• Salah Elbaba

Starting in January

Why January is not a great time to get a job in the Middle East



“I would like to start teaching overseas in January so that I can complete the school year”, this is something we hear regularly and particularly this time of year.

This makes complete sense from the point of view of the South African school calendar but not for the international school calendar.

Schools overseas start in September and have a 3-term calendar ending in July – so January is the start of the 2nd term and not the best time to start at a new school; there are only positions available for January start.

Here are some of the reasons why securing a position in January is a challenge:

  1. Teachers starting in January miss all the training and settling-in done with teachers that start in September; there is some training available, but you will need to hit the ground running.

  2. Teachers that start in January need to be aware that they will not get their full salary for the holiday months of July and August, this will be calculated pro-rata.

  3. If you have started in January, your end-of-service bonus will be calculated pro-rata once you complete your contract.

  4. Schools have very few positions available with a January start date as there is not much staff movement for them at this time.

  5. January vacancies are only sent to us late October/beginning November so if you are a departmental teacher (and bearing in mind our early Dec school closing date) it is very challenging to then provide the 3-month resignation period your current school will require.

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