ANSWERS TO SOME OFTEN ASKED QUESTIONS CONCERNING EMPLOYMENT AT THE PAN AMERICAN SCHOOL OF PORTO ALEGRE (PAS)
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 runs through June. Most hiring for the following year begins in November (AASSA job fair), continues through February (UNI, Queens, ISS, and SEARCH job fairs) and is completed by April, although last minute openings do occasionally occur. Applications are accepted throughout the year. While an interview is not absolutely essential, it is very helpful. Often phone and video interviews are now utilized.
2. What are the basic qualifications for employment at PAS?
All expatriate (international) teachers working at PAS must hold a BS, BA, or BEd in education and 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 though inexperienced candidate.
3. What is the expected length of stay?
The initial contract is for two years, at the beginning and end of which we provide plane tickets and baggage allowance to 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. It is virtually impossible for a non-teaching spouse to find employment in Brazil, and one salary is not enough to comfortably support a couple and provide any 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 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. Brasil has a wealth of culture and vast terrain to explore. PAS 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 The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS CASI) in the United States and is an authorized IB World School implementing the PYP program in our preschool and elementary sections. The academic program is challenging and fosters to create truly bilingual and international citizens.
PAS 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 1.3 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.
The Pan American School celebrated its 40th anniversary in June 2007. Throughout the last decade PAS 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, the only international English speaking school in Porto Alegre, is extremely positive and exciting.
Our benefits package is competitive with other schools located throughout South America and the average single teacher can save approximately US $6,000 to $8,000 after expenses. 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.
If you should require further information concerning our school community and/or country, I will gladly answer any questions that you might have.
6. What is the language of instruction?
Although the population of PAS is 70% Brazilian, it is an English language school, beginning with English as a Second Language in the pre-school (K4 and K5) and early elementary school. While all students have at least one hour of Portuguese language study daily, virtually all other academic classes are taught in English. By upper elementary school, the students are all fully bilingual. As a general rule of thumb, our students in elementary tend to be one year below grade expectation in terms of their reading and writing ability. Typically, however, the majority of our students tend to reduce this difference as they continue their studies in High School. 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 has approximately 50 faculty members / teaching assistants of whom 25% are North Americans, 25% from England, Australia, and New Zealand, and 50% Brazilian.
8. What are the salary and benefits?
After day to day living expenses are met, a teacher can expect to save between 10 to 20 per cent of their salary. It is important to point out, however, that at least some of these savings are often spent in major travel occurring during Christmas, Easter or summer vacations.
In addition to the financial package, foreign hire teachers have Brazilian medical coverage (Unimed) for which the school pays all expenses, round-trip transportation and baggage to their point of origin, and access to a well rounded activities program (including trips) for school personnel. 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 adoptive parents, teaching buddies, and regular school-wide activities.
10. I am interested in pursuing employment with PAS. 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 (International Schools Services, Princeton, NJ.; University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa; Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, are just a few, with the latter two having only minimal charges). Should time be short, please don't hesitate to call us +55.51.3334.5866. 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.