How to apply to International Schools without experience?

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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:41 am

How to apply to International Schools without experience?

Post by Malarazz »

I have a nice part-time job teaching English, so I'm not in a hurry to enter the IT world. But I wanna see what's out there just in case there is a decent IS (idk what this means, upper tier 3/lower tier 2 I guess?) that wants to hire a teacher with no experience. As far as I've researched in this forum, this is getting to be the end of the recruitment period, so if any decent IS struck out during the regular recruitment period, they might loosen their standards and give me a chance, who knows.

I'm an American citizen credentialed to teach Math, Econ (double-majored in them in college), and Business through the state of MA. I'm also CELTA-credentialed and have like 2 years of experience tutoring Math in college (which probably doesn't count for much). My references are probably average or even subpar though, not sure.

Anywho, since I don't have any experience, I can't really use SA or ISS (yes, I know I could apply as an intern, but I'm not sure that's a better idea than being a full-fledged teacher at a worse school). So my question is, how exactly do I apply to International Schools? Go on the ISR website, "list of schools reviewed on ISR", google the school to find their contact information, and then just cold email them? Hope whoever reads my email forwards it to an HR person or hiring manager? And what should the email consist of? A brief description of why I'm sending it, with my resume and cover letter as attachments? Or the cover letter in the body of the email, with only the resume as an attachment?

My top priorities are Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia. But I'd be open to working on any decent IS virtually anywhere in Asia or Latin America.


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Re: How to apply to International Schools without experience

Post by mamava »

I'm always interested in people who seem really casual about entering international teaching and low-ball themselves. International teaching can be really competitive and you need to be able to sell yourself well at whatever point you're at. It's OK to be realistic, but don't settle--a bad tier 3 (or any tier, really) school can be a LOT of hardship and work and frustration.

That being said, most schools have postings on their websites (although they aren't always very good at keeping them updated). Work through the website and send your CV and cover letter to HR as well as the division principal. It may be overkill, but you never know how HR weeds down candidates and what actually gets to principals. I've always sent a very abbreviated portion of my cover letter (heads up as to what I'm looking for, why I'm applying to that school, name drop if I can. I attache my cover letter and CV (usually all in 1 doc so people don't have to open twice). You'll hear different opinions on that, but it seems to have worked for us over the years.

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Re: How to apply to International Schools without experience

Post by funteacher »

I don't think this is anywhere near the end of the recruitment period. The people who have been hired already are either perfect fits with high quality experience in the specific roles and systems they applied for, or have sold themselves short and taken something below their potential. Recruitment has moved earlier, but the big fairs haven't even happened yet. I know more than a few teachers with 5+ years of high quality experience who just started looking recently.

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Re: How to apply to International Schools without experience

Post by Malarazz »

By the way, what part of this cold emailing experience am I generally required to produce references? Before or after the Skype interview?

I ask because my ESL job, even though it is at a great school, didn't ask for my references. So I haven't asked anyone to *be* my reference yet, even though I have 3-4 in mind. Trying to avoid asked them, unless an IS is serious about potentially hiring me. I hate bothering people lol.

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Re: How to apply to International Schools without experience

Post by sid »

The season is definitely not over. It's just getting hot, and will continue hot through February. The hottest candidates get hired early, it's true, though every year there are some true stars not plucked until late. The majority of jobs are still open - and some haven't even opened yet, as some schools still haven't reached their re-signing deadlines.

Schools generally want to see confidential references before they will interview you. That's easy if you're with an agency, as they'll all be in your profile. It's hard if you're applying on your own, as every separate school will need to contact your referees and ask for info. Some schools will accept open reference letters before interviewing, but mine won't, nor will the best schools overall. Some schools will wait for references until after the interview, but again not the better ones - it's a massive waste of time to interview someone and only after find out that they stay home sick every Friday or haven't completed report cards on time since the year 0.

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Re: How to apply to International Schools without experience

Post by reisgio »

Be hot.

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Post by PsyGuy »

Were not even to the start of peak recruiting, which starts in early January and ends in early February. Whats been happening the last couple months is early recruiting. Subprime recruiting doesnt start until later. Thats when you start seeing the hardship locations and lower tier ISs make their strongest pitch. Usually its when ITs have given up on the EU.

You could absolutely register with SA as an intern. True internships in IE are uncommon, otherwise its just lower tier ISs using the term of internship to low cut salaries and cheap labor. As an intern with SA you get access to the full database and can apply to any vacancy.
You could apply to ISS/Schrole, just list your maths Uni tutoring and ESOL experience. You could also register with TIE.

Your cover letter wont likely get read, copy it into the email message and attach your resume and photo and whatever else the IS requires (passport cover page, credentials, etc.).

ISs typically want references as soon as possible typically with the application. You dont have to send them if you dont want to, if they want to engage with you they will wait on references.

Probably dosnt apply to you, but being hot helps.

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