Saturday, March 10, 2012

So how did this happen?

Nancy and I had long thought about teaching overseas.  Then last summer I was lucky enough to go to Taiwan to do some PowerSchool training for the Taipai American School. While I was there, I discussed teaching abroad with some of the teachers there. I came back and talked it over with Nancy and we agreed that if we didn't go for it now, who knew when we would have the energy or the chance to do so.  So we signed up for International School Services, starting looking at schools that were looking for a fourth grade teacher and librarian or tech integration specialist.

We arrived in Boston Friday evening for the Job fair which was to start on Monday. We had a great time exploring Boston, walking the freedom trail, and seeing the sites. Sunday morning we decided we had better make sure we knew how to get to the hotel where the job fair was being held.  When we got there, we saw that the headquarters room was open and that we could register. The folks working there explained that along one wall were folders for each of the school and along the other wall were the folders for each applicant. The way things worked was that candidates would put notes or interest and/or resume's into the folders of schools they were interested in and the schools would put notes into candidates folders.  They suggested we check our folders often. So Nancy asked one of the women working there for any advice and she said "yeah, quit sight-seeing and get to work". So we spent a few hours writing cover letters and dropping them with our resumes into school folders.

On Monday we arrived at the job fair in good time to start attending some of the presentation by the schools. Our understanding of the process was that the school did presentations on Monday, then on Tuesday morning there was mass "cattle call" interview sign-up session in a large ballroom at 8 am where all the schools were seated at tables around the room and candidates went from table to table to sign up for interviews. We attended the first presentation Monday morning then decided to check our folder to see if anyone was interested in us.  We found several notes from schools asking us to sign up to interview with them on Tuesday and one note from the American School of Bombay asking us to interview at 11:00 AM (it was now about 10:30) - with a phone number to call.  This was a little surprising, since we thought the interviews didn't start until Tuesday, but we called Fiona and agreed to meet her in the hotel room for the interview.

We knocked on the door to the room and Fiona opened it and introduced herself as the Middle School Principal. It was a little strange to interview as a couple, but more than a little strange to interview in a hotel room, but the interview went well and Fiona said she would like us to interview us again in the afternoon with the Superintendent. We liked what we heard about the school and about the jobs that we would be doing. We went back to sit in on a few more presentations from other schools with our heads twirling just a little.

When Craig met us he was very direct. He said that he was ready to hire Nancy, but he wanted to know why he should hire me.  So I told him. He seemed to believe me ;-)  He wanted us to decide by midnight so that he wouldn't have to sit through the cattle call.  When we told him we had more questions that we needed to ask, he invited us to dinner. We declined because we really needed to talk things over - and because we wanted to attend the Orientation session at 6 PM .

We met with them again at 9:30 PM and Craig extended our deadline to answer until 7:30 AM: The interview sign-up was to begin at 8:00.  On the subway back to our hotel late at night we talked things back and forth, talked some more at the hotel and then about 12:30 AM decided we just needed to do it. So we emailed Fiona and Craig and now we're heading to Mumbai.

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