International Schools Review
Teachers Keeping Each Other Informed

Advice Needed - 3-Year Transition to International Schools

Advice Needed - 3-Year Transition to International Schools

Postby SparkleMotion » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:05 am

My husband and I have talked about and looked into teaching overseas for years but one thing or another has come up. A few years ago we'd planned on going to China to teach ESL in language schools / training centers but ended up having our daughter here in the states instead! We are now expecting baby #2 and have realized the importance of teaching overseas to our family.

That being said - we also now realize that it would be much more lucrative and suitable for a family of four for the two of us to leave our careers in Florida and teach in international schools. We are putting the gears in motion to leave in Fall 2022 and are hoping to get some advice.

At present:

Husband: American, mid-30's. Undergrad in Mathematics. Career in infrastructure / domestic distribution.
Wife: American, early 30's. Undergrad in Health, Graduate degree in Communications ,CELTA Pass A. Career in international business.
Kids: 1 year old and baby due this summer.
We plan on getting our act together over the course of the next three and a half years to leave teach in Fall 2022.

Fall 2022 Plan:

Husband: Undergrad in Math, one year of teaching experience, licensed to teach Math 6-12. Capable of teaching Calculus.
Wife: Undergrad, CELTA Pass A, M.S. Communications, M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction (with Specialization in TESOL), two (possibly three) years of teaching experience (English 5-9), licensed to teach TESOL K-12, English 5-9 and Health.
Kids: 4 years old and 3 years old, both attending international school on tuition waiver.

We’re open to locations but are looking mostly at Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and Vietnam.

Is this realistic? If he absolutely needs 2 years of experience to make this move viable, then we need to rework our plan. I’m concerned that without the two years of experience that we will not be able to be represented by ISS or Search Associates. Some concerns with the experience requirements -

1. Will husband only having 1 year of teaching experience prohibit him from teaching?
2. Since his teaching experience and license will not be acquired until the end of the 2022 school year, he'd have to go to recruiting events with no experience and no license yet.
3. I would only have one year of experience, M.Ed. and a license at Fall 2021 recruiting events. Worried about the timing of recruiting events and the status we will have when schools are making their decisions.
4. We are hoping that his subject area (Math) will lend some leniency on the part of the schools. Is this correct thinking or are the 2 years absolutely necessary?
5. I don’t plan on marketing the TESOL aspect of my M.Ed. I understand that TESOL is highly competitive and that I’ll be better off putting just the “M.Ed Curriculum and Instruction” portion on my resume. I plan to get a position in a Middle School teaching 6th or 7th grade for the next three years. Does this sound like the best approach?

I understand that it’s customary to sometimes teach a contract at one school as a “stepping stone” to better opportunities, but I’d like to keep those leaps to a minimum. It’s important that we are able to secure good positions at good schools - not just for reputation and career path planning, but so our children are able to get tuition waivers at good international schools in 2022 and beyond. (I’ve been warned elsewhere that some “Tier 2” opportunities may not have adequate education for our children and could result in our kids having to repeat grades.)

If anyone wants to provide feedback or better routes they see from our point A to point B, I would really appreciate your help. Also, if permissible by the rules, if you have certain schools or regions we should research that may be a good fit for us, those would be welcomed as well!
SparkleMotion
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:58 am

Re: Advice Needed - 3-Year Transition to International Schoo

Postby shadowjack » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:19 pm

If you're going to initially limit your geographic areas, don't count on getting to a really good school. And often schools won't hire from other schools in the same city/country, although there are always exceptions, as there are to the first point.

Here's my advice. Go anywhere. With your kids being so young, you are not going to go to one school and stay there 12 years, especially your first school. Go for challenges and experience, go for growth opportunities so that after being there 3 or 4 years, you have added value and experience for your next school.

