Teacher recruitment for schools falls into two main categories namely: public and private. Public schools are operated by the government or church organizations. Private schools are run by a variety of organizations and are either for-profit or non-profit. They use a variety of curricula.
Knowing the various curricula that the different schools use is very important. This knowledge is also useful if applying to international schools. The shortlisting process usually requires teachers to have experience with the curriculum. However, some schools are willing to train after recruitment. You can prepare for the interview by researching the curriculum used. Below is a list of the most used curricula.
- The National curriculum: developed by each country’s education ministry. For example the Jamaican, Kenyan, Chinese national curricula and so on. For this reason, it generally isn’t taught outside the country.
- The American curriculum: each state mandates its own curriculum. But, some states use the Common Core for Language and Math. The elementary school covers Preschool to Grade 5 while Middle School covers Grade 6 to 8. High School has Grade 9 (or Freshmen), Grade 10 (or Sophomores), Grade 11 (or Juniors) and Grade 12 (or Seniors). Some of the private schools outside the United States use this curriculum. I started in the American public school system on a J1 visa.
- The British Curriculum is adopted by many private schools outside the United Kingdom. Primary school covers Key Stage 1 (Early Years and years 1-2) and Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6). Secondary school covers Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) and Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11). The final stage is for the Key Stage 5 and covers Years 12-13.
- The Canadian curriculum is similar to the American in that it differs based on the province. Each province has their own curriculum and educational ministry. International schools mainly use the: British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta or Nova Scotia-based curriculums. Here is a list of schools worldwide authorized to use the Canadian curriculum.
- International Baccalaureate (IB), has three levels. Primary Years Program (PYP) which generally covers Early Years (Preschool) to Grade 5. Middle Years Program (MYP) which covers Grade 6 to Grade 10. Finally, the Diploma Program (DP) covers Grades 11 and 12.
- The International Primary (IPC) is for students aged 3-11. While the International Middle School curriculum (IMYC) is for students aged 11-14. Both are similar to their IB equivalent but, IMYC leads to IGCSE for secondary school.
Teacher Recruitment Season
This happens year-round but is dependent on the needs of the school. Despite this, there are peak seasons. This is generally November to March with the late-season being from April to June. It is possible, however, to get last-minute positions in July/August.
The school year runs from August/September to June/July in the United States and the Caribbean. In Latin America, it runs from January/February until December.
Most of the teacher recruitment platforms listed below are free to enroll and apply. It is important to note that preparing for a work visa will have associated costs. However, some schools will reimburse a part of these costs. Also, most schools provide help with the relevant paperwork for you and your dependents.
Database of jobs spanning all educational levels from all over the Caribbean. They also post jobs in marketing, IT, sales, customer service and human resources to name a few.
Search the Ministry of Education/Official Government websites for the other Caribbean islands. They post their public school jobs there. Some examples are The Cayman Islands, The British Virgin Islands.
To take part in the teacher exchange program in the United States, you’ll need a sponsor company. You do not have to pay to register, but there are associated costs. The State Department designates academic and private sector entities to conduct exchange programs.
Below you will find the official sponsor list for the J1 Teacher Exchange Program. This program lasts 3-5 years. The main requirements are:
You are not a USA citizen or Green card holder
You have over two years of teaching experience.
And a Bachelor’s Degree in Education or your specific subject area.
Here are three of the main J1 sponsors that Jamaican teachers use.
Educational Partners International (EPI) is one of the major J1 sponsors. It is the company that I used when I started my international teaching journey. They sponsor teachers for K-12 placements in public, private, and charter schools. EPI focuses on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Florida. The company recruits teachers at all grade levels and in all subject areas.
Global Teaching Partners recruits teachers for high-demand subjects. These include K – 12 Math, Science, Elementary Education and World Languages. They offer K – 12 teaching positions primarily in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Participate, formerly known as VIF is another one of the major J1 sponsors. The company recruits for elementary, dual language, and world language programs. These include Spanish, Mandarin and French.
Find out which areas they recruit from your country.
American Internation Schools in the Americas is a paid (U$ 50) teacher recruitment platform. It serves Latin America and the Caribbean. It is important to note that all member schools use the American curriculum. You will be able to attend the ISS Atlanta job fair when you join this organization. This fair is one of many organized for teaching jobs worldwide.
The two websites listed below are ones I know that others have used. Recruitment for the United Kingdom is somewhat different from the others in this section. First, only certain subject areas will qualify for the visa, as it needs to be a shortage area. Like the J1 program, you will need a sponsor. The only difference is that the school provides your sponsorship certificate.
It is expensive to move to the UK to teach through this program. But, after five years, once you meet certain conditions, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.