Held in a single day, Saturday, 27 April, the Dubai April job fair was the perfect opportunity for schools and candidates to fill those late-in-the-season, overseas teaching positions. The global fair attracted diverse international schools—delivering British, American, and International Baccalaureate curricula—and a wide range of teachers in all subject areas and grade levels. Fair organizers Search Associates Bill and Alison Turner welcomed 60 candidates and recruiters from 16 schools in nine countries.
As former School Principals in Dubai, Alison and Bill feel a strong connection to the region and its international schools, so Bill was especially delighted with the venue:
…the fantastic Universal American School (UAS) in Festival City, Dubai, which sits conveniently next to three hotels, a huge shopping mall, the famous Dubai Creek, and 10 minutes’ drive from Dubai International Airport.
Candidates and schools alike appreciated the bonus of having experts in attendance. Search Associates Harry and Margaret Deelman as well as Dubai-based Principal Deidre Diaz provided support to all attendees. Author Maria Vitoratos—an expert in college counseling and career guidance—led a 30-minute session for candidates on how to promote themselves confidently in the Interview Arrangement Session. Also giving guidance was Louise Dawson, an ex-SENCO who now runs a Dubai-based business offering school and parent inclusion support.
School recruiters were grateful for this last chance to meet candidates in person this year. Terry Storer, Head of Al Sahwa School, Oman said,
In-person fairs allow both the candidates and schools to get a real sense of each other and come to a deeper conclusion about how strong the fit is between the two. . . [They] also throw up new, and often unexpected, opportunities both in the short term and with the longer-term networking they provide.
Head of Shenzhen Foreign Languages School Joe Strzempka says:
Connecting with candidates at in-person fairs gives both our school and the candidate a chance to get to know each other, forge relationships, and set expectations… Teaching and learning is ultimately about people and community, and SEARCH’s in-person fairs are irreplaceable ...
Candidates also found the in-person fair valuable. Julie Wickham had this to say:
This was my first fair, and I can't believe I have not attended them before. It was a great opportunity to make connections, meet recruiters, and learn more about different schools. Real life, human and inspiring!”
Veronica Gonzalez commented:
Attending in-person fairs are worth the time and money invested… Recruiters can get a better picture of your personality and really be able to picture you in the classroom and at their school. Even if you don’t walk away with a contract, you will have gained inspiration, connections, and new knowledge of other schools or countries!
Mersedeh Cerasoli was amazed at what one day at Dubai April Fair could do:
In just a few hours, I got to meet and talk to so many school principals and heads of school, find out valuable information about overseas placements, connect with other international candidates, know who my competitors were, practice my "elevator speech" on others, learn how to market myself better as a teacher, and make a few new friends!
The Turners look forward to seeing you at the 25-26 November 2023 Search Dubai Fair. For more about Search Associates’ 13 unique, annual fairs held worldwide, click here.