Doing something wrong?

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turtleturtle
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:56 pm

Doing something wrong?

Post by turtleturtle »

Hello everyone!
I am a teacher working internationally abroad. This is my fifth year of teaching. I've taught the past three years at a small American international school, and another two at a Singaporean international school.

Throughout the past month or so I've applied for fifteen different positions using ISS-Schrole. So far, two of them rejected my application and three closed the positions. The rest I haven't had any response from.

I strongly prefer working with younger kids, so I'm only applying for K3-G2 positions. Still, the last time I was looking for a position I found my current one rather easily. It's a lower-tier school but that doesn't particularly bother me. So far I've applied for a mix of schools, including a new one opening next year.

Is this response rate normal? Or is it because I'm doing something wrong with my CV/Cover letter? I do have a trailing spouse - but would that affect the response rate this much?

Thames Pirate
Posts: 1088
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:06 am

Re: Doing something wrong?

Post by Thames Pirate »

Nothing is "wrong" (that we can see--obviously not knowing your details, CV, etc.) so much as that is just how things roll. There are people who send out three resumes and get their dream job and people who send out dozens or even hundreds before they find something. Just keep applying, be patient, and present yourself as best you can.

It's not abnormal. You'll be fine.

fine dude
Posts: 507
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:12 pm

Re: Doing something wrong?

Post by fine dude »

Respectfully disagree with TP. Explain what your spouse will do or intends to at the new location in your cover letter explicitly. Do a mock interview with a friend/spouse, film it, and evaluate how it went and make changes accordingly. Stop writing generic cover letters and edit CV to highlight your professional accomplishments in terms of test scores and extracurriculars. Also suggest to apply for more schools and be a bit more open minded about location. Schools in East Asia and W.Europe do hire teachers with trailing spouses. Look at schools in Budapest, Bucharest, China, Holland, and Belgium.

Thames Pirate
Posts: 1088
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:06 am

Re: Doing something wrong?

Post by Thames Pirate »

Oh, sure, do those things. It's good advice. I am just saying that, based solely on numbers and timing, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong per se. Obviously we don't know if you have or haven't done those things or similar.

Some recruiters read cover letters to find their top picks. Others never look at them. Some wait and do all their hiring at fairs. Others try to snap up teachers outside fairs. Some won't look at a teacher with a trailing spouse, others don't really look at your family situation. There is no telling, from the data given, if there is anything wrong with your application.

But of course fine dude is right--do everything you can to ensure that there isn't!

turtleturtle
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:56 pm

Re: Doing something wrong?

Post by turtleturtle »

Thank you both for responding and your helpful advice.

For the cover letter, I've changed it to be more specific to the school's job post. So I essentially wrote about what they want (project-based learning for example) and my experience with it. Is that correct? Or should it be more philosophical?

Would it be better to include details about my spouse in the cover letter, or just have a general letter from him in the documents section on my ISS profile?

At the moment I'm applying for schools in Asia and Europe. I'm not particularly interested in China though, and the savings in South America seemed low compared to my current job.

fine dude
Posts: 507
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:12 pm

Re: Doing something wrong?

Post by fine dude »

Share examples of your students' accomplishments with PBL and how they were inspired to do bigger things in higher grades. Of course, explain the rationale why PBL is better than stand and deliver in terms of deep and contextual learning and how it ties in with the future of education. Also, tell'em how you differentiated and enabled the struggling ones and second language learners to succeed.

Well, you could briefly mention how the school can make use of your spouse's skill set, teach art/foreign language/coach a sport/tech support etc. You could also have it in the documents section.

Thames Pirate
Posts: 1088
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:06 am

Re: Doing something wrong?

Post by Thames Pirate »

I think more specific cover letters are better than philosophical ones. Your philosophy will come through if you write it correctly. You should at least mention your spouse briefly to show you have considered this factor.

Verollas
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:27 am

Re: Doing something wrong?

Post by Verollas »

I completely agree with Thames Pirate!

Blackbird
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:59 pm

Re: Doing something wrong?

Post by Blackbird »

Agree that you should add a sentence or two to your cover letter to explain what your spouse will be doing. Write from the angle that he/she is flexible and adaptable, positive towards new experiences and cultures. Some trailing spouses are just 'misery on legs'. Try and align your cover letter to the schools mission and values, without copying and pasting wording! Focus specifically on the job description and person specifications. Highlight your extra curricular experience, sports in particular are very desirable in my experience. You never know if it will be read properly or not but it's all good prep for potential interviews. Keep trying and good luck!

turtleturtle
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:56 pm

Re: Doing something wrong?

Post by turtleturtle »

Thanks everyone for all the advice. I started applying directly and aligned my cover letter like a few of you suggested. It seemed to work - I've gotten three offers since January. Unfortunately, none of the offers were particularly better than where I'm at, so I declined them. At this point it seems really likely I will stay another year at my current school but that's better than moving countries for something that's really the same as I currently have.

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