ISS, Search or both? Bangkok 2020

Helen Back
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ISS, Search or both? Bangkok 2020

Post by Helen Back »

We live in Thailand, so these are the obvious choices. We have varied curriculum experience, Canadian trained, a fair amount of quality inquiry based PD and 9 years international experience each. But.......no IB experience. We're both elementary. I'm also involved in STEAM projects and am ICT coordinator.

We could probably do both fairs, but wondering if we should. We'd like to move to IB if possible, although, as long as a school is inquiry leaning that's not that important. We're not interested in British schools.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance.
PsyGuy
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Response

Post by PsyGuy »

Do you live in Thailand of do you live in BKK? How much will the travel be for you?

The ISS fair is right before the BKK fair, so it is first, but compared to the SA fair its smaller (a little more relaxed). If you had to choose between them it depends what your goals are, if your more interested in a more intimate recruiting experience and you are comfortable where you are ISS, if your more interested in higher attendance and maximizing hit rate and like the casting call experience than SA. Your opportunities are greater at the SA BKK fair. If the cost of doing both is little more than registration fees than doing both would be significantly cheaper than what other candidates will be spending on travel just to attend one of them. You also dont have to both join both services, you could likely get away with each of you joining one of them and sharing the database access. ISS doesnt care if spouses attend interviews and SA charges the individual fair rate of USD$50 for an accompanying spouse. Youre both elementary, which tends to have the highest vacancies (but also the easiest to fill), so you likely have very similar resumes.

From my POV, youre probably going to see a lot of replication across fairs, especially in the ISs and the tiers you would be interested in. Theres going to be a small, though not trivial gap of ISs that will be at one and not the other, and primary is pretty common. The major benefit is that primary is basically warm bodies on a spreadsheet, by going to ISS first you get to talk to those recruiters before anyone at the SA fair gets a shot, and an IS with more critical vacancies to fill may very happily want to knock those primary vacancies out as early as they can so they can maximize recruitment efforts in other vacancies, even more so if they get a teaching couple (which you are) and have multiple vacancies. The other side of that coin is the ISs with few vacancies may very well want to reserve primary vacancies for teaching couples where one of the ITs has a more in demand high needs field and they need the primary vacancy as a bargaining/contract term to get the higher demand IT, thus they arent going to waste their few primary appointments if they dont have to.

Success options in recruiting are: be first, be smarter, or cheat, being first is the easiest. If the costs are low enough and you have the time, its not a huge loss (a couple hundred USD) if the ISS fair goes bust
Illiane_Blues
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Re: Response

Post by Illiane_Blues »

PsyGuy wrote:
> but compared to the SA fair its smaller (a little more relaxed).

Any idea how they compare (numbers of schools attending, or numbers of vacancies filled)?
Walter
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Re: ISS, Search or both? Bangkok 2020

Post by Walter »

Dear old Dave will continue to tub-thump for ISS, but the fact is that ISS Bkk is small and getting smaller by the year. The number of Tier 1 schools recruiting through ISS diminishes by the year.
PsyGuy
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Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@Illiane_Blues

ISS is smaller, the ratio is about 1:3 of ISs. There are other dynamics going on though, the ISs only going to ISS fairs, BKK is the event for them, you get a lot less of the "were going to wait and see" because the ISS fairs are at the beginning and the end of peak recruiting season, those fairs (BKK and SF) are night and day apart, there really isnt anything to wait and see thats going to happen in a week or so at the next fair.
Illiane_Blues
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Re: ISS, Search or both? Bangkok 2020

Post by Illiane_Blues »

@PsyGuy
Looking at their (ISS and Search) list of attending schools, a lot of the better schools attending the ISS fair are also recruiting at the BKK Search Fair. Wouldn't they therefore be less likely to hire at the ISS Fair if they're not 100% sure about a candidate, knowing they have many great candidates to look forward to at the Search fair?


Looking at ISS's list of attending schools I can only spot 3 or 4 top schools, the rest is tier 2 at best, but many below, while Search has a high number of great schools. Search fair will of course be way more competitive, with many other strong candidates.

There's no harm in attending both I guess, there's no downside to it, if you have the time and the cash to spare. I would if I lived in Bangkok.
MartElla
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Re: ISS, Search or both? Bangkok 2020

Post by MartElla »

That's incredible. I'm befuddled, discombobulated and gobsmacked.