If you try to cherry pick, you might end up with nothing (although being in the US, it is not a big deal because you both still have jobs). But my advice is just get out there when your kids are young and don't worry about the school as much as you seem to be worrying about it now.
shadowjack
 
Posts: 1859
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Advice Needed - 3-Year Transition to International Schoo

Postby SparkleMotion » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:35 pm

As I said in my post, we’re very open to locations. We’re trying to put ourselves in the best position and determine if we need an additional year in the US to do so. We’re also leaving very lucrative careers in the US, so for my husband’s morale (not mine - I’m not picky and I’ve taught abroad before) I am trying to make this as easy of a transition for him as I can.
SparkleMotion
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:58 am

Re: Advice Needed - 3-Year Transition to International Schoo

Postby monkeycat » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:52 pm

In my experience, most of my friends in IT started their careers in schools they would not want to send their kids to long term. But your kids are pretty little so if you want to work at a lower tier school for a couple years it might not be as big a deal. It's always possible you'd get a good school right off the bat, but it wouldn't be easy. Best of luck.
monkeycat
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:52 pm

Re: Advice Needed - 3-Year Transition to International Schoo

Postby SparkleMotion » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:38 pm

Thank you for your honest and helpful feedback. You’re right - I’m sure preschool won’t make or break them it just can’t be a terrible school for them. Hopefully it all works out.
SparkleMotion
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:58 am

Re: Advice Needed - 3-Year Transition to International Schoo

Postby sid » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:56 pm

Your big question seems to be whether you can hop right from the US to quality, high-paying schools abroad. Doubtful. With a family of four and less than the expected two years minimum of experience, you’re an expensive and low-reward family to hire. For the good positions, you’ll be facing serious competition- teachers with much more experience, International experience, and with less expensive families. Math is a decent subject area, so that’s a plus, but good schools want more experience. Two years is just the gateway to applying- it’s a bare minimum, not a desirable amount. English is oversubscribed, but your EAL work is worth mentioning as it should make you a better teacher for the ELL you’ll have in your classroom.
You can try to proceed on this timeline, but be ready to walk away and keep working in the US if you don’t get any offers that will actually match your goals. More experience will help.
sid
 
Posts: 1075
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Advice Needed - 3-Year Transition to International Schoo

Postby wrldtrvlr123 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:42 am

sid wrote:
> Your big question seems to be whether you can hop right from the US to quality, high-paying
> schools abroad. Doubtful. With a family of four and less than the expected two years
> minimum of experience, you’re an expensive and low-reward family to hire. For the
> good positions, you’ll be facing serious competition- teachers with much more experience,
> International experience, and with less expensive families. Math is a decent subject
> area, so that’s a plus, but good schools want more experience. Two years is just
> the gateway to applying- it’s a bare minimum, not a desirable amount. English is
> oversubscribed, but your EAL work is worth mentioning as it should make you a better
> teacher for the ELL you’ll have in your classroom.
> You can try to proceed on this timeline, but be ready to walk away and keep working
> in the US if you don’t get any offers that will actually match your goals. More
> experience will help.
=================================
I agree. The lack of experience will be an obstacle, how significant is difficult for anyone to predict. Proceed with your ideal plan but be ready to reconsider along the way if you feel you would be paying a little too much dues with the schools that are interested and/or you feel it is not the right situation for you and the family.

Also, be aware that some countries "require" two years of experience for visa purposes (although there are exceptions and schools can and do find ways around it in many cases).
wrldtrvlr123
 
Posts: 1149
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:59 am
Location: Japan

Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:38 pm

:pointing toward the horizon::

So essentially youre entry class ITs with a family who want to jump to the 1st tier?
You and everyone else, the line for that starts way back there....

In reply to your inquiries:

0) No this isnt realistic. You didnt say it, but you said it, you want/need a first tier IS.
Vietnam has one 1st/Elite tier IS, maybe another one 1st tier IS.
Taiwan has 1 1st/Elite tier IS and another one 1st tier IS.
China has three 1st/Elite tier ISs and another six 1st tier ISs.
HK has three 1st/Elite tier ISs and another four 1st tier ISs. HK is also ranked second in Asia for desirability and competitiveness, and youd need one of those top tier ISs because a family of 4 thats going to need child care and EC/EY is very, very expensive.

With 1 year of experience adding a second year of experience isnt going to make it any more viable. Youre really expensive entry class ITs who want first tier. It happens, everything happens, but my coin is against you and thats a pretty safe bet.

The rep problem isnt an issue, generally SA treats couple ITs together so if one of you is eligible and your both ITs than both of you are eligible, even then there would be the option of registering your spouse as an intern class IT which still would get them access to the database and spouses dont have an issue accompanying other spouses to their fairs. I doubt youd get an invite to BKK or LON, and since you want 1st tier ISs thats the fair you want to go to. ISS probably wouldnt rep you.

