Teaching overseas; “what have I got to lose?”

Published on 17th November, 2020 by Leisha Jones. Published in

Natalie is a teacher from New Zealand. TIC Recruitment recently helped her get an international teaching job in Saudi Arabia. We caught up with her to see how she is getting on teaching during a pandemic…

How did you feel starting the recruitment process?

Given the current circumstances, I was surprised to get an interview, especially as I was expecting most schools to have recruited by this point in the year.

In terms of the interview process, how different was an online interview?

I have done many online interviews, so I was very used to this process.

With online interviewing you just need to learn to be patient as technology can be frustrating. I also dress as if I was attending a face to face interview, and I always check my background in the camera and check the positioning of the camera to make sure it’s a good angle.

How did you feel meeting your future colleagues for the first time online?

I was greeted with such a warm welcome. Everyone made me feel at home!

I was given so much support from my school. As I started a few weeks after the teachers had already begun, it was a little overwhelming at first to get up to speed.
However, I am well into the swing of things now!

Have you travelled to Saudi? If no, have you done any online teaching?

I am still waiting on my visa, so I am teaching online from New Zealand. The students are required to be taught online until the end of the semester.

Learning how to teach online has definitely been a challenge, but again one that I am glad to tackle head on!

How was the visa process? Was this made more difficult due to the pandemic, in terms of rules and restrictions?

At the moment the pandemic hasn't affected the visa process, I only foresee flights being an issue as less direct flight options will be available.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge teaching during a pandemic?

Definitely adapting to the culture as it is a very different lifestyle. I did a lot of research before accepting the position and I spoke with single females in my position to hear their perspectives. Making an informed decision is always best.

Did you meet your students for the first time in person or online? What about your induction?

I met my students online and my induction was also online.

Everyone was great, the problem was me being able to keep up with all the different technology and apps we are using to give the students the best possible learning outcome.

Any advice that you think would help prospective international teachers?

Opportunities like this do not come around often! Go for it!

I always ask myself "what have I got to lose?". I would rather try something and find out it wasn't for me than to regret not having tried at all!

Finally, how was TIC Recruitment during the process?

TIC was amazing. My recruiter, Andrew communicated with me frequently and prepared me the best he could!
We even did a run through of possible questions to help with the initial interview.

If you were inspired by Natalie’s story, register with TIC Recruitment here for free. It’s quick and easy and gives you access to many international school jobs in reputable, accredited international schools, some that are not advertised anywhere else. Despite these uncertain times, TIC Recruitment are still recruiting and supporting many international teachers.

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Leisha Jones