10 Tips for non-white teachers seeking jobs in International Schools

Systematic racism will not disappear overnight, and non-white teachers will continue to face challenges getting positions deserving of their qualifications and experiences in the future. I have highlighted these issues in previous posts and promised that I’d try to offer a few tips for colleagues across the world who are seeking such roles despite the challenges:

  1. Try to secure a job in an international school in your own country. If you have experience working with Cambridge International or IB curriculum, you are more likely to be considered for a position in the international sector. Teachers of Maths and Sciences are in short supply in the industry so that opportunities may arise, especially in these subject areas.
  2. Study for an International PGCE or a US equivalent. Having an internationally recognized qualification will help make you more marketable. This may be prohibitively expensive in some developing countries so perhaps try to persuade your employer to contribute to the cost. You might have to promise to remain in their service for a few extra years, but you’ll have the necessary qualification.
  3. Get as much Cambridge or IB in-service training as possible.
  4. Apply selectively for positions where you meet the job description criteria and devote time to matching your qualifications and experiences to the school’s vision and mission. You may still face an uphill battle to be hired, and persistence is essential.
  5. Apply to second and third-tier international schools when seeking your first foreign position. If you are prepared to live in a more remote location, you can gain experience before looking for a similar role in a Tier One School.
  6. Promote yourself on LinkedIn. Write regular articles and make yourself known in the industry. Post to groups that pertain to the international sector. The quality of articles is far more critical than the quantity, of course!
  7. Seek advice from your countrymen and women already working in the sector or country where you aspire to work. Most teachers are happy to share their experiences and help out colleagues.
  8. Apply for advertised positions rather than submitting speculative applications.
  9. Think outside the box. Apply for jobs in countries that aren’t necessarily the most glamorous. There are lots of international schools outside of the Middle East and China.
  10. Don’t give up. It won’t be easy as the system is loaded against non-white teachers, but you are more likely to be successful if you are persistent.

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