For the first time in the history of ISR, PsyGuy has described ISS without uttering the words, "Boutique experience".

I didn't think it was possible. We live to proven wrong.
wrldtrvlr123
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Re: ISS, Search or both? Bangkok 2020

Post by wrldtrvlr123 »

MartElla wrote:
> That's incredible. I'm befuddled, discombobulated and gobsmacked.
>
> For the first time in the history of ISR, PsyGuy has described ISS without uttering
> the words, "Boutique experience".
>
> I didn't think it was possible. We live to proven wrong.
===================
It is one of the 7 signs of the apocalypse. But, he's still not using apostrophes yet, so I think we're safe for a while longer at least.
Thames Pirate
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Re: ISS, Search or both? Bangkok 2020

Post by Thames Pirate »

While I agree that if there is little cost to attending both, you should, I would also agree that SA is the better option. But being first has value, so if there are high-priority schools or jobs for you on there, go for that.

Beyond that I would add that IB experience is less critical at the elementary level than at others; while there is language and structure re: PYP, the stakes aren't as high as they are for the DP and schools vary in how they implement it. Even schools with a strong PYP focus will take a chance on a good teacher without experience over a mediocre one with it. Obviously experience matters, but there isn't a magic barrier there at any level and certainly not at the elementary level.
PsyGuy
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Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

Fair inquiry, 'boutique experience' just doesnt belong within the context of IE when discussing fairs/REs.

I disagree with @Thames Pirate in part and in regard to the criticality of PYP. You need to know your subject content in DIP but beyond that its a lot easier to fake the IBness and be fine as long as the content delivery is strong and assts reflect that. There isnt the asst priority in primary and you can phone it in without a lot of damage but PYP is very alien to traditionally trained ITs/DTs and having PYP look right and do what the IB says it should do takes a lot of work, resources and expertise. Failing to do so is usually why MYP students who move ISs dont do as well in MYP when their PYP experience substandard.

@Illiane_Blues

SA has about twice as many top tier ISs at BKK, but SA has three times the ISs total. Both fairs are about the same length, and with much smaller number of candidates your more likely to get an actual interview slot for those ISs. The math says ISSs has the better probability.

Depends how confident you are in your utility and marketability. No recruiter/leadership wants to lose the perfect candidate as they see it. ITs get signed at ISS BKK, and no matter how great or superstar an IT you are it means nothing if you dont get to interview because the vacancy has been filled. It happens every morning at signup, X position is filled and Y IS is no longer recruiting, yes some of those got filled by first night recruiting but some of them got filled at ISS to.
Heliotrope
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Re: Reply

Post by Heliotrope »

Agree with @Thames Pirate and @Illiane_Blues, the Search fair would be the better choice of the two.


PsyGuy wrote:
> SA has about twice as many top tier ISs at BKK, but SA has three times the
> ISs total. Both fairs are about the same length, and with much smaller
> number of candidates your more likely to get an actual interview slot for
> those ISs. The math says ISSs has the better probability.

ISS has 6-7 top tier schools, out of a total of 223 schools attending (although the QSI schools will probably be represented by one delegation).
Search has 23-24 top tier schools, out of 142 schools attending.
So no, SA does not have 'three times the ISs total', and at ISS only (rounded up) 3% of the schools is top tier, while at ISS (rounded down) 16% of the schools is top tier. Even with fewer people attending (assuming that's correct, probably is) I'd like my chances better at the Search fair, unless they have more than 5 times as many candidates attending than the ISS fair (and I assume that number is closer to 2).


But the above is assuming you prefer a top tier school. If you prefer a tier 2 or tier 3 school (and there are plenty of great tier 2 schools), ISS might be the better choice, although the tier 1 schools will be heavily ambushed at the Search fair, so the tier 2 schools there might be very happy to interview anyone that shows up at their booth.

