Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday Mailbag

Hi Sarah and Chris,

(...edited)...What is the name of the program you teamed up with to find the teaching position in Turkey? How has it been working with them in selecting where you wanted to go, getting required documentation, etc? Have you found that teaching in Turkey is very different from teaching in Texas? Would you recommend this program to other teachers? Ok, so that was lots of questions, but feel free to paraphrase. I am mostly asking for my mother, an elementary school teacher of almost 20 years who is about to retire and itching to travel. Thanks!


Dear Becca,

We would do anything possible to help get other teachers working abroad.  It has been a wonderful experience for both of us.

The name of the program we used is called ISS (International School Services) and they are one of 3 programs that international schools use to staff their programs.
Most schools do not hire from direct email contact, but it's not unheard of.  

The requirements for ISS state that you must be a credited teacher in your state or country, have at least 2 years of teaching experience and a bachelors degree.
After they review your application, you are accepted or denied access to the program, and then the fun begins.

Once accepted you can view all the open positions in all the international schools that use ISS to hire (which is all the quality schools you would want to teach in).

There are usually two state-side recruitment fairs, ours was in NY.  Here is where you gather with representatives from all the international schools, along with all the state-side candidates, and you interview and hopefully find a job.

Acceptance to ISS only allows you to be able to attend this recruitment conference, it does not guarantee you a job.

We found that in order to get an interview, most schools like to see some international experience in your background along with a masters degree along with experience in something called the PYP (which most state-side schools do not use).

It's no walk in the park. 

We had our list of top 5 schools we wanted to set-up interviews with, and it took us all of about 8 minutes to be denied even the chance to interview with any of them.

As fate would have it, we landed in Turkey and it is a great fit for us.

Once hired the school does all your paperwork for you.  You don't have to worry about a thing.

Teaching in Turkey is extremely different than teaching in the States.  But not because it's Turkey.
Although sometimes it's because it's Turkey.
But most international schools operate with the USA planning and curriculum in mind as they are generally IB schools, meaning their students can use their IB diploma to get into US Universities.
(It sounds confusing but it's really not) 

We would absolutely recommend this program to anyone wanting to teach abroad.
It's great because the legwork is done for you.
The schools and positions come to you.

We could go on, and will if your mom wants to write us directly.

By the way, two "real" pieces of birthday mail arrived today.  So exciting!!

Happy Mail day!

Sarah & Chris

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