Teacher recruitment

Teaching at an international school can be a rewarding and enriching experience that provides internationally-minded teachers with the opportunity to educate children from many different cultural backgrounds and also to work in a collaborative environment with other teaching professionals from around the world. It also provides a unique opportunity to experience living within the culture of the host nation. 

"KIST is the 5th international school I have worked at and I am enjoying it very much. From a teacher's point of view, it is a very organized school; warm and friendly. From a personal point of view, I simply love Japan and the people I have met here." (Elementary School teacher, UK)


At KIST, in addition to working with students in regular classes, our teachers also have the opportunity to lead after-school cultural or sporting activities, coach school sporting teams, attend school camps and overseas tours and more. Furthermore, many of our teachers live nearby the school campus and have developed a closely-knit community through which they enjoy a variety of social events and activities outside school hours.


In the main, teachers are recruited annually using the services of Search Associates and other international recruitment agencies as well as through participation at international recruitment fairs around the world. We also accept direct applications by e-mail during the main recruiting period between November and February. Direct applications are only accepted during this period. Due to the volume of applications received, applications are not considered outside this period (unless a specific need exists and vacancies have been posted) and are not kept on file. In general, most positions will be filled by February or March. In addition, due to constantly changing needs, we are unable to respond to individual inquiries regarding employment throughout the year.


KIST is aligned with the recommendations of the International Task Force on Child Protection and aims to maintain a high standard of effective recruiting practices with specific attention to child protection.


"This is my first experience teaching abroad and I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. As an educator, working within the IB framework is very motivating because I can see how my students are developing as individuals as they learn." (Secondary School teacher, Australia)



Requirements for full-time teachers


In order to ensure a quality education for students, KIST employs only suitably qualified and experienced teachers. The minimum employment requirements for full-time teachers are:

  • Bachelor's degree relevant to teaching area.
  • Valid teaching registration certificate issued by a governmental professional teacher regulatory authority.
  • Two years' full-time teaching experience as a certified teacher relevant to the position being applied for, or be graduates of the IB Diploma Programme.
  • Native or fluent skills in English (or other languages for non-English language teaching positions).
  • Eligibility for an appropriate working visa (for foreign nationals).
  • Previous experience working within an IB curriculum or knowledge of the IB programs is a distinct advantage, although not essential as training is provided.
  • Computer literacy and IT skills.
  • Evidence of no criminal convictions.
  • Availability for employment (i.e. not under contract with another employer)

As the initial contract of employment is for 22 months, only teachers prepared to commit to this period should apply.



Applying for full-time employment

If applying through a recruitment agency, please follow the procedures as required by the particular agency. Direct applications for full-time teaching positions are accepted between November and February. If you wish to be considered for a position, please send the following items to the Director of Personnel at info@kist.ed.jp only with the title “Teacher application: Your name (Your area of expertise)” in the subject field. All documents should be sent as PDF files.

  • A cover letter explaining the specific aspects of KIST that interest you and the contributions you could make. Please also specify how you came to know about the vacancy.
  • Your complete resume, including details of teaching qualifications and relevant experience
  • A statement outlining your personal philosophy of education
  • Contact details (e-mail preferred) for at least two recent professional references, including most recent supervisors
  • A recent photograph
  • Personal details, including marital status and information on any child dependents
  • Details of visa status and expiry (for foreign nationals if currently living in Japan)

"It is hopeful and comforting to know that the KIST leadership team values true dialogue, transparency and teacher agency." (Elementary School teacher, Colombia)


Due to the importance of ensuring a suitable match between you and the school, please ask yourself the following questions before submitting an application:

  • Why do you want to work at an international school in Japan?
  • What are the specific aspects of KIST that interest you?
  • Are you fully aligned with KIST's mission, vision and guiding beliefs?
  • Do you agree with KIST's stance as an academically focused, achievement-oriented school?
  • Are you willing to provide extra support to ensure that students achieve high results?  


Employment interview


Applications received are screened by members of the school's administration team. In most cases, the application will be the first point of contact between you and the team. It is your opportunity to convince the team that you are worth interviewing. Applicants who meet the requirements for full-time teachers and have submitted all required items as outlined above may be invited to participate in an on-site or online interview (via Skype) to demonstrate how they meet the following criteria:

  • Knowledge, skills and ability to implement innovative inquiry-based curriculum programs to ensure quality outcomes for a range of students.
  • Interpersonal and communication skills applicable to effectively dealing with individual students, class groups, other staff members and members of the school community.
  • Achievement in short and long term planning, preparation and resource management.
  • Achievement within a collaborative working environment.
  • Commitment to professional development and teacher reflection.
  • An understanding of and commitment to the school's mission, vision and guiding beliefs.

Successful applicants are required to submit various documents including copies of teaching qualifications, passport and visa documents, a police clearance certificate, a medical examination report to verify health status, and various other documents prior to commencing work.