Burnt by ISS!!

Frank

ISS was good to me.

Post by Frank »

I've never had a problem with ISS. Of course I stuck it out for two years at a school where I hated life. Every day was a complete drag. The director was a jerk, the locals disliked Americans and those that resigned were black balled. Still I stuck it out and in exchange I get to recruit at ISS again.

The school I left is still recruiting at ISS. The director knows how to play the game and lure you in. ISS has received numerous complaints about this school but still lets them recruit at their conferences. I'm at a great school now and used the ISR website to fine this school. My old school is on the ISR site and there are a good number of very negative reviews about it. I hope ISR will help others to avoid the mistake I made and help people to find good schools and directors.

Guest

recruiting fairs

Post by Guest »

Myhusband and I have attended ISS, Search, and UNI over the years. Best bet? UNI - by far. They are NOT in it for the money, the people working the fair are "Iowa-nice". The time at the fair is managed well so you have time to think. We have traveled far and paid much to go to an ISS fair where there were only 2 high school English jobs - how is that even possible? - with no forewarning that this fair might not be the one for us. Search is great if you know one of the reps, if you don't, good luck. We got our own jobs at a Search fair and then had to pay a rep. whom we never met, wasn't at the fair, and did nothing to aid us - we had done all the work ourselves through our own contacts. (To be fair, Search did reduce their fee when we wrote them about this.)
The problem with Iowa is only that many of the "top tier" schools - where the education is real and wonderful, working conditions great, and pay certainly a motivator - have not gone to Iowa for a few years as that fair was always later. This year UNI will be one of the first fairs and hopefully those schools will return.
Iowa also must do a great job getting the applicants' info to the administrators. Last year at a Search fair we had three rather weak letters of interest to meet administrators OTHER than the ones we had done lots of preliminary work with. Unfortunately, we did not get the positions we wanted. (Again, we had been assigned to a rep. who didn't attend the fair we planned on attending and had NO personal contact with any of the Search employees actually at the fair, despite the fact that we are experienced and successful overseas educatios with advanced degrees.) Only three weeks later at Iowa we had 6 administrators express strong interest in us whom we had not previously considered, and got 5 job offers. I have to believe the difference for us was the excellent "vetting" job done by the staff at UNI. Brave the cold and go to Iowa!

lala

Re: Anyone been blackballed by Search Assoc?

Post by lala »

lubulu wrote:Wondering if anyone has been blackballed by Search Associates? So far I am disappointed in the service. I have researched schools, followed all guidelines in their contract, yet was not allowed to attend the fair where I had lots of interesting possibilities. I had to attend another fair where there were barely any positions!
I have not had a very good exp. with SA. The recruiter I had was not very supportive and often did not respond to my inquireies about schools off the SA site in a timely manner. They also are blind to the fact that some school they endorse are not necessarily of quality. I found my current post on my own and when I asked for advice after exp. many problems they basically said it was my fault for finding the post on my own and not via them.

Guest

This is like a crap shoot

Post by Guest »

I'm starting to think that ending up at a good school is like a crap shoot. So many of the schools out there are just in it for the money and we teachers are nothing more than expendable pawns in their money making scheme. The unfortunate part is that the big recruiters are not interested in hearing anything negative about any of their paying clients. After-all everyone is making money.

I've been told by more than one source that ISS charges $5000 for table at one of their conferences. In addition they charge the school for each person they hire. At that price ISS, which claims to be "non profit" is certainly not going to exclude any school from any of their conferences. Figure it out --- 100 schools at $5000 each. That's half a million. Put on a few conferences and voila !!!

I suggest you check out the reviews on this site and avoid the schools with a few reviews that make the place sound like a slave camp for teachers. Talk to other teachers. Do your home work. There are some really great schools out there and I've had the pleasure to work at some of them. I've been treated like dirt and used in some greedy bastard's money making scheme in which he cheats kids out of the education the parents are paying good money for. Complaining to the recruiting agency got me no where.

Guest

Post by Guest »

I have nothing but good things to say about Search. They have helped me find placements for the last 10 years now and I have always had the option of at least 6 or 7 different schools. They have helped in the decisions process; they keep my file up to date and make the process run smoothly. Search does screen their schools are candidates. Obviously we would like them to screen the schools even more but I know a lot of the associates make a point of going around the schools visiting them regularly and that in the past they have taken certain schools/directors off their list after repetitive complaints from a number of teachers.

