don’t, stop reading and go set one up NOW.
  • Your date of birth
  • Your nationality
  • Your marital status

Next, list whichever is more impressive – your education or your teaching experience, in that order.

List any outside classroom experiences that add insight and dimension to your teaching career.

List areas of community involvement or professional organizations you have held memberships in.

And finally, list publications that your work is noted in.

Your resume should fit on one sheet of paper, front and back if necessary.

Just to review, please make sure that you have a main desktop folder called 2017 International Jobs. Inside that folder are more folders, titled as follows:

My recruitment agency, Search Associates, requires you to send a letter of interest from your Profile section on the Search Associates site. In addition to this, also send a Letter of Application directly to the school administrator through email. Attach your resume to the email and send to the Head, Director or Principal explaining that you saw the job opening via your recruiting agency’s website. Some schools require you to fill out THEIR application from THEIR website. This feels monotonous, but it is sometimes required. This is why it is important to keep copies of what you’ve already written so you won’t have to rewrite every time. These written answers will be found in the “My Answers” file folder on your desktop. Although you will usually have to tweak you previous wording, this is a time saver. Schools have paid a lot of money to recruitment agencies and these agencies want to be sure to get their fair share if you are placed into a job through their site. It is of upmost importance that you cc your representative when you apply to jobs that you’ve seen on their placement site.

Write your email cover letter after reviewing the school’s website. Your cover letter should mention specific information you read. You want the school administrator to know that you have enough interest in their school to have researched their website. While reading their website, take notes about information you may want to inquire about.

When emailing your resume to the administrator of the school, be sure to fill out the “Subject” line carefully. I list the school name first, the position second. For example: MEFIS, PYP Art Teacher. ALWAYS bcc yourself! When you receive a copy of this sent email, carefully file it away in an organized email folder that you will set up for each country you apply to. This is the only way I’ve found to keep track of all the emails sent all over the globe. As you can imagine, if you don’t keep everything organized, you can quickly have a big mess of lost emails and communication.

What are you learning about yourself as you go through this process?

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Saddle up

SaddleSml

Thanks, Jane! 🙂

Reining it in.

My profile has been active for two weeks in preparation for this coming hiring season. In that time, two different schools have contacted me, making some inquiries about next school year, which is twelve months away! The 2017 international hiring season has already started. This is really different for American teachers who don’t start looking for teaching positions until late spring of the teaching year they are interested in. The international hiring season can last through summer, but it starts early.

Locating and scanning required paperwork will take some time, but once you have it, you won’t have to go through this process ever again if you maintain an organized computer desktop. There are specific documents that you will need to have on hand no matter which recruitment agency you decide to go with. Some documents may take some time to track down, so it is best to start now.

Organizing Your Desktop:

I have listed below the documents you will need for your recruiting agency profile. These documents will be saved in either pdf or jpg formats. Be very organized as you set up files on your computer desktop. You will find that the process of finding an overseas teaching position can quickly get out of control if you are not diligent about being organized. You will soon be communicating with schools all over planet Earth. Set up a folder titled “2017 International Jobs” and inside this folder, set up a folder called “Recommendations and Scans “. Put all documents and scans, shown below, inside this folder.

Required and Scanned Paperwork:
(200-300 dpi on all scans)
• 3-5 Recommendation Letters from current/former school administrators (on school letterhead, saved as a pdf file)
• 3 Recommendation Letters from current/former student parents (saved as pdf file)
• Criminal Background Check
• Birth Certificate
• Certificate to Teach
• Passport
• University Degree
• Official Copy of University Transcript – you will also need to have some of these in hardcopy form, unopened, to give to your new school, so order plenty when you contact your university.
• Training certificates, i.e. PYP/MYP/IB Level Certificates
• Philosophy of Education (Word document saved as pdf file)
• Nice, smiling, front facing headshot of YOU. Plain background. Black and White. This will be used for your resume.

Filling out the Recruitment Agency Application/Profile:

When you have all these documents collected and scanned, and after you’ve paid your fee, you are ready to proceed in filling out the Profile section of your recruitment agency’s website. Your recruitment agency will notify you if something is missing and when the Profile is ready to go live for schools to see! I was able to “click” a button on my Search Associates Profile that allows me to receive daily job listings. As new schools post their openings, I am automatically sent a daily email. You can choose to receive all the daily listings, or only the ones for your subject area. Although it is really interesting to receive daily emails about ALL the teaching opportunities, it quickly becomes “too much” and I have opted to simply get the Art openings. Even so, by December and January, there are so many opportunities to teach it will blow your mind! —And that is only with Search Associates!

When you are required to type lengthy answers, please copy/paste what you wrote into an empty Word document and save it into another folder titled, “My Answers”. You will be able to utilize some of this material in other applications in the future. By saving it, you won’t have to start from scratch every time.

Next week I will be giving you tips on setting up your resume and cover letter. I want to stress again the importance of starting this process early and staying organized. Can you quickly find what you need to access when you are in the middle of a Skype interview at 3:00 am?

Which agency have you decided to go with? How did you make your decision?

If you haven’t done so already, PLEASE follow my blog by clicking on the “Follow” button located by scrolling down to the bottom of the page. By doing this, you will be notified by email when I post a new article.

The ad below is placed on my blog by WordPress. I do not have any opinion or association with the ad. Please do not “click” it. Thank you.

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