International School Community Member Spotlight #24: Cherry Doromal (An int’l school educator working at Mahatma Gandhi International School Manila)
May 18, 2013
Mabuhay! Let me take you to Manila, Philippines! I am Dr. Cherry Moriones- Doromal, Bachelor of Mass Communication, Bachelor of Laws, Master in Business Administration, Doctorate of Strategic Studies, Licensed Teacher, Secondary Education—specializing in English and Literature, multi-awarded educational and community leader, composer, blogger, Generalist Educator for MGIS International Primary Curriculum, Quad-Media Director of Mahatma Gandhi International School, and a lifelong learner .
My career, in sum, has been 19 years of exciting journey, allowing me to meet different kinds of people, in different walks of life, in different parts of the world. These experiences have not only molded me to become versatile and sociable, but also prompted me to devote my future in the academe. I believe that being an educator is the perfect avenue where I can best serve my purpose, and is the noblest profession where I can maximize, utilize and impart my God-given talents.
As to the other things about me, such as my quotes, family life, hobbies and writings, they may be found everywhere on the Web.
How did you get started in the international teaching community?
I am currently working at the Mahatma Gandhi International School Manila, or MGIS for brevity, and I am truly thankful to our Headmaster Lawrence M. Buck for this opportunity.
Which international schools have you worked at? Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.
Mahatma Gandhi International School Manila , or MGIS, is exceptional in many aspects. My two sons are enrolled here. Here are some of its unique features, and please bear with me as I try my best to shorten my description:
• Individualized teaching – Generally, less than 10 students per class; in rare cases, maximum of 15 pax per class
At MGIS, potentials are determined, recognized, enhanced and supported. Here’s just one out of the many examples. There’s one 6th Grader, James Ketcher, who loves singing. When the teachers saw this interest in James, they believed and supported the kid’s potentials, such that he was diligently coached and guided by the MGIS Music and Theater Arts specialists making James Ketcher one of the most admired lead role actors in the series of theatrical shows of The King and I at Resorts World Manila.
At MGIS, we let your kids think. We don’t teach religion; we teach VALUES. We respect individual and inter-cultural differences and freedom of expression where the students are heard. Plus, there’s no haircut policy, which is common in our local schools where the boys are required to have their heads shaved or cut at a certain length.
Most of all, at MGIS, the teachers who are all specialists in their respective subject area are passionate about teaching, practicing empathy towards the learners. Our staff are supported towards being life-long learners where they are being sent to local and international conferences and seminars regularly; thus, assuring that MGIS 21st century educators will acquire the competence expected of them.
In this school, international and professional quality performing arts is taught to students at all levels. Each year, before the end of the last term, MGIS comes up with a school-wide play/musical, participated by all students, faculty and staff. Last SY 2011-2012, we had Notre Dame de Paris– French Version; the year before, we had Cats the Musical.
Another feature is that MGIS connects daily with parents and students through our state-of-the-art online facilities; and yes, we use Edmodo.
MGIS listens to suggestions, addresses needs, and cares for your kids the way you would at home. Simply said, MGIS serves the community, celebrates with the world, values nationalism, promotes internationalism, loves the earth, and makes a difference.
Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
What puts a smile on my face? Well, I am a satisfied parent- educator with two kids studying in MGIS! Witnessing how my own children and the rest of our international students get to easily adapt to MGIS upon entry, and how they develop camaraderie among their classmates and schoolmates, is such an affirmation of the kind of convivial environment we have here in MGIS where the school values of C.E.R.T. (Compassion, Empathy, Respect and Tolerance) are truly thriving.
What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
All I want is a school that genuinely promotes a positive learning and working environment for all. One that empathizes with and cares for the teachers, administrative staff, and the students, hence, providing their needs to be more effective in teaching and in learning.
In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
Successfully making a positive difference!
If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here. If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!
Want to work for an international school in Manila like Cherry? Currently, we have 8 international schools listed in the Manila on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:
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May 16, 2013
A new survey has arrived!
Topic: Which region in the world would you most NOT want to move to next?
There is always going to be a region of the world that you would most NOT want to move to. They always say at international school recruitment fairs to be open to positions in all areas of the world, but in reality that is just not likely for many candidates. Though on the other hand, we also know some international school teachers that one time did take the risk and had selected a position in a region that they were not really interested in at the time, and then they ended up actually really enjoying their time living and working there. Who knows then what the best advice is for teachers out on the look for a teaching job abroad at an international school?
Is there one region in the world that is more popular than the others? We are not for sure. The “popular” regions seem to keep on changing every few years or so. On the other hand, there seems to be a group of international school teachers for each region of the world. For those who will choose NOT to interview for a position in the Middle East, there are definitely a handful of other candidates that ARE interested in applying for that job in that region.
