United States 2/23
The overall organization of this fair was extremely well done. I have experience in hosting events such as these for up to 1000 people and this event in Toronto was flawless. I understand the time and energy put into it to make it “work” for everyone… again well done. I found the availability of jobs to be quite good as I had to make a difficult choice of several schools to work at. I believe the size of the venue was great for candidates because of the “smaller size” of the event and the intimacy of having a personal 1 on 1 with schools – who were interested in you and you in them. SEARCH is amazing! I cannot believe what they/I accomplished in less than a month of being with them. I am a classroom educator for 24 years and the process SEARCH took me through was easy, organized and eventually well worth it. I had no difficulty with the WIFI. My wife was back in the states and I was making a decision that effected our lives for the next two years, we were IMing the entire weekend. I think the interview length was just right. I never felt rushed even if someone knocked on the door to state they were there. If more time was needed the schools always made time. As stated earlier I was offered several contracts so I didn’t find schools “shopping”. I would recommend this fair to anyone who is starting out for the first time (which was my case) because of the size and the dedication the staff behind the event. The only change I would recommend would be to have the school presentations not during the interview time, but on the other hand I don’t have a solution to fix that as time is at a premium. Thank you to all SEARCH staff in Toronto. You have made my life and career a wonderful adventure for the years to come.
I was very disappointed in this Recruitment Fair. The international schools were only interested in young teachers and did not even interview mature teachers. Many schools were not there (ie: Lebanon, most of the European countries) with an overwhelming representation from the Middle East who have age limits ie: past 30 years old, forget it!!! For the sum of $225.00 CDN, it was like throwing my money in the air. On Friday afternoon, many of us were there wandering around and wasting our time. The schools could have easily been there and could have started the process of arranging interviews earlier instead of the evening where everything was compressed and hurried. I will never attend another Search Associates Fair!!!
I found this fair to be very organized. There were a few school presentations which I expected to see which didn’t happen but otherwise I didn’t have any problems with the organization. I have never before attended an overseas recruiting fair and found this one an easy transition. There was plenty of support available from the senior Search Associates who were there and I was definitely thankful for their guidance and advice in choosing an offer. I think that the key is actually approaching them and talking to them about what you’re thinking and what options you have – I think there were definitely some people who were hesitant to do that. I found that the time allotted for signing up for interviews was sufficient, but I did find that most IB schools weren’t willing to even interview you unless you already had IB experience. The school recruiters I spoke to were excellent and seemed very keen on actually hiring rather than ‘shopping’. I was extended an offer from each of the 4 schools I interviewed with. I would definitely recommend this fair to other candidates.
United States 2/2
As a first time fair attendee with limited teaching experience and no experience teaching IB programs, I believe this was the perfect fair to get initiated into the way international recruitment works. I learned a lot about the types of schools I am interested in and willing to consider and I also learned what most recruiters are looking for when assessing applicants. At this particular fair there were about 45-50 schools attending. I would suggest to future fair first-times to be sure and arrive early with plenty of time to prepare and plan which schools you would like to set up interviews with. I also feel like the interviews towards the middle of the first day and the beginning of the second day had a distinct advantage over the very first interviews. Leaving the fair has left me lots to think about regarding revising my resume and letter of interest to schools as to what kind of information they are looking for. Ray Sparks and Dexter Lewis were both fantastic throughout the fair regarding their accessibility and honest advice. I am very glad I chose this fair as my first experience due to the smaller, more intimate setting and would highly recommend it for other young, open-minded, candidates with limited experience.
Overall organization of the fair was very good. Support from event sponsors was limited as usual as they are not the ones looking for a job. Ray Sparks was excellent at listening and trying to solve issues or to be helpful. The number of schools attending was low and not a great variety. There were a number of very experienced teachers that found age being a big issue and came away with nothing. Search should have supported these people more by having schools who had no age limits. They should know the people attending these fairs and try to have something for everyone. Having done the fair thing several times I am not sure it is worth the money and time. I thing searching the net would yield you the same contacts.