An International School Job Fair in Three Posts

Four years ago I was getting ready to attend my first job fair in the international teaching world. I had high hopes for getting a job in Beirut but I was slowly opening my mind to the idea of going somewhere else if the opportunity presented itself.

Today, I am once again thinking about the prospects of finding a job at the same fair in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but I have no top choice of where I want to go. I am completely open to the possibilities and I’m just as excited/nervous.

I thought it would be interesting to look back at my posts from 2010 (from my old teaching blog) and how the job fair experience played out.

January 18, 2010 (Two weeks before the start of the fair)

So I am officially attending the job fair in February! I am nervous and excited all at the same time. Beirut is definitely where I want to go and there are two schools there that I can apply to (I applied today actually!). If I were to get either a classroom or ESL position at either of those schools I would take it in a heartbeat. I will also consider going to other countries and parts of the world but I will have to put a lot of consideration in to my decision to go anywhere else. I have a LOT to think about in the next two weeks!

February 4, 2010 (Day 1 of the job fair)

So, here I am on the bus to Boston for the international school fair. I’m full of anticipation for the coming days. I’ve been thinking seriously about working at an international school for more than five years and now it is so close to happening. I’ve read up on the job fairs and how they work and I’ve recounted the information to untold numbers of people over the years, and now here I am about to experience it for myself.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had time to research some of the schools a bit so that I have an idea of my options once I get to the fair. The second day of the fair there is a mad rush to schedule interviews with schools and you have to be strategic about who you interview with and when. If you have no idea which schools are going to be there it just makes the process that much more confusing. While looking at the schools that will be there I’ve managed to work up some excitement about schools not in the Middle East. Ecuador, Singapore, and Switzerland are just three places, for example, that have openings I could potentially interview for that sound exciting. Lebanon is still by far my first choice and I would take almost any teaching job to go there but I am starting to feel excited about other possibilities too. The tricky part will be deciding which of my back up ideas to choose if my first choice doesn’t come through. Then again, if I don’t find anything I like I can always stay in NYC. I have a job, an apartment, and I like my life. Β 

February 6, 2010 (Day 3 of the job fair)

You guys, I’m going to Beirut!

That’s right, I got the job! The one I wanted so badly. The one that last August I knew I wanted and just assumed I would apply to and get so I could go back to Lebanon. The one that later seemed SO impossible to get with all the candidates that were going to be at the fair. But it really did happen. I got the job in Beirut!

I’m going to be teaching middle school ESL/ELA. It’s going to be a HUGE change for me. I’m definitely going to miss the little ones but I think a change will do me good. The school year starts in September but I’ll probably try to get there sometime in August so I can enjoy a bit of the Lebanese summer before work starts.

I am so, so excited!

And that is how quickly it can all happen. I’m so excited for this year, but nervous at the same time. Last time I was lucky enough to get my first choice school, but this year may not be so easy. I don’t know where I really want to go, which is great because the possibilities are wide open, but a little more difficult because accepting an offer may require a lot of thought and soul-searching. Then there’s always the possibility that I won’t get any offer at the fair and will have to wait in anticipation in the coming weeks and months to see if something else comes through.

No matter what the case, it’s an exciting time and I can’t wait to see what happens!

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