COVID, 21/22 Job Season & You?

sciteach
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:49 am

COVID, 21/22 Job Season & You?

Post by sciteach »

It's fair to say that the 2020/21 school year is probably the strangest any of us will experience in our lifetimes. Many people lost their jobs due to less students, many people could not get to their job, borders were closed etc.

What I'm interested in hearing about is how COVID has changed what you look for in a school for 2021/22. This might include how specific countries have handled covid or even how specific schools have or have not handled covid. As always - it's fine to mention specific countries but shy away from naming particular schools on the forum.

I'll add my thoughts after a couple of other people post (if people post - that is)

sid
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: COVID, 21/22 Job Season & You?

Post by sid »

For me personally? I was already happy where I was, and my school has done well handling the pandemic, so my tendency to stay on has only strengthened. If I had any urge to leave, I would have to weigh that against what I see as the impending chaos of the recruiting season. Some people lost jobs - either due to lower student numbers or simply inability to get to the job's location. When it was just about location, I predict a general shuffle - it's the same number of jobs, just with weird restrictions about who can take them, so that'll even out overall. But where student numbers were low, most of those jobs won't be coming back this season, which leaves too many people looking for not enough jobs. Competition will be fierce. I wouldn't want to add myself to the list of people looking for a new job.
Having seen the craziness we've all faced in trying to get new teachers to their new countries... whuf. It was awful being on campus and doing all the extra work to get them here, and they didn't all make it on time, so teachers who were in place already had to do extra work covering for those who were desperately trying to get here. It was even worse though for the teachers who couldn't get in, trying to teach classes remotely from far away, some of them working in the middle of the night, along with all the uncertainties of trying to secure a visa and a flight, and having to be ready to travel at a moment's notice. I definitely wouldn't want to put myself in that position, being a new employee trying to get to my new country against all odds. I wouldn't go looking for a new job this year unless I had to.
If you're one of the ones who has to, sincere good wishes to you all. This state of affairs isn't any one person's fault, and some of our colleagues have taken serious hits despite not doing anything wrong.

fine dude
Posts: 583
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:12 pm
Location: SE Asia

Re: COVID, 21/22 Job Season & You?

Post by fine dude »

Being part of the hiring committee, I can say we're cutting down on our recruitment for the next school year. Most of our teachers are staying put and I think it's a sane decision. For teachers who have no choice, I'd say look at the track record of your prospective employer, read the latest reviews, speak to a couple of current teachers on how they are managing in bringing new teachers into their country before you take the plunge. The chances of a second or third wave and another lock down can't be ruled out and it's already happening in some parts of the world. Several established schools are already giving the Search online fair a miss this year. Reputed schools in big cities usually have the backing of local embassies, and strong links to ministries of education and labor and they do a fairly decent job with paperwork. These schools also have the financial muscle to bear additional expenses and they wouldn't mind paying for those expensive flights and freight.

On the personal front, I will be focusing my energies on up-skilling as I transition to the next level in my career.

shadowjack
Posts: 2033
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: COVID, 21/22 Job Season & You?

Post by shadowjack »

We kept all of our new hires for this year. A few not in country yet, but light at the end of the tunnel. We are getting inquiries as we are really the only guaranteed school in the country which can operate under any circumstance and which is hybrid at present, with strict protocols in place to protect our community of staff and students. Parents very impressed and happy right now. Who knows - we might even grow. For next year I anticipate some movement among staff, but less than other years. We are starting to trend in that direction anyways as we work on our improvement plans and smooth out bumps.

For me? I'm staying put. This recruiting season is going to be a gong show and the repercussions and ramifications of COVID have not yet finished playing out. Easier to stay than to go. Likely two more years still for me after this one before I look to make a move.

PsyGuy
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

Those in leadership and recruiting usually have an agenda to reduce turnover, so its no surprise to me their suggestion is to stay put.

Theres still a lot of capacity that ISs have and want to fill. Mid year vacancies are going to be bigger than usual this year and flexibility and being able to pivot quickly and suddenly is going to b a more important factor this recruiting season. There are still a lot of unknowns and its still early. ITs who got caught on the outside cant afford to lose out on a job again when whatever they are doing now is stable.

Helen Back
Posts: 227
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:16 pm

Re: COVID, 21/22 Job Season & You?

Post by Helen Back »

sciteach wrote:
"Many people lost their jobs due to less students, many people could not get to their job, borders were closed, etc."

There is nothing past tense about this. It is still very much ongoing. I am still stuck in one country, trying to get to my new school in another country. I can think of three others doing the same.

PsyGuy
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Location: Northern Europe

Comment

Post by PsyGuy »

Agree, the pandemic is still very much a challenge and a barrier for many ISs and ITs, speaking of it in past tense isnt appropriate at this point.

jboeh2
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 8:52 pm

Re: COVID, 21/22 Job Season & You?

