ANSWERS TO SOME OFTEN ASKED QUESTIONS CONCERNING EMPLOYMENT AT THE PAN AMERICAN SCHOOL OF PORTO ALEGRE (PAS POA)
1. What are the inclusive dates of the employment year, and when are applications for employment accepted?
The teachers' school year begins in late July with an orientation and concludes in late June. Most hiring for the following year begins in November and continues through February. Typically, PAS POA attends several international recruitment fairs including AASSA, UNI, Queens TORF and SEARCH). Applications are accepted throughout the year. While a face-to-face interview is not absolutely essential, it is very helpful. Phone and video interviews are also utilized.
2. What are the basic qualifications for employment at PAS POA?
All expatriate (international) teachers working at PAS POA must hold a BS, BA, or BEd in education in the area that they want to teach. A valid teaching certificate from one of the fifty states or, in the case from Canada or other country is preferred. Normally, we prefer a minimum of two years of professional experience and, all else being equal, an advanced degree. Both of these might be waived, however, when interviews, recommendations, or both indicate an unusually strong yet inexperienced candidate. NOTE: One year of actual classroom teaching experience is required to process the Brazilian work visa.
3. What is the expected length of stay?
The initial contract is for two years. Flights are provided at the beginning and end of the contract which and include a baggage allowance to and from the point of origin. The contract is, at the convenience of both parties, renewable. There are a series of bonuses for renewal of contract, including annual round trip plane fare to point of origin.
4. Can married couples, couples with children, or single parents with accompanying children be hired?
The answer to all three questions is a very qualified yes. We will hire couples, but only if both are qualified teachers who plan to work at PAS POA. It is virtually impossible for a non-teaching spouse to find employment in Brazil, and one salary may not enough to comfortably support a couple and provide savings. Couples with school age children will have nearly cost-free education provided for those children at the school. Couples with younger than school age children can find adequate and reasonable full time, live-in help or excellent day care programs in Porto Alegre. In the case of the single teacher parent, some outside source of income may be necessary.
5. Please tell me something about PAS POA and Brazil.
If you are looking for work at a school that values you as a true professional, and if you enjoy living in a diverse country that offers extensive travel opportunities from the pristine beach locations to the Amazonian rainforest, then look no further. Brazil has a wealth of culture and vast terrain to explore. PAS POA is privately owned and has approximately three hundred students, 70% of whom are host nationals. Students receive a U.S.-type education while also fulfilling the requirements of the Brazilian Ministry of Education. The school is fully accredited by AdvancED in the United States and is an authorized IB World School implementing the PYP and MYP programs. We further offer the AP Capstone Diploma. The academic program is challenging and fosters to create truly bilingual and international citizens.
PAS POA is located in the Southern city of Porto Alegre. The city was founded over 200 years ago, a large portion of its population emigrating from Europe in the late 19th and 20th centuries. This modern and vibrant city of 1.5 million people is home to several multi nationals and large Brazilian companies with international operations. Porto Alegre combines a small town feel and big city way of life to create a wonderful living and teaching experience.
A large portion of its population emigrated from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the residents offer a unique mix of cultures and beliefs giving the city a “European” feel. It has the reputation of being a most livable capital city in Brazil with less traffic and pollution and known for its green parks and tree-lined streets.
Porto Alegre, the tenth largest city in Brazil, has retained its sense of history and tradition while carefully blending in cosmopolitan progress. The capital of the "gauchos" or cowboys has a broad-based economy that places particular emphasis on agriculture and industry. The culture of this area is very different from other Brazilian states. There is a strong sense of pride amongst the gaucho community, who often consider themselves gauchos before Brazilians.
The Pan American School celebrated its 50th anniversary in June 2016. Throughout the last decade, PAS POA has maintained steady roll growth and has moved from a fledgling education provider to a successful and respected international institution.
IB - PYP and AP are established in the school. The professional staff of fulltime and part time members are highly trained, experienced and committed to quality education. Teachers are currently recruited from six different nationalities. In addition a dedicated and competent administrative/clerical team, security personnel and maintenance and custodial staff support the school.
In July 2007 the school moved to a beautiful new campus. The purpose of this was to allow for expansion, but in particular, to develop the Arts, sporting programs, and Science facilities while improving on an already successful language program. This significant event was made possible with funds donated from the parent community and corporate sponsors. The future for PAS POA, the only international English speaking school in Porto Alegre, is extremely positive and exciting. We have opened a separate preschool facility in 2015 and have recently inaugurated a new collaborative learning building which houses a maker space, elementary science laboratory and a collaborative learning classroom.
Our benefits package is competitive with other schools located throughout South America. Single housing is provided by the school in very comfortable apartment complexes and our some of our other benefits include high speed internet, international cable, language courses to learn Portuguese, daily transportation, club membership, daily lunch, and many more.
6. What is the language of instruction?
Although the population of PAS POA is 70% Brazilian, it is an English language school, beginning with full English immersion at the pre-school level. While all students have at least one hour of Portuguese and Brazilian Social Studies daily, all other academic classes are taught in English. As a general rule of thumb, our students in preschool tend to be one year below grade expectation in terms of their language abilities. However, the majority of our students tend to reduce this difference as they continue their studies in elementary. You will be impressed with the English language ability of our students as they speak with nearly fluent English by upper elementary.
7. What is the makeup of the faculty?
PAS POA has approximately 70 faculty members / teaching assistants from the United States, England, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil.
8. What are the salary and benefits?
In addition to the financial package, foreign hire teachers have international medical coverage (Scholars), round-trip transportation and baggage to their point of origin, and access to a robust professional development program. In addition, the school provides each teacher with all furnishings for kitchen, living room, dinning room and bed room.
9. What help is given to newly arrived teachers in adjusting to Brazil?
There is an orientation program that is both practical and theoretical in nature related to cultural adaptation and Brazilian culture for all newly hired teachers the week before all staff returns. The school also provides ongoing support for their international staff through a variety of programs such as parent buddies, teaching buddies, and regular school-wide activities.
10. I am interested in pursuing employment with PAS POA. What procedure must I follow?
Given enough lead time, send us a résumé and, if available, a placement file, along with an indication of when and where you would be available for an interview. We would suggest registering with one of the international recruiting organizations (Association of American Schools in South America, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa; Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and Search Associates. In any case, it would be most helpful for you to send us a copy of your placement file (including references) or to have it with you when we meet for an interview.
Thank you for your interest in The Pan American School of Porto Alegre.