One way to circumvent major issues from occurring is to use a private recruiting agency to help you find a reputable school to work for. In most cases teachers are protected by these agencies from the more disreputable schools, as the recruitment agency will seek out employment opportunities that will succeed both for the school and for the teacher. I’m not talking about the huge recruiting fairs, but rather an agency that takes on a particular teacher and then finds them a position, much like headhunters do with corporate executives. There have been, however, cases I know of where teachers have had to break contract, even given agency recruitment support. Broken promises, in terms of job description in particular, have caused havoc for many teachers and are difficult for teachers to defend against with the recruitment agency. When a teacher breaks contract, the agency does not always support the decision to do so; the result is that the agency will penalize the teacher financially and may even black-ball the teacher both within their own organization and with other recruitment agencies as well, making employment next to impossible to find after a bad situation.
Whether a teacher uses a recruitment agency or not, it is best to research prospective schools. International Schools Review offers teachers the opportunity to view up-to-date School Reviews, read teacher comments about schools in the Forum, follow major problematic cases in columns such as my own, and request information directly about a school from other site users.
A teacher can further guard against disingenuous schools by requiring the school to give them a contact list of current teachers so that questions can be asked in advance. An excellent fact-finding procedure is contacting international corporate businesses located in the area for their take on the most reputable schools. Large corporations, such as oilfield companies, have to provide information about schooling options for children to their employees, so someone in the organization will know where most employees have chosen to place their kids. An embassy may also be of assistance if they have red-flagged an organization, but this is the least productive method of research.