Post by jboeh2 »

I was under the impression our school was doing well (we are in Asia). It's established and the numbers seems to be holding. Apparently, the outlook for the next academic year is quite glim. I, together with about 7 other teachers, were just told they cannot renew out contracts due to low numbers. Classes are going to join together, and my role as a Special Ed teacher was seen as a "luxury." We also had planned to stay put at our school, yet that is not an option anymore. It's challenging, as I have my wife and two kids to think about. We are hoping to go closer to family in Europe, yet there is no guarantee on jobs. I'm a bit nervous, as this isn't a good time to be looking.

mysharona
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:25 am

Re: COVID, 21/22 Job Season & You?

Post by mysharona »

My wife and I are of the age when you start seriously thinking about pulling the plug and calling it a career. Well the past 8 months have made us reconsider the plans we had at the end of 2019 and we are retiring. The past 8 months, and specifically the past 2 months, have made us realize there is more to life than working overseas. We have pulled our SA applications and are looking forward to exploring our corner of North America.

MyLifeOverseas
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:06 am

Re: COVID, 21/22 Job Season & You?

Post by MyLifeOverseas »

mysharona wrote:
> My wife and I are of the age when you start seriously thinking about
> pulling the plug and calling it a career. Well the past 8 months have
> made us reconsider the plans we had at the end of 2019 and we are retiring.
> The past 8 months, and specifically the past 2 months, have made us
> realize there is more to life than working overseas. We have pulled our
> SA applications and are looking forward to exploring our corner of North
> America.

Similar situation to mySharona, my husband and I have also taken a "Covid life detour" we call it, whether or not it is retirement for good is our unknown, but for now we are certainly taking our own sabbatical. After working overseas for 25 years, which has been an incredible professional experience and fabulous life adventure, we are "nesting" for now back in Canada. This pandemic will affect us all for a few more years we believe and we foresee that it might further affect int'l schools in the next year with the economic downtown worldwide. We are enjoying being back on home turf reconnecting with family and spending time with our last aging parent. We thought we might have stayed overseas 5 more years, but this pandemic completely had us rethinking our priorities.

sciteach
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:49 am

Re: COVID, 21/22 Job Season & You?

Post by sciteach »

For me - it's been a strange one. I decided to take a years breather at home in January after living overseas for a long time at the end of the 19/20 school year. Then covid hit which has been both a blessing and a curse.

It's a blessing as no-one will ask "what did you do in 20/21" due to covid, but a curse due to the ramifications of what covid will do to international business and families moving overseas.

This is my own opinion - but I think that expat student numbers will tumble as families relocate home or complete their work virtually with time. Governments are spending significant amounts of money supporting their citizens while tax receipts take a dive. Many countries in Asia may not open up to travel to Europe and the Americas in the medium term which will help cause a further positive feedback loop with student numbers.

Schools with a strong reputation in major centres such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong probably won't be as affected as they can take students from schools with a weaker reputation. This was already happening at my previous school in asia. Schools that serve a majority local population will be the safest, but it will be a mixed bag due to politics and financial need.

I've heard rumblings of some schools in China having no luck getting any people interested in positions due to politics and closed borders. I've also heard stories of some of the better schools in China having many in-China staff wanting to move up the ladder and competition has been fierce.

Politics will be tricky - with some people not wanting to move to China for politics and potentially more unrest in the middle east as economic production follows the price of oil (down). But then again - some people come from countries which do not have many jobs and may not be financially stable have little choice.

I guess all I can say is expect the unexpected and 45+ Chinese schools attending the first SA fair gives us an indication of the current job market for 21/22....

PsyGuy
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Discussion

Post by PsyGuy »

Elite tier ISs can weather the drop in global business. It will create spaces/seats 1st and second tier students to move into.
First tier ISs will suffer but they can pivot and absorb local students.
Second tier ISs will suffer the most as their student populations will tumble the most.
Upper third tier ISs are somewhat unknown, it depends how they pivot or what direction they go.
Lower third tier ISs will prosper, those local host national students have to go back to classrooms and out of the home.

More of an issue than locations, borders and local politics is remote and even more so hybrid teaching models. ITs want their classroom and to leave their apartments/flats. Zoom classrooms and having to stay home dont cut it. Remote learning takes just as much time and resources as F2F teaching (hybrid takes more) and ISs want to pay less coin and reduce benefits for what amounts to as more work.

SA has had a not insignificant portion of ISs from China, but these are elevated numbers.

jboeh2
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 8:52 pm

Re: COVID, 21/22 Job Season & You?

Post by jboeh2 »

a slight change of subject.. but, wanted thoughts on this. My school doesn't have my position for next year. One of the many positions that was cut. Would you recommend I tell potential employers of the circumstances, or should I request my administration to say it was my choice? (another teacher at my school told me this is what they did.

PsyGuy
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@jboeh2

Its probably a wash either way (sympathy vs. saving face) and why go through the work and effort of creating a narrative for it when there is nothing wrong with what happened.

jboeh2
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 8:52 pm

Re: COVID, 21/22 Job Season & You?

Post by jboeh2 »

@PsyGuy, Thanks. Yeah, I'm leaning towards the honest truth :)

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