International Schools Review
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No international experience but lots of public school exp...

No international experience but lots of public school exp...

Postby OzIsMe » Tue May 14, 2019 12:28 pm

Good afternoon all,
Both my wife an I have been public school teachers in Virginia USA for in excess of ten years.
Myself in high school science (Chemistry, Biology, Earth Sci & AP Enviro), her in elementary (K through fourth, never taught fifth) with a reading/literacy specialist certification.
Both of us have Masters in Ed.
We have been biding our time until children are grown enough to travel more easily, we will also be waiting for just a few more years... Soon we will have two school aged children.

My question, does our lack of international experience (no IB, no experience outside of the US education system) damage our chances of picking up employment in competitive schools? Should we be required to start in the lower tiers of schools ?

Basically, how much does general educational classroom experience count against experience at actual international schools?

Thoughts and input on this would be helpful.

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Re: No international experience but lots of public school ex

Postby shadowjack » Tue May 14, 2019 1:15 pm

You will be good for middle/middle upper level schools. You have valuable certifications (too bad you can't teach math or physics! haha) and your wife is an easy fit for your hire as she is versatile and at primary, a non-specialist OR specialist as the need may be.
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Re: No international experience but lots of public school ex

Postby OzIsMe » Tue May 14, 2019 3:55 pm

The great thing about US teacher certifications is I can simply take and pass the required physics Praxis test and I will be able to teach physics here.
I have enough background to do this easily, I simply had no need or desire... Plus if you can teach something you tend to end up teaching it, whether you want to or not....
Good point though to ensure I get that sorted before too long, I will likely pass the test, update my licence but remain quiet in my building... Thus avoiding a fourth prep.
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Postby PsyGuy » Wed May 15, 2019 3:51 am

What do you mean by competitive? If you mean elite or first tier than Id say no. Your lack of IB experience is going to be a barrier for the second tier, but your marketable to a floater (high) third tier IS, and you could probably avoid a hardship location. Your need of two tuition/fee waivers/places is a further logistical issue, not insurmountable, but less attractive than a teaching couple without kids or a single IT. Below is the PASS to help you get a very rough estimate of your marketability score (it really works best when compared to an actual vacancy).

PASS (PsyGuy Applicant Scoring System):
1) 1 pt / 2 years Experience (Max 10 Years)
2) 1 pt - Advance Degree (Masters)
3) 1 pt - Cross Certified (Must be schedule-able)
4) 1 pt - Curriculum Experience (IB, AP, IGCSE)
5) 1pt - Logistical Hire (Single +.5 pt, Couple +1 pt)
6) .5 pt - Previous International School Experience (standard 2 year contract)
7) .5 pt - Leadership Experience/Role (+.25 HOD, +.5 Coordinator)
8) .5 pt - Extra Curricular (Must be schedule-able)
9) .25 pt - Special Populations (Must be qualified)
10) .25 pt - Special Skill Set (Must be documentable AND marketable)

1) INTERN ITs have a score around 0
2) ENTRY ITs have a score around 2
3) CAREER ITs have a score around 4
4) PROFESSIONAL ITs have a score around 6
5) MASTER ITs have a score around 8
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Re: No international experience but lots of public school ex

Postby Glerky » Wed May 15, 2019 7:28 am

Although I agree with Psyguy in many respects for IB schools if I were you I would target AP schools....


American School in Japan
American School Doha
American School Dubai
American School London
Singapore American... there are others.

That's where your experience and marketability are.

With a HS science background and with no timeline you may be able to get in to a top tier IB school later in the hiring cycle. Late vacancies happen and you may be a more desirable candidate after the main hiring is complete and the certified IB people have their jobs.

Again this depends on what you want... a one off adventure to explore the world or a career change. If you want to build to a resume to get into a top IB school then I would go the Psyguy route and start in a lower tier school.

If you do go the IB route I would be prepared to work and to work hard the first few years as new teachers can find it taxing as they learn the systems of the program.

Good luck in your search.
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Re: No international experience but lots of public school ex

Postby OzIsMe » Wed May 15, 2019 8:32 am

Thanks for the responses so far, it is really helpful to gain insight from people living the IT life. My wife and I plan on moving into international education for quite a while, so we will consider both the AP and IB approaches.

My use of the term competitive is simply a placeholder for a school that is not necessarily elite but comfortable enough for us to live modestly and save a bit, while providing opportunities to grow as teachers.

Re: PsyGuy's PASS scale this is an interesting item to consider. If I understand it properly both my wife and I would score reasonably high on that scale which is encouraging...

Thanks again,
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Postby PsyGuy » Wed May 15, 2019 12:00 pm


To clarify, I dont think your very marketable to second tier IB ISs, but there is a high concentration of IB ISs in the second tier. The first and elite tier ISs are typically ASs and BSs with the appropriate NC, though its not uncommon for those ISs to also have DIP as well, but the ethos, and majority of the curriculum is an NC. DIP is more an honors option for SLL. As such IB often bridges an ITs career between the third and the first tier. While its entirely reasonable to do so without IB experience, it generally takes longer, and you spend more time in the third tier. I completely agree that you should focus on ASs and those with a US NC, but I dont see you as being very competitive to the first and elite tier, not that you dont have the majority of what they are looking for (mainly high quality classroom experience), but because everyone else your competing with does as well, and you have some logistical factors (such as children), lack of IE experience, and lack of IB experience (it would be unusual for a first tier IS to have an IT that couldnt move between the US NC and IB), and while at SLL IB/AP/A* are all highly congruent, first tier ISs can be picky and they rarely have to make compromises.
The same for your spouse, theres nothing wrong with their experience, it fully counts, and the limitations of age/grade level arent really an issue (ITs in primary are typically hired for a specific role, not usually a we dont know yet scenario), but again lack of IB is going to make a PYP program in a tier 2 IS difficult, and youre not competitive for a first elite tier IS.
So for this scenario, youre either getting really lucky at an upper tier AS (which again should be your focus) or your looking at best a floater third tier IS, that might include the possibility of getting IB experience for your first contract.
I would also concur with @Glerky, that this all depends on what your goals are. Is this a short term sabbatical from your DE jobs, and you want to take the spouse and the kids on an international adventure for two years, than you should hold out for getting lucky. If your interests are more long term whether economical, or to get your children into a tuition free independent/private IS environment for their school age lives, than you should be applying to anything and everything thats not a deal breaker for you with an understanding that a floater third tier IS is probably your most marketable position that your resumes are going to find utility in, itht he secondary focus on acquiring IB experience, especially PYP for your spouse. You will find that after your first initial contract and you meet the IE experience requirement that your resume is more marketable, but until you get IB experience, that marketability is going to plateau.

Floater third tier and the upper third tier in general would allow you to meet all those goals as a "competitive" IS.

Most readers dont understand it very well, its value is comparing your utility against the tasking specifications for an actual vacancy. Many of the points, are very job specific, but yes your 10+ years experience and your advance degrees are standard, so if nothing else you have scores around 6 which makes you around professional class ITs, though you have some logistical challenges.
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Re: No international experience but lots of public school ex

Postby OzIsMe » Wed May 15, 2019 12:10 pm

Ah, good. That clarifies things mostly.

We will likely be planning a long term IT career change, and do have the possibility of picking up IB experience before we leave local schools (It is not particularly popular within our district amongst teachers). I will look to push for that if the chance comes up.

There is a lot for us to learn and consider before making a change this big, but It does feel good to at least have a sizable life change on the distant horizon.

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