1) It wont prohibit him from teaching, but hes an intern class IT, but hes also maths. The real determining factor is going to be how hot his maths scores are, so if he really can teach calculus getting an IB DIP 2 course at HL or barring that an AP calculus class and then crushing it is going to make a world of difference. Otherwise yeah hes a maths IT with an academic background in maths but 1st tier ISs dont struggle to fill vacancies, and theres going to be a healthy pile of applicants above his with more experience than an IT who is still making their bones and isnt so expensive.

2) Why is he waiting until 2022? What are you considering as his experience?
Generally, experience is counted in a KS/K12 environment post credentialing. If hes recruiting in January with the peak of the recruiting cycle he should still have .5 years experience. Typically field experience doesnt count unless its internship (as opposed to student teaching, or clinical teaching, or practicum). So what Im interpreting is that for 21/22 hes going to do some kind of post-bach program with an internship route and this experience he has is really field work? So he really has no experience, hes a noob.

So fixing this mess
(by the way, this is really academic at this point because its not going to happen, your an entry class ESOL IT with a trailing spouse and two kids, your spouse has the 'maths' tag but flashing a maths card isnt enough for first tier).
Spouse needs to apply for a UT teaching credential, he goes and takes the Maths PRAXIS before his EPP/ITT program so that he can spin the experience as post credentialing and so that when hes recruiting he at least has a credential.

3) So youre a noob too, what do you mean you will have 1 year experience in 2021? Youre assuming you will have teaching jobs and this experience? This is all starting to feel a lot more like wishful thinking on the back of a cocktail napkin. Your studying for this degree you havent finshed yet, do you have the credential, or is that also a future prediction?

So what this is sounding like is your a couple of noobs, who are in business who want to go exploring your intern class ITs who will just have finished your EPP/ITT programs you have some Masters degrees, one in education you havent completed and the spouse is has a 1st degree in maths, your a family of four and you want to jump to the top tier ISs? Do I have that right?

4) Math is in relatively high demand it gives you some additional marketability, the problem is your spouse has to be able to show that the one year of experience he killed it, considering you have no SLL curriculum experience, and absent verifiable demonstration of classroom success its just some really expensive intern class ITs saying they can do it, assuming they even get an interview to make that pitch. Most recruiters at top tier arent even going to see your resume with how lite it is.

The two years isnt the issue, he could have to years and it wouldnt change anything, 2 years is the cover to get into the room, its not going to get anyone excited, especially without SLL curriculum experience and scores.
He might be competent enough to teach calculus, thats not the issue that recruiters care about its can he show his students can learn calculus, can he transfer the knowledge.

5) You should absolutely market the ESOL aspect of your resume, as without SLL and curriculum experience and a very lite resume your more marketable as a ESOL IT who can handle students at the top of the continuum who are at or around grade level, and can explore English acquisition academically through the exploration of literature. ESOL students hit a really hard plateau once they move to academic English and language acquisition, they are behind for a general stream classroom because of deficiency in an aspect of the language but they are still near or at grade level to academically study literary works. Your EAL/Literature abilities are going to make you more marketable as an upper level ESOL IT than your ESOL abilities are going to make you a bottom of the scale EAL/Literature IT.

Yes all, this is true, but its not going to happen. I concur with @Sid and the prior contributors, your a high cost low reward candidate. A mediocre EY/EC program isnt going to ruin your children, though i can understand that with your current careers you would be losing significant quality in your childrens education in their early formative years. You can likely afford to send them to better DSs now than the ones you would be work at, which are very likely to be third tier ISs, and probably in the lower half of the third tier, actually more like the bottom.


First, start now, your timeline is bonkers, I get it your exiting corporate life but your resumes for IE are just too lite for the tier of ISs you want. I dont know and you dont say what your goals are, but one of you is going to ahve to complete an EPP/ITT program, get credentialed, get a job in edu and then spend 4 years (probably more for you) getting up to SLL, and then likely moving DSs until you get students at SLL that can get you decent exam scores. This isnt something you can do in a year and get to here you want to be.

