Covid19’s Impact on International Teaching Jobs

Schools are closed in 50+ countries around the world (IsC Research). Most of those are moving to online learning. What will be Covid19’s short term impact on international teaching jobs? Should teachers continue to seek out new teaching opportunities in 2020?

Should teachers start or continue with their search for international teaching jobs post Coronavirus? What regions and countries should teachers target for new jobs? And, will there even be any international teaching jobs offered this year? The short answer is yes, there will be plenty new of international teaching jobs in 2020.

The Good News:

There is some encouraging news if you are exploring new international teaching jobs in 2020.

Timing:

Most schools continue recruiting for international teaching jobs that are due to start in July or August 2020. Some are already looking ahead to January 2021. Hopefully, in the months between now and then, international business, education and government work will resume. International schools continue to plan for their staffing needs later this year. They anticipate that teachers recruited today, and over the next few weeks, will be able to join their new schools in time for the start of next semester / term.

Demand for tech savvy teachers:

It’s never been more clear that international schools need to hire flexible and adaptable teachers. The mass migration to online learning has been a shock to students, teachers, parents and administrations alike. Moving Forward, a willingness to learn and adapt to online learning applications is a skill international schools will focus on more. We foresee an immediate increase in the demand for international teaching jobs in ICT / Computers.

Teachers, no matter the subject, who can demonstrate a high level of computer competency will continue to be highly sought. More than ever, schools will focus their interview questions on how the candidate adapted to online teaching. Teachers should expect interview questions that relate directly to the new skills and applications they mastered during the Covid19 pandemic.

Growing demand for recent graduates:

It’s been our experience at Byron Recruitment that younger, recent B.Ed or PGCE graduates have, on average, been able to adjust more easily to the new world of online teaching. The feedback from administrators and teachers themselves illustrates this. Educators who have grown up in the social media age seem ‘more at home’ using video and chat applications. They tend to be more comfortable using peer sharing software. The ‘netiquette’ that goes along with using online communication tools is second nature to younger teachers.

We forecast that there will be an increase in roles for newly qualified teachers. Schools will come to recognize that teachers, recently out of university, have the awareness and understanding needed to work effectively with the ‘new tools for 21st Century teaching’. They have more to offer schools than previously recognized. We are seeing teachers with one or two years of classroom experience taking a lead in this transition online. Today, they are the ones providing support and encouragement to their peers with 20+ years experience.

The Bad News:

The uncertainty facing school administrators around the world has resulted in a hiring freeze by most of our client’s for future international teaching jobs. While recruiting efforts continue, formal offers and contracts are on hold. It’s common for teachers to sit in limbo waiting for official contracts and visas to be issued.

Schools have lots of questions but few answers at the moment. How many teachers on staff will suddenly decide not to return to work once classes resume? Will teachers decide that they are no longer comfortable leaving their homes for a job in a far off country?

With most government offices closed, visa requests by schools are not being processed and it’s unclear when they will start up again. When they eventually do resume processing requests, will the backlog result in longer wait times than normal? Will teachers receive their visas in time to take up employment with schools at the start of the semester?

What will student enrollment numbers look like and how will that impact the number of international teaching jobs available? While interviews continue and school administrators continue to line up great teachers, there remains much uncertainty on both sides.

Recommendations for teachers:

Apply Now:

There is no harm in continuing your search for that dream job. Most of us are stuck at home 24/7 these days so why not use the time productively? Work on your teaching CV and practice your interviewing skills. Set yourself a goal of working 30 to 60 minutes per day on finding a new teaching job.

Stay engaged:

Maintain communication with schools that show interest in you and seem keen to hire you. Be mindful that they may be unable to move forward with an actual offer due to the uncertainty of the moment. While you may not like the current situation, be sure you demonstrate understanding, flexibility and patience at all times. Continue to articulate you interest and keep your application top of mind with regular communication and engagement.

Be ready:

As a first step have all the necessary documents for a visa application ready to go. When contracts and visa processing resumes, ensure that none of the delays are originating at your end. Send all documents off in the format requested and in a timely manner. Use the time you have now to ensure all your documents are in order.

Make a plan:

Prepare as much as possible in advance. Moving to a new country requires lots of organization and planning. Make lists and an action plan for when you are ready to leave. Now more than ever the time, between receiving the official confirmation and actually leaving for your job, will be tight. Organize as much as possible ahead of time.

If you are interested in exploring our international teaching jobs please visit our website. Use a key word search to find your dream job.

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