Pierce

Search Associates

Post by Pierce »

I have attended several Search Associates Fairs. For the most part, their personnel are very helpful. While you can never be absolutely sure whether a school is equitable in the treatment of its teachers, talking to as many people as possible before making a commitment can reduce your chances of making a mistake. These big fairs are "meat markets" and impersonal. But, unfortunately, that is where most of the overseas hires are made.

Like all job placement firms, the companies they represent are the primary source of their income. Therefore, do not expect any negative "inside" information on the schools, directors, administrators, etc. But, my experiences have been very positive. Partly, that has been due to luck and, partly, it has been my diligence in researching the schools that have expressed interest in me. Also, once, you have taught overseas, your knowledge of the different schools' reputations increases dramatically. The network you develop by teaching abroad will greatly aid you in getting the information you need to choose wisely.

As far as blackballing teachers is concerned, it goes on. There are few sanctions existent to protect teachers against incompetent or unscrupulous administrators. However, several teachers have been successful in obtaining legal redress in situations of gross employment violations. The best advice is to be very careful and thorough in your research before ever accepting a position. Ask for the school's email address list and contact as many people, as possible, from the list before you commit. Do not be in a rush to sign your contract. You may live to regret your haste. There are horror stories out there about people who "broke their contract" and who were ostracized by the schools and teacher recruitment firms. It is lamentable, but hopefully, International Schools Review will help teachers in their quest to make judicious choices.

maria

very important....

Post by maria »

I think that this particular discussion is brilliant and
very important to keep as an open topic of discussion as it shows that we teachers have to be extra careful about the Fairs and the people who run them and the directors of these schools.
What I dont understand is why people are still getting away with treating good teachers this way ?
WHy ?????

Lifer
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:49 am

Directors & ISS can screw you

Post by Lifer »

After over thirty years of successful teaching/adminstration in Canada and international schools, we resigned mid-year from a terrible situation in the Dominican Repubulic and were black-balled by ISS. Jane Larson would not listen to our side of the story. We hung out at home for second semester, tried a SEARCH job fair in June but there is very little available at that time of year. The person who has posted a message saying that the spring and summer job fairs are the best to go to doesn't know what s/he is talking about. We found a job through Tie-on-Line and lucked out with a school that needs a lot of work but is a pleasure to work at. The next winter we went to a SEARCH fair in Boston, signed contracts with the International School of Bejing, celebrated with the occasion with them and went back to work. Three days later ISB phoned to say they were cancelling our contract. While at the ISS job fair they had been contacted by someone (ISB wouldn't even give us the courtesy of saying who talked or what was said, but we figure it must have been our former Director/Dictator, Jack Delman, or ISS staffer, Jane Larson) and they had decided to rescind their contract. Yes, boys and girls, international schools can do whatever they want and you have no recourse. Fortunately we are still at "teacher heaven" and teaching angels every day in our current school, so maybe it all turned out for the best.

Lucky

Good experiences with fairs

Post by Lucky »

I had a great experience at CIS London - 14 interviews in 2 days,mostly good schools, for teaching HS Science. They were kind and helpful and it was nice to not have fees for membership or signing on. London is expensive, but so is Boston, etc. .. They did take a long time to process our forms and references though. Start early.

The Queen's University job fair in Kingston, Ontario, is small but very well regarded. Check out their website for good advice generally on teaching overseas. Alan Travers, who runs the fair and related services, is charming and very helpful. It is especially nice if you are going overseas for the first time, as they provide lots of support and advice. Alan and his team screen applicants and schools carefully. Directors who attend return, often for years and years, due to the quality of the applicants and the caring atmosphere of the fair. THere are lots of South American schools in particular, although some Asia and Europe.

mjnolan

Re: Beware of ISS and Jane Larsson

Post by mjnolan »

I can personally attest to the validity of this statement since the same happened to my wife and I although in a different context. We had verbally accepted contracts which when they arrived contained a cover sheet telling us not to worry that the contract did not represent what we had been told by the head during negotiations.

At the same time we received an offer from a school who knew our position and that we had verbally accepted a contract and were being held hostage to that agreement. The second school informed us that their offer was binding and they still wanted to offer us the positions. We then accepted and signed contracts. In comes Jane Larson who evidently spoke to this school who then rescinded theeir "legally binding " offer. We received the same response from Ms. Larson " we are not in a position to know what actually happened." As well as veiled statements such as " we are sure the repercussions of your actions have been clearly explained to you" Which they wern't. The decision had been made to black ball us without any contact from ISS before, during or after the initial contact.