There are many reasons that you would NOT choose to live and work in a specific region: Love, Travel, Career, Money, School, Location, etc. Which ever reason or reasons that are the most important to you (at that specific time period in your life) will help you decide on which region is the best for you and NOT the best for you.
For the very flexible candidate, the one that has the goal to live in as many regions of the world as they can, they will be on the look out for a region that they haven’t been to yet! Is there an international school teacher out there that has lived and worked in all the regions in the world? If so, we would like to interview that person for our member spotlight feature.
So, which region in the world would you most NOT want to move to next? Go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today! You can check out the latest voting results here.
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The total comments and information that we have in the School Information section on all the school profile pages: 3641!
May 7, 2013
As all International School Community members know, each of the 1420+ school profile pages on our website has four comments and information sections: School Information, Benefits Information, City Information and Travel Information. Our members are encouraged to submit comments and information on one or all of these sections if they currently work at an international school or have worked at one in the past. It is important that we all share what we know so that we can in turn help other new teachers make a more informed decision before they sign any contract! *Additionally, for every 10 comments you submit (which are anonymous by the way), you will automatically get one free month of premium membership added on to your account! The more comments you leave, the more free membership you get!
So, what are the recent statistics about the School Information sections on all the school profile pages? The current total number of submitted comments in the School Information section is 3641 (out of a total of 8050+ comments).
There are 14 subtopics in the School Information section on each school profile page. Check out each one of these subtopics below and find out out the total number of comments in that specific subtopic and also an example comment that has been submitted there.
• Describe the different aspects of the school building and the school grounds. Also, describe the surrounding area around the campus. (500 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The school is under construction right now. When finished we should have some really nice facilities for the elementary school. Now the classrooms are super tiny. The high school has good sized room and great resources, LCDs in every room for example. Whatever you ask for in terms of supplies, books, etc., you get.” – Seoul International School (69 Comments)
• What types of accreditation does this school have? When is the accreditation up for renewal? Any religious affiliations? (353 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The school is run by CJD which is Christian, but it does not affect the International School (CJD has three other schools in Braunschweig but contact is only at the Christmas and Summer Party. The school has Cambridge Accreditation for the Primary and Middle School (up to Y10) and IB for the Y11 andY12.” – International School Braunschweig (Wolfsburg) (19 Comments)
• Recent things that the school has taken on (i.e. new curriculum, specific professional development, etc.). (70 Total Comments)
Example comment: “We use the TC Reading/Writing Workshop model in our elementary classrooms and most or all of our teachers are trained at TC in the summers. Lots of discussion at the Board level and among teachers about being a “premier 21st century school” in Africa. SUNY program offered on-site, including the COETAIL certiifcate for learning and teaching with ed-tech. Currently adopting Atlas Rubicon, using a UbD unit planning template. The school recently adopted MAP testing for assessing learning. The school has embarked on a five-year plan to become more inclusive of children with special learning needs.” – International Community School Addis Ababa (35 Comments)
• Describe their hiring policies. Which recruiting fairs do they go to? How do they typically hire (e.g. face-to-face interview, Skype, etc.)? Are there any hiring restrictions mandated by the country? (630 Total Comments)
Example comment: “For expat hires, the school tends to hire single teachers. You also need to be a native speaker of English and have a university degree and teaching licensure.” – Metropolitan School Frankfurt (10 Comments)
• Describe school’s location in relation to the city center and to the teacher’s housing. How do staff get to school before and after school? (507 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The school is in beautiful setting – about 30 minutes from city centre. Staff live in a 40 minute radius from tthe school.” – Craighouse School (30 Comments)
• Are the expectations high of teaching staff? Are there extra curricular responsibilities? Describe workload details. (115 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Expectations are that staff be available whenever students or parents wish. Some meetings are called without warning, staff is expected to be present at extra curricular events, even if not involved directly. There are no assigned classes, so teachers and students move from room to room, in some cases, in the middle of a class. There is no space conducive to work for staff, so most all end up working 10-30 hours per week at home in evenings and weekends.” – Oeiras International School (14 Comments)
• Average class size for primary and secondary. Describe any aide support. (109 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Primary: max of 15 MYP and DP: Max of 20 average is below that.” – Strothoff International School (27 Comments)
• Describe language abilities of students at this school and what is the “common language spoken in the hallways”? Is there one dominate culture group? (414 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Some students speak Korean in the halls and playground, but for the most part, English is encouraged and spoken.” – Australian International School (Indonesia) (39 Comments)
