Working For A Chain: International House
International House is one of the best known “chains” of English language schools throughout the world. Independent schools go through an affiliation process in order to take on the IH name – which means they must meet and maintain some set criteria. While this does mean that some of the conditions can vary, IH does have a reputation for providing solid support and development opportunities for its teachers; one seminar a week would not be uncommon. According to my source who will remain unnamed, even when the going gets rough and they need to, say, change the terms of the contract, they do their best to be fair to teachers.
You can apply online for any of the vacancies and interview for a position at ANY school at one of the IH interview centers – that’s right, that means if you want to work in Moscow but can’t go there just for an interview, you can interview in Budapest. Current IH teachers have access to the vacancy list approximately a month before the general public does (register to get that when it becomes available here) and are able to change schools via a transfer program.
IH schools frequently also run teacher training programs. This means a few things: a) experienced teachers and teacher trainers who lead those courses are around for advice and inspiration, b)you may have to share the meager number of computers with “Celtoids” who routinely jam the printer and desert, and c) you have the opportunity to experience un-stressed observation (by trainees who are there to learn from your performance) so that when you are observed by an Assistant Director of Studies it’s not such a big deal. In some cases, IH schools which offer teacher training courses may also hire their own trainees even though for “outside” teachers they require more experience.