Which fair is best for teaching couples with children?

flakerfamily
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Which fair is best for teaching couples with children?

Post by flakerfamily »

My PE teaching husband and I (counselor) are getting ready to put our applications in to attend a job fair. However, I've been hearing so many mixed reviews of fairs, that I'm a bit confused of who to go with. We live in Oregon, so the San Francisco location would be easiest, but we've been told couples often go to the first North American fair, which this year would be in Atlanta with ISS. We both have over 10 years experience each, and are looking for placement in Thailand or Switzerland. We also have twin boys who will be ready for kindergarten by the time we go. Any tips for fairs or contacts? Thank you!

PsyGuy
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Well

Post by PsyGuy »

Are you EU passport holders? Do you have IB experience? If not your not going to Switzerland.
You need to tell us more about your resumes? A PE teacher and counsouler is a pretty hard to fill mix. You are going to need to be A LOT more open on region, or else one of you won't have a job. You really need to go to the job fair that has the most vacancies for you combined, and I'm guessing that will be Boston, maybe Bangkok (that's the real couples fair).

DCgirl
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Post by DCgirl »

I kind of chuckled to myself when I saw how specific you were being about location. That's so much more of an issue than which fair you attend. Finding those two particular positions in a school that's willing to take on you and your dependents will be challenging enough. I would join Search, use the database to find out which schools have matching positions, find out which is the first fair that most of them are attending, and go there. Unless you broaden your horizons, you may be in for a big disappointment.

flakerfamily
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:04 pm

thank you

Post by flakerfamily »

Thank you both for your feedback. Neither of us have EU passports or IB experience, so perhaps Switzerland is out. But, I thought working at an international school would qualify for a work visa? In any case, we'll still try! :) I hold both a teaching credential and school counselor license (with over 15 years experience doing both), and am an Expressive Art Therapist with five years private agency experience My husband has over 10 years experience teaching PE/Wellness and coaching Track/Field with students going to state competitions every year. I have lived abroad before (Finland and Sweden) and we both have traveled a fair amount. Our recommendations are excellent with very supportive admin. We certainly are strong candidates, but I'm sure similar to the multitudes of other very well qualified applicants.
We've researched the larger schools with the thinking there may be more of an opportunity for us both to have jobs. We also took into account salaries, benefits, included housing if possible (not boarding school), and relative political stability. We are certainly open to other places, but just after our initial research, this is where we know for sure we'd like to apply.
I know attending a job fair is important, and for us now, it would need to be in the States. I just didn't know if we should go with ISS (and go to the Atlanta fair in Dec) or wait until Feb. and go to the Search fair in SF. They can be a bit spendy including membership, flights, hotels etc., so we wondered if anyone knew which fair/service might be best for our situation.
I appreciate any continued information. Thank you!

PsyGuy
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Backwards

Post by PsyGuy »

You have it backwards actually. Having a work visa would make you eligible for working at an international school. The reality is that in several European countries, either the schools at large or specific schools, just can't get work permits for foreign hires. This is the case in Switzerland, it's very, very, very difficult, and schools just won't or cant do it. If you don't have an EU passport or already have a work permit, they won't look at your resume, interview you or hire you. Switzerland is a retirement posting, it pays very, very well and the quality of life is very nice. As such turnover is very low. These schools can go years without having a single vacancy. When they do recruit its for only 1 or 2 positions at a time. The odds of there being 2 vacancies for a counselor and PE teacher at the same school and same time, would be very, very low.

In my experience Search is the stronger agency. They just have more schools, 150 in ISS compared to Searches 650, more schools means more opportunities. If you MUST stay in the states the Search Cambrige fair Feb 7-10 is the fair to go to. Though if your real serious and you really want the best vacancies, the best schools, and the most desirable regions, you need to figure out how to make the Seach Bangkok fair happen.

Walter
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More Dave Psyguy Nonsense

Post by Walter »

"These schools can go years without having a single vacancy. When they do recruit its (sic) for only 1 or 2 positions at a time."
At every single recruitment fair I go to (including those in Thailand and the USA) I see representatives from Zurich International School, International School Zug and Luzern and Inter-Community School Zurich. Like all of us, they start with long lists and whittle them down over the recruitment month.

And don't be put off if you don't have IB experience. Certainly it would help, but it isn't essential given that you are interested in counselling and PE. Very few schools are doing IB's Sports Exercise Science course and as for counselling all you really need to do is to understand the mechanics of the program. (Which, despite the mythology that surrounds it, is really not complicated.)

