Age is No Barrier


We would like to introduce you to John, a ‘retired’ teacher registered with us here at Compass. John has had an adventurous career, teaching Physics at schools in the UK, Tanzania, Peru and India before finally returning to the UK. John had registered with us back in 2014 and it wasn’t until early 2015, that we had a short-term vacancy at King’s College Madrid. The school were looking for a stand in Physicist to provide cover for the final two months of the academic year, never an easy task to find, even at the best of times. Whilst renovating a family home in France, John received a call from us with details of this opportunity and the following day he spoke with the Deputy Headmaster by telephone. With his house half painted and no time to return to the UK to pick up his suit, he travelled directly to Madrid for a face to face interview, tour of the school and a meeting with the Department. A week later John was in the classroom (this time wearing a suit and tie) teaching students at KS3, IGCSE and A-Level. After being such a hit with his students and fellow staff and a year later the school finding themselves in a similar situation, they requested his help again.


Now having completed two temporary assignments in Madrid, John was back in the UK with his wife only to receive a call from us a third time. Expecting to be making a third appearance in Madrid, John was intrigued to hear that he was wanted by the British School of Milan, looking to find short-term cover. Within a few weeks, John, accompanied this time by his wife, found himself in the city of Milan covering a terms’ timetable. With their flights and accommodation provided, how could they refuse. A pleasant and unexpected distraction and an opportunity to experience and explore a new city as well as keep a hand in his craft. John was in his element again.


The reason we are highlighting John’s experience is because teaching abroad is not just the preserve of young teachers. Yes, certain countries do impose age restrictions on overseas workers but at the same time there are plenty of opportunities both short and long-term to be had. John is just one of a number of ‘retired’ teachers registered with us who have been able to step in and help schools on a short-term basis. An opportunity to explore, experience, meet new people and continue exercising a profession without any long-term commitment, seems like just the ticket.


We often receive requests from international schools who like all schools find themselves without teachers through sickness, maternity, leave of absence, at all times of the year. The task of finding a qualified, experienced replacement, ready to relocate overseas at short notice is not a straight forward process and unlike schools in the UK, international schools do not have the same network of supply teachers living locally.


So, if upon reading this, having recently retired, feeling you have missed the boat on teaching abroad or wanting to return to the circuit, get in contact with us as you never know what door it will open next.

Posted on 17th April 2017

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