The middle of February marked a major milestone in the return to a sense of normalcy in looking for an international teaching position. Myself and Tim Smith, VP Global Talent Strategy from our recruiting team attended the Search Associates London Fair, our first in-person fair in two years. I felt extremely lucky on the flight going from Phoenix, Arizona to London as it was smooth and actually landed an hour earlier than expected. However, the next day the weather took a turn for the worst as the UK was hit with their worst storm in the last 30 years. Watching the planes land almost sideways on TV all I could think was I hope they have enough airsickness bags on board.
As the fair started it was comforting to see schools and teachers from all over the world coming together to talk about their students and their teaching practices. The excitement was palpable as teachers discussed their best lessons and how they have overcome the challenges we have all faced over the last few years–and helped to reinvigorate the passion that people that have international teaching. We had the opportunity to talk with teachers who had taught in all corners of the globe, and schools from almost every continent. One thing that everyone had in common was in how they have seen the challenges of the last few years really helping them to focus on what really worked for the students and how now that things are returning to a closer sense of normalcy what new ideas and new approaches they are looking to implement in the coming years.
Highlights for me included hearing a Calculus teacher talking about how to get students to understand limits, an English teacher talk about developing an appreciation for poetry amongst their students, and an Elementary teacher talk about seeing the light come on in their students when they learned something new. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and I can’t wait to see that more as in-person fairs return.
At the end of the fair, teachers had received offers from schools across the world and they were anxious to begin the next step in their careers in new environments and locations. I know that the teachers and schools really appreciate the return of in-person fairs and getting a chance to meet more and more teachers in-person again is something that we have been anxiously awaiting as well.
We look forward to the continued return of in-person career fairs and cannot wait to continue to meet exceptional educators from around the world.
– Michael Hultquist is an International Recruiter with BASIS International Schools.
To say that the last two years have interrupted and changed the way we conduct our lives and go about our business is an obvious understatement. Aside from the fact that we care about students and want what is best for their growth and development, everything has changed: how we teach, how we engage students, how we need to discern students’ understanding without seeing facial expressions behind masks, how we connect with families, and how we define school community. The list goes on and on and on.
For the BASIS International Schools recruiting team, this has meant that we haven’t been able to meet interested candidates in person, visit our schools, or speak first-hand with prospective teachers about the many wonderful accomplishments our students see and the amazing support BASIS teachers have experienced despite these challenges. We had previously loved meeting with groups of teachers interested in knowing more about our unique growth opportunities, feeling the vibrant, excited energy of career fairs, and directly sharing the stories of our teachers’ experiences in all our international schools.
As the tide of COVID recedes and we see parts of life resembling memories we have from two years ago, in February we think we saw the leaf in the dove’s mouth: an in-person, international teacher career fair in London!
Hosted by Search Associates, the fair gave us a renewed excitement to be in London at the fair at the Hilton London Paddington Hotel. Most particularly we were excited to once again, speak with teachers face-to-face, feel the energy and excitement of teachers seeking a new career step abroad and experience teaching in a new part of the world.
I have to admit that despite years of frequent international travel, not traveling for a couple of years made me feel a bit like a rookie traveler again, but with the excitement of seeing the world, exploring something different and finding new learning moments daily, I felt like a tourist again. I loved it.
We saw the passion of so many teachers telling about their favorite lessons, why they chose teaching, and how they seek to connect with every student. I loved hearing one of the PE teachers talk about how he collaborates with teachers from other subjects and incorporates their subject content into his PE lessons. It was brilliant! I smiled as I watched the witty banter between a teaching couple answering for each other what the other actually enjoyed about their career as an educator, as they seemed to think the other’s answer wasn’t insightful enough. Great inter-personal dynamics!
My heart swelled with pride as I saw many raised eyebrows, nodding heads and smiling glances to other teachers as we presented insights on our growing network of schools, the expanding career opportunities teachers have found in middle management and beyond, our partnership with UC Berkeley to offer university courses to our high school students, the brilliant accomplishments our students have seen through their hard work, and of course the tremendous support they have received from our amazing faculty. I never get tired telling about so many great aspects of our schools.
While it is always a busy weekend attending the fairs, it was also energizing to share the wonderful things happening across our schools and seeing a common passion in other educators we met in London. We even took an afternoon to explore some of the sights nearby. You just have to when you again feel like a tourist, and more particularly when you love great historic sites!
We look forward to connecting with so many more of you throughout the world as global access reemerges and, hopefully, the world returns to more of what we knew and loved before.
– Tim Smith, VP Global Talent Strategy, BASIS Overseas Education Services
Visit our careers website for more information about teaching with BASIS International Schools.