Anyway, just go them both, as others have also advised, that's by far the best option. The extra money and time is worth it to be able to cast a wider net. Plus after that you'll be able to compare the ISS and Search fairs a lot better for future reference. Be sure to report back if you do to share your experiences at both fairs and compare them for us.
PsyGuy
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Discussion

Post by PsyGuy »

First, ISS has 72 ISs, of which 7 of them are top tier, SA has 147, of which 15 are top tier. @Heliotrope and I have disagreed in the past on what is a top tier IS. This results in a hit probability of 9.7% for ISS BKK fair, and 10.2% for SA BKK fair, which appears that that SA has the better probability by about .5%, but SA has many more ITs competing for those slots with those ISs by about roughly twice as many candidates. ISS is still better by the math.
Second, ISS is still first, and as written earlier, ITs get signed at ISS BKK, and no matter how great or superstar an IT you are it means nothing if you dont get to interview because the vacancy has been filled.
Third, there would appear to be consensus among the contributes (something that is extremely rare) that assuming the cost is low enough and your relatively local, there really isnt a disadvantage to attending both.
Heliotrope
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Re: Discussion

Post by Heliotrope »

If you go to the ISS website, you can see that the fair list has 122 schools on it (instead the 123 a few days ago, and sorry, I did mistype earlier, but your 72 is not correct).
The Search list of attending school currently has 144 listed.

To count the number of top tier schools, I used the tier 1 list recently posted on the member forum, which was then amended with a few suggestions for additions or removals of schools, but with or without these suggestions the total count of tier 1 schools for the Search fair would be 24. For ISS it would be 6.

That gives 17% tier 1 schools for the Search fair, and 5% tier 1 schools for the ISS fair.

But as a candidate I might rather look at the total number of top schools, instead of a percentage. If I was trying to get into a tier 1 school, and rather get a chance at 24 than at 6. Of course there's more competition at Search (roughly twice as many candidates you say, which I'll assume is about right), but if you're competitive for those top schools, I'd like my odds at Search better than at ISS.

That being said, the OP and spouse don't have IB experience, but would like to get into an IB school. That makes the number of top schools less relevant as they will prefer candidates that already have IB experience (still possible without IB experience, but less likely than with), and they might want to try for a good tier 2 school. Both fairs have some decent tier 2 IB schools. The rest of the Search list (if you take out the 24 tier 1 schools) is mostly tier 2 and a fair amount of tier 3, ISS seems to have a mix of about 40/60% tier 2 and tier 3 schools, but tier 2 and tier 3 are a bit harder to identify). Point is both have suitable schools for the candidate.

If a fair being first is better or worse is up for debate, if you have to choose. I can see both rationales (interviewing with a school before candidates at the other fair vs. schools not hiring at the first fair if they're not a 100% sure because they know they will have a plethora of top candidates at the next fair). I guess the top schools are more likely to hold out, but some tier 2 schools might be more tempted to hire at the first fair if they really like someone, knowing that at the second fair they will be less in demand due to the high number of top schools at Search). But that's just speculation, and will depend highly on the type person the recruiter is.

So yes, the consensus is of course that hitting both fairs is best.

I'm quite interested to see an ISS fair, as I've only visited a Search fair so far and am keen to see the difference in approach.
And apparently (from another topic), recording your (best) lessons on video and have them available for recruiters could help you in the interviews.
Heliotrope
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Re: ISS, Search or both? Bangkok 2020

Post by Heliotrope »

Let me correct myself. I forgot you both teach Elementary.

While around 90% of top schools offer IB at the diploma level, only half of the top schools offer PYP, so there are still plenty of top schools where your lack of IB experience wouldn't matter, since you say you're also interested in schools that don't teach IB.

To get into a top school that does teach PYP will still be harder for those without PYP experience than for those with of course, but it sometimes happens, and you seem competitive, at least from the info you provided.

Best of luck!
Illiane_Blues
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Re: ISS, Search or both? Bangkok 2020

Post by Illiane_Blues »

I'm not a member myself, but my Department Head who is a member said she finally saw tier 1 list on the paid forum that looks complete and accurate, so I assume it's the same list you're referring to Heliotrope.

When I go to Bangkok myself Jan 2020 I won't have the time to go to both so for me it will depend on which fair will have the most of my favourite tier 1 schools then.This season the choice would be obvious but I hope next year both lists will be available well in advance so I can base my choice on that. If not I might just sign up for both and book my ticket once the list are made public. Or is the current divide with search having the better schools to be expected for future Bangkok fairs as well?
And does anyone know when these list are usually made public?
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