Second, start now but be prepared to take whatever you can get anywhere you can get it so that you can build a resume. Your intern class ITs who are noobs, but you can get credentials quickly and then recruit still for this year, it wont be pretty, and it will be bottom tier ISs and likely in hardship regions but your kids are very young and in to-4 years you can present as a much more marketable teaching couple that 1st tir ISs will take a look at and it will still be early enough in primary years for your kids that their past education wont be a significant impact. The longer you wait the more likely your kids are going to have deficits that arent so easily made up, or your simply a logistical factor that makes you un-recruitible.

Third, you have amazing careers, have you looked into the ability of leveraging them internationally and doing the expat thing as business professionals. Then your respective companies can pay for the tuition/places at those tier 1 ISs as customers.

Fourth, you need to sit down and have a frank discussion on your motivations and then your expectations and most importantly your alternative plans if this doesnt work, because as youve planed it now its not going to happen. You need to decide what your priorities are and how long your willing to suffer to do them, otherwise this is likely to be little more than an expensive mini holiday.

The two years minimum for visa isnt a huge deal breaker, if an IS wants you its very likely they can get around it if they are talking to you. Aside from that you can plan now, get spouse the UT credential and then start tutoring at a library or something so that he can put that experience on his resume (or just say he did, the date of the credential issue, means he can put anything on his resume he wants too, immigration is going to rely on the application of the IS and assume they have vetted everything), which should be enough for visa purposes.
PsyGuy
 
Posts: 9238
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Re: Advice Needed - 3-Year Transition to International Schoo

Postby expatscot » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:34 pm

I think psyguy has pretty much summed everything up in his own, inimitable way...

Personally, I think you need to give it one more year in the US, at least until 2023. Then, you need to think about the schools which you are applying for - I get that you don't want your kids to go to the international equivalent of a "sink" school, but in early years / primary there is still time for the kids to develop and improve as you gain the key teaching experience. It's also often the case (particularly in an all-through school) that the focus of senior management is usually on the outcomes in secondary / high school (IGCSE/A level/IB grades, etc.) which means that either the teachers in early years / primary are actually more experimental than in secondary, or can actualy be lazier (my experience is the former, but I'm sure that the latter will apply somewhere.)

One thing which might be worth looking into is getting IB experience while you are teaching in the US. You mentioned that you're currently in Florida - I know that there are a number of high schools there which operate the IB Diploma rather than the traditional HS diploma. It might be worth looking into getting jobs there - if you moved abroad with only 2 years teaching experience but that 2 years was in an IB program, then you might be more marketable (especially your husband.)
expatscot
 
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:26 am

Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:35 am

@SparkleMotion

Spouse needs SLL experience more than anything and regardless of curriculum, though IB would be valuable, an IB DS isnt likely to hire an intern class IT to teach DIP. I would suggest doing your field experience at an IB DS if at all possible.
PsyGuy
 
Posts: 9238
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Re: Advice Needed - 3-Year Transition to International Schoo

Postby SparkleMotion » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:09 pm

expatscot wrote:
> I think psyguy has pretty much summed everything up in his own, inimitable
> way...
>
> Personally, I think you need to give it one more year in the US, at least
> until 2023. Then, you need to think about the schools which you are
> applying for - I get that you don't want your kids to go to the
> international equivalent of a "sink" school, but in early years /
> primary there is still time for the kids to develop and improve as you gain
> the key teaching experience. It's also often the case (particularly in an
> all-through school) that the focus of senior management is usually on the
> outcomes in secondary / high school (IGCSE/A level/IB grades, etc.) which
> means that either the teachers in early years / primary are actually more
> experimental than in secondary, or can actualy be lazier (my experience is
> the former, but I'm sure that the latter will apply somewhere.)
>
> One thing which might be worth looking into is getting IB experience while
> you are teaching in the US. You mentioned that you're currently in Florida
> - I know that there are a number of high schools there which operate the IB
> Diploma rather than the traditional HS diploma. It might be worth looking
> into getting jobs there - if you moved abroad with only 2 years teaching
> experience but that 2 years was in an IB program, then you might be more
> marketable (especially your husband.)