If you are a couple, then the earlier you start recruiting the better, since the chances of finding two jobs at the same school diminish as January becomes February. If you have set your heart on Switzerland, go for it, but it will be very competitive. Hope for the best and expect the worst. In my own experience, there are a lot better places to be than Switzerland!

flakerfamily
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ISS-Atlanta? and other countries

Post by flakerfamily »

Thank you again for your time and feedback!

If it's so crucial to begin as early as possible, I'm wondering why the ISS fair in Atlanta in December isn't recommended? Is it because of poor ISS service or because it may not be well-represented by many schools?

What other countries would you recommend for good packages? We are really looking at this two-fold 1) great cultural experience (in a politically safe country) for our family that may extend into international career, rather than just coming back after two years, and 2) economic savings (we really want to put away some money to build college and retirement funds)

If we were able to do a fair abroad in January, you'd recommend Bangkok over London? What about Toronto with Search in January?

Thanks again!

PsyGuy
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No

Post by PsyGuy »

Switzerland schools don't have long lists, and yes the are at fairs looking at the candidates that have EU passports or working papers. The years when they aren't really recruiting because they have no vacancies, or don't know who they reall need (because European schools don't know who they really need until May. Unless they have a known vacancy, they aren't so much recruiting as making an appearance).

European schools in high desire regions can be picky, they can require IB experience even for athletics and a school counselor, even if the utility is marginal, just because they can, and have plenty of candidates. Why hire someone without IB experience for an IB school, when you have candidates who have the IB experience. Lastly, you really need college advising experience/skills for counselor positions now. IS counselors don't really do much in the way of mental health. Keep in mind that athletics revolve around different sports in various countries. Football (soccer), is the most common and popular, followed by swimming, Sports like American football, and basketball, aren't in demand.

The three BIG fair locations are in order: Bangkok, Boston and London.

The Atlanta fair isn't popular because it's too early in the year. Recruiting season starts in November, and schools just don't really know who they are going to need by the end of November. Second, the big fairs tend to be those that are paired with other fairs. The Seach and ISS fairs run into each other at the BKK fair. COIS and Search run into each other in London. Third, the academic calander and the winter holiday break. The Atlanta fair is only a couple weeks before the winter holiday, and usually schools are involved in exams, etc. Most American teachers at the beginning of December are busy and can't really travel for a fair at that time of the year.

You cant reall save money in Europe, anywhere except the elite schools. Basically, taxes are too high (about 40%-50%) and they don't include housing allowances, and housing for a three bedroom with your family would be pretty expensive. You would eat up one salary on your fixed housing and utility expenses. You could get by, but save money and or live a nice lifestyle, isn't going to happen.

The middle east has the greatest savings potential, but it has issues, that you stated you wanted to avoid. Asia has good savings potential but it's not a European lifestyle. Basically, what your looking for is the holy grail of IS teaching positions, and there is no such perfect scenario. The best generalization that can be made is that the elite schools are the best options to provide you what your looking for, but of course those schools are very, very competitive.

There are better places to be then Switzerland. By all means persue Switzerland. The cost of sending off an application packet is almos zero. You won't waste the time standing in line for an interview, or interviewing if there aren't two complimentary vacancies at any of the Swiss schools, so that's not going to cost you anything. Just be prepared for the disappointment and frustration.

Walter
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Dear oh dear!

Post by Walter »

"Switzerland schools don't have long lists, and yes the are at fairs looking at the candidates that have EU passports or working papers. The years when they aren't really recruiting because they have no vacancies, or don't know who they reall need (because European schools don't know who they really need until May. Unless they have a known vacancy, they aren't so much recruiting as making an appearance)."

This is such arrant nonsense...why do you invent this stuff? Are you saying that the Swiss school heads only go to the fairs in Bangkopk and the States to look at candidates with EU passports? Or because they want to show their faces even though they have no vacancies? For the rest of the sane world, let me assure you that the Swiss schools have vacancies every year, and that not all their hires are EU passport holders. I see these heads year after year recruiting teachers at all the fairs. Dave Psyguy, your advice should come with a government health warning. Your estimate about tax rates is grossly inaccurate if you are talking about Switzerland; even your advice re sports is madly wrong. Basketball, as it happens, is one of the most popular sports in the various sports federations in Europe. The biggest of these is the ISST. Check out the coverage basketball gets. Believe me, it's ten times bigger than swimming!
To the Flakers, your best bet is to get to the Far East/SE Asia for the lifstyle you want. That means getting into the Bangkok fair if you can, since all the top Asian schools will be there and all the jobs will still be open. Good counselors are always in demand and there will be PE vacancies too - with luck, at the same school. By the time SEARCH Cambridge comes around, it would be unlikely to find the match you want. But, and it's a huge BUT, you really have to be good 1) to get into the fair and 2) to get a job at a top school.

