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Speed Dating Schools February 4, 2012

subtitle: International School Job Fair experience Cambridge 2012 Part 1

I bet that title grabbed your attention! Speed dating? Speed dating schools? Is that some new thing that helps singles get dates? Wait, Kristine is married–why is she speed dating? Is she starting a speed dating school? Did your brain go through any of those questions?

So this post doesn’t really fall under the normal categories that I usually write about, but I think it’s a topic that could be of interest to educators, bloggers, or just people who are interested in something different.

Boy has this been different!

First I’m going to outline the interviewing process for international schools (from my limited experience). It is very different than the process I am familiar with in Ohio. International schools attend job fairs around the world and interview teachers and administrators for their openings. Most schools are represented by the Head of the School (think superintendent) and usually two principals. Those administrators are referred to as “recruiters”. The ‘recruitment’ cycle takes place from the beginning of January, is hot and heavy through February, and wraps up with a few in the spring.

During a job fair weekend, schools have the opportunity to meet and interview from a pre-screened pool of candidates for jobs. It allows them to interview candidates in person versus over Skype, when things get complicated by things like time zones, internet connections, etc.

Round one of the process is like speed dating (but on speed!). In a massive room, you have approximately 120 seconds to present yourself and your resume to the school and make the case for why they should grant you a lunch date-um–personal interview.

The lunch date/personal interview takes place in the school’s hotel room or suite. That sounds really creepy while writing it down, but it really makes sense when you are here and doesn’t come off as strange at all. It’s like the hotel room becomes their office for the weekend.

If you and the school hit it off on the lunch date, you might then move on to another date, but with an additional person on the date. On some occasions, the lunch date was such a success, marriage (or a job) might be proposed! I’ve been told that there have been instances of schools giving candidates 24 hours to make their decision so that the school still has the opportunity to interview other candidates if the first marriage proposal isn’t accepted.

I could have probably gone with a whole The Bachelor white rose thing, but speed dating seems like a better fit. That would have fit too.

So I’ve done a bunch of speed dating and had many great lunch dates with schools I was extremely impressed by. The mutual hunt continues tomorrow.

I wish I could “same time, same channel” like Batman would have, but I’m not that dedicated with my timing of the blog. So instead, “tune in next time”.

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