What do international school Heads really look for when hiring?
Do you have what it takes to secure an international school job? Find out what Heads say they are looking for in new candidates.
As well as requiring full teaching qualifications, fluent English and some teaching experience, international schools look for many other qualities from their teachers. Here, Headteachers from some of the world’s leading international schools share the top qualities they look for when hiring:
Dr. John Moore with students from TBS Kathmandu
Dr. John Moore, The British School Kathmandu, Nepal
The British School Kathmandu is a small international school following the British curriculum.
John says he looks for teachers who are:
- Hardworking with a self-reflective approach
- Have a genuine interest in people and children
Have a social conscience, a love of social justice and want to make a
difference in the community
Don't already think they're excellent. “We want people who want to
improve and do better,” he says.
Ken Page from British Embassy School Ankara
Ken Page, British Embassy School Ankara, Turkey
Located in the Turkish capital, this international school has 200 students from nursery to Year 9 and uses the International Primary Curriculum to follow the National Curriculum of England.
Ken says he looks for teachers who are:
- Flexible enough to adapt to both the school, and living in a different environment
- Willing to muck in, get their hands dirty and do a bit of everything, whether or not it’s their area of expertise
- Good with people
- Make the best of the opportunities that are available in the city
Prepared to be part of the community. “The teachers who are unsuccessful
go home after school and shut themselves in their apartment,” he says.
Malcolm McKenzie, Head of School for Keystone Academy
Malcom McKenzie, Keystone Academy, China
Established in 2014, this large school provides a mixture of Chinese, American and international education to expatriate and local children.
Malcolm says he looks for teachers who are:
- Internationally minded, with a genuine interest in China
- Flexible and open-minded, with a robust sense of humour!
- Prepared to work with colleagues to establish a positive school culture
- Willing to participate in the school's boarding duties and offer high quality after-school activities
- Confident, respectful listeners who allow the focus to be on student learning
- Inspirational, interrogative thinkers and compassionate mentors
Mick Farley at Harrow International School, Bangkok
Mick Farley, Harrow International School Bangkok, Thailand
The first Harrow school established outside of the UK, Harrow Bangkok provides the British curriculum to over 1,500 students.
Mick says he looks for teachers who are:
- Highly qualified, with three years of successful teaching experience, preferably in good quality or challenging schools
- Have an adventurous spirit, with a positive attitude and sense of humour
- Enthusiastic and comfortable with the ethos of the school
- Willing to 'pitch in' and contribute to the wider school community
Teachers with families; their children will experience a world class
educational environment that will allow them to reach their potential
Eamonn Mullally, Headteacher at Edron Academy
Eamonn Mullally, Edron Academy, Mexico
This international school in the Mexican capital has been providing the British curriculum to students for over 50 years.
Eamonn says he looks for teachers who are:
- Highly qualified, with experience of teaching in the UK or other international schools
- Able to progress and have the potential to be even better teachers or leaders when they leave
Laurie McLellan, Director of Nanjing International School
Laurie McLellan, Nanjing International School, China
This international school was established in 1992 and has 690 students and teachers from 18 different countries. It follows the International Baccalaureate.
Laurie says he looks for teachers who are:
- A combination of experience, skill and personality. “Experience alone is not important if the other two qualities are missing,” he says.
- Good interpersonal skills with both children and adults
- An interesting person. “Not a 'cookie cutter' teacher; children want to know a teacher as a person with a personality,” he says