You know some schools do it — and you already receive resumes from teachers overseas — but is the extra time and effort involved with recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and retaining international candidates even worth it?
If you believe in your school’s recruiting and training models — and your team’s ability to include new candidates in your school’s culture — we’d argue absolutely. Here’s why:
Talent and diversity. Hiring teachers from overseas opens a new pool of highly talented individuals, many of who come to the U.S. holding multiple degrees and have 5-10 years of experience teaching in their home (and other) countries.
Expertise and new perspectives. You may be able to source candidates with specific skills and experience such as International Baccalaureate, Bilingual Education, or the highly sought-after math and science subject areas.
Language fluency. Native speakers teaching your language courses is exactly what you want. And maybe you have even considered adding languages to your course offerings, such as Arabic or Mandarin. For anyone who has taken a foreign language course, you know that learning a language is more than grammar and vocabulary. Becoming proficient or fluent requires an understanding of the cultural context, the accent, and the dialects — and having a native speaker can help bring the language to life for your students.
Cultural ambassadors. Growing global citizens is a goal for many schools and parents. Creating the opportunity for students to interact with — and learn from — cultures beyond the U.S., on a daily basis, contributes directly to that effort by building intercultural competency skills and inspiring curiosity. Your school will be participating in public diplomacy showcasing American culture and what makes your community special and unique to the teachers and school children abroad.
Open hearts and minds. Exposure to the lives and perspectives of others helps build empathy which allows people to break through barriers, collaborate, and work together. Students will learn how to communicate across cultures when teachers set up activities with students in their home countries. They will find the similarities that bind us — and recognize the beautiful ways that make each of us unique.
New and innovative ideas. Research shows diverse teams succeed. And hosting teachers from abroad exposes your staff to new or less traditional methods and practices. Their presence may spur ideas, create energy, and bring new perspectives to your school.
Community-oriented service. Are you thinking about better ways to serve the community and your parents? Have you found yourself wishing to diversify your teaching staff? Adding a pool of international candidates to your recruitment can give you the extra boost you might be looking for to bring more teachers to the classroom that reflect your community and its needs. This could mean teachers that speak the languages of the community and understand their backgrounds — or perhaps it’s an effort to help balance gender representation in different subject areas.
There are a myriad of reasons to explore hiring international candidates for your open teaching positions. And while layering on the sponsorship process to your current hiring process may initially feel overwhelming, organizations like Cultural Vistas can take much of the work off your shoulders by sponsoring the visa, providing resources, and managing the immigration requirements for schools. All of this is done through the U.S. Department of State’s BridgeUSA program, where you can bring teachers to American schools under a cultural exchange.
Selected can assist you with finding strong, right-fit international candidates for your school. Simply make sure your school’s Selected account is open to connecting with international candidates, and then find out more about our partnership with Cultural Vistas, including how it works and what you need to get started.