PsyGuy
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Sigh

Post by PsyGuy »

No nonsense would be the claims you make. You need to learn the difference. Yes, Swiss heads go to job fairs to look for candidates with EU passports. Since many european including swiss schools dont really know what their vacancies will be until May/June they are pre-interviewing people you could say. Unless they actually do have known vacancies, which as i wrote before are usually few if any.

Sigh, i dont care what people watch, what matters is what schools hire for coaching/PE staff. Basketball is near the bottom of the demand scale. Football (soccer) is the top, swimming is a hard one to find and even right now ASIJ is looking for a swim coach. European taxes average around 40%, though they range from 30%-50%.

In Switzerland the tax rates varies based on the municipal or canton rate. The federal rate in switzerland is 11.5 but largely vary based on the Canton rate below: (these rates add all relevant taxes:

Jura 42.28%
Basel-Land 40.78%
Geneva 40.68%
Bern 40.44%
Vaud 39.40%
Zurich 39.18%
Ticino 39.11%
Basel-Stadt 37.58%
Neuchâtel 37.35%
Valais 34.97%
Solothurn 34.84%
Fribourg 34.54%
Aargau 34.20%
Thurgau 33.92%
Glarus 33.83%
St. Gallen 32.62%
Graubünden 32.27%
Schaffhausen 31.88%
Luzern 31.19%
Appenzell A.Rh 30.17%
Nidwalden 26.13%
Appenzell I.Rh 25.65%
Uri 25.43%
Zug 23.82%
Schwyz 23.15%
Obwalden 22.42%

As you an see the municipalities were the international schools are have tax rates around 40%.

I've seen these heads year after year as well, and your advice should forgo the warning and just have a big red revolving danger light. You are NEVER right about anything. You post and exist solely to disagree with me.

You mentioned Thailand, and really that would be your best bet, but you need to get to the BKK fair one way or another. Thats where your best options will be available.

lifeisnotsobad
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Post by lifeisnotsobad »

No SighGuy - once again you are giving out misinformation. Zurich International School, International School Zug and Luzern and Inter-Community School Zurich all employ from outside of Europe. Yes, it is more work for them to get Visas but they do commit to doing this. The largest single nationality group of teachers in ZIS are from the US.

PsyGuy
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Location: Northern Europe

Sigh

Post by PsyGuy »

No its not, they dont employ any sizable non EU staff, and the years they have vacancies they have only a few.

Walter
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What to do with Dave Psyguy?

Post by Walter »

They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and you are living proof of that.
Those schools cited DEFINITELY hire from out of the EU and they DEFINITELY hire significant numbers of teachers every year. I see their sheets every recruitment fair every year. Where do you get your information from?
Next, look at what you wrote in your earlier "contribution": "Football (soccer), is the most common and popular, followed by swimming." What I told you is that swimming isn't close to being as popular as basketball. (As for the idea that it's hard to find a soccer coach in Europe - duh!) How you respond? You say that basketball is near the bottom of the demand scale for coaches. 1) Where is your evidence for this, since these posts are advertised and nearly always filled internally? 2) What on earth does an advertisement from the Americn School in Japan for an Aquatics Director have to do with this argument? Do you think Tokyo is in Europe?
And then there is your drivel about taxes - which of course is your usual Google cut-and-paste. It's been a long time since I lived in Switzerland, but I do know enough to know that what you quoted are maximum tax rates. Switzerland has a progressive tax regimen that differentiates according to earnings, net worth and family situation. Depending on the canton you live in, you pay more (and many teachers live in Zug as it happens which charges the lowest tax rate), but even if you live in Zurich, on a teacher salary you will not be paying close to 39%. Married with kids and I guess you'd be at 25% tops. VAT meantime is the lowest in Europe. Don't confuse income tax in Switzerland with income tax in Europe.
And don't confuse anyone else with your serial blurting about things that are far too complicated for you.
Meanwhile, what about your next job. Where are you going?

PsyGuy
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Case

Post by PsyGuy »

In your case, NO information is even more dangerouse. Your the only one confused, as I suppose this is all too complicated for you.

Swiss schools do not do a lot of recruiting, and have very low turnover, and the vast majority of those schools require EU passports.

Swimming is globally a difficult and in demand position. It is more popular than basketball.

Once again your outdated Swiss information, is evidence only by your highly unqualified opinion. My Internet source, is bette then you as a source any day, which is the same as saying you have no source.

lifeisnotsobad
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 3:37 pm

Post by lifeisnotsobad »

Oh dear...for once SighGuy you really have left me lost for words.

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