- Make arrangements to meet employers and be interviewed at the NAIS Annual Conference which takes place in February/March. Check the NAIS site for time and venue.
- Review openings listed on Klingenstein Job Bank.
- Review openings posted on various state, regional and national association websites.
- Attend interviews.
- Negotiate job offers.
- Request official copies of your transcripts, certifications and degrees.
- Notify your network as soon as you accept a job.
- Send hand written thank you notes.
- If you are just beginning the process, now is the time to plan your job search.
- Assemble your portfolio if you teach the art and other practical subjects.
- Cast your net widely as you search for a job.
- Be flexible if you can with regard to location and salary expectations.
- Get unofficial copies of your transcripts, certifications and degrees.
- If still looking for a job, keep an eye out for unexpected openings. Filling a position just before school opens is always a tough proposition, made easier if your name happens to be on a list of approved, pre-qualified applicants.
- Scan the job openings.
- Use summer conferences...
1. Speak and teach a second language.
Teachers who speak French, Spanish and Mandarin are much in demand in any school. Add a degree and certifications in those subjects to your credentials and you will be a 'hot' property! Unlike public schools where language skills are necessary just to deal with a non-English speaking population, private schools offer academic courses in French, Spanish
and Mandarin language and literature. Many of these courses lead to AP level examinations. You will have the opportunity to use that honors degree work in foreign languages to your advantage.
2. Hold specialist certifications.
An ESL certificate or a reading specialist certificate will virtually guarantee you employment for life at many schools. Schools which enrol non-English speaking students frequently require those students to master English at a very high level in order to complete their academic course work with good grades. An ESL certified teacher is an integral part of the teaching strategy and an important element in a diverse community. A reading specialist can effectively remediate reading and comprehension skills allowing the language arts teachers to focus...
1. You won't get rich.
You knew that anyway. But be prepared for the reality that teachers don't make a lot of money overseas. Depending on the job location, you may get housing included. Most likely you will have to find housing yourself. You definitely will not have a lot of money for luxuries. Just the bare necessities. If you are not frugal or don't want to learn how to be frugal, you need to confront that issue before you sign up. Otherwise you will be miserable.
2. Be open minded.
Bulgaria is not the United States. and that, frankly, is part of its charm. You won't find the foods which you are accustomed to. They do things differently over there. That's the point. Try new things. Experiment. It's an adventure.
3. Third world countries do not have first world amenities.
The electricity may not be reliable. Cellphone service is usually fairly good...
Keep your network current
Think of all the people you meet in person or electronically every day. Keep email addresses for those colleagues and others whom you consider valuable in some way. Perhaps you admire a colleague for her leadership in a particular area such as laptop computing or Web 2.0. Leave a comment on her blog. Email her. You don't have to write an epistle. A few words of positive support and encouragement are all that is needed. Ask for help. It is impossible for anybody to have all the answers. Your colleagues are a wonderful resource. Keeping your network current allows you to utilize those resources fully.
Connect on ISED-L and ISEN
Blogging is one of the most effective ways for you to stay connected. Blogging is free. It's easy to do. Think of blogging as an electronic journal. Jot down your thoughts. No need to fuss about syntax or grammar. Blogging is free-form. Read other blogs. Leave comments for those bloggers. Create your own blog in a private school community...
A few private schools will go to the bother of securing a Permanent Resident Card for a key staff member such as a head of school. But those instances are few and far between. The situation is very much a 'catch 22' as the American Embassy in your home country will tell you that you need a job before you can apply for a work visa. On the other hand the school will tell you that it needs you to have a green card before it will consider you for employment.