As resilient educators and students—and parents—all over the world have been getting on with the business of teaching and learning during this period of social distancing, we at Search Associates (SEARCH) continue to do what we do best: matching top teachers with the finest schools. Senior Associate Xiaohang Sumner, who launched the first Shanghai Virtual Fair this April 10–12, says,
With our network of schools and candidates in the center of our mind, the Shanghai Virtual Fair was a perfect example of how SEARCH approached the COVID-19 upheaval, by turning a crisis from danger to opportunity (the Chinese word for “crisis” has two characters: danger and opportunity). At a time when schools were closed and nobody could travel, representatives from 52 schools were eager to find new staff members among the 320 registered candidates.
Shanghai Virtual Fair catered to the many SEARCH member schools, experiencing significant growth in the greater China region, that needed to find quality teachers late in the season. The Shanghai Virtual Fair provided schools with a valuable opportunity to showcase themselves through online presentations and to meet candidates interested in working in China. Yancy Yu, Director of Human Resources, Beijing National Day School, had this to say:
My team and I liked the Virtual Fair [despite] a little bit of concern about the unfamiliar form. As this was the first virtual job fair, we think it was well organized and successful. Thank you very much again for you and your team. Search Associates is always the best support we can turn to for high-quality teachers and for professional suggestions.
In addition to offering prospects and guidance for participating schools, Search Associates emphasized our Personal Touch approach by providing around-the-clock guidance and support for our teacher candidates. Along with Xiaohang, China experts Dr. Barry Drake, Gez Hayden, Gary MacPhie, and Nick Kendell took turns to answer candidates’ queries about working in China. Our global team of Senior Associates were able to assist their candidates during the event from their home offices around the world. Candidate Isabelle Roulet said,
I enjoyed participating in the virtual fair. As my first job fair, it was a great learning experience: The interviewers were professional and well prepared; the interview questions were interesting and challenging.
Moving forward, Search Associates, feels more prepared than ever to serve international schools, teachers, and administrators. The COVID-19 crisis has prompted us to learn and grow, just as all our partners in education have done.