As many of you know, I'm currently looking for a new locale for the 2009/2010 academic year. I'm primarily looking for jobs as an English or ESL teacher in international schools.
Two months into my search, I now have notebooks full of information about schools, cities, cost of living, etc. This is what I've found to be essential information:
1) The school's profile on Search Associates, a company that brings together schools and candidates on the international education scene
2) Any reviews of the school on International Schools Review, looking for well-written balanced reviews and not just rants about this and that director the poster didn't get on with
3) The school's own website
4) Lonely Planet information about the city and country
5) Conversations in expatriate forums and teacher forums, such as Dave's ESL Cafe & Expat Exchange
6) Blogs from other expatriates living or teaching in the locality
I write down the name of the school and thoroughly go through steps 1 and 2. I highlight good information in green, such as "school has 90% North American staff" and bad information in red "school offers 3 month contracts." Then I look at the red and the green and decide if the school is
1) a green light - go ahead and check it out!
2) a yellow light - looks good, but there are some questions to ask and things to look out for
3) a red light - avoid this school/it's not a good fit for me
If the school is a green light then I go ahead and look up all the other relevant information.
So, armed with my trusty red, green and yellow highlighters, I've got some research to do. : )
To read more about how to become an international teacher, see here:
How to Start a Career as an International Teacher