Articles – Teacher Shortage Letter to Recruiters2018-03-27T11:19:54+00:00

ISR Writes the Major Recruiters

“Please Review Teachers’ Comments and Send Us Your Solution to the International Teaching Candidate Shortage”

Recap of Events: A few weeks ago we collected posts to our forum and organized them on the ISR web site. These posts had one thread in common; they reflected teachers’ candid views on the current international teaching-candidate shortage.

In our newsletter which followed, we invited ISR readers to review the posts taken from the forum and send us their reaction. We were particularly interested in learning about what is causing the low number of candidates attending recruiting fairs. In response to our invitation, ISR readers sent a wealth of ideas explaining the lack of available candidates. Read their comments here.

With the comments posted on the site, we next invited teachers to review and respond to a survey asking for a solution to the dwindling candidate pool. Read their solutions here.

Finally, with all this information organized on the web site, we invited ISS, Search, TIE, AISH, COIS, and more, to review teachers’ comments and, if so motivated, share with the international teaching community their interpretation of the situation and any solution they may have in the works.

Below is the letter we emailed recruiters on May 28, 2008. We received a very positive response from recruiters on 6-3-2008

The Letter We Sent To Recruiters

Dear (name of company CEO),

As you may be aware, ISR recently asked international teachers to share their thoughts on the current international teaching-candidate shortage. We asked teachers to tell us what they perceived to be causing the shortage and how they would solve the situation. You can read teachers’ comments by clicking the following link which will take you to the “index” to teachers’ comments.

http://www.internationalschoolsreview.com/nonmembers/teacher-shortage-index.htm

As you review teachers’ comments, you will find that many international teachers feel part of the problem is due to international schools offering outdated salary and benefits packages. Teachers report it’s just no longer financially feasible to work for wages that would have been attractive ten years ago. Teachers also explain that the advent of “for profit” schools and the possibility of ethical foul play, in conjunction with poor employment packages, makes teaching at some international schools completely out of the question.

By contrast, “double dippers” (retired public school teachers) suggested they are uniquely qualified for the current realities surrounding overseas teaching. Essentially, the “Gray Ones” report they comprise a teaching force ready for adventure, but without the need to realize strong financial compensation or extensive health care benefits. These requirements are met by their retirement plans. Some countries do have age limitations on visas, but for countries without such regulations, hiring retired teachers can be a partial solution to the shortage of international teaching candidates.

Another suggestion brought to light appeared on the pages of TIE and focused on the formation of a task force to address the candidate shortage problem. It was asserted that educating the American public about international schools was one solution. The underlying thought being if only 1% of the 3.5 million American teachers were drawn to work in International schools, this would add 35,000 teachers to the availably pool. Getting out the word to these 3.5 million teachers would be accomplished by visiting universities, advertising in newspapers, TV, and even appearing on Oprah. We now understand that this task force has been formed and is comprised of Jane Larsson (former head of recruiting at ISS), various school heads and leaders of an assortment of organizations involved in teacher training and recruiting.

The question is, will the plan be to bring on a new crew for a new era in international teaching, or will it be to initiate an attempt to create more stringent standards for schools wishing to use Recruiter’s venues for teacher recruiting? 

A sample solution to the current shortage, which reflects comments displayed on the ISR web site, would be to require schools to offer a set level of salary and health benefits, in order to be invited to recruit at “Tier One” recruiting fairs. Schools recruiting at “Tier Two” fairs would have less rigorous standards to meet as would the “Tier Three” schools. Such a structure would attract the top candidates to the “Tier One” conferences while those newer to the field may also want to recruit for the “Tier Two” and even “Tier Three” positions.

Being closer to the problem than we, it was hoped you could shed some light on anything that may be in the works to solve the problem. We invite your comments and look forward to posting them for the international teaching community to view. internationalschoolsreview@gmail.com

We look forward to your comments,

Ben @ ISR

Index to Articles in Series
Response From Recruiters