Just one more in a litany of actions by ISS not supporting the teachers. ISR is a start. Contact NEA and ask them to get involved. We are US trained and licensed teachers for the most part and have some experience with the NEA why shouldn't we get their support in the International arena it would be good for all sides to be accountable.
Guest wrote:Jane Larsson will pretend to be your friend and act as if she is going to support you when you decide to resign due to an abusive director. The truth is that after you resign her standard position will be... " we are not in a position to know what actually happened." Translation: ISS will blindly support the director and not you!! Although you may have an advanced degree and years of overseas teaching experience your credibility level is zero in the eyes of Jane Larsson.

Jane Larsson of ISS is not your friend and thinking that the sympathetic tone she begins her emails with will develop into her assistance is a mistake on your part. You will always loose because long after you leave the international circuit the school you left will still be recruiting through ISS and forking over good cold cash. You can't compete with paying customers. At least we have ISR to help us avoid these situations now.

You are on your own out there. I learned the hard way!!

Guest

Re: Anyone been blackballed by Search Assoc?

Post by Guest »

lubulu wrote:Wondering if anyone has been blackballed by Search Associates? So far I am disappointed in the service. I have researched schools, followed all guidelines in their contract, yet was not allowed to attend the fair where I had lots of interesting possibilities. I had to attend another fair where there were barely any positions!
I was told AFTER registering and paying that I could not attend the fair I wanted. First I had been led to believe they could get me in. Two weeks before the fair, because I asked for my fair registration fee back, they found a place for me.

A friend teaches an in-demand subject, and after at first being told no, they BEGGED her to come.

Guest

Post by Guest »

Anonymous wrote:I have nothing but good things to say about Search. They have helped me find placements for the last 10 years now and I have always had the option of at least 6 or 7 different schools. They have helped in the decisions process; they keep my file up to date and make the process run smoothly. Search does screen their schools are candidates. Obviously we would like them to screen the schools even more but I know a lot of the associates make a point of going around the schools visiting them regularly and that in the past they have taken certain schools/directors off their list after repetitive complaints from a number of teachers.
hmmmm...can you spell SEARCH ASSOCIATES TROLL????

me

search-associates

Post by me »

You must be aware that you will be supported by Mr. Harry Deelman during London fair. However, do not expect the same if you are planning to attend Cambridge fair since Mr. Magagna will not help you at all. Even if it is your first time there!

Anthony

Jane Larson ISS and Search

Post by Anthony »

I have had problems with ISS over the last 6 years. After 14 years of supporting my candidacy they suddenly stopped representing me. I had a few emails from Jane Larson in and got an admission that their was a reference problem- this was strange since I have worked overseas consistently since 1989 and my current and past directors were supportive? Fortunately my director at the time helped me get a good post over the internet. For the hell of it I registered with ISS in November and was accepted and allowed to register for the Boston fair??? Where is Jane Larsen in all this? I did not receive any emails from Jane Larsen or see any reference to her in ISS materials this time around. I was wondering if she is still with ISS or has she fallen just like the many teachers she ignores? Also I wonder if their have ever been successful law suits against ISS?
About Search I have heard a lot of great things but my experience has been poor. I was dropped because John Magnanga was upset when I did not show up at one of his June fairs ( hell I had taken a post the week before) and Harry Deelmen has also not been helpful. This being said I personally know of teacher with a police records in a 3rd world countries for drugs and he can still go to Search and I know for a fact Harry Delmen was told by a principal about this cases?the teacher in question is long off drugs and I guess deserved a second chance but he would have lost his teacher certification in the states because of a criminal record. SEARCH and ISS are not consistent. Have had great experiences with ECIS but many of the schools I am looking to work do not attend. What can we do we need the fairs and at least have ISR.. wonder if I will see Ms. Larsen in Boston?????? I also think that as more and more International schools open and Teacher requirement becomes wider and more competitive it has to work out to our benefit?

Jody

Post by Jody »

Seems the last postings were lost at the serve transfer- but the last two posts stated that Larsen was no longer with ISS- wonder why-hope she did not break contract. A lawyer told be that as ISS is registered and operates out of the US they are subject to US laws a personal or class action law suit is a possibility if there is reasonably suspicion that a teacher has been denied representation because of either libelous improvable statements by a former head (i.e. the reference will have to become public and the writer will have to prove with facts their case against a candidate- and no- US law does not consider a refusal to go to a staff Christmas . or laugh at the jokes of the directors wife as valid) or direct prejudice.

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