Teaching jobs overseas

Almost 200,000 teachers are now teaching abroad. Even more are heading that way thanks to the significant growth in the number of international school jobs.

According to ISC Research, an organization that tracks developments in the international schools market, in the last year over 500 new English-speaking international schools were opened across the globe. The most development happening in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Spain, and China, employing a total of 192,000 teachers.

The 2010–2011 recruitment for new teachers to international schools proved to be the biggest ever.

“Recruiters from most of the 5,000 international schools around the globe are looking for qualified teachers with good experience from English-speaking countries,” says Andrew Wigford, director of Teachers International Consultancy, an organization that specializes in the recruitment of teachers for international schools.

“Britain has a particularly good reputation for the skills of its teachers,” he says. “Not only is English the language of choice for international schools wherever they are located in the world, but the abilities of British teachers are particularly highly prized throughout the international school system. Once you’ve taught for a few years in the UK, you can literally get a job anywhere in the world.”

Many international schools not only offer competitive salaries and accommodation as part of the package, they can also be a fast-track to career development. But it isn’t just young, ambitious teachers who are taking up foreign posts.

“More and more teachers on sabbatical, supply work, and teachers taking early retirement in this country are grabbing the opportunity of traveling the world this way, as well as teaching couples with families,” says Andrew.

International schools are renowned for their small class sizes, excellent resources and exceptional facilities. Many of them follow standardized international programs, such as International Baccalaureate or the International Primary Curriculum. But many teachers simply don’t realize the opportunities available to them.

“Many teachers don’t know that there are short-term contracts, long-term supply opportunities and the chance to move on to another post in another country after two or three years,” says Andrew.

“We also find many teachers haven’t applied sooner because they were under the misunderstanding that they needed to speak a foreign language. That is not the case. It’s their teaching skills that are valued.”