Yes, I agree. I do think we need to wait it out here and get more experience and I appreciate your feedback. I have considered the IB approach here and I think I may need to take a step
Back and get a position in 6-12 instead of 5-9 next year in the hopes of landing at a school with an IB program. We’re lucky in that the market we are in is not extremely competitive and there are several IB programs in our large district. We even had an IB middle school but the rumor is that the program there will be discontinued next year. I will definitely take your advice and look into the practicality of that route.

I spoke to my husband last night about the concerns with the less-than-desirable education for our own kids. You and others are right - it will essentially be their pre-k to 2nd grade education, max. They’ll gain more there than they would here, if even only culturally and linguistically, and I’m sure I’ll be able to monitor what they need supplementally at home to do well in future grades. (I was warned in another forum and it spooked me a bit that my kids might have to repeat grades. The main reason this change is so important for me is so they will have the best life and education possible - the way life is here equates mom and dad working 80 hour+ weeks as executives and the kids being raised by a nanny to attend sub-par private schools. ‘Murica.)
SparkleMotion
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:58 am

Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:04 pm

@SparkleMotion

The ISs you will be marketable too arent going to be better than the "sub-par private schools" available to you now. A couple years in early primary is one thing but your pathway forward is going to take considerably longer than just a couple years. Your looking at more like 6 years in total before your competitive for a first tier IS, and than your still a logistically expensive hire, and your resume is still going to be just one of indifferent and equally marketable resumes in a large pile. Thats lower secondary not the first couple of years of primary and EC/EY.
PsyGuy
 
Posts: 9238
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Re: Advice Needed - 3-Year Transition to International Schoo

Postby shadowjack » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:15 pm

PsyGuy - yes, but there are a lot of decent tier 2's around...
shadowjack
 
Posts: 1859
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Advice Needed - 3-Year Transition to International Schoo

Postby mysharona » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:40 pm

The question I have is, why wait to apply? Once each of you get your certification what is the benefit of not applying to international schools immediately? If a school isn't interested or can't hire you then they won't contact you, but if they are interested and can hire you then you end up with an interview and possible job. If you don't feel the school is good enough then you interview for the experience. I recognize there are cost to applying, both financial and emotional having paid them myself, but the sooner you apply out the sooner you will have the job you want.

For me you have already made the important decision and are ready to move overseas and I'm not convinced that there is any value to staying in the states if you can move overseas sooner rather than later. The unfortunate reality is that you can always be doing something to make yourself more marketable and some point you just have to take the leap.
mysharona
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:25 am

Re: Advice Needed - 3-Year Transition to International Schoo

Postby SparkleMotion » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:10 am

mysharona wrote:
> The question I have is, why wait to apply? Once each of you get your
> certification what is the benefit of not applying to international schools
> immediately? If a school isn't interested or can't hire you then they
> won't contact you, but if they are interested and can hire you then you end
> up with an interview and possible job. If you don't feel the school is
> good enough then you interview for the experience. I recognize there are
> cost to applying, both financial and emotional having paid them myself, but
> the sooner you apply out the sooner you will have the job you want.
>
> For me you have already made the important decision and are ready to move
> overseas and I'm not convinced that there is any value to staying in the
> states if you can move overseas sooner rather than later. The
> unfortunate reality is that you can always be doing something to make
> yourself more marketable and some point you just have to take the leap.

Yes - totally agree. The worst that can happen is we don’t find a good situation in 2021 and have to keep looking in 2022. I took another commentor’s advice and I have found a school that I think will be a good fit for me that has an IB program (Florida’s credentialing process is different than other states - I’ve passed all of the necessary exams to teach Health, Elementary, English 5-9, and TESOL K-12 and will be given a provisional certificate upon hire and convert it to a full professional cert within six months - we don’t have student teaching to do as some have implied). I’ve drafted my cover letter to them and tailored my resume for them - positioning myself to be a good candidate to start there next year. Thank you @expatscot for the constructive feedback!

I typed a much longer, detailed response but some of the negative comments here are misinformed. We are pretty flexible people so hopefully we are able to find something that ticks the boxes in that time. We’re not hoping to land in an elite school on day one but do want to approach this strategically to end up there in 6-8 years for the duration. As my husband says “we’ll make it work”. :)
SparkleMotion
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:58 am

Next

Return to Forum 1. From Questions About ISS & Search to Anything and Everything About International Teaching

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot], MSN [Bot] and 9 guests