• Describe what kinds of teachers work here (local vs. expat, nationality, qualifications [or lack there of], etc.) and staff turnover rate. (465 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Many teachers are from the UK, around one third of the staff.” – Oporto British School (10 Comments)
• What types of budgets to classroom teachers/departments get? (55 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Some departments get a specific budget. All spending is authorised by the director.” – Western International School of Shanghai (38 Comments)
• PARENTS ONLY – General comments from parents of students that go to this school (12 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Some grades are crowded: 30 kids per class in grade 4. There is no direct contact between parents and teachers, communication goes via Grade Coordinators.” – Internationale Schule Frankfurt-Rhein-Main (11 Comments)
• What types of sports programs and activities does the school offer? (138 Total Comments)
Example comment: “ISD offers PE sessions during the week and after-school programs in a variety of subjects (tennis, science, drama, etc.). The selection of the after-school programs changes from term to term. For one term, all students participate in the same sport, such as swimming or tennis.” – International School of Dublin (8 Comments)
• Name some special things about this school that makes it unique. (201 Total Comments)
Example comment: “It is unique that all lessons and meetings are conducted in English and at all other times you can only hear Thai being spoken by the children” – Harrow International School (Bangkok) (16 Comments)
• In general, describe the demeanor of the students. (72 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Whereas it cannot be described as a school for the gifted, DAS does have an exceptionally large number of gifted students. Whereas students with negative attitudes are definitely there – as everywhere – expat teachers regularly remark about their enjoyment of the teaching-learning process at DAS because of the eagerness of most of the students to learning.” – Dhahran Ahliyya Schools (60 Comments)
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May 4, 2013
International School Community Newsletter v2013.05 – 4 May, 2013
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May 2, 2013
Thanks to the increasing number of international schools, there have never been so many opportunities in unique and exciting locations for teachers.
Today there are international schools everywhere – over 6,500 schools in 236 countries – and some of the more unusual locations are providing the most stimulating and challenging opportunities for the more seasoned and adventurous international teachers.
Corey Johnson is a Geography teacher currently working in Kazakhstan. He’s been teaching internationally for seven years. “Being an international teacher, I can work and see the world at the same time,” he says. “Each time I move to a new country I am gaining more experience. Knowing that a grand adventure is waiting for you out there is very enticing. Life in a new country is always challenging but it’s also rewarding. Things are very different here but that’s the adventure of it all.”
Kazakhstan is one of the more unique places for teachers to work right now and it is the international schools, led by the NIS (Nazarbayev Intellectual School Network) schools that are changing the face of education throughout the country. The aim is to develop a new way of educating local Kazakh students and the NIS Network is enlisting the skills of qualified, English-speaking, experienced international teachers such as Corey to spearhead the progress.
From Mauritius to Bangkok
For international teaching couple, Jane and Gerry Young, an extreme location change was their priority when they were ready to move schools.
“We spent three years teaching at the international school in Mauritius,” says Gerry. “There were huge career benefits there and we loved the lifestyle. We spent most of our free time outdoors in the sunshine, on beaches. When our contract ended we decided to find something just as exciting but completely different so we them moved from our sleepy little school of 260 pupils to one of the biggest names in international education – Harrow International School in Bangkok – with almost 1,200 pupils, and traded mellow Mauritius for bustling Bangkok – a different corner of the world and a whole new adventure.”
Many options near and far
With today’s international schools employing over 300,000 English-speaking teachers and all competing for the most skilled and experienced ones, those already with international school experience really can have their pick of the best jobs. Some of the more unique positions currently available are at the International School in Azerbaijan, at the International School Moshi in Tanzania which is located in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, and at the International School in Montenegro, as well at the NIS schools in Kazakhstan.
“Don’t limit yourself to the oftentimes ‘cattle market’ frenzy of the recruitment fairs, or restrict yourself to just the jobs featured in the vacancies ads,” says recruitment expert Andrew Wigford. “Many international schools are now using recruitment agencies to handle all their placements and these agencies often know of some of the more unique jobs that aren’t publicised elsewhere. For example, the Harrow International Schools, which have a five year recruitment contract with us, hardly use job fairs at all. That’s why it’s important to register with a recruitment agency, as you’ll find jobs – great jobs – that you don’t hear about anywhere else. The good recruitment agencies do not charge candidates any fee for this and still allow them the opportunity to look elsewhere, such as at the fairs. It’s an important part of keeping all your options open, especially if you’re looking for a really exciting or challenging next move and some agencies, such as TIC, provide a very personalised service to help you find exactly the right school and position for you.”
Andrew Wigford is Managing Director of Teachers International Consultancy (TIC), one of the leading specialist international school recruitment agencies in the world. TIC works with experienced international teachers and accredited and reputable international schools to provide a personalised placement and advisory service. For more information visit www.ticrecruitment.com
Teachers International Consultancy (TIC)
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