The recruiting train for international teachers is proceeding full steam ahead. At this time of year, educators looking for new horizons are researching schools, sending out resumes, and interviewing via Skype. Administrators are seeking out the best candidates to fill the vacancies the departing teachers will leave behind.
Teachers at our school got an email a couple of weeks ago from the director reminding us of the December 1 deadline for our “letter of intent.” This is where we tell him what our plans are for next year: staying here or moving on.
The time between now and that deadline can be awkward. There are teachers who are leaving who don’t want colleagues or administrators to know quite yet. Some want to keep their options open as long as possible – they would like to go but only if they can find a better job. Or they are worried that colleagues or admin will treat them differently if they know they are jumping ship. Then there are people who are staying and who are dying to know who isn’t, maybe because they are coveting their assignment or apartment. Or, truth be told, because they don’t want to invest more friendship energy on someone who is on their way out.
I read a great blog post last year by an expat in China named Jerry Jones. I’ve seen it shared many times since then amongst international teachers. You can read it yourself (definitely recommended for expats), but the gist of it is that international work is a constantly revolving door. And while it’s hard to say goodbye, the newbies, stayers, and goers all have the opportunity to make powerful personal and professional connections.
We’ve made up our minds.